Atlantic Salmon in Norway or Steelhead in British Columbia?

Atlantic Salmon in Norway or Steelhead in British Columbia?

Bernd Ziesche | Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Which one would you prefer to fish for? Let's have a look at some pros and cons!

Norway has several great rivers running through a fantastic nature. But on the most famous ones like Gaula and Orkla a road with many houses is running parallel to it as well.
The Skeena system with all it's famous tributaries is sourrounded by an outstanding nature. Quite some of the tribs are running far out of any civilisation into the deepest wilderness.
...a pro for BC.

Animal wildlife...
Norway has a fair number of wild animals. Usually you won't see much of them when fly fishing the famous rivers.
In BC are many wild animals like eagles, black and brown bears all over the country. Usually you see them pretty often every week of fly fishing for Steelhead.
...a pro for BC - well, if you are not a chicken that is. ;)

The fish...
Atlantic salmon easily can be caught close to the ocean. Due to that we can catch those salmon just having entered their home river still being a perfect - often sea liced - chromer! The biggest ones are over 20Kg.
Those Steelhead entering most of the famous Skeena tributaries have gone a long way thruh the Skeena. Thus these fish usually are not perfectly chromed anymore. But then again Steelhead can be in a beautiful spawning colour. The biggest ones are over 13Kg.
...a pro for - well, you decide!

The take...
pretty similiar - you better wait!

The fight...
Steelhead are a bit wilder, more jumping usually.
But hey, Atlantic salmon are often little bigger and they do fight, too!
... even, I think.

The conditions...
Fly fishing for Atlantic salmon often means you pay a lot of money for fishing one and the same pool for many hours over and over again. Even though after the first go you may already feel the chance of catching one being almost none existant!
Fly fishing for Steelhead you often pay to be allowed to fish a huge stretch of river. And you may even go down from pool to pool by drift boat and decide wether to fish the current pool or just pass on to the next one. Outstanding way of fishing! But nowadays (as a foreigner) you'll not be allowed to fly fish the weekends (for Steelhead and without a guide) anymore!
...for me these are both huge cons!

The costs
Fishing licenses are usually significant more expensive in Norway as they are in BC. But then again Norway (speaking for the European fly fishermen) is not that far. Thus travel costs to BC are higher. All in all it's fair to say one week may be nearly the same costs. But three weeks will be much cheaper in BC!
...a pro for BC. Unless you fish the weekends with a guide!

Other fish...
In Norway you often have an excellent fly fishing for grayling near by. And there are mostly other possibilties, too.
In BC you have several of Pacific salmon available next to Steelhead.
...The truth is, I recommend to purely focus on either Atlantic Salmon or Steelhead. Those are two of the most fascinating fish to fly fish for!

In the end you have to decide. I had outstanding fly fishing on both, Atlantic salmon (Norway) and Steelhead (BC).

Great plans to all of you!

All my best

flyfishing steelhead

Last week was about teaching fly casting, having some distance castsĀ 
and fly fishing in the night for pike perch.

ziesche flycasting