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chrome-magnon man
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, let's start posting those Dean Reports as they come in.

That river and I have a score to settle and I need to know if I should bring dynamite or if tube flies will work ok... :D
 

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Dean Report

I'm interested in hearing too. I'll be on the Lower Dean from Aug. 6-13.

If the run is delayed and a month behind like it was for my Alaska trip and my Gaspe trip I should find narvana.

Speak up guys.
 

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Dana, I think peter wenty to Bella Coola today and flies in tomorrow. Did you two manage to get together for some casting while you were in Calgary? I know that he was hoping to get in on one of your schools. is Tyler going with you this year?
BN
 

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chrome-magnon man
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
no, I didn't see Peter in Calgary. The classes were full and I had a very full schedule on my hands so I wasn't able to meet him. Maybe next year.

Tyler isn't coming along this year.
 

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Dana
I was on the lower river in the third week of June - it was the lowest that anyone had ever seen at that time of year. I went 2 for 5 on Chinook, to put this in perspective my figures for the previous year(same week) were 12 for 30! I don't know if it picked up after I left, but will post when I find out. I heared of 2 steelies this year, there were about 6 taken the year before.
Tight Lines
speydoc
 

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My buddy came out on the 17th July - the springs never did get red hot. He reported that they were starting to have multi fish hook ups in the last three days with steelies - there realy was no significant signs of steelies prior to this(unlike past years)
speydoc
 

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Just returned from the dean

Dana,

I just returned from the Dean. I fished the week of July 18 -- 25. The river is very low, and also a bit volatile as a result of a low/average winter snowpack and a warm spring. We had several days of bright sun and warm weather and the glaciers began PUMPING. The Sakumtha and Nooskulla looked like readymix concrete, making the lower river (below Nooskulla pretty tough to fish. That said, the fish began to come into the river in big numbers, and I actually had my best week ever!! after going 0/0 and 0/1 in the first two days, I managed to finish out the week at 10/20 on steelies. I was also 4/6 on springs with the largest landed @ roughly 35lbs.

I would say that my experience was consistent with that of the rest of our group.

Even when the fishing is slow, it's hard not to have a wonderful time in that spectacular part of the world.......but this year was SWEET!!!

Just pray for cool temps and overcast skies, because the early signs point to a big run of fish :)
 

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Dean Last Week

Had a friend just get back from the Dean. They were camping and fishing mainly Jam & Oley’s/Victoria. Was hot and the water was full of glacial silt. Had to dredge with black stuff. Averaged 1.5-2 fish each to the beach/day, which is about average for these guys. Given the conditions and that they were catching fish, I would assume that there are a fair amount of fish in the river.

T minus 22 days and counting. Had a dream last night that it rained hard on the 24th and by the time I got there the water was dropping and clearing and that I fished dry fly all week. One can only hope/fantasize.
 

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dana,
fished last week july.river was dirty when arrived. glacier melt the culprit. which I assume also means cold temps,which could be worse than the vis affect.we hooked a few fish first two days.caught some cooler weather and cloud cover for a portion of a day.result,the next day we hooked 25 fish for 6 fishermen.that was followed by renewed hot weather and more glacier melt.and a drop in activity.this was all on the lower river.It means nothing to your prospects.like the report from speydoc/when the water is low in the lower river the fish bomb thru that section,get thru the canyon,and then settle in to holding patterms.when the water has been right the fish have been there.high rain water[warm water[] has brought fish. dropping glacier water has brought fish.It is all up to the weather.I believe the fish will be there for you.Unlike last year when yhey were all above you.by way hooked 14 vs 10 last yr.2nd lowest of 8 yrs.also as was the case last year,thursday and friday were dismal.was it the glacier melt or the lag time from the channel netting on mon night to tues night. curious trend both yrs.again none of that will affect you.good luck on the weather.Beau
 

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chrome-magnon man
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks for the updates everyone! I had some friends just return from the lower river--it sounds like the fish are moving in and their reports are consistent with what all of you have posted.

It looks like the weather has been a little wetter up there this past week so hopefully that has pulled more fish in and sent them up the canyon and up the river.

I'll let you all know how my trip went when I get back.
 

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not a good year for the Dean

Fished the Dean Aug 5 -12th. Floated from Giants to old Victoria. Water was low and off color due to high temps and glacial melt. Dean was actually more off color than the Sakumtha which rarely happens. I belive that the snow pack was very low up there this year and this is why the river is low and dirty (ie there is no snowpack left to melt and all thats melting are the glaciers). Fishing was sporadic but poor overall. We ran into small groups of fish and had good action followed by lots of casting practice. I think for the week we were 10/25 as a group, getting bageled the last few days on the lower river. General consensus was that there just were not many fish in the river. Not sure if they will show up later in the month or if it is just a bad year (probably the latter...) Some guys on the lower river that fish the Dean annually remember a bad year with warm water conditions 5 years ago and think that this years lack of fish may be a result. All I know is that I'll be back next year to try it again. Still a great place when the fishing is slow.
 

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Bad News

Just talked to the group that came out of Hodson's yesterday. It sucked. 4 or 5 fish for the whole camp for the whole week. River the lowest anyone has seen it. Visibility 1" all week (not 1 foot, one inch). Upper camp as bad or worse than the lower camp. 1/2" glacial gunk covering the rocks. I saw that Bella Coola was 34 or 35 one day last week. Forecast is for cooling and some rain. Sounds like they need a big flush to clean the river and bring in the fish. I go in a week. Speculation was that the fish were still out in the estuary and had not moved into the river yet.
 

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Bring a good book and a Cuban Cigar

Mark, I haven't read worse news in the last few years!(If you don't count the newspapers) I guess we will have to count on the fish gods to bring a little better conditions for us on our week. I did get a card from Lana. She and Scott and their new daughter Madeline are hosting the upper camp this year. She said the river had been suffering from siltation but she didn't make it sound altogether disastrous. Let's hope we hit lucky streak and things improve.
See you in Vancouver on the morning of the 27th. Tight lines, Paul Huntsman
 

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The good news is it can't get any worse.

Tie lots of big black stuff. I just don't know if the cooling weather will shut the glaciers down. I think that we need a good freeze up high and I assume we are a couple of weeks out from that. We will have better visibility than they had last week but I don't know how good. Hope for the best, plan on the worst. See you Friday, Paul. Looking forward to it.
 

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best swimming on Earth

I was with 3 other Puget Sounders on the Dean Aug 12-19. Started at Giants and floated all the way to the Game Cabin. Should have known we were in trouble with water conditions the day before our permits started after asking the upriver guide for Dean River Lodge (Mike Blewitt) "has it been this dirty for long?" and hearing his repsonse: "dirty? This is GOOD!" That day had the best vis we saw, about 18" in the milk-white-almost green.

The weather was HOT. Most afternoons my stream thermometer read in the low 80s--always while shaded and hanging on a tree in camp. Water temp was 60 degrees the first day, then 62 everyday after by mid-afternoon. Checked the Sakumtha a couple times and it was at 54-55. After that first morning, 3 of us put our waders away for the week and wet waded it.

Got momentarily hung up on a big wash rock in Moose Rapids. We were pleased and relieved that our gear was secure and our raft didn't flip at a 45 degree angle.
Had great swimming and suntanning on the big rock in front of the camp at Anchor. Finished half of Gary Snyder's book "The Practice of the Wild" (I highly recommend it). Broke my 7136 trying to learn the left handed spiral roll when my heavily weighted fly collided with the rod. Witnessed two impressive thunderstorms mid-week last week when the heat and humidity spiked. That rain caused the river to rise ~ 1 foot and turned the milk-white-green into brown, and the vis went down to ~1". With a dulled will to fish fishing we overexploited key resources, running out of beer on day 4, whiskey on day 5.

The lodges didn't fish a few of those days, so we saw no one for one day at Anchor and 3 days at Rabbit.

So after a nearly vice-free and fishless day 6, we decided to pack it in on day 7. Left Rabbit in the morning and bumped into a couple Seattle-ites just below Totems. They were fishing out of Nakia, got there on the 14th. I believe they said everyone in the lodge caught one steelhead that day (Saturday) when the river had knee deep vis. No one in that group had touched a steelhead in the next 5 days. Saw a lot of long faces down there, but jeez they actually had ~1 foot of vis last Thursday --- looked good to us! Heard a second hand account of Jerry Wintle's opinion: "The worst I've seen in 30 years".

Folks in Saudi Arabia caught as many as we did last week. Our final score for four of us in 6 fishing days: 1 king landed (on an evening with 4" of vis!), ZERO STEELHEAD LANDED, one small steelie/large trout hooked and lost, another unidentified fish hooked and lost. Personally, I managed two pulls in 6 days of fishing.

The camping was terrific, the swimming was world class. We had a fine albeit unusual steelhead trip. As long as the rules allow it, I'll be back...
 

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Howzer, if you flew in with Richard from West Coast on the 12th then I think that we shared your heli for the way out. He picked us up at Old Victoria and said that he had just dropped a group off at Giants - yours I assume. As slow as the fishing was for our week it sounds like it got slower. At least our whiskey made it to the end of the week...

One thing I noticed, as I was trying not to think about fish eating my fly, was the beat down the mergansers were putting on the smolts. I watched a flock of about 12 birds diving for fish at Rabbit and each time they came up at least 3 of them would be choking down fish. In about 10 minutes they probably ate 4 dozen. At that rate those @%$&ers could do some damage. So when the water got really off color I was at least glad the the ducks were having a harder time pilaging future dean runs...
 

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Aaron, that was our group you split the copter tab with - thank you for that.

We also witnessed the marauding mergansers working the top end of Rabbit. We only saw that once, but they appeared to be really effective even when the vis was less than 6 inches. It was amazing how they hunted as a pack, there must've been 20 herding fry the day we watched it.
 
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