Nicholas Dean Lodge

490th Fishing Report from Nicholas Dean Lodge

For Sunday, October 25, 2009 to Saturday, October 31, 2009


A great reason to smile – Nicholas Dean regular Genady Davidov and head guide Dustin Kovacvich pose with a 20 lb Skeena system Steelhead. Genady Davidov Photo


Fish Tales

Hello Anglers,

The Lower Skeena region near Terrace, BC is one that certainly has many faces and moods throughout our fishing calendar, and the Early Winter Steelhead season is a particularly striking one. For anglers who prefer classic Steelhead fishing – fishing large flies on heavy tips in weather that has a little bite – this a great time to search for the trophy Steelhead that inhabit the Skeena’s fabled waters. The bulk of the Summer and Fall Steelhead have reached their tributary rivers and angling pressure is a fraction of what it was in the warmer months. In this sense, I personally think that November is one of the most underrated periods for which to target our Steelhead.

We have been joined this week by Australian fly fisher, Jim Zondanos, who made the long 20 hour trip overseas to pursue his Steelhead fishing addiction, and has been rewarded with some of the best Steelhead fishing he’s experienced. Fishing with head guide, Dustin Kovacvich, Jim has fished three different rivers in three days, and landed Steelhead in each, including a 15 lb buck. He is joined by Scott Runciman, a very keen and motivated angler who searches for remote, wild places to find Steelhead – the type of angler we absolutely love to cater to. Scott was initially drawn to us by our new Adventure Steelhead program, where we focus our efforts on small rivers hidden in channels and remote valleys off the coast. In this Spring Steelhead adventure program, there is a fair amount of hiking involved – you have to earn your fish – but the rewards are more than worth the extra effort. So, it came as no surprise that Scott wanted to join us in early November, when we hike and raft down the more remote reaches of our favourite Skeena tribs to some of the best Steelhead water on the planet. Look for a more detailed report of Jim and Scott’s fishing in next week’s report…

In other news, we are pleased to announce that we’ll be working with April Vokey of Fly Gal Ventures during the 2010 season and beyond. For those of you who don’t know her (and I would be very surprised if you don’t!), April has become one of the most iconic young entrepreneurs in the fly fishing industry today, and her experience as a guide in the Lower Mainland of BC and as a writer for the Canadian Fly Fisher and several other magazines make her a valuable asset to our growing team. April will be leading hosted trips and guiding for us during the 2010 season, and if you’d like to join her on one of her trips, she can be reached at april@flygal.ca.

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 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 has still been quite good on the Skeena system, despite high waters early in the week. Precipitation high on the mountains falling as snow and dropping evening temperatures has helped return rivers back into fishable shape and that Steelhead green colour that we all look for. Fishing deep pools with heavy sink tips and large flies are our favourite Steelhead tactics in this cold water. As of October 31, Coho fishing is now closed, but what a season it’s been! We can only hope that next year will be a fraction of what it was this year. Like last week, trout fishing has been superb, and targeting these fish with small single egg imitations in dull to bright orange colours is a remarkably effective technique.