Doug Flegg with his first BC Steelhead (32″x14″)
Mike Kenyon poses with his 35 pound Fly Caught Springer
Jerry C.’s Small Stream 14 Pounder
April 2006 saw primarily cold and low water conditions which were challenging at times. We saw some beautiful Steelhead throughout April and large powerful spring Chinook towards the end of the month.
Some highlights include Doug Flegg’s first BC Steelhead after a couple unsuccessful trips with another local guide. His first day out he wanted to learn how to Spey cast so I took him out on the Skeena River. After about 10 minutes instruction he started to work his way down the run. After about five casts he was into a 30 pound Springer which he battled for half an hour and lost at the bank (no worries it was going to be released anyways). He kept diligently working down the run, slowly improving his casting along the way, when suddenly a bright hen of about 8 pounds cranked his fly. She came leaping out of the water many times and eventually earned her freedom in a couple minutes. By this time Doug is wondering if he is ever going to land a BC Steelhead. He re-groups, hits the river again and is rewarded with a solid hook up. She soars out of the water and rips around in tight and close slack lining him a couple times but staying on. After a quick picture we measure her out to about 12 pounds on the chart. Doug also has a day of Heli-Fishing where he lands a 12 pound buck and a spectacular day small stream Steelheading where he lands a 4 pound buck, 8 pound hen, and a 16 pound buck and loses a hen of about 20 pounds after chasing it through 3 pools and a 150 yards of creek. Not a bad couple days.
Mike Kenyon caught a spectacular Buck Springer Chinook that taped out to around 35 pounds on the fly in the Kalum River. It took him 45 minutes and 200 yards of bank to land this beast which was released to carry on up the river.
Jerry Commingdeer wanted to get away from the regular drift/jet boat program so we headed out to a small coastal stream with large steelhead. The only access is fairly difficult hiking with no trails through old growth temperate rainforest. The scenery is spectacular to say the least, with the added bonus of Steelhead averaging 10 to 15 pounds with fish up to 25 pounds in small intimate water. We had a great day hooking 6 Steelhead and landing 2 Steelhead which weighed 14 pounds and 18 pounds. The other 4 fish were just to hot to handle and broke off or threw the hook.
All in all April saw some good to difficult conditions and for the anglers who persevered some great fish were caught. I am looking forward to May, June and July which will see the Chinook runs coming into full swing. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is calling for an excellent return of Chinooks this year. I can’t wait.
Dustin Kovacvich – Fish Master