Thursday, June 17, 2010

Co-Ed Learn to Fly Fish Weekend with April Vokey

Are you Interested in learning how to fly fish and having a shot at some of the most prolific Steelhead and Salmon fishing in the world?  Or, perhaps your significant other has been hinting that they'd like to join you on one of your fishing adventures?  If so, block off your calendar from August 6 to 8, 2010.  April Vokey of Fly Gal Ventures will be teaching and hosting a weekend retreat at our five star lodge, which includes 3 days of fishing/instruction, 2 nights accommodations and all meals.  This learn to fly fish retreat is limited to 8 anglers, so booking early is recommended.  Cost is $895.00 CDN/person.  For more information or to confirm your space, please feel free to get in touch with either myself ( or 250-635-5295) or April at:

Steelhead on the Remote Coast - A Story in the Making

In early May 2010, the Nicholas Dean guide staff and the folks at Yellow Cedar Lodge had the pleasure of hosting some of the most well known anglers in the fly fishing community: Steve Rajeff, world champion fly caster and chief rod designer at Loomis, Ross Purnell, editor of Fly Fisherman magazine, Bruce Holt, communications director at Loomis, and April Vokey, world class writer, guide and operator of Fly Gal Ventures.  Collectively, the group searched for bright Spring Steelhead on the Skeena and Kalum, as well as small remote rivers off the BC coast as part of our Adventure Steelhead program.  What follows is a brief report on their trip - of memorable moments and memorable fish; however, be sure to look for April's feature article in a future issue of Fly Fisherman, slated for late 2010/early 2011.

On a remote stream off the north BC coast, April Vokey fights a bright Steelhead under the guidance of Nicholas Dean Lodge guide, Dustin Kovacvich. Ross Purnell photo

Coastal river Steelhead are both strong and brilliantly coloured.  Here, Ross Purnell of Fly Fisherman magazine snaps a few of April admiring her fish.

With warming water temperatures, coastal river Steelhead are both aggressive and exceptionally strong fighters.

Yellow Cedar Lodge - our partnering five star lodge where April, Ross, Steve and Bruce relaxed in the evenings after chasing Steelhead on the Skeena, Kalum and remote coastal rivers.  

An 8 lb hen that fell to a well presented marabou fly, swung on a tight line. April Vokey photo

Can you tell that April is happy to be out Steelhead fishing? Bruce Holt photo

 Fishing the "Picnic Table" from the high bank side.  On the Kalum River in low water conditions, many pools tend to swing and fish better when fished from the bank you'd normally fish in higher flows.  Here, April bombs one out amongst classic west coast mountain views. Bruce Holt photo

Bruce Holt and Sky Richard with a nice Steelhead from the Upper Kalum. Bruce Holt Photo

 Steve Rajeff airing out a long one en route to the Skeena's far bank. Bruce Holt photo

Ross, Steve and Sky pause for a few brief moments before getting back on the water. Bruce Holt photo

 Lower 16, as it's affectionately known, is a massively long, slow moving run that Steelhead love to hold in.  Lengthy casts and a long slow, swing are needed to cover this run well. Ross Purnell photo

Accessing remote coastal rivers is never easy, but herein lies the adventure.  On this day, Dustin, Ross and April launched a jet boat in the Ocean, travelled many kilometres and then scrambled along the rocky river bank lined with devil's club.  But, the rewards were well worth it...Ross Purnell photo
Single hand and switch rods are ideal tools to use while fishing small streams.  Plus, they're a lot of fun to fight fish on. Ross Purnell Photo

A sea run hen fresh from the Ocean - only a kilometre away.  Ross Purnell Photo

Ross with a good one from the Upper Kalum.  Bruce Holt Photo

 Nicholas Dean guide Greg Buck knows the Skeena's waters intimately, and where to place his fly when searching for fish like this. Ross Purnell Photo

Bruce and his nice pink shirt.  Oh, and a nice Steelhead too.  Ross Purnell Photo

 While world record casts are not required on remote coastal rivers, some degree of precision is.  Placing a weighted fly into specific lies amonsgst boulders and logs can be somewhat challenging at first, but once mastered is an extremely effective technique for fooling fish in pocket water and other difficult to reach places.  Steve Rajeff is surely a master at this, as well as distance casting.  Ross Purnell Photo

Coastal river scenery is breathtakingly beautiful...Ross Purnell Photo

Steve demonstrating his double haul technique.  Ross Purnell Photo

Sky Richard with a chrome bright Spring Steelhead from the Lower Kalum.  Ross Purnell Photo

Ross and Steve admire a chrome Steelhead in the Stumble run - aptly named for the many large boulders scattered throughout the run and which makes wading somewhat challenging.

April swinging through a run just up from tidewater.  Ross Purnell Photo

 Steve launching yet another one, bound for the far side.  Ross Purnell Photo