Nicholas Dean Lodge

438th Weekly Fishing Report from Nicholas Dean Lodge

For Tuesday, May 29, 2007 to Monday, June 04, 2007


A brilliant sunset over a Northern BC lake. Chad Black Photo


Fish Tales

With the waters of the Skeena raging the last few weeks, Dustin and I ventured out on a road trip to central Alberta and northern BC last week to sample some of the great tailwater trout fishing available there. A little unfortunate for us, we left Terrace’ high waters only to encounter more high waters on the Red Deer River and surrounding area. However, with a few good maps and a willingness to be flexible, we made the trip into a very interesting, albeit diverse one! The first day on the Red Deer we saw a few fish rolling on the surface, and after casting streamers on sink tip lines, hooked into a few walleyes (or pickerel depending on your preference!) to our surprise! A scrappy game fish that is often not given enough respect unless it is in a frying pan, they aggressively attacked our flies when the brown trout appeared to be in hiding. However, on our second day, the browns were a little more cooperative and Dustin landed a 20″ light spotted fish, and I landed a 19″ golden brown. On this note, both Dustin and I would like to thank Jim Hole of Classic Outfitters in Red Deer, Alberta for his expert advice on his home waters. Jim is a guide on the Red Deer River, and knows better than most where to find the large, dry fly obsessed browns which have made the Red Deer such an incredible fishery. For more information, check out Jim’s Website at: http://www.classic-outfitters.com/

With my previous experience guiding for northern pike and walleye, Dustin suggested that we try doing some fly fishing for pike. Anyone who has done this sort of fishing knows that it is a very visual game in the springtime, where you stalk pike in depths of 2-5 ft of water, not unlike flats fishing in saltwater destinations. There were a few very tense moments, as Dustin had fish approaching 40 inches slowly following his fly to the boat. Although these large fish didn’t come to our flies, we landed a number of quality fish up to 35 inches long, and hooked a few others of a larger size. And on our last day in Alberta, we sought out a small spring creek, which as we were to later find out, had some very technical fishing. A number of hatches were coming off, including March Browns, Pale Morning Duns, Caddis, and Blue Wing Olives, which gave the fish a lot to look at. After many fly changes though, we found that a number 16 CDC Sulphur pattern or a number 18 CDC Blue Wing Olive were what the fish wanted. Still, we literally had to crawl on our hands and knees to get in a position for casting without spooking the fish. The rewards were well worth the effort though – wild browns and brook trout.

All in all, it really makes you appreciate just how impressive Canada is, and the opportunities, landscapes, and wildlife that it offers. We drove through the coastal and interior British Columbia mountains, Alberta foothills and plateau, and through two of the most incredible parks in Canada, Banff and Jasper. And along many of the highways, we saw mule deer, whitetail deer, elk, bighorn sheep, moose, black and grizzly bears. On license plates in Ontario, there is a slogan that says “yours to discover.” When it comes to the wilds of Canada, I can’t think of a better description.

Notice: We have had a cancellation in the prime time season for Trophy Chinook Salmon, from July 21 to 27, 2007. If you are interested in fishing for the huge Chinooks that have made the Skeena famous, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, as I expect that this week will sell fairly quickly.

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: 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

Fishing for migratory salmonids has essentially ceased due to high waters in the Skeena and surrounding tributaries. However, the trout fishing can be outstanding for anglers willing to fish lakes.