Dean River?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Slate Run, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. Slate Run

    Slate Run Incredulous

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    Just received an invitation to fill an unexpected opening at the Lower Dean River Lodge in September. Has anyone been there, and if so, would you go back? Any tips for a potential first-timer? Thanks for any info!
     
  2. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Water is already at August level, so low water in September should be expected. You'll be stuck on the lower river, and the peak of the run is in early to mid-August, so you might be fishing over a lot more silvers than steelhead. September should also be beyond peak crowds as well.

    Hell man, it's the Dean. If you can go, do it!

    I haven't fished the lower Dean downstream of the lower canyon or stayed at any of the lodges. Lodges have advantages, like hot showers and a guide to tell you what rock to stand on and where to cast.

    Sg
     
  3. ralfish

    ralfish Active Member

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    Its expected to be another low number year. Last year, was tough by most accounts, yet a few groups who went in when the normal prime had already passed, did well. As Salmo already has said, its wicked low water this year, though, in the last day or so, some snow finally has started to melt so at least the gin clear water has coloured up a bit.

    Its the Dean. You dont go there to rack up numbers. If you are a steelheader, this is holy ground; treat the resource as such. Depending where you are going most of the steelhead will be above the canyon by then. They aren't shy fish and are well known to be extremely surface oriented, even in water that has vis less than a couple of feet. I like to swing pretty small waked bugs there, especially behind guys fixated on using humongous junk. Make yourself familiar with the regs especially for whatever area you will be in.
     
  4. Broderick Smith

    Broderick Smith SeaToTree

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    I went to the Dean a few years ago - all I can say is if you don't go you're f'in crazy. Go.
     
  5. Albula

    Albula Member

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    I have been fortunate to have been spending a week at LDRL for the past 30 years. Believe me the only emotion stronger than the excitement of first seeing the river each year is the supreme melancholy of seeing it disappear on the way out. It will be the shortest week you will ever spend regardless of the run strength. Billy and crew run as fine an operation as you will find and do so in a spectacular wilderness setting. The incredible fish are just a bonus.
     
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  6. sleestak240

    sleestak240 Active Member

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    I believe the Lower Dean Lodge, despite its name, is not truly on the "lower Dean". Most people refer to the Lower Dean as the few km below the falls, and the Upper Dean as the rest of the river above the falls. I think the Lower Dean Lodge is actually several km above the falls. The only two lodges that have permits to work the first few km and that are located below the falls are Blackwell's and BC West.

    Being above the falls, I would think you could still expect to find steelhead holding in the Upper stretches. Might not be as red hot as with the fresh fish rolling in every day, but still worth the trip.
     
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  7. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Good point Sleestak. I was thinking of Blackwell's and BC West, downstream of the lower canyon. I keep forgetting that the lowermost lodge upstream of the canyon is called the Lower Dean River Lodge, which is a good location. If that's where his invitation is for, he should definitely go.

    Sg
     
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  8. Albula

    Albula Member

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    The lower Dean is below a 60 foot anadramous fish barrier that occurs about one mile above the confluence of the Dean and the Iltasyuko. There are no steelhead or salmon upstream of this barrier although a very fine rainbow fishery exists. Above that falls is known as the Upper Dean and there are also lodge opportunities there as well as DYI fishing. The falls you refer to is really a just a canyon a short distance above tidal water through which the fish travel once water levels allow.
     
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  9. Slate Run

    Slate Run Incredulous

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    Thanks for the thoughtful comments. I'm "all in."
     
  10. sleestak240

    sleestak240 Active Member

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    That may be the case from a cartographer's/map standpoint, but to basically every steelhead angler I've ever met, both on the Dean and elsewhere that has been to the Dean, the Lower Dean is the 3-4 KM below the canyon and the Upper Dean is everything else. Again, that's purely from an angler's standpoint. You are correct in that the "falls" I refer to is a "canyon" containing a series of pretty intense rapids; again, most anglers just refer to it as "the falls".
     
  11. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Albula,

    Thanks for the clarification. Now that you mention it, that makes sense because that is called the "lower Dean lodge" and is run by the folks that have a resort at Nimpo Lake, which is "way upper" Dean, far upstream of the anadromous zone. I just can't keep straight in my head the 4 lodges in the steelhead zone upstream of the lower canyon, which has 2 more lodges on the very lower Dean near tidewater.

    The upshot is that Slate Run should jump on this opportunity, and it looks like he is doing so.

    Sg
     
  12. Albula

    Albula Member

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    The four lodges above the canyon are in essence but two main lodges and two smaller satellite "upper" camps, each a part of the operation of one of the two lower lodges. The first lodge above the canyon, Hodson's, also has the uppermost camp above Giant's. Lower Dean River Lodge operates an upper camp in the water's below Giant's. My next glimpse of The Dean cannot come too soon. The place gets in your blood.