Accommodations: Deluxe Lodge with Camps
Dates: July - September
Family: Sweetwater Travel
Location: British Columbia
Phone for reservations: 800-410-1222 ask for Gary or Paul
Species: Steelhead, Chinook and Coho
|The Lower Dean River Lodge - BC
There is no steelhead experience that equals the Dean River
On the Dean anglers enjoy summer weather, few bugs, water temps a constant 50 degrees, snowcapped peaks and granite rock faces in every direction, old growth forests, an unparalleled guiding and lodging experience and finally the finest summer run steelhead fishing anywhere.
Dean River steelhead return in incredible numbers beginning June 20 and enter the river without stopping until the close of the season October 1. Our lodge operates for steelhead on the fly within 20 miles of the salt so fish are blazing hot. They are often sea lice laden and as silver as ocean fish.
The Lower Dean River Lodge was built by Rob Stewart and Dick Blewett. Today it is owned by a number of partners including Sweetwater Travel Company and Billy and Mandi Blewett. It is hard to imagine improving the Dean experience, but in the ten years since the change in ownership Billy and Mandi have consistently raised the bar.
The DEAN RIVER begins as a small stream high in the swamps of the Chilcotin plateau of British Columbia's interior. It flows north through the well-known wild Rainbow trout fishing area around Nimpo and Anahim Lakes then turns westward at Anahim Peak and begins it's turbulent descent to the Pacific Ocean.
Natural barriers in this middle section concentrate a large summer run of Steelhead (sea run Rainbow trout) in the lower reaches of the river from June through September. A canyon near the mouth of the river keeps the weaker salmon out of the system. Only Steelhead, Chinook and Coho get through in significant numbers. Chinook Salmon enter the river through June and July and Coho Salmon enter late August through September.
Dean River Steehead start to enter the river in June and continue to run in waves throughout the season. The average fish is 10-12 lbs. but some reach 25-30 lbs. They take the fly readily from the time spring runoff ends in mid June to the end of the fishing season on September 30.
Dean River Chinook enter the river in June and July and can reach 60 lbs. These powerful wild salmon can be caught on flies and are a challenging quarry in the fast flowing Dean.
Northern Coho salmon enter the Dean in late August and September and can reach 20 lbs. Both species of salmon normally have modest kill limits.
Lodging & Food
The food is the without question the finest I have encountered(I can say this as I am not the chef) at any fishing lodge on the planet and the lodge and facilities are hand crafted and finished. Travel to the Dean is simple and can be done in a day. We run private charters and helicopters to help insure that clients maximize their fishing time while minimizing travel time.
Lower Dean River Lodge operates two steelhead flyfishing camps on the twenty miles of river above the Dean River canyon; each utilizes a different section of the fishery. Our Main Camp, in operation since 1962; accommodates nine guests and is situated approximately eight miles from salt water. It comprises a dozen buildings including six clean two-person guest cabins, a central building for dining and relaxation, a double showerhouse with indoor plumbing, walk in cooler, and a generator building which provides 110 volt power throughout the camp. From this location we flyfish twelve to fourteen miles of the river above the Dean River canyon which is two miles from the rivermouth.
Our Upper Camp, which we've operated in that location since 1972; accommodates three anglers and is roughly seventeen miles from the salt. It has four buildings and includes hot shower and electricity on demand. From our Upper Camp we fly fish the upper five miles of river navigable by boat.
Both camps are fully staffed with a guest to help ratio of 3. Meals are prepared with pride using fresh food which is flown in weekly. Breakfast and supper are served family style in the lodge.
Travel to the Lower Dean River Lodge begins at Vancouver International Airport's South Termial where guests board a Northern Thunderbird Air's pressurized "Beech 1900D" charter to Bella Coola. This typical 1 hour flight is over some of British Columbia's most spectacular mountain scenery. Arriving at the Bella Coola Airport guests and baggage are flown to the Lower Dean River Lodge by a West Coast Helicopter's 6 seat, turbine powered Eurocopter A-Star. This flight normally takes 35 minutes.
The river opens June 1 and the area we fish is "FLY ONLY" from July 15 to season's end September 30. The Steelhead fishery is CATCH & RELEASE throughout the season.
Repeat booking rate on the Dean is close to 95%, but we make an effort to give everyone interested the opportunity to fish the Dean so please email or call us. We'll be happy to make sure you are able to join us. The season runs from July 1 until October 1 and despite what some might say, July and September are as fine as August. We look forward to showing you the Dean River steelhead experience.
Prices vary - Call/email for price at 800-410-1222 & ask for Gary or Paul….or email us on above link. We’ll do all we can to get you “in”.