Photos: Incredible Steelhead on BC’s Sustut River

Written by: Hank Welles, Montana Angler


Guide Wil Flack and Kent Hoffman are all smiles about this colored-up Sustut steelhead.
All photos courtesy Montana Angler

As September rolls around each year, I can start to feel the chill in the air each morning, causing my mind to drift to another place: British Columbia, where big, wild, trophy steelhead are lurking in the cold, clean currents of one of BC’s finest steelhead rivers, the Sustut. This jewel of a river produces some of the largest wild steelhead in the world. Fish average roughly fifteen pounds with multiple fish in 30-pound range being caught each fall.

Every year, in mid to late September, I fish this fairly unknown remote tributary of the Skeena river system for a week with my friends Rick and Stu. With no road access for almost 100 miles, the only access is via small plane to a tiny gravel runway hidden in the bush a few miles from the river. Because of this anglers can’t reasonably fish the Sustut on their own, and there are two small lodges on the river. This was an incredible year, and, as you’ll see, some incredible steelhead came to hand.

Click here for a full trip report and tons more photos.

Hank Welles is the general manager of Montana Angler, an Orvis-endorsed Fly Fishing Expedition in Bozeman, Montana.


The scenery in remote British Columbia is simply breath-taking.

Stu landed this monster buck on the first day of the trip.

The excitement was palpable on the plane ride into the bush.

This one picture captures the magic of the experience: a bent rod, a hard-fighting fish, and stunning scenery.

Sending out another long cast, with hope that the swinging fly connects with a wild steelhead.
Wil and Rick celebrate another big success.
Traveling to a new run is an adventure in itself.

The author shows off one of the larger Sustut fish he has ever landed.

6 thoughts on “Photos: Incredible Steelhead on BC’s Sustut River”

  1. There’s steelhead fishing. And then there’s steelhead fishing! The colors on those fish are striking, as are the rivers and countryside. Oh how I would love to get on those waters. Great pics, and a nice installment here.

    1. Hi mike my name is Joshua Trainor, I’m pretty sure you are friends with my father Phil, I was looking at these photos and saw your name just wanted to say hello

  2. It is amazing as to how big close-ups with a very wide angle lens look.
    What was the focal length of the lens that took these photo’s?
    The first photo is over sharpened & this makes it looks “Photoshopped”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.