Nicholas Dean Lodge

433rd Weekly Fishing Report from Nicholas Dean Lodge

For Tuesday, April 17, 2007 to Monday, April 23, 2007


Greg Buck and Paul Catanese pose with a colourful Buck Steelhead, one of many caught by Paul and his group. Jerry Comingdeer Photo


Fish Tales

Hello again everyone, and I hope that this report finds you all doing well, with warming Spring temperatures and a little more daylight in the evenings. Lately, it hasn’t been getting really dark until around 9:30 pm, which is great, as it should allow me to get a few casts in after work! The river conditions in the Skeena Region near Terrace have not changed much since last week: the main Channel Skeena continues to be high and dirty, and as a result, is difficult to fly fish, although some Spring Chinooks have been caught while plunking with Spin’n Glos and bait. Copper is an appropriate term for the flow of water coming out of the Copper River; a combination of clay banks, a very small lake in its headwaters, and a major tributary in its upper section makes this river prone to blowing out. As a result, most of our fishing this week has been done on a Skeena tributary that has a good sized lake in its headwaters, and which is a little more resilient to high flows.

On their first day of fishing this week, Paul Catanese and Jerry Comingdeer wanted to try fishing the Kitimat River because of the good fishing they had experienced in previous trips. However, upon reaching the put-in, it was evident that the river was likely a little too blown to produce good fishing. So instead of floating the river, they returned to the lodge a little while later to pick up a jet boat for fishing on a nearby Skeena tributary. And as you will see, this proved to be a very good choice indeed. After swinging large Popsickles and Marabou Leeches through the pools with little effect, both Paul and Jerry began to use spoons and floats to cover the water. And the Steelhead did respond much more favourably to these presentations. On the first day alone, they landed 8 fish, 2 of which were 20 and 23 lbs. Needless to say, when it came time to make a plan for the next few days and indeed the rest of the week, both Paul and Jerry stated quite blatantly that they didn’t care to fish any other river – and we couldn’t blame them! Over the course of the week, Paul and Jerry managed to land 6 fish over 20 lbs, and numerous fish from 8 to 20. In the words of Paul, “I have been coming up to this area for about 10 years now, and this was by far the best fishing that I’ve ever had.” And Mark Ross and Bill Blodgett, two good fishermen with a great sense of humour also landed some quality fish up to 18 lbs.

Although the following story involves one of the biggest clichés in the history of angling, it is definitely worth mentioning: the fish that got away. On their last day of fishing, Jerry and Paul were fishing a pool that had been very productive in previous days, and not unlike in previous days, Jerry felt the slow wobble of his spoon stop dead in the current. Upon setting the hook, all that Jerry could feel was a very large, seemingly dead weight, until it started to move. Thinking that it was an early Spring Chinook like the one that Paul had likely hooked earlier, Jerry kept the tension on, expecting that he could be in for a very long battle. But slowly, the large fish started to rise in the water column, and after making a bathtub-sized boil on the surface that revealed a crimson red stripe, they all knew it was a giant Steelhead. As is often the case though, the giant buck just had to make one more big headshake to free the lure. Agonizingly, Jerry, Paul and their guide Greg Buck watched the fish slowly descend back into the depths of the pool. All three of the guys immediately knew that this was, without a doubt, the biggest Steelhead that they had ever seen, and perhaps will ever see. Greg, who is very honest and skilled at estimating the size of fish guessed that the fish was somewhere in the high 30s to low 40s – pounds though, not inches – a potential world record fish. And despite the fact that the fish got away, there’s not a lot of people who can say that they’ve actually hooked and seen a world record Steelhead…

And just in case you were curious as to the biggest fish that our guests have landed this year so far, I have added a new section in the report below. Be sure to check this out each week, as you never know how big the fish can be here in the Skeena Region!

Until next week, tight lines and screaming reels.

Chad Black

Operations Manager

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Nicholas Dean Lodge 2007 Season Records To Date:

Steelhead: 27 lbs, Caught by Yvonne Williams of Vancouver, BC on the Skeena River

Chinook Salmon: 25 lbs, Caught by Cal Nakanishi of San Francisco, California on a Skeena River Tributary

Coho Salmon: Out of Season


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
Coho Salmon Out of season
Pink Salmon Out of season
Sockeye Salmon Out of season
Chum Salmon Out of season
Halibut
Sea-Run Cutthroat Trout
Dolly Varden
Bull Trout
Rainbow Trout

Steelhead fishing has continued to be very good on Skeena Tributaries, although the Skeena is high and dirty, and relatively unfishable. There have been a lot of holdover Steelhead caught this week, with a few Steelhead being hooked that would qualify as “White Chrome.” The Spring Chinook run has continued to build, and there have been reports that some fish are being taken in the main channel Skeena up to 38 lbs. As per usual at this time of year, the Trout fishing is very good for those willing to pursue them.