BRITISH COLUMBIA – DEAN RIVER – BC WEST LODGE
BC's most highly prized Steelhead River
The Dean River
The Dean River is considered by many to be the premier Steelhead River in British Columbia. A medium sized river it is dwarfed by the towering backdrop of mountainous snow covered peaks from every perspective. To fish in these surroundings is simply awe-inspiring and the scale of the surroundings has to be experienced to be believed. The lodge has access to the upper and lower sections of the river with the fishing focus changing from the lower to the upper river as the season progresses.
Breathtaking wilderness is how one might view the surroundings. From your flight in via a floatplane, either over the mountains or winding your way beneath the clouds along the Dean channel, you cannot fail to be entranced by the backdrop. The snow and glacier covered peaks drop almost vertically downwards, thousands of feet, and yet somehow pine trees cling precariously to these slopes.
The Fishing –Steelhead & King Salmon
If the surroundings are a distraction and they certainly are the fish, which run the river, are legendary. What makes separates the Dean from other similar rivers is a narrow and fearsome gorge, which is impassible by fish until the river subsides somewhat in mid-summer. Even then it prevents all but the strongest fish from ascending to the upper river and quite possibly this has led to a genetic strain of Chinook Salmon, (Kings) and Steelhead which are almost unstoppable. Whilst the Steelhead may be the most sort after trophy fish on the Dean, the Chinook salmon are probably indicative of the power that both fish have. Quite simply it is a rare feat to land a Chinook of over 20lbs, on a fly rod. Not that they do not exist; fish of 40 lbs and above are present, but simply they have a habit of disappearing in the direction they came equipped with your fly, line and backing!
Moving into July and August the focus shifts from the Kings to the Steelhead which will now be running the rapids and rest in the pools above the falls prior to running the rest of the river. This is a much more intimate part of the river and the Steelhead will readily take a dry fly skated along the surface.
Guiding & River Transport
As with most fishing in BC, lodges or outfitters only have a limited number of ‘guide days’. This means that during your stay you will be unguided on certain sections although you will of course be given a full briefing as to where to go. The lower section of the Dean is fully guided with transport being provided from the base of the canyon to the river mouth via jet boat. On the upper section anglers are provided with an individual quad bike allowing them access to all the available fishing.
Accommodation - BC West Lodge
The lodge is located on the lower Dean in the shadow of Kimsquit Peak and within earshot of the Dean River canyon. Consisting of a central house, containing the dining rooms, kitchen and lodge staff. Accommodation is in simple but comfortable wooden stove heated twin and individual cabins. In the evening there is a cosy log fired cabin for supper, drinks and the usual post action debriefing.
Best Times to Go
The Dean is considered one of the most prized Steelhead rivers in BC. Spaces at BC West lodge are very limited and to stand a good chance of fishing here you should consider placing your name on the waiting list 1 year or more prior to your trip. WhereWiseMenFish maintains a few places at BC West each year.
To get to the Dean river require an international flight to Vancouver where you then take a 1 hr connecting flight to Bella Coola. Guests overnight at a hotel in Bella Coola before taking a floatplane to the lodge early the following day.
Availability and Pricing for the 2014 Season
If you would like to know more about this trip, please contact us and we will provide you with more details. For availabilities, prices, pre trip information, booking form etc. please contact:
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photo credits:Select pictures by David Lambroughton[back to top]