Nicholas Dean Lodge

471st Weekly Fishing Report from Nicholas Dean Lodge

For Tuesday, April 22, 2008 to Monday, April 28, 2008


Many coastal rivers in northwest BC feature smaller flows, which allow you to become intimately associated with each pool. Here, Jeff Bright drifts his fly into a likely pocket amidst clear water and looming boulders. Chad Black Photo


Fish Tales

Hello Anglers,

Early last week saw low water conditions in much of the Lower Skeena River watershed, and though fishing had been somewhat off and on, I’m happy to report that the fishing has improved over the last few days. Heavy, though brief rainfall has helped melt some of the snowpack in low lying areas, and tributary rivers and creeks have swelled and developed more colour, which was needed to bring in more fish from the Ocean and to make fish more aggressive. There is still a significant snowpack in the mountains, and in some valley bottoms, but runoff is not expected for awhile – that is, until temperatures warm up! On nearly every morning, we’ve been greeted with cool temperatures, and last week, one of our guests even mentioned that he had to punch ice out of his guides! After fishing a remote northern coastal river last weekend, it is obvious that Winter is still lingering in many areas. Despite the fact that air temperatures are warming, there is still 3 and 4 feet of snow on many riverbanks!

On a positive note, the first major runs of Spring Chinook were encountered during the last week. Greg Buck fished the Skeena a few days ago with Randy Marshall, and both anglers hooked into a few large, chrome Chinook and had many more chances while bar fishing. On the same day, long time repeat guest Julian Smith hooked and landed a very bright Chinook around 25 lbs on his Spey rod. Judging by where he hooked the fish and where the photo was taken, you can surmise that the fish put up a great fight. More on this in next week’s report…

Until next week, tight lines and screaming reels,

Chad Black

Operations Manager

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Nicholas Dean Lodge 2008 Season Records To Date:

Steelhead: 23 lbs, Caught by Martin Walker of San Francisco, California on a Skeena River Tributary

Chinook Salmon: 25 lbs, Caught by Julian Smith of the UK on a Skeena River Tributary


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
Sea-Run Cutthroat Trout
Dolly Varden
Bull Trout
Rainbow Trout

Though water levels have continued to drop and clear over the last week in the Skeena Region, the fishing conditions have improved since last week. I say this largely because of the excellent trout fishing available and also because of the first major runs of Spring Chinook that we have encountered over the last few days. Cutthroat Trout have been very receptive to nymphs fished on a dead drift just off the bottom, coupled with a few twitches, and Bull Trout and Dolly Varden have been aggressively hitting streamer and minnow imitations. The first wave of Spring Chinook seem to have passed through the Skeena and some of its tributaries, and these fresh, hard fighters will likely improve in numbers over the next while. Fresh Steelhead are still entering rivers, and these aggressive fish are quite often very hard fighters. More of these white chrome fish will enter the Skeena and other Coastal rivers on the next major freshet.