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My dad and I were thinking of booking a trip up at Rivers Inlet this August. I've never fished Canada before but have heard great things about it. I'm just starting my research on the who's, whats, when, and where of that area. I would appreciate any advice/recommendations from those that have been up there before. I'll be doing more internet searching and my dad is on top of the local advertisements for that area.

On another note, I haven't been fishing so far this year. Work is keeping me down, and all the snow has called me to the mountains on the weekends instead of to the rivers. I hate having to choose because I love fishing so much, but ski season is so short. From what I've been reading, things seem to be a bit slow and all this rain isn't helping. I'll try and get out soon, so I can see for myself.

Cheers!
 

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Throw away your skis and snowboard and pick up a rod. Just my 2 cents.

I would like to do Rivers Inlet as well, but I want to do it in my own boat. i would be interested to hear what people have to say about it. It seems like a cake walk if you know how to rig cut plug and whole herring and hit the run. That is a guess from what I have been told. It is easy on the fuel too.

Good luck and tight lines! Post a report if you go!
 

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The wife and I have been to Rivers Inlet a couple times. We had a great time at Rivers Inlet Resort. They are under new management now so I don't know if its being ran the same. Both times we went was in early august. What we learned was that Rivers Inlet is not a slam dunk fishery. On our first trip in 4 days of fishing we boated one 41 lb king and we were lucky to get it. Out of the six people on our plane it was the only fish caught. With maybe six fish brought in to the lodge in the four days. Our second trip we brought home two average pinks no kings at all. And only afew fish caught by others at the lodge. Rivers inlet is a trophy fishery with many hours of fishing with little action. But there are huge fish there and if your one of the lucky ones to hook up it could be the fish of a lifetime.
 

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The best resort for the money spent is the "Big Spring Sports Fishing Resort at the mouth of Rivers Inlet. It is 5 minutes from an area that includes The Wall, The Dome and the Triangle where you can mooch/troll for big kings, coho, ling cod or halibut.
They use only herring for bait but you bring some lures to try such as coyote spoons which I have had good luck with over the years. The boats are 18 FT fiberglass, very stable platforms to stand and fight big fish in weather. Motors are 4 stroke 25 HP Yamahas. Poles are the long mooching type using the knuckle buster reels which in combination bring in some very big salmon.
My personal best is a 32 LB King, 15 LB coho. I have had bigger salmon on but then those are other stories.
http://www.bigspringresort.com
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies so far. I'm inclined to look at Alaska trips as well with the exchange rate being what it is. Any advice on who to go with in AK? I know a lot of the guys on this site do that fishery every year.
 

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Hey JensenJk, I have to echo the sentiments previously expressed in this thread: Rivers Inlet is far from a slam dunk. However, if you hit right, it's as good as its legend says.

Best overall numbers are in late July, when the Chuckwalla and Kilbella fish are at their most prolific, and the first of the Wannock fish are in. By August, when the fish have moved out of the saltwater and into the Inlet, it turns into a weird bite: you might go for 2-3 days without catching much, but, when you do, it could be a 60-pounder.

Rivers Inlet is a cool fishery. Everybody should experience it at least once in their lives. The fishery inside the Inlet proper has you hugging the sheer rock walls (within 5 feet) in some spots, and the scenery is absolutely incredible.

HOWEVER, as previously stated, your money might be better spent in Alaska. You can't go wront with Rob Endsley at Pacific Northwest Sportfishing in Craig. Matter of fact, I hear he has some new cancellations and openings this summer.

Good luck.

JS/NWWC
 

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If you are looking for numbers of fish, I would go to Sitka. I have heard that Rivers Inlet is hit or miss as well, but when you hit...it is the jackpot. What I meant by cakewalk: You don't have to contend with the weather and it not a mystery as to where the fish are at (as in the open ocean). You are, 90% of the time, running herring.

My freezer is full. I am done chasin school size fish. I am looking for that king of a lifetime even if it means I have to troll for 3 days without a bite. Good luck!
 

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jensenjk
I concur with the above post. I've been thier twice and it's far from an action fishery. One of my trips had 4 fish for a total of 16 fisherman for 4 days. The good new was that 3 of those fish broke 50 lbs. Personally thier are a lot of other fisheries I prefer. Good luck.
 

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I have fished RI for 7yrs, and I second the vote for Big Spring Resort as the best value up there Tup:

The problem you run into fishing up at the head of the inlet (where the rivers dump in) is that it's a terminal fishery thus your timing has to be right on. If you fish toward the Mouth (where Big Spring is) you get first shot at those fish heading up the inlet to spawn PLUS all the migratory fish that are dipping in to feed on their way to other places..

The fishing is very simple and if you can make a herring spin, you'll be in business. If you like lots of action book Aug -Sept for silvers and you still have opportunity at late kings.

As for AK, remember you still have to go farther so the plane ride cost comes in, where as when you fish BC, your cost is driving up and the resort flies you from Vancouver. My vote for top saltwater experience in AK would be Sitka and top freshwater experience would be the Nushagak River.
 

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Sitka, Sitka, Sitka. I've seen some real big fish caught there(usually by the guy standing next to me). Lots of choices, lots of fish, two non stops a day from SeaTac.
 

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I would like to do it myself, not at a resort and have heard that it is very doable. Have any of you guys ever done it? What I would do (as far as I know right now) is...
1. Trailer up I-5 north through the border to Tswassen. Question: how high is the border crossing? Can I fit under if Iam 14' high?
2. Take the ferry over to nanaimo. Question: What is the size restriction for trailerable boats? length and height?
3. Trailer up to Port Hardy. Question: Are there any hills or questionable roads from nanaimo to port hardy?
4. Launch at Port Hardy and run to Rivers Inlet, which I think is about 80 miles?
5. I have heard that you can have fuel reserved at Dawson's landing.
6. you have to bring dry ice and bag ice with you to last the trip for the fish
7. Fish on the boat and pitch anchor at night right by the fishing grounds so you're not using any fuel.

Can this be done? How much would a round trip cost doing it this way?
 

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the ferry crossing will be around $400 and fuel for the truck? it might be as cheap to just run up from anacortes.
Talk to dash one he ran up from anacortes last year.
 

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Honestly, by the time you ad up all the costs of running your own boat up there you will have paid probably triple $'s than staying at one of the 12 resorts up there. Ice and fuel would alone would be a killer. Just about all of the RI resorts are unguided so that is why I always liked to fish there Tup: They give you the boat and unlimited gas to go wherever you want. Tup:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I guess I'll have to talk it over with my dad, but I've got some good ideas from you guys, now. Thanks for all the info. Now, we just have to make up our mind...RI for the trophy, Sitka or Craig for the numbers. Availability is always a question, too, which might influence our final decision since we're only looking to go during Aug.
 

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I can certainly echo most of the above sentiments. About 7 years back I got to go last minute(Big Spring)in place of a friends partner who could'nt make it for about half price of what it would be normally. Unfortunately a) there were'nt any and I mean any kings in, b) I did'nt do any homework and was told the lodge had everything that I needed for good fishing. Well for August 6-9th with all the guest there, there were 4 kings landed with 3 being blackmouth to about 8#'s and one "outside" king of 23#s. Also if I had known I would have brought my own pole & reel and tackle - with some bottomfish jigs too. Poles were canadian setup knuckle busters, and tackle provided was well spartan with herring being your only option. Handheld GPS would help too as there were some pinnacles out there to try for nice bottomfish but it was impossible to find them/keep on top of them to fish em'. If you have to try for a huge fish then maybe it's worth a go, but I'm sure that somewhere like Sitka would be a much better overall choice, and still offer a good shot at a darn nice sized fish or two.
 

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As Jack mentioned ... I did run to Rivers last year from Anacortes. As I recall - it was some 350 plus KM's from Anacortes to Rivers Inlet. It's about 70 KM from Port Hardy to the Head in the Inlet. (all from memory, but close enough for this discussion)

I estimate the total running time at around 20 hours (or so) ... which is very dependent on weather and and vessel capabilities. To simplify the math: 20 hours running at 10 GPH fuel consumption equals 200 US gallons of gas. Gas in Canada is expensive (as you all know) - and I think I paid over $7.00 US per US gallon at Dawsons Landing (must get diesel!). Say an average of $5.00 per gallon equals a $1,000.00 one way. That didn't account for all the running and fishing while in Canada. I think I spent close to $3,000.00 in fuel on that trip.

If you're on a tight budget and/or schedule ... then I suggest you take the BC Ferry to Nanaimo and drive to Port Hardy. If you have the time ... then I suggest you take the inside passage, and enjoy the trip.

I went by myself last Summer, spending three weeks on my boat. I caught more fish than I could count around Port Hardy. The Head at Rivers can be a combat fishery in early August, but like Cornfed, I'm going for quality - not quantity. I'll put up with a crowd if I get a chance at a 50# or better.

Study up on the regs. No downriggers allowed at the Head, and no flashers or dodgers - and no more than 6 ounces of lead. Everyone strips out six to ten pulls with a black or purple label herring. Most boats with two or more anglers fish seven rods per boat. I fished three rods by myself. I fished four days - had seven chances in all, and landed one fish. A puny (by Rivers standards) 38 pounder!

This summer I plan take my boat (by water) by myself - from Anacortes to Ketcikan - and fish my way back to Rivers Inlet (1st week in August) - possibly through the Queen Charlottes.

I would encourage anyone with some time and sense of adventure to try it sometime. Take your time - pick your weather and enjoy the ride.

Jay
 

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cat fisher said:
the ferry crossing will be around $400 and fuel for the truck? it might be as cheap to just run up from anacortes.
Talk to dash one he ran up from anacortes last year.
I made that trip last year on the way to Ucuelet BC. The ferry for my truck and 24'seasport was 500.00 round trip. I am going back to Ucuelet in July this year, but I am launching from Neah Bay and driving the boat over. It is only about 70 miles. That's less than a 100.00 each way for gas. I've never been to Rivers Inlet, but last year we had a blast in Ucuelet. Lots of nice Halibut, silvers,and some average Kings. In 3 days of fishing for 5 guys we came home with 15 halibut, 15 silvers, 8 kings, 5 ling.
 
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