Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chinook Fly Fishing on the Skeena and Kitimat Rivers

Now that's a big Chinook!  Jason Haase landed this bright 40 lb Chinook in May on the mainstem Skeena, fishing a black and blue fly along a current seam.  Want to try this?  We've still got a few spaces left and are already booking into 2012.  Brett Hallinan Photo
Chinook Fly Fishing on the Skeena, Kitimat, Kalum, Copper and remote coastal rivers with both single hand and spey rods really is one of the most exciting fisheries in the Skeena region, particularly if you enjoy big game fishing.  After all, these fish average 15-35 lbs and can reach over 50.  Imagine one of those big Chinook, just days from the Ocean slamming at your 6 inch chartreuse tube fly and the ensuing mayhem? Bring an extra rod because there's a good chance you'll break your first one.  Here's a brief sample of some of the Chinook our clients have caught Spey fishing this year:
A fish this girthy and this fresh is not easy to bring in.  Brett Hallinan Photo
A face that looks like this means you know it's a heavy fish.  Brett Hallinan Photo
Jason Haase with a 30 lb hen Chinook caught on the Kitimat River.  You should see the video that his friend Brett Hallinan took - epic.  Forthcoming...

The Skeena River Needs Your Help

Rachelle Van Zanten - My Country (Official Video) from Taylor F. on Vimeo.

I first moved to Terrace and the Skeena Valley five years ago because of the Skeena's Steelhead and Salmon.  Working at Nicholas Dean Lodge was a dream job in itself, but perhaps its equal was the opportunity to fish pristine rivers with what can be considered some of the best, if not the best, Steelhead and Pacific Salmon fishing in the world.  Now, as an angler, conservationist, and long term resident in the Skeena Valley, I feel that I have a moral responsibility to protect something that's incredibly important and most certainly the lifeblood of the region: the Skeena watershed itself.  Royal Dutch Shell wants to drill coal bed methane in the headwaters of the Skeena, Nass and Stikine Rivers, threatening not only the Steelhead and Salmon runs, but the myriad wildlife that call these massive watersheds their home.  Not to mention the thousands of residents.  Be sure to check out this inspiring video by Rachelle Van Zanten and do what you can to help save the Skeena watershed from Shell.  More info at the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition.

Friday, June 24, 2011

June Fishing Update - Chinook Salmon

John Sartinsky is all smiles after landing this 25 lb Chinook Salmon on the first morning of his trip. All photos by Harriet Sartinsky
It's mid June and we're off to a great start to our Summer Chinook guiding season here at Nicholas Dean Lodge.  Last week we had the pleasure of hosting John and Harriet Sartinsky from La Crescenta, California on their first ever trip to BC.  When we first started talking about the trip, John told me that Harriet woke up one morning in January and said, "I want to catch a salmon over 20 lbs."  A short while later, John and Harriet were booked in, and last week they found themselves reeling in several Salmon and enjoying the fine dining provided by Alf Leslie at Yellow Cedar Lodge.  We're happy to report that Harriet  did achieve her goal, landing a 35 lb Chinook on the first day of her trip!

At the end of their trip, Harriet told me that it was one of the best trips she'd ever been on!  This is about the best review we can receive and we're happy to have had the opportunity to guide these great people.  Check out some of the photos from their trip below...

Dustin launching the Clackacraft drift boat in a small creek, en route to the Kitimat River's bright Chinook Salmon.

Harriet Sartinsky and her first Chinook Salmon ever!

You can tell by the grin that Harriet is a very happy angler in this moment!

A good action shot - it's always a nervous moment until you get the fish in the net.

Fishing a clean seam on the main channel Skeena can be a productive way to target migrating Chinook Salmon.

The happy couple at the end of their trip.

Looking forward, Jeff Bright and his crew arrive next week to target Chinook on the Spey rod, as part of our "big game" Chinook Fly Fishing program.  Stay tuned for more details...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How to Tie a Hidged Tube Grantham Sedge

If you've fished with us before, or if you've been following this blog, you'll likely know that the guides and myself here at Nicholas Dean Lodge, absolutely love fishing dry flies for Summer and Fall run Steelhead, and we've developed a strong program for this fishery.  You'll probably also know that we like using Grantham Sedges when we're skating flies on the top, and is one of our go-to flies for our dry fly Steelhead fishery.  Over the past year, I've been chatting with Jesper Fohrmann at about creating Grantham Sedges on hitched tubes, a technique popular for Altantic Salmon on Canada's east coast and in Europe.  While I have not yet had the opportunity to fish Jesper's custom Grantham Sedge tubes, I thought our followers might find his video useful in teaching you how to tie this fly.  Jesper is an exceptionally good tier, and there is much to learn in this video that goes far beyond tying Steelhead dry flies...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Soulfish 2 - An Epic Fly Fishing Adventure

SoulFish 2 is an epic fly fishing adventure that's just out on the market from film maker Mikey Weir.  Building on the original SoulFish concept, Weir brings together anglers in the pursuit of some of the most interesting and captivating fly fishing adventures out there today.  Nile perch fishing on the shores of Lake Nassir in Egypt, taimen fishing on the wild rivers of Mongolia, saltwater flats fishing in Belize and Hawaii, and trout fishing on his home waters in California are but a few of the fisheries featured in SoulFish 2.  And, we're happy to say that we played a key role in the British Columbia Steelhead footage!  Mikey fished with Dustin Kovacvich and Sky Richard in early November 2010 on some of the Skeena system's best waters, along with pro snowboarder Eric Jackson and fly gal extraordinaire, April Vokey.  If you're interested in purchasing this DVD and getting a glimpse into Mikey's worldwide fly fishing travels, be sure to get in touch today, as we have several copies here at the lodge.  For more information, check out Mikey Weir's website at: