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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Dean River

I may go to Dean River this summer, very end of July to early August. This is the first time up there.
What kind of fly pattern should I carry with me?
I would appreciate your advice.
I could tie any pattern but never done tube.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 11:45 PM
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Check out the Steelhead River Journal on the Dean Riv by Art Lingren. There is good info in there. Enjoy, it is a sweet place. Cheers, Sean D
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-14-2008, 01:20 AM
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Black or purple are favorites...but as was already mentioned get ahold of a copy of the Steelhead River Journal by Art Lingren and have a good look there.

It's like Africa you know....once you go will have to go again.

Really watch how you store your camp food.....lots of Coastal Grizzly and a fair number of good sized black bears.

Hang your food HIGH between two trees.

Hang your rods one a two lines across two trees UP off the ground. Porcupines love salty cork handles.

Hide your arse wipe well from those pesky deer mice...they number in the hundreds around camps and they LOVE toilet paper....we had to put ours on the tent poles under the fly so they couldn't climb up to it and leave us confetti.....LOL


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-14-2008, 12:04 PM
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Only fished there once about 20 years ago with Dean River veteran camper Joe Shirshac. He fished the river for about 30 years and always had great stories so when I got a chance to go, I jumped at it.

We camped at about "20 mile" which is up river some. Five of us drove from Sacramento, CA to Williams Lake, BC where we flew with Gidian of "Sharp Wings" air service to Bella Coola. From there we were helicoptered into the river.

We were able to be there for two weeks back then and on the first day we just built a camp off the river on an open gravel bar. I was lucky to be with some really old time outdoorsmen so it was very comfortable camping.

We were there in August and had good weather so the water was in great shape for dry fly fishing. Back then we use really big Royal Wulff dries and mostly dead drifted them. Steelhead would slowly rise to them like big trout.

I know conditions change a lot up there so I would take a variety of flies and lines.

Two-handed fishing was not that big 20 years ago but we saw an angler across the river one day walking with a fly rod. We didn't realize that he had a long two-handed rod so it made him look really short. After a while we realized he was not short, he just had a really long rod.

It is probably still the best Steelhead River in the world and probably the most pristine place I have been. No matter what happens it will probably be one of the best trips of your life.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-14-2008, 01:31 PM
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Water conditions and clarity will dictate what you use. High and glacial, larger profile maribous,GP's,leech and intruder type flies,on sink tips. All colors work well but it seems that you can't go wrong with black,black and blue,purple and blue etc. Have some brighter flies on hand also,orange,red,yellows and combinations of all of the above colors. One year we fished a purple,orange and yellow tube fly almost exclusively, and caught many steelhead, and a bunch of salmon, some 35-40lbs. It got dubbed the multi-tasker cause both salmon and steelhead seemed to love it.

In clearer water, bust out the floating lines and swing any of the traditional steelhead patterns and dry flies. They like that surface action if you can get good water clarity.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-14-2008, 01:44 PM
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I get a kick out of all the posts on this site about"I am going to river X.What patterns should I use?"I think, in most cases ,it doesn't matter that much from river to river.I use the same patterns most of the time.I even use same patterns for Atlantic Salmon,Sea Run Browns that I use for Steelhead.There are Exceptions like the Deschutes,John Day,where I use smaller sizes and stick to traditional flies[I don't know why that's necessary].For Searun Browns I try to fish a muddler type head for more noise creation when fishing that low light that is such an important part of that fishery.
First of all,the well knowns for any B.C. river or western PNW river is broken down to taking brights and darks.The pattern can be personal preference.I take a selection of black and purple for the darks.Then ,orange,pink,chartreuse for the brights with maybe some white parts tossed in.I often have chartreuse bodies on my darks.Thats all you need to do.Patterns and sizes depend on your confidence.You could have all one pattern and do just as well and spend less time changing flies.But,maybe that wouldn't be as satisfying.
Once on the Deschutes I was road fishing.I drove to a spot where 2 guys were fishing but not moving.I got out and asked if I could go 100yds below them and start fishing.They were cool with that.There was a single rock there that I wanted to hit.It was a very long cast and even though it was in early afternoon ,I figured very few would have reached it before me.I took a couple casts to work down into it.Within 6 casts I had a fish on the beach and was gone!They came running down to watch.What was the first thing they said?"What fly are you using?" They had been within a 100yds of a perfect rock and didn't fish it.It is not the fly!!!It is where you fish and how you cast, and how you fish each spot you think has fish!!!!Functionally the fly is not that material.It may ,however, be an important part of your fishing pleasure for other reasons!


Last edited by beau purvis; 03-14-2008 at 03:41 PM.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-14-2008, 03:13 PM
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You are a wise, wise man!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-14-2008, 03:43 PM
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I like your listed location!It is right up there with Scott O'Donnell's!

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2008, 01:13 AM
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A quote from Haig-Brown in Fisherman's Spring;

"The problem is what it always was: to place the feathered hook where the trout is in such a way that he is persuaded to take it into his mouth. When persuasion fails it is more profitable to be free to examine one's stream craft and technique--where the fish was sought, how approached, where the fly fell, how it fished--than to wonder what might have been achieved with the other rod or with fly in the box left at home."
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