Nimpkish River offers great Steelhead fishing in both a summer run in
June/September and again in a winter run in January to April. There is a sea run
of Dolly Varden in the spring and there is a year round fishery for resident
Rainbow and Cutthroat trout.
Nimpkish River Valley is a beautiful, incredible rugged and remote watershed.
From its headwaters in the mountains near Gold River it winds its way towards
the northeast Island, past Woss Lake, growing as numerous streams and creeks
join it until it flows into Nimpkish Lake.
From there, a short
stretch of wild river leads to the ocean, where the river empties into the sea
between Telegraph Cove and Port McNeil.
First Nations groups have
utilized the surrounding area for thousands of years, and European settlers
arrived in the area around the turn of he 20th century. The Namgis People had
lived at mouth for many generations.
The Nimpkish River Valley broad and flat and over a 100 km in length. It
is shallow in incline, dropping only 280m over its coarse, most of that before Woss Lake.
The Nimpkish River begins
in the hills above Vernon Lake as a series of small streams and becomes a river
where it meets with the river that flows from Vernon Lake. It continues down the
valley becoming larger before reaching the junction with Woss Creek, which
almost doubles the size. By this time, the river is already getting large.
it continues on its way to the sea, it continues to grow as feeder creeks join
it until it flows into Nimpkish Lake.
The lake is the biggest
on Vancouver Island north of the Campbell Lakes, and measures about 23km long.
Due to the way the wind is forced down the valley and onto the lake almost like
a wind tunnel, makes it a popular lake for wind surfing.
Though not settled, the
valley is fairly extensively logged, with active tree removal still occurring
and the clear cuts plainly visible in satellite images. Much of the watershed is
protected, and two Provincial Parks on the system provide protection for the
wilderness as well as excellent recreational opportunities.
Access to Nimpkish Lake is easy as highway 19 borders it on the way to Port
Hardy and a few rest stops offer trails down to the lakeshore. The two parks are
easily accessible by boat, but no formal trails to them are available for hiking
in. There is no road access to either park.
Other sections of
the valley can be accessed from logging roads, or from highway 19, which runs
through the valley at many points.
River rafting is possible
on the upper reaches of the river, and is a breathtaking ride through some of
BC’s finest wilderness scenery.