Building Skeena Shack


on the path to the Skeena ShackRivers and rainforests. I love these places. I’m also passionate about woodwork and fishing thus, when I first set foot in northern British Columbia, I instantly fell in love with the area. I knew I had a connection with this place. Since travelling back and forth between my home country of Australia and Terrace BC, I’ve enjoyed hearing stories from days long ago of towering forests and rivers brimming with fish. I met a wonderful man, who now lives in Kincolith in the Nass Valley of northern BC. He’s near 90 yrs of age and used to be a tree cutter as a young man. He talked to me about western red and yellow cedar trees that used to be more than  twelve feet in diameter and towered well over one hundred feet. I once read about guys like that when I started my joinery apprenticeship back in Australia in the late 1980’s. My first job was making doors and windows from western red cedar – wood that came from this very region.

After purchasing this property in 2010, I wanted to utilize the skills I’d learned to build a cabin for others to experience the beauty and simplicity of the timbers native to this region. I’ve travelled to many destinations around the world to fish for anadromous fish such as Atlantic Salmon, Sea Run Trout and of course BC’s finest, Steelhead.  This cabin was built with the fisherman, like myself , in mind. I’ve tried to take bits and pieces from other places to make this a very comfortable place for fisher guys and girls to enjoy. The interior is lined with western red cedar from the BC coast. The ceiling is lined with yellow cedar harvested from the Queen Charlotte Islands just off the coast of Prince Rupert and the stairs are built with Sitka spruce from the Nass Valley. The outside is lined with western red cedar shingles. It took me roughly a year to complete the cabin. I have also made all the furniture in the cabin.  It’s like a gallery where I can display my works which are for sale.  There are also a few sculptures made of wood, although these timbers are from far flung corners of the world like West Africa and Central America.

Come for a visit. Stay the night. If you’re passionate about fishing, then a three minute walk through this temperate rainforest adorned with towering cedars, birch and hemlock puts you on one of the best sections of the Skeena River to fish for five species of Pacific salmon. Whether you fish or simply desire the quiet simplicity of nature, I believe you too will fall in love with this place.

Jimmy Z


A few photos of the building process:

framing the cabin Skeena Shack beams interior/roof framing wrapping the cabin Skeena Shack - cabin in the woods