Choosing Your Week

Silver Hilton offers anglers a nine week season. Our first week begins September 3rd-10th. Our last week is October 29th-November 5th. All nine weeks are open to the public by a reservation system that gives returning guests first chance to re-book their week. This means that once you fish with us, that week is yours for as long as you want it. Anglers who want to change their week are offered opportunities to do so on the basis of their seniority.

Silver Hilton has openings every year. If you are interested in fishing with us you should contact us, sometime between January and February as openings become available in early March.

Occasionally have unexpected cancellations and so we maintain a "Hot List" of anglers who are available for last minute placement. Sometimes these opportunities occur during our most popular weeks. If you would like to get on this list please contact us and we will gladly add your name.

Here is a look at our calendar and season:

Week 1

September 3-10

Fresh steelhead are arriving daily and the run is starting to gather momentum. They are bright and strong and rise eagerly to any presentation. Dry flies are exceptionally good as water temperatures will be in the mid 50's. We take only nine anglers this week and fish the best waters of the Main Camp. Our guiding ratio is increased to three anglers per guide. Experienced anglers can expect five to seven fish for the week if conditions hold and the early run is typical. The river is usually in good shape, as the rainy season has not started.

Week 2

September 11-18

The first big push of our main run usually enters our waters sometime this week. Males are more silver at this time of the year and in many cases fight as spectacularly as females. It is not uncommon to have twenty plus pound bucks going airborne and shattering the solitude with heavy splashing and long, searing runs which strain terminal tackle and the best of reels. Steelhead, including the large, trophy males over twenty pounds will be found in a variety of lies during this week, including oxygen rich riffles, deep cuts next to shore, in front of large boulders and in the classic shallows of our tail-outs. Water temperatures are warm and remain in the mid 50's. It is a great dry fly week. Experienced anglers usually average two to three fish hooked per day, either on floating patterns or wet flies.

Weeks 3-7

September 17 - October 15

This time frame usually produces many active steelhead which continue to rise eagerly to both dry and wet presentations. Water temperatures usually range from 48-50 degrees or so in week # 3-5, to around 40-43 degrees in weeks # 6-8. Experienced anglers usually average three to four fish hooked per day, although it can be much better. We have had anglers hook as many as thirteen steelhead in one day during this timeframe, with as many as forty-five fish hooked by one angler for the week. Male steelhead begin to show more color . The typical ketchup red stripes on both their lateral line and along their bellies are distinguishing marks and glow in the autumn light. There is also a fire in the eyes of our mid -season fish, and in the burning leaves of cottonwood trees which border the Babine.

Weeks 8-9

October 22 - November 5

In 1988, Lani Waller coined the phrase "The Secret Season," in a popular article for Fly Fisherman Magazine. In the article, Lani defined this timeframe as any time from the last week of October through the third week of November. This timeframe is marked by lower water temperatures, a shift in the lies of holding and resting steelhead and the need to modify your presentation. Days are shorter and darker, but the Babine is almost always low and clear. In seasons past we have seen knowledgeable anglers take twenty steelhead from one pool, in one day! It is still as true today as it was then. Great numbers of steelhead accumulate in Silver Hilton's pools at this time of the year, and our "late season" fishing can be spectacular.