The 2009 edition of Nicholas Dean's Skeena Camp was well-appointed and perfectly situated at the upstream end of a very long cobble bar. Overall, the elements were favorable and fish traffic heavy. The "highway" was bumper-to-bumper with an immense run of pink salmon, coho were plentiful and steelhead were sporadically mixed in. Bent rods were a common sight the entire week.
Kermit Clum and his father, Guy, made their first visit to Skeena Country and did quite well. Kermit was a fishing machine — he had to be pried from the river for meals — and his persistence...
paid handsomely. This fine steelhead was the camp's first. And a striking fish it was (next photo). The elder Clum waited several days...
Cold drinks and a hot lunch provided a welcome break for Anne (left). Mid-week she had "one of the best fishing days of my life" catching coho after coho. Camp assistant JR (right)...
The host will forever remember Friday, August 14. At roughly 6:00 PM, mid-bar, a great steelhead took the fly with a vengeance. Immediately, the fish bolted, emptying the reel — over 200 yards of backing gone in an instant. A stumbling chase ensued. Eventually, and for some time, man and fish were separated by only a very short line. Back and forth it went. A few clicks out, a few clicks in...
The broad, transparent tail breaking the surface, black spots silhouetted sharply in the glare of the dropping sun, the unmovable weight, all burned in memory.
Two groups visited the Zymoetz River during the week. Always a joy to fish, but sometimes moody in mid-August, the river surrendered only a 10-pound steelhead to Bob Charlon. In between camp weeks one and two, the host and Nicholas Dean guide Jeff Langley tried the river. The host rose one to a waking fly and Jeff followed with a wet fly on a sinking tip to take the fish, an immaculate 16-pounder. A mild summer day, a beautiful river, a perfect summer steelhead, the company of a good friend...tell me, what could be better?

to find a steelhead but, throughout the week, was in frequent contact with the Skeena's feisty coho and pink salmon.
Anne Vitale and Will Colson have been guests at each Skeena Camp since its inception in 2006. Each year, Will wrestles with a big fish or two. This year was no exception. Like so many of the Skeena's giants do, this one found a way to avoid the shore — a mid-stream log pile, the culprit here.
approached the host with a burger and guide Dale Smith handled the flipping and perfected his suntan...The two Bobs, Charlon and Cherry (above), concentrated on the water fit for spey casting. Charlon landed his two personal-best steelhead and the highlight for Cherry was a heavyweight bout with a chinook that surely would have topped 30 pounds. The big salmon escaped JR's attempt to net it.