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BC West - Gear List

BV West - Gear

BV West - Gear

If you’re headed to BC West and the Dean River this summer, we’ve compiled a list of gear you should have with you on the trip.  Outside of our own experience fishing the Dean, we’ve worked closely with the folks at BC West to ensure you’ll have the right gear for your trip.

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small rod photoSpey Rods

If you’re fishing the Dean in mid-June to early July, you should be swingng a 13’ to 15’ for a #9 or #10 weight Spey rod.  For Dean River Kings and early steelhead, our favorite rods are the Sage Z-Axis 9143-4, the Winston BIIx 10150-4, and the Echo DH 9136-4.  Even if you are targeting steelhead in this time frame, it’s not uncommon to hook a monster king.  As the season transitions to mostly steelhead in mid-July, you can downgrade to a 13’ to 13’6 for a #7 weight two-hander.  That being said, most folks will still feel more comfortable with an #8 weight.  A few favorites include the Sage Z-Axis 8134-4, the Winston BIIx 8130-4, and the Burkheimer 8139-3.  We recommend taking a minimum of two rods with you.

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fly lines on the bcSkagit Heads

For sink-tip work on the Dean, you can’t beat Skagit style shooting heads like Airflo’s Skagit Compact.  We recommend taking a back-up Skagit head for each rod you plan on fishing. 

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fly lines on the bcSink-Tips

For sink-tips, you’ll want to come prepared with a wide variety of tips for different river conditions.  If you’re chasing kings, pack some 15’ Sink-tips in Rio T-17, T-14, and T-11 or Airflo CCT330 and CCT200.  For steelhead, you should have some 12’ sink-tips in Airflo CCT330 and CCT200, or Rio T-14 and T-11.  It’s also recommended to have 15’ to 12’ sink-tips in Type 6, and Type 3.  Rio’s Type 6 and Type 3 sink-tips come as a 15’ tip which you can cut back from the front if you like a shorter sink-tip.  Finally, a Rio T-14 sink-tip cut to 7’ in combination with a Rio Skagit Cheater can be deadly in high water.  It’s a good idea to pack back up sink-tips in case you loose one.

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fly lines on the bcFloating Lines

For floating line fishing you have a couple of options.  First is to fish a 12’ to 8’ Skagit floating tip with an Airflo Poly Leader looped to your Skagit head.  The Rio Skagit Floating Tips are 15’ out of the package.  Most folks like to cut them back from the front taper and put a braided loop on.  The loop makes for a clean connection between the floating tip and the Poly Leader.  Scandinavian style shooting heads like Airflo’s Scandi Compact in combination with a Poly Leader are also popular on the Dean.  Although short belly Spey lines like Airflo’s Delta Spey and Rio’s Windcutter have lost popularity in the last couple of years, they work fine for floating line presentations on the Dean.

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BC Running LineRunning Lines

If you are fishing Skagit and Scandinavian style shooting heads, you’ll need a 30lb.  running line.  Our favorite running line for the Dean is Airflo’s 30lb. RidgeLine.

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shop for reeels Reels

It’s imperative to have at least 150yards of backing on the Dean.  Dean River fish are known to take fly lines!  Make sure you have a large arbor disk drag reel with plenty of backing capacity.  Dean River fish have melted more than one drag over the years… Take a back up with you!  A few of our favorite reels for the Dean include the Tibor Spey, the Nautilus CCF no. 12S, and the Ross Momentum LT.

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Shop MaximaLeaders & Tippet

If you are fishing a Scandi head or Skagit head with a floating tip for dry line work, we recommend using floating and intermediate Airflo Poly Leaders.  If you’re fishing a short belly Spey line like an Airflo Delta Spey or a Rio Windcutter, a 9’ or 12’ Rio Salmon & Steelhead Leader (extruded) tapered down to 12Lb. or 16Lb. works great. For tippet, you’ll be using Maxima Ultra Green in 10Lb., 12Lb., and 15Lb.  Most anglers fish 15Lb. early in the season when hooking a king is likely.  As the season progresses and the river clears, it’s best to have some 10Lb. or 12Lb with you.

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Contact us for recommended flies.

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Waders & Wading Boots

Stocking foot breathable waders like Simms G3 Guide Waders are preferred on the Dean.  For wading boots, a felt or Simms Stream Tread sole works well.  Cleats are not necessary unless you are wearing a Stream Tread sole.  That being said, many anglers feel more comfortable wearing them even with felt.  While the Dean is not a tough river to wade, a wading staff is a great idea for fishing runs with fast current.

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Layering is critical to staying comfortable in coastal British Columbia.  A Gore-Tex wading jacket like Simms G3 Guide Jacket is essential to staying dry.  Under your waders and rain jacket, you should have base layers and insulating layers made of synthetic material like Simms Waderwick and Simms fleece garments. One of the most critical pieces of gear you can have on the Dean is an ultra light nylon jacket like the Simms Invest Jacket or Simms Gore-Tex PacLite Jacket.  The black flies can get bad at certain times of the season and a lightweight jacket helps fend them off.  A waterproof bag like Simms Dry Creek Guide Backpack helps keep extra gear dry and organized in any jet boat or ATV.

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