Nicholas Dean Lodge

431st Weekly Fishing Report from Nicholas Dean Lodge

For Tuesday, April 03, 2007 to Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Mike Spurlock cradles 22.5 lbs of Spring Steelhead, caught on a Hawaiian Punch Fly (inset) – Mike Spurlock/Dustin Kovacvich Photo


Fish Tales

Hello again everyone, and I hope that this report finds you doing well and hopefully in Spring mode. It has been a very busy and fish-filled couple of weeks and, as such, I do have a lot to write about!

We started our season off here on March 22, with Jeff Bright and Martin Walker being the first people to swing their flies through the cold pools of the Skeena and its tributaries. Although the water was, and still is, very cold, Jeff and Martin managed to hook into a few Steelhead every day. However, when the rest of Jeff’s group arrived later in the week, the fishing was excellent on one of the Skeena Tributaries. Don Nelson, Jeff Reinke, Lance Boen, and Mike Spurlock all hooked into fish of 15-18 lbs on the fly – incredible fish. And at one of Dustin’s favourite springtime spots, Mike Spurlock hooked into a chrome bright fish that made several runs into his backing before Dustin had a chance to tail the fish in the shallows. At 41 inches long and a 20.5 inch girth, the magnificent male was an incredible example of a Spring Steelhead – 22.5 lbs as calculated by Sturdy’s formula – and a great way to start the season.

However, Mother Nature would not be undone, as we were shut out from fishing on the fourth day of their trip. While I didn’t hear a final verdict on the amount of snow we received, I think that it’s conservative to say that we were blanketed in 2 feet of snow in Terrace, with considerably more in the mountains. An incredible feat in that it fell in approximately 36 hours! Let’s just say that prior to the snowfall, the snowpack in the Skeena Region was estimated to be 175%, and now it is 200%! Let’s hope that the weather warms gradually and that we don’t receive a lot of rain quickly, or else we might have the highest flood that we’ve received in a while for late May and early June!

Weather conditions have improved somewhat since the days of the snowy blizzard. When our shareholders were fishing at the lodge last week, the temperatures were on the chilly side initially, but gradually made way for more moderate temperatures and light rain showers. With fishing conditions ideal, the shareholders experienced aggressive Steelhead that came well to spoons fished deep near the bottom. On one day, 20 fish were hooked and 10 landed between two anglers, with the largest just shy of 23 lbs, and one lost that our guide Greg Buck estimated at 25 lbs plus. Greg mentioned that he saw likely the same fish in a subsequent day, so perhaps a Nicholas Dean guest will manage to land this gigantic fish…

Although we are at capacity for the next few weeks here at the lodge, we still have a few more spaces available in the second week of May if you would like to make your cast for Spring Steelhead (with the potential for sight fishing to Steelhead up to 20 lbs in small, not-to-be named rivers). With the Springer Chinook underway, you will also have the opportunity to tie into these powerful fish during this week. Call now to reserve your space for the last week of Spring Fishing that we offer in 2007…

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
Halibut
Sea-Run Cutthroat Trout
Dolly Varden
Bull Trout
Rainbow Trout

The Spring Steelhead fishing has been fantastic thus far, and numerous fish have been caught up to 20 lbs, with a few up to 23 lbs. While there have been few people targeting Trout specifically, the fishing for Bull Trout, Dolly Varden, Cutthroat, and Rainbows has been very good while fishing for Steelhead, and will likely continue to get better. A few anglers have reported good fishing for Halibut off Prince Rupert for numbers of fish.