Nicholas Dean Lodge

441st Weekly Fishing Report from Nicholas Dean Lodge

For Tuesday, June 19, 2007 to Monday, June 25, 2007


Amidst rising fish, Dustin makes “one last cast” as the sun struggles to emit its last rays on Nilkitwa Lake. Ruby Brand Photo


Fish Tales

Hello anglers,

I hope that this report once again finds you doing well and hopefully with a bend in your fishing rod! Thankfully, the Skeena River has started to drop from flood levels a couple of weeks ago, and although it is not quite fishable yet, it should be in a few weeks. We have received reports from Noel Gyger that the Kitimat River has been fishing very well for large Chinooks up to 55 lbs, with good numbers of fish being caught. On Wednesday of this week, I will be lucky enough to do some fishing on the Kitimat with two great Nicholas Dean guides, Greg Buck and Sky Richard. Since the biggest Chinook that I’ve caught in Ontario is about 18 lbs, I am really looking forward to seeing 25 lb plus fish peeling line off the reel!

And as mentioned in last week’s report, the Nicholas Dean staff went out for some great, arm-busting Ocean fishing with Ernie Webb (www.erniesoutdoors.com) aboard his 32 foot cabin cruiser, Webbsite One. On the first day, the guides hooked into numerous halibut up to 30 lbs, and a few skates (a relative of sharks, but looks more like a manta ray), using spreader bars tipped with herring. Greg Buck even landed one skate that was approaching 200 lbs! On the second day, Ernie took us out a little further offshore to a mid-Ocean hump located off an island. The hump had a depth of 250 ft, and was surrounded by water that was considerably deeper, which Ernie said would yield not only a variety of species, but also larger halibut. This definitely was the case, as we landed rock fish, ratfish (actually a type of shark), skates, octopus, turbot, grey cod, and many good sized halibut (I might be missing a few species as well!). There were a few times that we hooked into something very large, only to lose the fish a few minutes into the battle. With the diversity of species found on the hump, it really made you wonder just what the fish was, and how big it could have been. A huge skate, a halibut over 100 lbs, or something even bigger? Ernie has had Halibut over 220 lbs in his boat, so you never know…

This past weekend also saw Dustin, his fiancee Ruby, Sky and myself driving east to Babine Lake for some Rainbow Trout and Lake Trout fishing. The area is very well known for its superb dry fly fishing in a region called “Rainbow Alley,” a short stretch of river between Babine and Nilkitwa Lakes. In most years, the stonefly hatch would be at its peak emergence, but due to a late, cold spring, it had just started. In fact, most of the fish we saw actively feeding were looking for Sockeye and Coho Salmon fry that were on their downstream migration to the Babine River. Though we weren’t very successful while trolling for Lake Trout in Babine Lake (probably due in part to the cold front that came through as we got to the lake!), we did have some success on the river. Dustin and Ruby did very well fishing fry patterns and olive nymphs near the surface, while Sky excelled at fishing large streamers and lead-eye nymphs just off the bottom. Though I have always known that Sky is a very good fly fisherman, it really showed this past weekend. He landed an 8 lb Lake Trout on a nymph pattern, and coaxed too many Rainbows to count on streamers! It sure puts things in perspective when you fish down through the same water and go relatively fishless! Even as we were leaving, I decided that a return trip would be in order for a later date. For those of you joining us this year at the lodge, or those thinking of coming, perhaps you might want to try this as an option…

It’s also not too late to join us this year for what could be the best Chinook fishing in the world. Because of a few cancellations, we still have space available in the weeks of July 21 to 27 and August 4 to 10, 2007. This is hands down the two best weeks of Chinook fishing that we can offer, as the bulk of the Chinook return migrates through the Skeena at this time. And with the Saltwater Charter operators experiencing excellent fishing in the Ocean, it is expected that this year’s return will be strong. If you are interested in these weeks, or other weeks featuring Summer Steelhead and 5 Species of Salmon, or Fall Steelhead and Coho, give me a call or send me an email to reserve your spot.

Finally, after going through my weekly report last week, I realized that I did not include the web address for the new North Coast Steelhead Alliance site. My apologies for any confusion, and you can find this excellent site at: www.ncsteelheadalliance.ca

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 Out of season
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

It is prime time for Chinook Salmon fishing on the Kitimat River and Estuary, and catches have been reported to be very good during the past week. Halibut fishing has been very good for those fishing bait and jigs on the bottom from depths of 40 to 250 ft. Fly fishing for rainbow trout has been productive on lakes in the Terrace area, as well as Rainbow Alley on Babine Lake.