Nicholas Dean Lodge

437th Weekly Fishing Report from Nicholas Dean Lodge

For Tuesday, May 22, 2007 to Monday, May 28, 2007


The author in the final stages of the Spey cast on an unnamed coastal river. Katy Sexton Photo


Fish Tales

As Dustin and I drive across the CNR bridge near the outskirts of Terrace, we can’t help but keep our eyes glued to the Skeena River. At different times of year, it would be to look at the scores of fishermen lining the banks of Ferry Island, but today we are looking at the chocolate brown water and 4 ft standing waves comprising the Skeena. Instead of packing our spey rods and heading down to the river with the jet boat, we have loaded our 5 weight fly rods for trout fishing some 1200 km away. And that is about the gist of it – the Skeena, while not “flooding” in the true sense of the word, is very much blown out, and with the consistently warm weather from last week, is only destined to get higher. As I write this, we are driving through Smithers and Houston, where farmer’s fields are flooded and water flows between and over top of fences. And I’m willing to bet that you could still ski or snowboard in the upper reaches of the mountains – that is just how much water is left. It’s always an incredible sight to see a river in its full power, and seeing never before seen creeks flowing around trees…

That being said, there haven’t been many opportunities to wet a line during the past week. Greg Buck, his 7 year old son, Josh, and Mike Bartlett had a few good days of Spring Chinook fishing before the rivers blew out, landing a few fish up to 30 lbs. The Kitimat also fished well early last week for Spring Chinooks, drop back Steelhead and the odd fresh Steelhead. Dustin and Ruby had a chance to go fishing in the Ocean near Prince Rupert, and caught a bunch of rockfish while trolling cut plug herring, and even hooked into a few small halibut in the protected inside waters. The crab fishing must have been good as well, as they came home with a great mess of dungenness and snow crabs!

So at this point, some of our fish stories in the following reports will have to come from our trout fishing this week. Our plan is to fish the Red Deer River for the first few days, which is supposed to have fishing similar to that of the South Island of New Zealand – relatively small numbers of fish per mile of river, but absolutely huge fish. Apparently the average size for the browns is 20-26,” so hopefully we’ll be able to test this statement! We sure did tie enough flies to cover all of the bases! Next on our list is the Bow River near Calgary, which is famous enough in its own right that it needs no introduction from me. Big browns and rainbows – sort of going back to my roots on the Southern Ontario rivers…

As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns with the reports, please let me know. And if you’re interested in trying your hand at fishing in the Skeena Region, I’m sure there is some experience and package that we can tailor just for you. Whether it is the fastly approaching Trophy Chinook season or Fall and early Winter Steelhead fishing, we have some of the most knowledgeable guides and courteous staff that work together to make sure that your trip is the best it can be. Come give us a try today…

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
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

With the high waters of the Skeena, fishing for migratory fish in most rivers will effectively cease, except for the Kitimat and a few coastal rivers. However, in a few small lakes and rivers, the fishing can be exceptionally good for trout and char. Most anglers targeting halibut in the Ocean have been successful during the past week.