Nicholas Dean Lodge

435th Weekly Fishing Report from Nicholas Dean Lodge

For Tuesday, May 08, 2007 to Monday, May 14, 2007


Jim Johnson and his guide Dustin Kovacvich with a 30 lb, chrome-bright, fly caught Spring Chinook. Tom Wendell Photo


Fish Tales

Over the past week and a half, the Skeena Region has undergone a major transformation. The Spring rains that had previously dominated the local weather have now turned to warmer temperatures, and finally, more sunshine-filled days. To me at least, it seems like you can literally view the buds of the trees growing. The landscape looks more green, which is a welcome replacement for white snow banks! And this change in the landscape reflects a change in the runs of fish in the Skeena and its tributaries. The majority of Steelhead are now spawning or moving back to saltwater, and are being replaced by a few runs of chrome Spring Chinook. Still, anglers here at the lodge were successful in hooking (but not necessarily landing!) a few Steelhead and Chinook over the past few weeks.

With some remote coastal stream fishing for Steelhead in mind, Jeff Bright, Martin Walker, and Tom Walker arrived a few weeks ago and experienced some adventurous, albeit challenging, fishing. It was Jeff and Martin’s second trip of the season, having fished with us earlier in the last week of March, and with all of the snow melted around the lodge, it sure must have been a different perspective compared to the freak snow storm they witnessed while here previously! Both Jeff and Martin are excellent fishermen and fly tiers, and if you ever get the chance to watch either of them tie flies, make sure to pay attention, as they are two of the most gifted tiers that I’ve encountered! And don’t forget to ask Jeff about his “Little Elvis” fly – an absolute killer. Tom, who is a great guy and a great comedian in my opinion, was learning to Spey Cast and was a great sport for being patient when the fishing was slow. And I was even given the chance to fish with the three of them on a remote coastal river with incredible scenery, which I appreciated very much. Initially, the guides targeted the larger Skeena Tributaries in search of Steelhead and Chinook, and Jeff enjoyed the fight of a 15 lb buck Steelhead and the bulldog fight of a Chinook on the fly that spit the hook just at the net. And later on in the week, Martin landed a nice female Steelhead of 14 lbs, while Jeff had the opportunity to release a chrome 18 lb Spring. The adventurous anglers also had the chance to fish several other remote coastal rivers, which were highlighted by incredible old growth forests, classic riffle-pool-runs, and wild Steelhead.

And last, but definitely not least, Jim Johnson and Tom Wendell arrived at the lodge last week for the last few days of Spring fishing. On their first day, they went out with our Saltwater guide, Ernie Webb of Ernie’s Outdoors (http://www.erniesoutdoors.com/), for some exciting saltwater Salmon fishing. In addition to the chrome 25 lb Chinook that Tom landed, both Jim and Tom caught several rock fish, which also provided great sport. Jim and Tom had also expressed some interest in fishing the remote coastal streams for Steelhead, so Dustin and his 130 lb dog, Ruger, led the way through the forests to the crystal clear stream, where they hooked two good sized fish that got away. Not to be outdone, the next day Jim landed a beautiful 30 lb Spring on his fly rod and Tom landed a 27 inch Bull Trout, both fine fish. And to finish his trip off Tom landed another gorgeous Chinook of 35 lbs. Congrats guys.

So while our Spring Season has come to a close here at the lodge, we are excitedly anticipating the start of the Summer Season in early July. We do still have a few available spaces in the prime time season for Trophy Chinooks, so please give me a call if this appeals to you…

Until next week, tight lines and screaming reels,

Chad Black

Operations Manager

Nicholas Dean Lodge

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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: 40 lbs, Caught by Bob Cusick of Edmonton, Alberta 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

Spring Chinook fishing continues to be productive on Skeena Tributaries, and has started to yield some results on the Kitimat River. Steelhead can still be caught in many of the Skeena tributaries, but a large percentage of the fish are spawned-out kelts returning to the ocean, which are generally of a poorer condition than earlier Spring run fish. Trout fishing has been relatively good, especially for the aggressive Bull Trout and Dolly Varden.