SKEENA – THE LARGEST CHINOOK IN THE WORLD
DEAR SALMON JUNKIES,
As you know, our mission is to provide you with the most exciting fresh water fly fishing opportunities on the planet. In line with that goal, we have decided to chase the mighty KING (Chinook) salmon of British Columbia!
We invite you to join us for an action-packed Chinook program. Please note: Fly fishing for Chinooks is a 100% adrenaline activity. It is not for the fainthearted. On the other hand, for fly fishers after the juiciest kicks in fresh water, not much else can top it. Our test weeks in 2014 got us completely hooked and is now part of our program and should be on every Salmon Junky CV.
THE MASTER PLAN:
We will target the Kitimat, Copper, Kalum and Skeena rivers, depending on conditions. Skeena region Chinook average 20 to 40 pounds and range up to 80 pounds — and perhaps beyond. The Skeena’s biggest have been known to reach 100 pounds!
- The Kitimat is a small to mid-sized river with cobble/gravel pools well suited to swinging flies. It is a relatively short river with great fly water close to the salt.
- Tributary to the Skeena, the Copper is a classic, mid-sized stream with kilometers of boulder and cobble runs offering some of Skeena Country’s most desirable fly water. It hosts a prolific run of Chinooks and extremely hot early-returning Summer-Run Steelhead.
- Also a Skeena tributary, the Kalum is a mid-sized river with boulder-studded runs and cobble/gravel pools perfectly suited to fly fishing with a double-handed rod. It is renowned for its oversized chinook.
- Broad and powerful, the lower Skeena is the main route for Chinook headed to tributaries upstream. In summer, the Skeena drains the melting snow of a vast watershed. But don’t be intimidated by the river’s size; fishing the edges where salmon migrate can be very productive.
Many people believe that the Skeena watershed is easily accessible and relatively easy to fish. However, that is not the case if you want to get the most out of a week. Many of the best rivers and pools are difficult or nearly impossible to access without a local guide, and often the only way to get there is by powerful jet boat (or raft) and local knowledge. Lastly,some of the most attractive rivers for guided fishing are licensed with limited access for only a small number of people. Salmon Junkies have access to many of these classified waters, plus a well selected number of coastal rivers.
- Includes classified rod days on the highly regarded mainstem Skeena (Skeena 2)
- Lower Copper and Kalum.
- These rod days/river access allows us to provide:
- Variety in terms of a client’s river experience (not just on one specific river for the duration of a trip – exception: Skeena Camp)
- A measure of insulation against poor weather conditions. If one river blows out, there’s often a chance at moving around to a different one.
- More Classified rod days on more rivers than other companies so can offer the best inclusive packages
- First class dining with Paul Beggs, who is a red seal chef
- Pioneer Lodge owners, Jezz and Pip, are focussed on providing a guest-first approach to our clients, as are we and Nicholas Dean Outdoors. This means service at the highest levels in the industry.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
What’s is all about? Well, no one knows that better than Jeff Bright, who has been so kind to share his article from Fly Fisherman magazine titled, The King’s New Crown. Please kick back and enjoy the ride.
THE KING’S NEW CROWN – A FRESH LOOK AT CHINOOKS ON THE SWING
Click here to read the article by Jeff Bright – sharing his darkest secret!
Jeff Bright is a photographer, freelance writer, conservationist, avid steelheader and a true Salmon Junkie. He hosts more than a dozen expeditions for anadromous fish annually, from the Skeena River to Tierra del Fuego to the Kola Peninsula (Umba & Grand Varzuga. He is the author of Found in a River: Steelhead & Other Revelations (Frank Amato Publications, 2002).
At a towering 6’6” and 300 lbs, Dustin Kovacvich – Nicholas Dean’s head guide extraordinaire – shares perhaps more similarities to that of Sasquatch lineage at first sight than he does the makings of a world class fishing guide. But, underneath his Bunyan-esque figure, Dustin is one of the most knowledgeable anglers you’re likely ever to encounter. His unrelenting desire in pursuing Steelhead, Salmon and trout in often remote, difficult to reach places has made him a pioneer in exploring some of the furthest reaches of the Skeena system and northwestern BC. He also possesses a rare ability to find fish in difficult conditions and is an outstanding caster. A devout outdoorsman, well read and spoken, Dustin is also an excellent teacher and his ability to elevate novice anglers to a higher level within a short period of time is exemplary. These skills and abilities make him the natural leader as head guide of the Nicholas Dean team.
Rock’n’Roll is the flavour that comes to mind when you talk and fish with Scott Young. From his long hair pulled back in a pony tail, to his brand new Thunder Jet guide boat – that he loves to drive at mach 10 – Scott is a bundle of energy which translates well into his drive to put clients on fish. Scott’s love of Steelhead and Salmon fishing is as conspicuous as a bull in a china shop. He moved to Terrace eight years ago to live in year-round Steelhead country and has a cabin on the banks of the Kalum River, on one of the river’s juiciest runs. Consequently, to say that Scott knows the Kalum, Skeena and its many tributaries well is an understatement. A superb caster and teacher, Scott is a veritable fish magnet and clients always come back to the lodge having enjoyed their day with him on the river.
The ‘man with the plan,’ Chad is the glue that keeps the Nicholas Dean guide team and operations running smoothly and efficiently in front of, and behind the scenes. His personable, likeable demeanor and focus on dedicated customer service is second to none in the industry. He’s also a very seasoned angler, guide and fly tier who can put clients on fish as well.
If you’ve ever hiked through the rugged northern BC wilderness with guide Sky Richard, you’ll come to realize that he’s part mountain goat, part river elf, part spey fishing jedi. He is a complete natural when it comes to navigating waters and leading clients to the best fishing around, whether by foot, raft or boat. Though quiet by nature, he is one of the most skilled anglers and guides you’ll meet, period. When he talks about fishing, you listen with both ears wide open. Sky literally grew up on the banks of the Skeena just upstream of Terrace and has spent so much time on the river he’s practically a fish. And, if you do happen to find yourself on the river bank with him, ask about his more harrowing river experiences – you’ll be entertained for hours
Kaid is a young, highly enthusiastic guide with a witty sense of humour, balanced with the knowledge and skill set to convert absolute casting newbies into fishing machines in a short period of time. If you plan to joke around with him, prepare to get it back in spades; this young man likes to throw down. As such, there’s rarely a dull day on the water with Kaid. A natural when it comes to reading water and knowing where fish live, Kaid brings a great deal of fishing mojo, focus and the highest of customer service to his job. Kateen, his canine companion, is one of the best fishing dogs we’ve ever come across and will keep you entertained when the fish don’t.