Nicholas Dean Lodge

480th Weekly Fishing Report from Nicholas Dean Lodge

For Tuesday, September 30, 2008 to Monday, October 06, 2008


When you swing your fly long enough and are attentive to a river and its many moods, the rewards can be great. Being on the greatest Steelhead river on earth doesn’t hurt either, as client Chris Gilles found out. noelyger.ca photo


Fish Tales

Hello Anglers,

We are finally starting to experience the telltale signs of Fall. Shorter days, the shift from green to yellow forests, and a dropping mercury level are all indicative that Summer is over and that Winter isn’t all that far away. Not to mention the snow capped peaks on the coastal mountains surrounding Terrace. Strange as it may seem, I often welcome this change in season, for it is usually synonymous with prime fishing conditions for both Steelhead and Coho. Rain that would normally fall high up in the mountains tends to fall as snow, limiting the amount of runoff and making often unpredictable rivers more predictable. The cooler weather also has the effect of detracting the fair weather anglers, making rivers less crowded and that much more enjoyable. Plus, what would good Steelhead fishing be like without a little nip in the air?

River and fishing conditions have continued to improve following some heavy rainfall events earlier in the week. Our favourite Steelhead rivers that were a little high and off colour last week are now in prime shape, and the fishing has picked up considerably. One of the unfortunate difficulties that we as guides have to contend with is the often changing balancing act between rain and river levels. When rivers are low and clean, the fish tend to be spooky and can develop “lock-jaw,” while high, muddy waters make it difficult for fish to see your presentation. So, we’re usually hoping for something in the middle, with rivers on the drop most conducive to the bite. At present, our clients have had some incredible days while fishing for Steelhead using dry flies on smooth, glassy tailouts, to deep pools swinging large, intruder-like wet flies. Just ask Alvaro Orejas and Jose Ardavin, two Spanish clients of ours. They hiked into a few of our favourite Steelhead pools on a remote river, and found ideal conditions for skating dries. Imagine casting your dry fly down and across on a slack line, then seeing a large, chrome object rising from the depths, as you slowly and meticulously skate your fly across the pool. This is surely one of the pinnacles in Steelhead fly fishing, and Alvaro and Jose seemed to time their trip perfectly. They each landed two Steelhead on dry flies, and Alvaro hooked one substantially larger that broke off on the hookset. Sky, who was watching intently from a higher position put the fish at close to 20 lbs. A 20 lb Steelhead on a dry fly – certainly an opportunity of a lifetime!

Coho fishing has also been quite good for anglers willing to employ a range of techniques. When fresh fish are encountered, particularly lower in the the rivers, they are very aggressive and aggressive fishing tactics are often the most successful. Sight fishing to pods of Coho that range from 8 to 20 lbs can be thrilling, especially when a large fish breaks from the pod to pursue your fly. Keeping the fly animated, and activating the Flashabou material within the fly is key to success, as is a progressively faster stripping tempo. If you weren’t on a river with two thousand high mountains rising abruptly from the valley floor, and numerous waterfalls cascading around you, you’d think that the fishing would resemble sight fishing for pike or other saltwater species. As water levels begin to drop however, conventional fishing tactics such as float fishing and jig fishing are often more productive. One of our good friends and booking agent, Jeff Bright, landed one of the largest Coho that we’ve seen this year – a 20 lb fish that fought remarkably well, and came to a fly stripped beside a drowned log. More stories to come next week…

Finally, be sure to check out our promotion below for booking in 2009, and don’t forget our blog site (www.nicholasdean.blogspot.com), where you can find promotions, posted weekly reports, and other updates.

Until next week, tight lines and screaming reels…

Chad Black

Operations Manager

Nicholas Dean Lodge

________________________________________________________________________________________________

NICHOLAS DEAN LODGE PROMOTIONS

***2009 Pricing Update***

Based on the positive response we’ve had from clients looking to book for the 2009 season, we have decided to extend our “prebooking” offer until November 1, 2008. For this promotion, you can book for the 2009 season at the 2008 rates by securing a 50% deposit with the lodge. New pricing for the 2009 season will be effective November 2, 2008. Email me at chadblack@nicholasdean.com, or give me a call to reserve your trip of a liftetime today!

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Nicholas Dean Lodge 2008 Season Records To Date:

Steelhead: 25 lbs, Caught by Chris Gilles of Arizona, on the Skeena River

Chinook Salmon: 70 lbs, Caught by Bill Stanberry of Texas, on the Skeena River

Coho Salmon: 20 lbs, Tommy Strom of Norway, 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 Out of season
Coho Salmon
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

Steelhead have been present in Skeena River tributaries in good numbers and have provided good fishing when the rivers have been in shape. For clear water conditions, try a skated dry fly in the slower moving tailouts. Coho numbers appear to be fairly strong this year, at least compared to last year, and targeting these fish with a weighted fly or jig is a productive and pleasant way to fish. With the spawning activity of Coho and the last of the Pinks, you can expect to find trout not far behind. Fishing small single egg patterns is a reliable and effective way to target these well fed fish.