Todd Scharf shares some huge tips on finding Skeena river steelhead and the gear you need to have a successful trip up north in British Columbia.  Todd runs the legendary Skeena Steelhead lodge and provides some insight on a 10 year commitment.

Todd shares the exact lines and head he uses and why and when you should fish shallow vs deep for steelhead.  We also find out about the connection to Arc’teryx and the early days of the G4 Simms Waders and when to use a single hand spey for steelhead.


Click below and listen to the Skeena River Steelhead Podcast with Todd Scharf:

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Skeena River Steelhead Show Notes with Todd Scharf

06:30 – Rob Bryce was on the podcast in episode 20 and covered Skeena Steelhead fishing.

08:45 – Northbound is a short movie that was produced on the Skeena.

14:00 – I noted the Steelhead Alley episode with Greg Senyo who guides in the midwest.

14:38 – Legendary Skeena Steelhead Lodge can be found at Upstream Adventures.

29:30 – Scott McGarva was on the podcast and had the Ankle Deep and 20′ quote.

30:30 – The OPST Riffle is great when you need the inside edge


43:30 – George Cook was on the podcast in episode 131 and shared some history on spey fishing.  George has worked with Todd on the hunting and fishing side.

44:00 – Golden West Fly Shop from Mike Maxwell

45:00 – Todd noted Bob Meiser and the Meiser rods in the early days.

58:30 – I noted the OPST Commando Smooth and Todd break down the other products from Pure Skagit.

commando smooth


1:04:00 – Simon Gawesworth was on the podcast and talked about the importance of the integrated line in the toolbox.

1:04:45 – The blue balls intruder is one of Todd’s goto steelhead intruder patterns.

blue balls intruders
photo via:


You can find Todd at

upstream adventures

Top Tips and Gear for Skeena River Steelhead

  1. Fish the shallow water when fish are not worried about death from above
  2. Use floating head for mainstem Skeena
  3. OPST Laser Line for running line
  4. The Run Tip (aka Type 6) is a good line for main Skeena as well
  5. Use the OPST Bucket tip if you are trying to hit salmon
  6. Use long 17′ leaders for lower water summer type tactics
  7. In spring when clear use smaller flies
  8. If the water slows on your driftboat, maybe a run
  9. Pull your boat away from the little nuggets for stealth


Podcast Transcript

You can get the entire transcript of this podcast here:  Todd Scharf

(Please note that the transcript above was transcribed by a computer via so it’s only 95% accurate)


Resources Noted in the Show

The OPST Riffle, run and bucket heads

opst riffle head


Skeena Steelhead by Bob Hooton

skeena steelhead


Videos and/or podcasts Noted in the Show

Watch the NorthBound Movie

northbound steelhead


“Wherever you see that jiggle, that’s where I’m fishing.”

-Todd Scharf

skeena River

Skeena River Conclusion with Todd Scharf

Todd Scharf shares the gear and tips on finding and swinging up steelhead on the Skeena River system.  We talk about the difference between fishing the Skeena vs some of the tributaries.

We also dig into single-hand spey and other great lines for Skeena River steelhead fishing.  It’s been too long since we did a Skeena steelhead episode so fully stoked to share this one with you.