Last week we covered the lower section of water that we fish on the Dean River – from the canyon to the river’s mouth. Today we learn about our upper piece of water on the Dean – from just above the canyon to 5 Mile.
Our ‘Upper Dean’ is still really low on the river. We’re fortunate to focus our fishing on the lower 15% or so of the river in total. Even on the water that we call the Upper Dean, these steelhead generally haven’t been in the river for long and they continue to earn their reputation as the hottest, strongest steelhead around.
The water above the canyon is a smaller, and more intimate. Here we spend more time fishing classic holding water, targeting both fish that are moving through, and fish that are spending a bit of time in a run before moving on.
The water on our Upper Dean is fairly easy to read, and in fact most of the fishing that we do on this stretch is self-guided, with guests fishing on their own or in pairs, using ATVs and a few stashed boats to access runs throughout the stretch.
We don’t really fish dries below the canyon, but above the canyon there are some beautiful dry fly runs. As John Hazel alluded to in our post on his Dean steelhead rig, here many guests will cover a run with a dry, then cover it with a sinktip, and then move on.
Classic water, beautiful surroundings and Dean steelhead combine to produce some pretty darned memorable days on the Upper Dean.