well i'm sorry to hear you didn't get your fish. Was wondering what contributed to your "goose egg," bad water condition, bad weather, low fish numbers, or just plain bad luck. Was thinking about making a trip to the dean in the next couple of years so i'm just gather as much info as possible.
weather was great, water conditions were marginal (1.5ft vis most of the week), fish numbers were low (river guardians and others figured the run is 1/3 normal size this year), but the Dean is the Dean and it usually produces a few. Top rod in our camp for the week (Nobuo Nodera) landed 5 and lost 2 additional fish, so the fishing certainly wasn't "red hot", but there were a few around, just not under my flies. Somone said it must have been my casting. :hehe: I talked with legendary angler Jerry Wintle at the airstrip on the way out and he said it had been a pretty dismal year for him too--there since beginning of July, only one fish so far. Apparently there were a few spots up the river that were producing, just not at our location.
No sympathy required, Inland, but thanks for the offer, Per! This is just a good reminder that in steelheading anything can happen!
Bonus for the trip: we regularly had very large grizzly bears within 40 feet of us. They were more interested in the salmon than the spey casters, thank goodness!
Bonus #2: Beau is there, healthy and happy and playing hide-and-seek with a mama grizzly and her cub. Sorta like the Crocodile Hunter, Texas style!
Aaaah! What terrible scenarios you are lining out. To add salt to the wound: I checked the Skeena Tyee index out - looked gloomy as well. Hopefully those figures are so early yet that they can pick up?
Funny to be sitting here in Stocholm, across the globe, with so much concern about this. Guess it all boiles down to an insight in that some of the wildest fishing experiences of my life comes from under your rugged mountains, in dense moist forests and from bear scouted and stunnigly beautiful rivers. A steelhead shares my heart with a few big sealiced Atlantics........
SInce I am going myself in a few weeks, I guess I am not thrilled by your report(to say the least). The place can be humbling. Overall, it is a tough river despite all the publicity it gets for aggressive fish, and when it is slow it can be dreadfully tough sometimes. I know this: it is beautiful; It is a priviligeto be there on any trip. I hope I still have this same view after I get my brains beat oput for a week up ther in Septmeber. The realy sad thing is that run of fish is so fragile and apparently subject t o so many outside influences that could make the run essentially disappear in our lifetimes. Not a pretty picture frankly. I think I will quit tying for the trip though, based on your report, and just stick with the arsenal I already have in place.
we were below the canyon. it sounds like the peak of the run went through a few weeks ago, as fellows in the waters just above the canyon did well the week prior to our visit. during our trip camps farther up were getting fish.
I guess I was lucky then to get skunked on the Dean.
seriously, I think luck in this case had little to do with it. The fellows who fished the hardest and smartest under tough conditions got the fish--the more time your fly is in the water and at the right place in the water the better your chances. With the murky water the flies that went down fast down and stayed down produced best. Nobuo used copper tubes on heavy sink tips. With only 18 or so inches of vis, even an few inches outside this window meant any fish that were there had a hard time seeing a bug. Keeping a fly down in the bottom 1/3 to 1/2 of the water column produced more consistently than anything else.
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