Bulkley fishing lodge and BC fishing regulations

Fishing instructor, fly fishing tuition and fishing trips based in Scotland. Salmon and trout fishing advice, flies and articles.
 
 
 

Last Dollar Ranch and BC fishing regulations

Last Dollar Ranch lodge
The lodge at Last Dollar Ranch

I stayed at the non-guided Last Dollar Ranch (LDR) lodge near Smithers, BC which is conveniently situated adjacent to a couple of very nice pools on the Bulkley River which are within easy walking distance of the cabins. The Lodge accommodations offer well-appointed self-catering facilities and access to a boat launch which makes it an excellent base for fishing on the Bulkley and surrounding rivers. The lodge features modern amenities such as a six-burner stove, side-by-side refrigerator, dishwasher, satellite TV, wireless internet and local interest movies. The lodge sleeps 6 comfortably but can sleep up to 8 - 10 in our four large bedrooms with 2 king, 1 queen and 4 single mattresses. The Ranch also has smaller cabins to let. Cabin One is a one bedroom comfortable cabin with modern amenities including hot water, stove, shower and a 36" DVD TV. This cabin sleeps four with two single bunk beds and queen bed.   Cabin Two is a larger cabin with similar modern amenities, this cabin sleeps five. 

 

Last Dollar Ranch pool
Last Dollar Ranch pool.

The Bulkley River steelhead and coho salmon season extends from August 15 to October 30. Unfortunately the BC Government has decided that non-Canadians (referred to as “Aliens” in the fishing regulations) are not allowed to fish on Saturdays or Sundays without paying for a guide (guides with jet boats are expensive, around 650CAD per angler I was told). Apart from that some weekend fishing is allowed on a few stretches of less desirable water which are quite a distance from Smithers, too far to make the journey worthwhile. Consequently I would have to “sit on the bench” at weekends which mathematically amounts to around 28% of a week. This is quite penalising in terms of time and expense and since its introduction the numbers of visiting “aliens” to BC I’m told has dropped significantly. Good news if you are a local and like the extra space on the river or if you can afford to be guided at weekends. Like many visitors I don’t fit either of these criteria. Consequently several of my UK friends who habitually made annual steelhead pilgrimages to BC have diverted from BC to spend their money elsewhere in future.

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Copyright 2007 Alastair Gowans AAPGAI and FFF Master and THCI, APGAI. All rights reserved.