The Dean River is unique in the world of anadromous fishing for a few reasons.
- It’s in a very remote area, far from any road system.
- Its unique structure allows the pursuit of its anadromous fish right down to the salt water.
- 1 1/2 miles from its mouth, there’s a steep, rugged canyon section that anadromous fish need to ascend if they want to spawn.
The Dean River Canyon, also known as ‘the falls’, isn’t an insurmountable barrier, but for a fish to successfully climb past it takes a combination of strength, power and endurance. For half a mile, the river dumps through a long series of drops, small pools and very steep rapids. Over the millenia, any fish that developed a weak gene or two simply didn’t make it. Evolution has turned these creatures into some of the most powerful fish on the planet.
Clamp down too hard on the hookset and your 15 lb Maxima will pop like 7x. Let that fish get down into the next run, and the game is probably over. Got ‘er close after a couple of searing runs and think the battle is over? Not likely.
Thanks in part to the Dean River Canyon, this river’s finned residents will leave you in awe more often than not.