Nicholas Dean Lodge

430th Weekly Fishing Report from Nicholas Dean Lodge

For Tuesday, March 27, 2007 to Monday, April 02, 2007


Wild, chrome Steelhead are amongst nature’s most gratifying gifts in the Skeena Region


Fish Tales

At this point in the year, it seems like mother nature doesn’t want to make up her mind. Last week’s mild, sunshine-filled days were a pleasant reprieve from the long Winter here in Terrace, but it seems like the Springtime may yet be delayed a little further. Daytime temperatures of -4 to -7 have been common, as has a lot of snowfall. Such conditions are often conducive to good late Winter Steelhead fishing, but my experience the last few weeks has seemed to be otherwise. Fresh Steelhead have been more difficult to come by in the main channel Skeena, although fishing in the Skeena Tributaries continues to be quite good for holdover Steelhead. With just a little bit of snow melt or rain, the rivers should be in good shape and should induce a bump of fresh Steelhead from the Ocean. Steelhead fever will be very easy to come by then…

Despite the poor Steelhead fishing on the Skeena, Sky Richard and I experienced great Bull Trout fishing in a long, fast flowing tailout and riffle. Here, the Bull Trout were stacked up in good numbers, awaiting any small (or big, as these trout are known for) morsel drifting through the current. As our Bunny Leech Fry patterns and Popsickle flies swung on tight lines across the current, with each fibre undulating, imitating the lifelike motion of its real counterpart, the Trout pounced on our flies like cats on catnip. However, since we were also looking for Steelhead, we were using our spey rods, which easily subdued the average Bull Trout that measured 18 to 24 inches. I have never caught Bull Trout before, and to hook, play and land one, and later cradle it in the shallows, admiring its fluorescent orange spots and olive-coloured flanks before watching it swim away was, simply, a great experience.

That day we also saw a few promising signs. At each location after we had worked through the pool, we would walk up the long gravel bar, back to the waiting jet boat. It was then that Sky could see a few small minnows in the shallows near shore. Right away, he could tell that the minnows were, in fact, Coho Salmon fry, which had just recently hatched. Needless to say, I am very much anticipating the Trout fishing on the Skeena and its Tributaries as much as I am the Spring Steelhead fishing.

If you like the renewal of spring – warming temperatures battling against a crisp wind, watching eagles return en masse to the rivers, the sight of a jagged mountain peak still encrusted with snow, or the sound of a drag going into overdrive – you will love the Nicholas Dean Spring Steelhead and Chinook Salmon package. And with fantastic Bull Trout, Dolly Varden, Cutthroat and Rainbow Trout fishing, we’ll practically have to pry you from the river. Come give us a try at Nicholas Dean Lodge…where every cast is an adventure!

Until next week, tight lines and screaming reels.

Chad Black – Operations Manager


Fishing Conditions

The chart below provides an overview on the current river fishing conditions by fish species:

Fish Species Poor Marginal Fair Good Excellent
Steelhead
Chinook Salmon Out of season
Coho Salmon Out of season
Pink Salmon Out of season
Sockeye Salmon Out of season
Chum Salmon Out of season
Halibut Out of season
Sea-Run Cutthroat Trout
Dolly Varden
Bull Trout
Rainbow Trout

Steelhead fishing has been poor, likely due to low, clear water levels and few fresh fish. Bull Trout have been caught in good numbers, and Trout fishing in general should continue to improve with the hatching of salmon fry.