Nicholas Dean Lodge

470th Weekly Fishing Report from Nicholas Dean Lodge

For Tuesday, April 15, 2008 to Monday, April 21, 2008
Spring Steelhead are not the only fish to be caught on the Skeena and its tributaries currently, as Yvonne Williams can attest to. She landed this large 8 lb Bull Trout while targeting Steelhead with a 4 inch fly. Doug Flegg Photo
Fish Tales Hello Anglers, I must have spoken too soon when I reported back in March that Spring had arrived. Based on the first part of April, and certainly last week, it seems like we're actually sliding backwards into Winter! Cold, subzero temperatures and wind, rain and snow in the same day were common conditions last week. Consequently, rivers did rise and colour a little (a good thing, in this case), breaking the long streak of low, clear conditions. Presently, the weather has been warm and sunny, which makes for ideal air temperatures when fishing, but unfortunately this has also meant that rivers are on the drop again. Though fishing conditions are a little tougher than they were a few weeks ago, this is still prime time for Steelhead and Trout fishing on the Skeena and its tributaries, and fishing can pick up almost anytime. Since Sky landed his first Spring Chinook back in early April, I haven't heard of any others being caught, but we expect pods of these bright chrome fish to arrive on the next freshet, and will undoubtedly test the limits of our tackle... The last few weeks at the lodge have been busy ones, and it's been great to reconnect with repeat clients and to meet new ones. Doug Flegg, who fishes many of the same rivers I do back home in Ontario, landed a chrome bright hen Steelhead on the Skeena on his first day with Dustin as his guide. The Skeena can be an intimidating piece of water at times, but with the knowledge that the majority of fish travel up its margins, it's a little easier to handle. Don Powell and Bob Zazoski have been at the lodge on previous occasions, and it was a real pleasure having them at the lodge with new guest, Walter Jorgensen. Relaxing in the lodge while sipping a "wee dram" of scotch, or enjoying a glass of wine while talking with guests is one of the greatest aspects of my job. In addition to learning a lot from anglers who are much better at catching fish than myself, I always find it fascinating to hear anecdotes from others, and favourite fishing stories. Finally, we had some clients travel all the way from Italy to fish with us, and from their accounts, had an outstanding trip. They landed several Steelhead while casting spoons into deep, swirly pools, including a few that can be considered Trophy fish. Angelo, Fabrizio M., Alberto and Fabrizio S., it was great to have met you and I look forward to seeing you again in the future. Many thanks go to Stefano Gay of Le Reve House Adventures ( for coordinating all of the fine details of this trip. The next few weeks at the lodge will be action packed, as we greet the first runs of Spring Chinook and continue with our Spring Steelhead fishery. Personally, this is one my favorite times of year because of the incredible Steelhead fishing to be found in remote coastal rivers and streams. There is just something about the experience on these waters that make them so precious. All the streams that I've fished are very remote, and though there may be an old logging road into them, they are surrounded by old growth forests and lack the sounds of jet boats and other highway traffic. Rather, you hear the gurgling, or roar, of the river as it flows through riffly pools and canyons. Hiking them is not easy - you have to contend with thick mattes of devils club, scramble around large boulders and sometimes perform some difficult wading - but the rewards and experience are well worth the effort. The Steelhead are wild, like the valleys in which the rivers flow, and there is a very real possibility that you will be the only angler making a presentation to them in a given year. Is there any doubt where I'll be this weekend? Until next week, tight lines and screaming reels... Chad Black Operations Manager
Fishing Conditions The chart below provides an overview on the current river fishing conditions by fish species:
Fish Species Poor Marginal Fair Good Excellent
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
Low, clear water conditions have made Steelhead fishing a little tougher during the past week. A strong rain and freshet will help fill the rivers with more flow and fish waiting to move up from the Skeena. Alternatively, if you were to target Trout in the Skeena and its tributries, you'd probably encounter more willing fish that pounce on a well presented streamer or minnow imitation. Spring Chinook should now be in the rivers, though there have been few reports during the last week.