Nicholas Dean Lodge

487th Weekly Fishing Report from Nicholas Dean Lodge

For Sunday, June 21, 2009 to Saturday, June 27, 2009


Greg Buck and his son Josh pose with the largest Chinook Salmon landed on record in 2008 – a whopping 80 lbs! There’s still space this month where you can search for fish this size or larger! Nelson Furtado Photo


Fish Tales

Hello Anglers,

As cool Spring nights give way to longer daylight hours and warm Summer evenings, this signals one very much anticipated phenomenon – the beginning of the Salmon fishing season on the Skeena River, its tributaries, and watersheds close by. Starting with the Kitimat River, Chinook (King) Salmon pour into these river systems, and anglers, eagles, and seals are often hot on their tails. And this is, of course, for good reason. The Chinook Salmon of the Skeena and Kitimat Rivers are what make up the dreams of many anglers – large fish that are simply some of the largest in the world – not to mention that a fillet or two here and there makes for some great dining. In most years, our guides and clients see fish over 65 lbs, and last year was a particularly strong year for Trophy Kings. Greg Buck, one of our die hard fishing guides, helped his young son Josh land a fish that was 80 lbs (the fish in this week’s report photo). While fish this size aren’t caught every day of course, it certainly highlights what makes the Skeena River and its tributaries so special: that nearly every day of the Salmon and Steelhead fishing season during prime time, there is the chance of hooking fish of gargantuan proportions. As that all-to-familiar saying goes with migratory fishing, you just have to be there at the right time. So, when is the right time for catching the largest Chinook Salmon?

Simply put – right now. The Spring freshet and meltwater influence has finally begun to subside on the Skeena and its many tributary rivers, and our clients have caught Chinook with great success on the Kitimat River during the last week. Fishing with marabou jigs and heavy spoons are the most common way to fish the many pockets on the Kitimat where Kings like to hold, but our clients have had the most success by backtrolling large plugs like Kwikfish where back channels enter the main river, or obstructions create well defined seams and holding areas. All told, it is exciting fishing – Chinook are not shy when it comes to taking plugs – they slam them and will take the rod out of the hand of an unprepared angler. Perhaps the most exciting ways to target them, at least in my opinion, is by swinging large, chicken-like flies decorated in colours you might see more often at a Hawaiian Luau. Fluorescent colours in chartreuse, orange, and pink with generous amounts of Krystal Flash and Flashabou are winning combinations, but purple and blue should not be forgotten.

When fly fishing for these fish, we tend to focus on large pools with a nice seam close to the bank, and if there is wood for structure, so much the better. If and when you hook into one of these freight trains (as it is only a matter of time before that first grab comes – they are aggressive fish!), hang on, keep your hands away from your reel to avoid rapping your knuckles, and be prepared for one of the toughest fights of your angling career.

So, what if you want to get in on the Trophy Chinook action this year – is there still space available? The answer is yes – and we have a promotion on currently to give you extra savings and get you fishing – book your 5 day fishing trip at the lodge during the month of July to receive a 10% discount off the regular price. Be sure to check out our promotion section in the report below, and more information can be found at http://www.nicholasdean.com/attachments/039_Package_TrophyChinook.pdf for conventional fishing and http://www.nicholasdean.com/attachments/039_Package_ChinookFlyFishing.pdf for those of you interested in targeting these Trophy Chinook with a fly.

In other news…it’s been a long time in the making, but we’ve finally launched our new, much improved website! The site has a fresh new look complete with high quality photos, images of fantastic Yellow Cedar Lodge, a photo gallery for some great grip and grin shots improved navigation, and all of our archived fishing reports are posted, so you can view past reports from 2006 onwards. Be sure to check out the new site at http://www.nicholasdean.com today!

For those of you who enjoy networking with other like minded anglers and fishing enthusiasts, you have probably signed up or at least heard of online networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. To better keep in touch and provide our clients with timely information and promotions, we have joined both Facebook and Twitter. If you’re a Facebook user, look for our Nicholas Dean Lodge page and follow my Twitter updates at http://www.twitter.com/SkeenaFlyFisher.

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 have 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 we are offering a 10% discount off the regular price, and accommmodations and food will be at the 5 star Yellow Cedar Lodge…

***Introducing the Exclusive Copper River Steelhead Trip***

The Copper River is without question one of the top Steelhead rivers in the world, and its magnificent pools and runs are eclipsed only by the quality of Steelhead that ascend its flows each year. Not surprisingly, a large number of our clients have developed a love for this gem, and are eager to fish it each year. To give our clients a chance at what could arguably be called the best Steelhead trip of one’s lifetime, we are offering a week long expedition exclusively on this fabled river. More details will be released in the next fishing report, but one thing to note is that this trip will be limited to four anglers per week. If you’re interested in this trip and would like more details now, contact me either by phone or email, below:

If you’re interested in our Trophy Summer Chinook or Exclusive Copper River Steelhead Trip, I can be reached by phone at (250) 635-5295 or by email at chadblack@nicholasdean.com.

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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
Chum Salmon
Halibut
Sea-Run Cutthroat Trout
Dolly Varden
Bull Trout
Rainbow Trout