Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

From all of us here at Nicholas Dean Outdoors, we want to wish you a safe and happy Holiday Season this year and all the best in 2013!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Skeena Camp - Week 3

Not all Steelhead caught on the Skeena in August are large fish, but they're all chrome bright and about as close to perfect as you could ask for.

It was another successful week for anglers in the third week of our Skeena Camp this year, with several new faces in the mix.  Bright fish close to the Ocean, spectacular scenery and the sheer amount of fishing time each day are major highlights of the camp.  It's  not unusual for guests to fish from 6 am to 10 pm!  Here's a few shots courtesy of Major William Mitchell, pictured above.   

Fishing the funnel. On the Skeena in August, you focus on the travel lane to find the many Steelhead, Coho and other salmon migrating upstream, which is most often just off the inside seam.

When targeting Steelhead and Coho on the Skeena, you sometimes never know what's going to take your fly.  There were some surprisingly large Chum Salmon caught by guests this year at the Skeena Camp that were well over 30 lbs.

Classic coastal BC scenery

Run, Will, run!  It's not always easy to keep up with hot Steelhead on the Skeena - but is sometimes very much necessary if you want to have a shot at landing them. 

This is a feeling you will likely experience at least a few times when fishing at the camp!  The Skeena's big, bright Steelhead are hot fish that can really be heat breakers.  Some are just too hot to handle, even for the most experienced anglers...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer Steelhead on the Skeena - late August Update

Fishing this past week has been productive on the mainstem Skeena.  While overall numbers of Salmon have started to drop off, there's a few more of these chrome bullets around...
Fishing on the mainstem Skeena this past week has been rewarding for our clients, with many bright, chrome fish to 20 lbs landed.  Clients Yves and Claude travelled all the way from New Caledonia in the south Pacific to fish with us for the first time, and they left very happy indeed, having fulfilled their dream of catching their first Steelhead!  Their best day was eight Steelhead hooked, though as with most days, one to three was the average and in-line with expectations.  Yves even lost a monster 25 lb Steelhead mid week that straightened out his hook!  The reality is that you need more than a little luck to land fish of this size on the mainstem Skeena, as these fish are incredibly strong and know how to use the Skeena's heavy currents to their advantage.  Look for more photos on our third week at the Skeena Camp in our next post...

A bright hen for Claude

Armed with a full arsenal of rods, Claude fished the highly unique Zpey rods last week and did quite well on the mainstem Skeena.

Yves with a nice Summer run Coho

A great mid teens fish for Yves - well done!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Skeena Camp Trip Report - Week 2

The newlyweds, Mr and Mrs Schweitzer - congratulations! 
This week, we feel particularly flattered.  Not because of any specific compliments made by guests - though we had those last week, too - but because a young couple chose to fish with us for their honeymoon! Andrew and Lisa Schweitzer are die hard spey anglers from Seattle, who have fished extensively for Steelhead in the US Pacific Northwest, and were just married a few short weeks ago. 
Following the wedding, they boarded a plane and headed to Terrace, where they fished on their own for a few days prior to staying with us at our on-river Skeena Camp.  It's not all that often that you see a couple together who are as passionate about Steelhead fly fishing as Andrew and Lisa are, and we were fortunate to spend time with them both on the river.  While they didn't land as many Steelhead on their trip as they may have liked, they did find some quality fish and left 'happy campers.'  Andrew and Lisa, it was a pleasure to host you!

A very impressive Summer run Steelhead from the Skeena - Lisa's first!  At 37 inches long, this fish was in the high teens and not all that far away from 20!  On a related note, Lisa has submitted this photo in The Fly Fishing Shop's (in Welches, Oregon) Fish Picture Contest and is currently in first place this week, which puts her in line to win some pretty cool prizes.  Show your support for her by going to The Fly Fishing Shop's Facebook page and 'liking' her photo - but please do so before 6 pm on Monday August 27, 2012!
The definition of chrome...
Not all Summer run Coho Salmon are large, but they're always acrobatic and fun to catch.
Our gear tent at the Skeena Camp, with some nice scenery as a backdrop...
A fresh Summer Coho from the Skeena for Lisa.
Early on in operating the camp, we realized that some guests just plain didn't like coming off the river for lunch or dinner.  So, we improvised.  For these guests, we'd have Skeena Camp chef, Yvan Sabourin, deliver a hot plate of food to guests alongside the river.  It's just one small detail that comprises good service - and we're more than happy to help!  Here, Lisa Schweitzer enjoys lunch with a nice view...
Chrome Chum Salmon are a nice bonus when searching for Steelhead on the Skeena.  While they may not be the prettiest of the Pacific Salmon species, pound for pound they might just be the hardest fighting...
Fishing in front of the Skeena Camp at first light.  Awesome.
Another Summer run Coho in the teens for Andrew.  Nice work, Andrew!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mid August Skeena River Update

Fishing on the Lower Skeena for Summer Steelhead & Salmon presents not only great fishing opportunities for bright, silver fish, but also spectacular scenery.  Here, Ned Welch swings his fly into the shallows, just upstream from tidewater, in the heart of the coastal BC mountains.
Last week we had the pleasure of hosting Jim Britton and his friends and clients from Oscar's Adventure Travel in Smithers, BC.  With river levels dropping and about 2 ft of visibility in the mainstem Skeena, these were prime conditions for targeting Steelhead & Salmon migrating slowly up its margins.  Here's a few highlights of their week...
A mid teens buck showing just how fresh the Skeena's Summer Steelhead can be!

Bob Hass Jr. with a bright Coho from the mainstem Skeena.  Averaging 5 to 10 lbs in early August, these fish provide outstanding sport and sometimes they fight so hard you'll think they're a Steelhead...

A big one for Dave Mann Sr!

Camaraderie - a key element in any fishing trip!

Swinging in the riffles...

The view from the river near Yellow Cedar Lodge.

A great shot, in a series of photos taken by guest Dave Mann.  In the next several photos, this deer gets closer and closer to the anglers.  Sometimes, wildlife can surprise you!

As close to chrome perfection as we can think of...

One of the highlights of a Summer trip - relaxing on the front balcony at Yellow Cedar Lodge, drink in hand, and in good company.

Fine dining, anyone?  Red Seal chefs Alf Leslie and Jason Efford do an incredible job preparing meals at Yellow Cedar Lodge.  This one with Sockeye Salmon, fresh from the Pacific at Prince Rupert.

The scenery in the Lower Skeena is just hard to beat.

A classic black and white shot of an angler, mountains and a river.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Skeena Camp 2012 - Week 1 Report

Now that's a big Sockeye!

We're fresh off our first week at the Skeena Camp, and what a week it was!  We had repeat guest Edgardo from Brazil join us again following an epic trip in October/November 2011 that saw him land several large Steelhead, including 22 and 24 lb fish, in the same day!  This time, he brought his brother Alejandro and several friends from Brazil and Argentina, and as you can tell from the smiles on their faces, they thoroughly enjoyed their trip at the Skeena Camp!  Looking for good fishing in a remote location, we sited the camp several kilometres downstream below Terrace, complete with a postcard perfect vista.  Here's some of the highlights from Week 1.  All photos by Edgardo Postigo and Roberto Germano.
The Skeena Camp, proper.
One of my absolute favourites at the camp - tying the 'fly du jour,' right in front of the river.  Here, the dining/cook tent is in the background.
Roberto with a nice Skeena Steelhead at the camp.

Put almost any pink fly on, and you'll catch just about as many Pink Salmon as you'd want!

The Skeena has some absolute monster Chums, including this mid 20s fish.  While not numerous in the Skeena, they do make for good sport when targeting Steelhead, Coho and other Salmon species.

Salmon cooked on the banks of the Skeena doesn't get much fresher than this!

A great action shot - Edgardo on the rod, and camp guide Al Ducros on the net.

Chrome fish, epic scenery.

Roberto with a monster 'humpy,' called this for obvious reasons!

Searching on the Skeena, amidst towering mountains.

Did I mention the scenery is nice?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Fall Pre-Booking Sale - Book your trip now!

Steelhead fishing in small streams on the remote BC coast - a guest favourite! With our Fall booking promotion, you'll get a good rate on your trip next year, and ensure access to spaces in prime weeks, like those in our Adventure Steelhead program.  Henry Gilbey Photo
Each year, to give more value to our repeat guests and encourage new clients to see what we're all about, we offer what we like to call our "Fall Pre-Booking Sale."  Our Fall Pre-Booking Sale goes like this: if you submit a 50% deposit prior to September 30, 2012, you can book your trip at the 2012 rates for the 2013 season.  Our 2013 rates will be up to 5% higher than the 2012 rates, and are in effect as of October 1, 2012.  So, not only will you get a good deal, you'll also have first crack at spaces in prime weeks!  Contact us if you have any questions or would like to book your trip in 2013...   

Thursday, August 9, 2012

30 lb Skeena Steelhead!

Josh Buck and his 30 lb Steelhead landed on the Skeena River!  Well done, Josh, this is most certainly a lifetime fish!  Mike Bartlett Photo
With Steelhead numbers at the mouth of the Skeena River this year estimated to be nearly double that of the 10 year average, you could say that we have the makings of an excellent Steelhead return this year.  Josh Buck is certainly off to a great start, having landed this 30 lb Steelhead on the mainstem Skeena earlier this week!  When you're fishing the Skeena system, it's prudent (and exciting!) to always keep it in the back of your mind that fish of this size - and sometimes larger - can be migrating past you at any point in time...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Nicholas Dean Outdoors - same great company!

The fantastic Yellow Cedar Lodge - first class accommodations and fine dining in Terrace, and home base for all Nicholas Dean Outdoors clients while on their inclusive lodge trip.  Yoshi Aoki Photo
Recently, you may have noticed that our blog name was changed from Nicholas Dean Lodge to Nicholas Dean Outdoors.  This is just one of a few changes that we'll be making to better reflect our working relationship with Yellow Cedar Lodge, the facility where our clients stay for the best of accommodations and fine dining in Terrace.  In the early years of the business, we operated a full service facility just off Kalum Lake Road on the outskirts of Terrace, and branding Nicholas Dean as a lodge made the most sense then.  However, with the move to Yellow Cedar Lodge several years ago this has proved to be a little confusing at times for clients.  So, to minimize this confusion and further enhance branding for both ourselves and Yellow Cedar Lodge, you will now see our brand as Nicholas Dean Outdoors.  Rest assured, however, that we're the exact same staff and company that you've fished with and come to know previously at NDL!  Plus, we also think that Nicholas Dean Outdoors has a pretty cool ring to it.  :)