Today we’re joined by Riley Laboe, Kye Petersen, and the legendary Feet Banks. These guys are all enthusiastic steelhead anglers with interesting stories to tell. Riley is a retired pro skier and talented filmmaker. Kye is one of the most influential free-skiers in the world. And Feet is a writer who also happens to be the Editor of Mountain Life Magazine. Stick around with us today as we explore the connection between life on the mountains and chasing fish in the valley. These guys have some great insight for anyone looking to fish for early-season winter steelhead. Alright, let’s get going. It’s time to get in the bucket.

Show Notes with Riley, Kye, and Feet. Hit play below! 👇🏻

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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There’s something magical about those steelhead runs, where the icy waters test your patience and the mountains dare you to take a deep breath of the wild air. That’s where Brian met Riley, a Squamish local with steelhead secrets in his veins, and Kye, whose skis had never known the embrace of a riverbank until now. Together, we weave through tales of winter fishing amidst the grandeur of the Squamish and Skeena rivers, tackling the mental game of waiting for that elusive bite and the jubilation of a hard-fought catch. This episode isn’t just about the fish though; it’s about the friendships forged in the frigid waters and on powdery peaks, the kind that echo the bonds of shared struggles and triumphs.

When the conversation shifts to the steelhead fishing experience, it’s like comparing ski boots to fishing waders; both serve a purpose but tell different stories. They share laughs over old guide tricks to keep the cold at bay, and there’s a tinge of heartache as we recount the fish tales that end with the one that got away. But there’s a thread of persistence here, a nod to the determination that fuels both anglers and skiers alike, as well as the deep-seated gratification found in overcoming the outdoors’ rigorous tests. These stories aren’t just about the catch or the perfect ski run; they’re about the journey and the indomitable spirit that pushes us to keep exploring.

The thread we follow takes us from the riveting culture of fishermen with their Tacoma trucks to the wild, untamed beauty of Northern BC where skiing down pristine slopes can end with casting lines into steelhead-rich waters. Their musings touch on the intimate tales of ski and fishing films, where the essence of adventure is beautifully captured by those who live and breathe these passions. We even muse over whether the fish can sense our desperation, bringing humor to the zen-like patience required for the sport. So, pull up a campfire log or tighten your ski boots, because this episode is an ode to the adventurer’s soul that finds solace and excitement in the challenges nature so gracefully provides.

Episode Chapters

(0:00:01) – Reading the Landscape
Nature’s impact on outdoor activities like skiing and steelhead fishing, genetic and behavioral differences in steelhead, and thrilling experiences on the Skeena.

(0:06:13) – Winter Steelheading
Nature’s connection to fish in Skeena River, challenges of fishing in big water, understanding fish behavior, staying motivated in winter, proper layering, and camaraderie in fishing.

(0:14:21) – The Steelhead Fishing Experience
Nature’s comfort in outdoor activities, emotional aspects of fishing, camaraderie around campfires, and the allure of challenges in fishing.

(0:22:16) – The Impact of Fishing and Skateboarding
Nature’s transformative power in fishing, skateboarding, and skiing, and its appeal for all ages and as a safe alternative for risk-taking.


(0:30:12) – The Beauty of Fishing and Skiing
Nature’s role in outdoor activities, community, and emotional connection, specifically in skiing, fishing, and rock climbing.

(0:40:13) – Discussion on Fishing and Multi-Sport Adventures
Nature’s influence on fishermen driving Toyota Tacomas, revealing fishing spots, and combining activities like skiing and fishing.

(0:48:42) – Skiing and Ski Movie Discussions
Nature’s blend of skiing and fishing in Northern BC, Shames co-op resort, ski movies, and “Sacred Grounds” series.

(1:00:45) – Impact of Talent in Filmmaking, Fishing
Skilled professionals enhance film quality in niche areas like ski and fishing filmmaking, while camaraderie and a relaxed approach are important in fishing.

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In the Bucket #1 – Spey Fishing Mastery with Brian Niska – Chinook Salmon, Steelheading, Skeena Spey Lodge

Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below


This episode weaves a rich tapestry of adventure, camaraderie, and the relentless pursuit of passion in the icy rivers and snowy peaks of Northern BC, encapsulating the essence of steelhead fishing and skiing through the eyes of Brian, Riley, Kye, and Feet. It’s not merely the triumph of a catch or the thrill of a ski run that defines their journey, but the deeper connection forged with nature, the shared laughter over old fishing tales, and the mutual respect for the resilience required to embrace the outdoors’ challenges. Their stories, set against the backdrop of the Squamish and Skeena rivers, transcend the individual experience, highlighting the universal thrill of adventure and the indomitable spirit of those who dare to confront nature’s grandeur. Through their adventures, we’re reminded of the beauty in persistence, the warmth of friendships formed in the coldest waters, and the eternal allure of the wild that beckons the adventurous soul to keep exploring.