Nicholas Dean Lodge

489th Fishing Report from Nicholas Dean Lodge

For Sunday, October 11, 2009 to Saturday, October 17, 2009


Gary Bartholomew and Deb Morrow pose with two Coho from one of 8 double headers they experienced en route to a 50 fish day. Astounding numbers of Coho landed by our clients point to one conclusion – this year’s return is easily the best in the last 10.


Fish Tales

Hello Anglers,

It’s that time of year again. The forests of northwest BC are making their transition from the subdued shades of Summer, to more brilliant oranges, reds, and yellows, and mountain peaks gleam with a fresh layer of powder born from the previous night. It’s Fall and the combined look and feel of the landscape just seems fishy. Maybe it’s the knowledge that Steelhead and Coho Salmon are stacked in my favourite Skeena River tributaries in peak numbers. Or, perhaps it’s because I force myself away from the demands of the office and fish more than I do at other times of year. Either way, I always find myself anticipating the late Fall, and getting out on the water serves as a great reminder of the wild spaces we get to live and work in. And it doesn’t hurt that clients have experienced exceptional fishing this week either…

The last few days, Gary Bartholomew and Deb Morrow have been guided by Dustin Kovacvich, lodge manager and head guide, and had arguably some of the best fishing of the year – perhaps in lodge history! On one of our favourite Lower Skeena Tributaries, the run of Northern Coho has been staggering this year, with multiple fish days the norm. In most years, competent anglers can expect to hook between 4 to 10 Coho per day on the fly, and anything over that is exceptional. Well, Gary and Deb surpassed this well and truly, landing over 50 Coho on Tuesday and 60 on Wedneday. Most of these fish were in the 10-15 lb range, but there were several landed just shy of 20 lbs. Regardless of where you are, those are monster Coho. All I can say is…well done!

Now when it comes to describing our fishing with clients, both Dustin and I always err on the side of being conservative, because there are all too many fishing operations out there who claim to catch rediculous numbers of fish when, in fact, many times they do not. We always prefer to be up front and honest with our fishing, so when our clients get to experience legitimate days like this, it really highlights just how prolific our west coast fisheries can be.

Over the years, our guides here at Nicholas Dean Lodge have developed specialized techniques for targeting Coho Salmon in our rivers with flies, to the point where fly fishing is often just as productive as casting spoons and/or marbou jigs. For a more in-depth look at our Coho Fly Fishing Techniques and program, be sure to check out our blog at: http://www.nicholasdean.blogspot.com.

Until next week, tight lines and screaming reels…

Chad Black

Operations Manager

Nicholas Dean Lodge


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

Earlier last week, many tributaries of the Skeena were low and clear, a direct result of little, if any, rainfall. Still the fish were there and provided good fishing for many of our clients. Having now had significant rainfall events over the last three days, rivers are now at higher levels, and this should help push more fish into local rivers and make fish more aggressive. Steelhead fishing continues to be quite good, and with water temperatures dropping, flies fished on heavy sink tips will likely prove to be the most effective combination. As discussed previously, the Coho fishing has been nothing short of remarkable, and points to one significant conclusion – the return of wild Nothern Coho this year is easily one of the best in the last 10. Though trout fishing has been consistently good the last few weeks, look for the fishing to really heat up as more Coho begin spawning. Trout hold behind the redds of these large salmon, and dead drifting single egg patterns in deep slots can make for an incredibly productive day.