In 1977, my parents, Alice and Ken Belford arrived at Damdochax Lake searching for a different way of life, establishing an approach to living and working in wilderness we still follow now. Originally, we bought the guide outfitting certificate for this area with the intent to homestead and run hunting trips, but after a couple years of doing so, we stumbled upon Steelhead. From an impromptu, exploratory fishing trip one afternoon to the headwaters of the Damdochax River, decades of world class Steelheading unfolded.
Originally, we knew nothing about Steelhead – how they lived, when they migrated, or when they spawned. Over time, we learned through trial and error. We watched, listened, fished, guided and experimented. Today, we are one of the world’s most distinctive fly fishing destinations for Steelhead. We are certainly among the most unique, since we now know the heart and soul of this river, having lived in the isolated Damdochax valley and fished its waters for 40 years.
Everything at Damdochax is “old school”, and our first camp was a home before it was a business. Any subsequent construction has been in keeping with that tradition, and for ourselves and our guests, we like to try and keep it that way. Although we now have many modern amenities, we still rely on the old way of life, and our remote location often dictates that choice. We embrace this lifestyle, it keeps us grounded and we believe enhances our guest’s experience. Being here teaches us to appreciate the simple things in life. We cherish our opportunity to be here, and each day is a gift, as Damdochax is not only our livelihood, but first and foremost, our family home.