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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys,

I was wondering what the general concensus was out there regarding the Dean vs the Babine, I have fished the Babine(Silver Hilton)for three years now and I have an opportunity to fish the Dean this year from Hodsons camp. WHat is the better experience? From a fish standpoint? From a lodge standpoint? I would be going the last week of July into August on the Dean.

Looking forward to the input.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Dean River Fish - Hot

I floated the Dean for two years on my own and I can tell you that the Dean fish are the hotest steelhead that I have ever caught. It is reminds me of the old days on the Thompson. I haven't fished the Babine, but I believe the BC fisheries people did some water/tube tests and determined that the Dean fish were the strongest swimming fish, then came the Thompson fish. If you saw the canyon that the Dean fish have to ascend, you would have to say the the Dean fish are truly superfish. The only concern that I would have is that I have heard that the Dean has had towo major floods during the last two years. I'm not sure what the impact is on the river and the fishing. Good luck, I don't think you could wrong at either location.
 

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DEAN and (not versus) BABINE

Over the last 10 years I'v fished both rivers five to six weeks. Both rivers are superb steelhead rivers. However they have a different character. The DEAN flows between steep Coastel mountains and has this blue greenish open 'freestone' look. You can almost feel and smell the salty blue of the Pacific nearby. The fish are brighter (generally spoken), the air is fresher. And you will fish in more summer type conditions since you'll fish earlier in the BC season and more in a coastel weather type.

The Babine is much more a darker forrest river with ist dark bottom of ledgerock, 'mossy' rock struction. Fish can be very fresh, but genarally spoken they will be a bit deeper in color (still magnificent fish, no complaints....) The temps can be cooler and in second half of october there can be snow on the ground.

After you've made a couple of Babine trips I can only suggest you'll give the Dean your best shot.
 

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Do the Dean...

...though I have not fished the Babine, I have fished rivers in the area that offer similar attributes. In my opinion, since you have already fished the Babine a few times, I would suggest taking up the opportunity to fish the Dean in order to experience another of the premier steelhead fisheries in existence, but one that offers a differing perspective of steelheading than does the Babine. Basically, you will be fishing for steelhead under a fairly hard-to-come-by circumstance - environmental conditions that are more often than not, conducive to promoting the "best" display of steelhead characteristics. The fish you will be fishing are recent arrivals from and/or are not that far travelled from the salt, combined with water temperature regimes that are most often optimal for steelhead.
 

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You Poor Soul [email protected]#$%^&*()

Can I come?

I've fished Babine and WOW. But hard to disagree with the logic above. You've done it a few times. Why not see what there is to see and fish? Traveling and experiencing the river and its surroundings are a big part of all this. Why not expand your knowledge of the area and fish another world class destination! Have fun.
 

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Ditto the Dean

Dean river, big bright fishy, they pull hard. You will see some kite string for sure on that river.Oh and the view and surroundings are second to none!!

Mark
 

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Fish the Babine while you can...

I know over a 1000 have viewed Dana's post on this but it can't hurt to link it here,


http://www.speypages.com/speyclave/showthread.php?t=23879

Anybody whose fished this incredible valley, (or wants to) should be concerned. The more fishing related tourisim dollars the area receives the better case the locals have to make against this CBM project. The Dean being more remote may not have as many threatning issues as of yet.
 

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What Ullsock said plus

Over the last 10 years I'v fished both rivers five to six weeks. Both rivers are superb steelhead rivers. However they have a different character. The DEAN flows between steep Coastel mountains and has this blue greenish open 'freestone' look. You can almost feel and smell the salty blue of the Pacific nearby. The fish are brighter (generally spoken), the air is fresher. And you will fish in more summer type conditions since you'll fish earlier in the BC season and more in a coastel weather type.

The Babine is much more a darker forrest river with ist dark bottom of ledgerock, 'mossy' rock struction. Fish can be very fresh, but genarally spoken they will be a bit deeper in color (still magnificent fish, no complaints....) The temps can be cooler and in second half of october there can be snow on the ground.

After you've made a couple of Babine trips I can only suggest you'll give the Dean your best shot.
I agree with Ullsock's post and will add the following: The fishing on the Dean has not been good the last few years. Some of it has been river conditions but last year had good water and no fish. Doesn't have any thing to do with this year but the trend is not great. Babine fish are bigger. Water temperatures on the Dean are better and dry fly/skating can usually be done with some success. If you haven't been to the Dean, you need to go.

A couple of specific points about Hodson's: Bring your own booze, if you drink, and a lot of it. Give your leftovers to the guides. The ladies that clean the cabins pour any leftovers down the sink:eek: Also extra books in case the river is out. If you have a choice, stay in the lower camp and don't go to the upper camp. Every year is different but in most years there are not many fish in the upper camp until August. An exception to this is if the lower river is out. The upper can then be the only fishing on the river.

The Airport Fairmont is the best place to stay the night before your trip. They will shuttle you over to Millionaire the next morning and lay out a great breakfast spread. If you dine there, tell them you want in and out in an hour, unless you don't, or your dinner will last 2+ hours.

Have fun.
 

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That is a great question. As for hot, hot, mint bright fish the Dean rules. As for size and numbers the Babine can't be beat. As for water conditions the Babine can blow out in a big way during September. As for Dean water conditions it all comes down to glaciers,heat, and rain. having fished both systems quite extensively nothing compares to the Dean, provided there are fish. The babine run is more dependable provided the commercial boy's aren't given the run of the fishery as was the case last year. As I see it if you haven't fished the Dean you had better get to it. Keep in mind that the Dean had a major blowout last fall and rumor has it the runs a now long and have changed. When are you considering Hodsons? The two rivers are in stark contrast to each other, glacial vs lake tannin, majestic granite canyon vs thick coastal rain forest. I like to look at my summer season as Dean, Smithers, and close with the Thompson.:smokin: :cool:


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It is alla bout the hunt

Chas
 

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Good time, Say hello to Scott and the gang, I have some buds that will be at Stewarts the same time and I arrive three weeks later. Have fun, it's a great river when you hit it and if you Should run accross Dick Spitznofs from Vancouver say howdy for me. If you get a shot at the upper camp it will be time well spent.;)


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Chas
 
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