Nicholas Dean Lodge

476th Weekly Fishing Report from Nicholas Dean Lodge

For Tuesday, June 03, 2008 to Monday, June 09, 2008


The author takes a few moments to reflect on the beautiful fish in front of him, caught in June on the Kitimat River last year. Bright chrome, silver and full of fight – these are the type of fish currently ascending our rivers. Sky Richard Photo


Fish Tales

Hello Anglers,

I’m happy to report that I can finally say, “hello from sunny Terrace, BC.” It’s been an unusually cool spring this year, so having several warm, sunny days in a row has been a definite plus. The delay in warmer weather has also had its own implications, however, as it appears that the early runs of Summer Chinook Salmon that typically appear in late May and early June are late in arriving. Over the weekend, and for several days this week, we had clients out fishing on the Skeena and Kitimat Rivers, and though a few fish were caught, it’s been slow fishing for this time of year. The Skeena River still remains high even though its levels are dropping, and was borderline fishable last week. The the Kitimat was at the opposite end of the spectrum. Owing to its relatively small watershed when compared to the Skeena drainage, the Kitimat tends to rise and fall faster than the Skeena, so conditions between the two rivers are often quite different. Last week, the Kitimat was low, clean and dropping – not necessarily the best conditions for bringing fresh Chinook in from the Ocean. However, Ron Wakita of City Centre Hardware in Kitimat, has mentioned that there have been some higher than normal tides, which should bring more fresh fish into the rivers. Moreover, with all the rain forecast for the weekend, flows in the Kitimat will likely rise and bring with it a wave of fish waiting in the Douglas Channel harbour. And, as the season progresses, the Chinook run will continue to build, and provide more reliable fishing for anglers wanting to feel the headshakes of a heavy fish…

Over the last week, we’ve also had a few “celebrities” in our boats. Gionata Paolicchi, a renowned journalist and writer from Italy, as well as famous soccer player, Ighli Vanucchi, joined our friend and Italian booking agent, Stefano Gay, of Le Reve House Adventures (www.lerevehouseadventure.com), for 4 days of fishing. Gionata has been an avid angler throughout his lifetime, and has written for several different magazines in Italy. Ighli is a famous midfielder and also team captain for Empoli, and fishing just so happens to be his favourite pastime when not training or playing soccer. Both anglers were successful in hooking into Chinook last week on the Ocean and in the Kitimat. After a slow first day of fishing on the Skeena, we arranged for them to fish with guide Wes Owen aboard his boat in Douglas Channel, and Ighli started the day off right by landing a 28 lb chrome Chinook. Not long after, Gionata followed up with another Chinook around 20 lbs. When Chinook Salmon are bright and in good physical condition, they are renowned for their fight whether it is in the Ocean, or the river, and this day was no exception. When I picked up Gionata, Ighli, Stefano and group in Kitimat, you could tell that they felt a little more rejuvenated after having a successful day on the Ocean, and tying into Chinook for which the northwest is well known for.

On a different note, you never really know what a day of fishing can bring, whether it’s the number of fish caught, or other rare, humourous expriences. After having dinner one night, I asked Stefano if the group had had a chance to take some good photos. In response, Gionata picked up his laptop and we started going through several of the photos. There were some great pictures of fish and of the group, scenic river shots, and panoramas, but there were a few pictures of a bald eagle that caught my eye. Earlier that day on the Kitimat, one of the guests had been fishing a spoon, and a small trout had been hooked. Without warning, this particular bald eagle swooped down to the river’s edge and scooped up the trout in its talons and flew off. Well, it’s not every day that you see this happen, but it’s even more rare to actually see your line flying through the air! With the hook from the spoon still embedded in the trout’s mouth, it was a precarious situation, as you certainly didn’t want the hook to come out of the fish and into the eagle. So, Sky decided to take action, and I will always have the picture that followed etched into my mind. On a large gravel bar, Sky is holding a stout Chinook spinning rod, which is bent quite heavily down to the cork, and at the other end of the photo, a large eagle is flying desperately in the opposite direction, trying to get away from the force that is pulling on its prized catch. Luckily, for both the eagle and Sky and the guests, the eagle dropped the fish and wasn’t hooked. I guess you never really know what to expect on a day of fishing…

Also, it’s not too late to book a trip during our Trophy Chinook season in late June and July – be sure to check out our promotion section of the report below for more details.

Until next week, tight lines and screaming reels.

Chad Black

Operations Manager

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NICHOLAS DEAN LODGE PROMOTIONS

Chinook Salmon have long been called the “King” of Salmon, and for very good reason. These fish are the largest of the Pacific Salmonids, and can reach weights of 100 lbs or more. Science has shown that the largest of these species, for some unknown reason, spend an extra year in the Ocean, giving them more time to feed and grow. The Skeena River, in particular, is blessed with a robust run of these large multi year fish and, as a result, can provide some of the very best Chinook fishing in the world. And, because these massive fish are concentrated in the margins of the river, you have a better chance of hooking into a trophy here than anywhere else. So if you’ve ever considered going on a trip for large, tackle busting fish, and you have some holiday time booked off this year in June or July, this is your opportunity. We are now offering a 5% discount off the regular main lodge package rates for the following weeks:

~ June 29 to July 5, 2008

~ July 6 to 12, 2008

~ July 13 to 19, 2008

These dates are set in the middle of our prime time Chinook fishing season, and we expect that the remaining spaces will fill up quickly. Contact me at the lodge at (250) 635-5295 or email me at chadblack@nicholasdean.com to reserve your space today. Who knows, you could be the next angler in line to set one of the “Nicholas Dean Lodge 2008 Records,” or, better yet, a world record…

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

Chinook Salmon are now entering the Skeena and Kitimat River in some numbers, though it appears the run may be late. As rivers rise and the season progresses, more fish will journey upstream towards their natal streams. Though I personally haven’t been out Ocean fishing for awhile, I have heard reports of good catches of halibut and other bottom fish such as ling cod and snapper. Trout fishing has, for the most part, been fair, though Rainbow Trout fishing in lakes has been superb. Paying close attention to hatching insects such as caddis and damseflies will give you a good indication of what the trout are eating.