Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Another Great Reason to Fish with Nicholas Dean...

Not unlike most other Steelhead and Salmon rivers around the globe, weather can play a significant role on the Skeena and its tributaries and, as they say, timing is everything. Rain is certainly part of the fishing equation and forms a certain fishing dynamic that anglers must pay attention to when measuring angling success. Catch the river when it's high and rising and you might find that grabbing a few beers at a local pub might be more productive. Catch the river as its dropping into shape and you might find yourself with some of the best Steelhead and Salmon fishing of your life. So what if you've booked your week at a fishing lodge and this happens?

If you're in the wilderness with access to only one river, you might find yourself with a long week ahead of you. While high waters will sometimes affect our fishing program a few days each year, fishing with us at Nicholas Dean Lodge will provide you with a sense of "fishing insurance." Let me explain further. We have rod days on over 50 different rivers, streams and lakes within the Lower Skeena watershed - both classified and unclassified - which means that even during the worst of rain storms, we're in a good position to keep our clients on the water. Moving to a different watershed for Steelhead, sight fishing for trophy Coho Salmon in the 8-20 lb range on the Lower Skeena tributaries, and lake fishing for Rainbow and Cutthroat trout are just a few examples of where we can take you. Join us for a fishing trip in the remainder of the Fall Steelhead and Coho Salmon season this year, and we'll get you on the Copper, Kalum, Skeena, and Nass River tributaries. And, in the unlikely event that the rivers rise, you can rest assured that there will still be some fishing options...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Skeena River Flow Information

The Skeena River and its tributaries are currently experiencing elevated flows, owing to significant rainfall events in the Terrace area, and higher up in the watershed near Smithers. Some rivers typically clean up faster than others, depending on their catchment area, gradient, predominant substrata, quality of riparian habitat and a whole host of other factors. To get a better idea of what's going on with our rivers, check out the Water Survey of Canada website, which has river flow data that is updated daily. Though it doesn't show all of the Skeena's tributaries, it does provide a general idea as to whether rivers are falling, rising or starting to level off.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Steelhead, Salmon and Lodge Photos

Since the new Nicholas Dean Lodge website has been up and running, I've heard lots of great compliments from clients who enjoyed the information and overall look and feel of the site. Every once in awhile though, I have also heard that "the photos are great, but I need more of them!" With this in mind, I have posted several albums on our photo gallery page, complete with photos of Steelhead, Chinook, Coho and our five star Yellow Cedar Lodge.

While the majority of images are from this current season, there are, of course, several classics for your viewing pleasure. I hope you enjoy the trophy Steelhead, giant Chinook and acrobatic Coho pics, and be sure to check back often as I'll update the albums as our clients hook into more wild fish on the Skeena and its tribs...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Estuary Coho - An Angling Adventure...

The trip in itself could not have been more picturesque. Despite the choppy seas and overcast, rainy conditions, the stark beauty of the north Pacific was evident everywhere you looked. Precipitous mountains reaching skyward from the sea bottom created steep shores, where both old and new growth trees had taken hold. Numerous fjords, smaller channels and waterfalls snaked off towards their own river systems, and if you looked close enough you'd see the odd waterfall from the mountain sides. Half way through the journey we started our fishing by slowly drifting into the shallow estuary waters of small creeks, motor off. We were searching for Coho (Silver) Salmon, fish that are particularly wary when it comes to excess noise. Casting small Gibbs Coho 45 spoons was our preferred method of finding fish, after which we planned to switch over to our fly rods. [The above passage is an exerpt from our 488th Weekly Fishing Report. If you want to read the full story, please go to our Weekly Fishing Report page, where you can also sign up for our fishing report email list]

The miracle fish. My rod broke just below the ferrule on the hookset, forcing me to attempt to land this fish with the tip of the rod and no reel. It was team work at its best, with Connor managing the line from my stripping hand, and Dustin on the net. An exciting battle and not one that we'll likely forget anytime soon...

Dustin on the casting deck. Given the proper angle of the sun and reflection on the water, it was actually quite easy to see pods of Coho - numbering 3 to as many as a dozen fish - and watch them move off to intercept your fly. Nerves of steel and a fast, choppy retrieve are what's needed to convert a follow to a hooked fish.

Estuary Coho and the places you find them give anglers a special chance to experience fishing in a true wilderness setting.

Doing the "Coho strip." Making sure the fly pulses and moves well through the water is key to attracting and keeping fish attracted to your fly. This is best achieved by rotating your hand at the end of a fast strip, almost like the classic "hand twist retrieve."

Dustin, the king of sight fishing Coho Salmon, hooked up on a fish estimated to weigh over 20 lbs. This fish did two full circles around the boat, lept out of the water three times and took Dustin 75 yards into his backing. Hard to imagine a better game fish...

It took two sets with two crab traps to get our limit of keeper sized crabs. Talk about good 'crabbin', and definitely great eating...

Not one of Connor's finest moments, but good for a laugh! This starfish somehow made its way into one of our crab traps and onto Connor's head prior to being released back to the Ocean.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Promotion for the 2010 Season

Ever wanted to fish the world renowned waters of the Skeena River but just haven't made it there yet? Whether your preference is skating a dry fly in the tailout of a boulder-studded pool on the Copper River for trophy Steelhead or targeting the monster Summer Chinook (Kings) of the Skeena River - this is your opportunity. We are offering a promotion now that will save you money on trip costs and get you fishing. It goes like this: if we receive a 50% deposit prior to October 1, 2009, we will book you on a trip for the 2010 season at the 2009 rates. Contact us today to reserve your space during the best weeks in 2010 and see why the Skeena River and its tributaries have the reputation they do...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

2009 - A Great Year for Trophy Chinook Salmon!

Simply put, there were some montser Chinook Salmon caught on the Skeena River this year by a number of our clients. The largest? A fish that was 49 inches long with a 35 inch girth, and estimated to be in the 80 lb range. While monsters such as these are the fish of a lifetime, the average size of Skeena Chinook are no less impressive. Spend a week with one of our guides during prime time - July 1 to August 6 - and you can reasonably expect to tie into fish in the 45 to 60 lb range. Be sure to check out these select photos of Chinook caught by clients during 2009:

This large male, caught by Andrea Scaramella in late July, weight almost 60 lbs.

Bob Cusick, right, has been fishing the Skeena each for over 10 years, in search of a trophy Chinook over 70 lbs. Though he caught two in the 65 lb range in 2008, they fell a little short of the mark. That is, until July 2009. Pictured with guide Greg Buck, Bob is holding his 70 lb Chinook - a mammoth fish that he released back into the waters of the Skeena.

And then there's the monster. Greg Buck holds client Ron Kostich' 80 lb Chinook, which measured over four ft long. This is reputed to be the largest Chinook caught on the Skeena River during the 2009 season.