Thursday, March 19, 2009

Monster Skeena Steelhead!

In mid August of 2008, Chris Gilles was lucky enough to be at the right spot at the right time while fishing on the Skeena River near Terrace. Chris, new to fly fishing, hooked this giant summer Steelhead on the very first morning of his trip. The group of 7 anglers, including myself, consider ourselves very lucky to have seen this massive Skeena Steelhead. Many thanks go to Noel Gyger for documenting this exciting experience for us all!

If you've ever wanted to fish for these incredibly hot fish on the Skeena, but haven't been able to do so, now is your opportunity! One week of prime Summer fishing for Steelhead and all species of Pacific Salmon has now become available in mid August. In actual fact, it is the same week that Chris Gilles landed his big fish. Contact me today at, or by phone at (250) 635-5295 for more details on how you can secure your space during this prime time week. On one last note: for anglers in the US, don't forget that exchange rates are now the lowest they've been in a long time. This means that you can book trips with us at a much reduced rate compared to last year, and previous years...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lani Waller to fish at Nicholas Dean Lodge!

In the world of Steelhead fly fishing, there are few anglers who are more well known and iconic than Lani Waller. He has long been considered one of the foremost experts on the subject, and the videos he filmed in the early 1980s on the Deschutes and Babine rivers are classics which have undoubtedly helped and captivated many Steelhead anglers along the way.

This year, we are excited to have Lani join us for a week of Spring Steelhead fishing at the lodge in early April - only a few weeks away! Be sure to check back in a few weeks as we post photos, stories, and other notes about this legendary Steelhead angler...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Nicholas Dean now on Facebook!

With the growing popularity of Facebook worldwide, we've decided to hop on board and become part of this revolution! If you're presently signed up on Facebook, look for our new Nicholas Dean Lodge business page, and join our group. Along with providing a forum to discuss the great Steelhead and Salmon fishery available on the Skeena and its tributaries, it will also give members a chance to network with other similar minded, die-hard anglers. Not to mention the many other benefits, including trip promotions, noteworthy news and, of course, great fishing photos...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Late Spring Openings - Adventure Steelhead!

Fresh, chrome Steelhead are commonplace from remote coastal tributaries.
During the last 5 years, we have been developing an "Adventure Steelhead" program, in which anglers have a chance to fish small, not-to-be-named remote coastal rivers with epic fishing for Steelhead in the 8 to 20 lb range. These intimate rivers, which carve their way through stands of old growth forests on their way to the Pacific, attract fish which are very much comparable in size to those from the renowned Skeena and its tributaries.

But, we have to be honest about this type of fishery. It's often not an easy one, nor one for the faint of heart. By their virtue, these small streams are remote, can be somewhat tricky to wade and hike along, and Steelhead often enter the systems during late April and early May - very close to the late May and June spawn - making it a short window of opportunity to pursue them. However, when timed right, this fishery can provide some of the most memorable angling experiences you're likely to ever encounter. Add to this the opportunity to fish for aggressive Spring Chinook averaging 20-35 lbs on a local Skeena tributary, and this makes for one of the most exciting fishing packages we can offer!

If you're interested in this Adventure Steelhead and Chinook program, be sure to contact me today for more details. We currently have two (2) spaces available during the week of May 3 to 9, but expect these last spaces to fill quickly. I can be reached by phone at (250) 635-5295 or by email at Jeff Bright will also be hosting a trip in late April, and currently has space available if you'd like to join him. For more information on this unique fishery and the details of Jeff's week, check out his Remote BC Coast Steelhead and Spring Chinook package brochure found on his Hosted Travel page. Jeff can be reached at

Getting the measurements on a hard fighting Steelhead from a small stream.

485th Fishing Report from Nicholas Dean Lodge

Jason Smith cradles an 18 lb remote coastal river Steelhead
Hello Anglers,

I hope this newsletter finds you all doing well and pursuing your fishing addictions with rod and reel. Though there are a variety of reasons why, I must unfortunately report that my fishing adventures have been much too few and far between. This would, in all likelihood, explain why I've been experiencing this nagging twitch every now and again - cabin fever is certainly getting the best of me! Kidding aside, my lack of fishing has translated into some much needed time at my fly tying vise, and dreaming of those picture perfect days on the river. A day where I can feel the warmth of the sun as it rises over the mountain peaks, and sense my homemade Intruder fly, most likely the fishy two-tone pink colour that worked so well last Fall, as it swims its way through the deep slot in front of me.

The tug of a Winter Steelhead -whether it's the smashing grab of an aggressive buck, or a simple tightening of the line- is one that I think of often, but do not necessarily need for a successful day on the river. Simply spending time on the water on one's favourite run, making long, graceful casts to the far bank, and smelling a forest coming to life after a long, cold winter are some of the other great experiences that Steelhead fishing offers. Witnessing the sound of a reel as it screams in protest under the pull of a strong fish, and admiring a chrome bright fish brought to hand isn't all that bad either...

Thankfully, Winter seems to be loosening its grip in the Lower Skeena valley, giving way to warmer Spring conditions. Though it's still possible to get those rogue snowstorms in this part of the country as late as early April, the general trend is for warming temperatures and longer daylight hours. Translation: better Steelhead fishing conditions. After a long, cold winter, water temperatures are just a few degrees above freezing and Steelhead can be very sluggish on the Skeena and its tributaries, but as these temperatures increase, so too does the activity of Steelhead.

So, based on the present conditions, what do I anticipate for the early season? Because the Spring season through late March and early May sees some of the most reliable, consistent water flows over the course of the Steelheader's year, and the bulk of the Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring run fish are holding in classic runs and pools, I expect the fishing to be good. On our favourite local river, in most cases, we don't have to guess whether there are Steelhead in a particular run, or not. We know they're there. It just depends on the mood of the fish that day, and if you have the fly or lure that that particular Steelhead wants. Moreover, reports from regional biologists have suggested that when a river's Summer and Fall Steelhead runs are strong, this often correlates with Winter and Spring run fish as well. Given that the 2008 Steelhead run was one of the better ones in the last 5 years suggests that this Spring should provide reliable fishing.

Plus, the last few days that our guides have been out fishing could best be described as "epic." Sky Richard and Cam Thiessen floated a wilderness river a few weeks ago using pontoon boats and Abel crafts, which enabled them to reach waters seldom fished this Winter, and the results were worth the extra effort. Cam landed 3 Steelhead, ranging from chrome bright to lightly coloured, and Sky landed 6 of the 10 Steelhead he hooked. A week later, Dustin landed 2 Steelhead out of the 4 he hooked in a mere 3 hours of spey fishing. One was a smaller hen of 7-8 lbs, and the second of the two bright fish were 14 lbs. With water conditions only improving as we approach our March 22 Spring opener, we look forward to another great season ahead as we provide the very best in guided fishing adventures in Northwestern BC.

Until next week, tight lines and screaming reels...

Chad Black
Operations Manager
Nicholas Dean Lodge
(250) 635-5295