Nicholas Dean Lodge

486th Weekly Fishing Report from Nicholas Dean Lodge

For Sunday, May 03, 2009 to Saturday, May 09, 2009


Remote Coastal Steelhead fishing at its best! Sonja Sorbo hooked this huge 20 lb buck in a deep pocket at the head of a shallow riffle on one of our favourite small streams. Dustin Kovacvich Photo


Fish Tales

Hello Anglers,

After a break in my fishing reports over the last while, I’m back with much exciting news! First off, I must formally congratulate Dustin and his wife Ruby, on their new addition to the family, Cayleigh Marie Kovacvich. Cayleigh was born on March 22, 2009 around 6:30 am, and weighed 7 lbs, 1 ounce. I’m happy to report that Cayleigh, Ruby and Dustin are doing well, and that as of this writing, Cayleigh does not yet have a fly rod in her hands, but given a few more months, I’m sure that she’ll have the double spey down before she can say Daddy! Be sure to check out our updated blog site at www.nicholasdean.blogspot.com to see photos of Cayleigh, Ruby and Dustin, along with other updated fishing news.

Our Spring Steelhead opener during the last week of March posed difficult angling conditions, as we were greeted with temperatures well below zero and river levels very low and clear. Many of our favourite pools and holding water were virtually inaccessible by usual means, unless anglers were willing to embark on lengthy and often challenging hikes through snow up to one’s waist. Now, as most anglers can probably attest, the measure of a good guide and lodge can often be judged on how hard its staff work to ensure clients have an enjoyable trip, and one that maximizes angling opportunity which, in these conditions, was no easy feat! To get around this, we simply had to improvise. Our solution: a snowmobile placed strategically at the take out location, to ferry clients and our 12′ Aire rafts up the river valley and a farmer’s field, to trucks waiting nearby. Not an easy day by any stretch, but realistically, this logistical maneouvre made all the difference, as most fish were caught mid way through the drift in deep, slower moving pools that afforded Steelhead some security. Taft Ring, a new client of ours, fared out best during these tough conditions, with several Steelhead landed during the week, the largest of which was in the 22 lb range. Taft had a particularly deft touch when it came to manipulating his fly on the swing – most of his grabs occurred just after twitching his rod tip, to animate his fly in the slow moving currents. Congratulations Taft, and we look forward to seeing you again next year!

Certainly one of the highlights this Spring was having the opportunity to fish and spend time with renowned angler, Lani Waller. It is obvious that Lani is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the subject of Steelhead fly fishing, and he conveys this knowledge and a love of Steelhead quite well through his stories, accumulated over many years spent on the water. His new book, entitled “A Steelheader’s Way” is a great read, and one that combines Lani’s advanced knowledge of Steelhead fly fishing tactics, with a unique philosophical perspective on Steelhead. I highly recommend adding Lani’s book to your personal library if you’re a serious Steelhead angler. Lani can be reached at www.laniwaller.com.

Finally, I’m pleased to say that we’ve now made the transition to spectacular Yellow Cedar Lodge (www.yellowcedarlodge.ca)! This move has been a long time in the making for us, and we have been extremely impressed with the accommodations, service, and dining provided for our guests by Alf and Simone Leslie. Riverfront mountain views, private rooms with ensuite washrooms, amenities including a hot tub, sauna, games room and patio, and spectacularly prepared meals all combine to give guests a 5 star appeal. Paired up with the unparalleled knowledge our guides have of our local waters, Steelhead and Salmon fishing trips simply don’t get much better. For those of you who would like a little more information on Yellow Cedar Lodge, or our first class fishing packages, please contact me today by email (chadblack@nicholasdean.com), or by phone (250-635-5295).

Until next week, tight lines and screaming reels…

Chad Black

Operations Manager

Nicholas Dean Lodge

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NICHOLAS DEAN LODGE PROMOTIONS

***Summer Chinook Fishing at its Best!***

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hook into a fish so large that you don’t think it’s possible to land? Or, how about a fish that fights so hard that you secretly want to pass the rod off to one of your friends to take turns? If you haven’t tried angling for the large Chinook Salmon that has made the Skeena River world famous, I suggest you give it a try. Why? Simply because the fish here are the biggest in the world. In a typical day of fishing, you can expect to hook into Chinook ranging between 20 and 45 lbs. These fish are the average size. Last year, our guides landed several fish in the 60 lb plus range, the largest of which was a staggering 80 lbs! The reality is that Chinook fishing for giant fish doesn’t get much better than this. And, to top this off, you’ll stay at Yellow Cedar Lodge, where you can experience the finest in dining and accommodations in Northern British Columbia…

If you’re interested in our Trophy Summer Chinook program, be sure to contact me today for more details; we currently have a few spaces available during the best weeks of the year from mid to late July, and early August. I can be reached by phone at (250) 635-5295 or by email at chadblack@nicholasdean.com. For more information on our Trophy Summer Chinook package, and the rest of the packages we offer, please refer to our pricing and packages page at www.nicholasdean.com/Pricing.asp

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Nicholas Dean Lodge 2009 Season Records To Date:

Steelhead: 22 lbs, Caught by Taft C. Ring, of Virginia 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

Steelhead fishing on many of our local rivers has started to subside, as fish move into their smaller tritbutary streams for the spawn. However, there are still several smaller coastal rivers that have late runs of Steelhead, and it’s still common to find fish in these rivers that are white chrome and bearing sea lice. On these rivers, fishing for Steelhead has been fantastic, and fishing heavily weighted flies on long leaders is often the best method for targeting these fish, particularly around deep slots and in pools with an abundance of woody debris. Chinook have started to make an appearance on the Skeena and a few other tributary rivers, but have not been seen in high numbers as of yet. With the downstream salmon fry migration now in full effect, trout and char fishing has been nothing short of superb, though these fish can be very picky when it comes to patterns. Be sure that your fly closely resembles the colouration of each type of Salmon fry for best success.