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British Columbia Whispers

By Nick Waggoner

A little over a year ago, whispers of British Columbia steelhead came between swings for monster Alaska rainbows and medium-cold Pabst Blue Ribbon. The Babine? The Dean? The Iskut? Several 3 am Google Earth obsessions later, the seed for a fall mission to Smithers found good soil.

Casual messages to friends became lengthy photo threads, and soon the truck pointed north, loaded with a 16-foot raft, Alpacka Pack Rafts, an arsenal of Sage two-handed rigs, and a couple crates full of hopes and dreams. After eight days and 60 river miles, we present this little gem to you, fueled by pre-noon beer and nightcaps of peaty 10-year old scotch. Eat, sleep, climb back into frozen waders, keep fishing. Anytime you can wrangle four lost souls to arrive in the same location at the same time, to drop their busy-ass lives for a second, you should thank your lucky stars, and we're grateful for the journey and all the hogs encountered between there and here.

In our hands, we fished 7- and 8-weight Sage X and IGNITER two-handed rods in 13- to 14-foot lengths, matched with Sage SPEY reels and RIO Skagit Max heads.

featured products

  • X Spey Two-handed

  • IGNITER SPEY Two-handed

  • SPECTRUM MAX Core

  • SPEY Specialty

about the author and videographer

Nick Waggoner grew up skiing in Central Park, New York City. At 18 he headed West, founding Sweetgrass Productions out of a Colorado College dorm room, and he's been chasing films from Japan to the jungles of the Amazon ever since. He currently lives in Nelson, British Columbia, and, when he's not making films or fishing sleepy rivers, he's an aspiring ACMG Ski Guide and soon-to-be dad to twins.  

For more of Sweetgrass' work, head here