Nicholas Dean Lodge

496th Fishing Report from Nicholas Dean Lodge

For Sunday, April 10, 2011 to Saturday, April 16, 2011


 

Weekly Report for Nicholas Dean Lodge

Why Spring Steelhead on the Skeena and its tributaries? Because you can find absolutely stunning fish like this. Here, George Widener of Whitefish, Montana takes a few moments to admire 18 lbs of chrome at his feet.


Fish Tales

Hello Anglers,

As we slowly emerge from the depths of Winter and into our Spring Steelhead season, all of us here at Nicholas Dean Lodge are ecstatic to be out on the water again for another great season ahead! We’ve had a great start already, with many clients hooking into fish in the 8 to 20 lb range on the Skeena, Kalum, Copper and some of our ‘signature rivers’ off the remote BC coast. Please see the individual sections below for more information specifically on weather and river conditions, fish, flies and equipment of the week.

In the past few years, we have paid attention to the exponentially growing pace of social media and the benefits it holds for both businesses and individuals. The reality is that a lot of people are looking for real time, up to date information and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter make this incredibly easy. So, if you want to see what’s going on at Nicholas Dean and in the lower Skeena region near Terrace – including the latest photo albums of fish we’ve been catching, river conditions, promotions and more – I encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. I’ve already posted a number of photos on our Facebook page, including a few others from last week – be sure to check it out!

Lastly, we have big plans to upgrade the content, style and feel of our Fishing Reports and we want to ask you – our clients and readers – exactly what it is you’d like to see! Whether it’s photos with big fish or those classic scenic shots that make you ‘want to be there,’ river conditions, promotions, conservation issues etc, we want to tailor the report to maximize your enjoyment. There’s a bonus for participating too. If you submit your suggestions and requests, we’ll enter your name into a draw for a free Nicholas Dean Lodge toque (winter hat) and stainless steel water bottle! The draw will take place in two weeks, on Thursday May 5, 2011.

It’s great to be back in the ‘swing’ of things again, and we look forward to another fun and and enjoyable season in Steelhead and Salmon paradise!

Best regards and tight lines,

Chad Black

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WEATHER AND RIVER CONDITIONS:

With temperatures dropping down below or close to freezing on most nights and with very little precipitation during the past few weeks, rivers are low and clean. In most years, warming trends begin in mid February and early March, which result in higher water levels and reduced snow packs; this Spring has been marked by cool weather and much of the precipitation is still falling as snow up high in the mountains. Consequently, snowpack estimates are in the region 105% to 120% compared to average years – slightly more than usual. Weather forecasts for next week are for warming temperatures ranging from 3 to 17 degrees C. See the Terrace Weather Forecast for updated weather conditions, and real time water river flows on the Skeena River.

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FISH, FLIES AND EQUIPMENT OF THE WEEK:

On his first day with guide Dustin Kovacvich on the Skeena, Bob Budd hooked into a large, very bright Steelhead on the dangle. Before the fish threw the hook, Bob and Dustin saw the flanks of a hen that was well over 20 lbs. George Widener of Whitefish, Montana landed the largest of the week, an 18 lb chrome bright buck that is this week’s report photo. As a reminder, check out our Facebook Page for many more photos! Best flies this week are three to five inch Intruder style flies in various shades of pink, including: cerise, shrimp pink and light pink. We’re using type 3 and type 6 RIO sink tips for most runs on the Skeena, and type 8 and T-14 tips in the deepest pools. For rods, we’re using spey rods 12.5 to 14 ft in length, switch rods in the 10.5 to 11 ft range and also 9 ft 7 weight single hand rods.


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
Sea-Run Cutthroat Trout
Dolly Varden
Bull Trout
Rainbow Trout

Fresh Spring Steelhead continue to enter the Skeena system and, because of low, clean water conditions, seem to be holding moreso in the big river than the smaller tributary rivers. Once the forest and alpine snowpack starts to provide further influence and rivers rise, Steelhead will likely move into tributary rivers en masse. While the snowpack has made it difficult to access all of our favourite coastal rivers, a few of them have been fishing exceptionally well. There are rumours that Spring Chinook have been caught on the Lower Skeena and in one tributary river near Terrace; they are exceptionally strong and aggressive fish that are great sport, particularly on the fly. We’ll likely start seeing more Chinook as the Spring freshet starts. With water temperatures warming up, Salmon fry are now in the middle of their downstream migration, and because bull trout, dolly varden, cutthroat and rainbow trout all key in on this abundant food source, swinging a fry pattern down and across has been very productive.