Where does the time go?
It seems yesterday when Jeff Hickman patiently guided Ed Bowles and me down an Oregon Coastal River and did what he could to put us into winter chrome. I’d mention the river but then there might be 3 people fish there instead of two, and my dear angst ridden fly fishing buddies would drive over to my cabin on the coast and let the air out of both of my boat trailers and siphon gas out of the tanks and maybe even borrow my drain plugs to teach me a lesson.
It wasn’t yesterday, that fine day fishing with Jeff. I do remember that my casting was accurate and powerful (ha ha ha ha), I hooked a fish with only my sink tip out of the guides, Ed lost a fish after several runs, released a kelt, I broke one of Jeff’s Spey rods using it as a wading staff as I fell into the river in slow motion with fifty feet of running line tangled in my feet, we laughed and told stories and had a great day.
Since then I’ve fished with Jeff on the Clackamas (too many years ago) and out in the ocean off Pacific City (just this year).
This season has been a time for me to shift from the hermit-mode that characterized my 2014 season to re-connecting with friends like Jeff. There just ain’t enough time to get all of my daily tasks done but I’m consciously working to achieve better balance. No – I’m not succeeding to the extent I’d like, but I’m doing better than I have for years.
Sorry, rambling as usual. Point is this – I’m late to figure it out, but Jeff and Kathryn Hickman became owners of Kimsquit Bay Lodge at the mouth of the Dean River in BC in 2014. Jeff and Fish the Swing is just now finishing up his winter steelhead season on the Oregon Coast while winter steelhead are piling over Willamette Falls and stoking the swing fishery on the Santiam, but it’s time for Jeff and Kathryn to be making final plans for their venture North to the Dean River, where they will host anglers from all over the world to fly fish for anadromous fish that are fresh from the ocean as they charge into the Dean.
Inseparable from the fact that Jeff is a trusted friend, I’m impressed with the full package that he brings to everyone he fishes with. Jeff is more than a great angler, teacher, fly designer, caster, teacher, mentor and guide. Did I mention that he’s a great teacher? Oh well, he’s a young man who loves and respects rivers, , wildlife, adventure, and people; he brings his positive outlook on life to his guiding, and the entire experience of fishing and hang-time with Jeff is rejuvenating.
Add Kathryn to the mix and you have two people who complement each other and are a pure joy to relax with, fish, go hiking, clamming, boating, breakfasting, and adventuring, as the opportunity may present itself. I only met Kathryn a few weeks ago after hearing about her for years. She and Jeff have taken on the challenge of managing a year-round swing fly fishing guide service – quite a challenge – and one that they are superbly qualified by skill and temperament to excell.
Jeff and Kathryn are nicely recuperating from a great winter steelhead season on the coast, their guides are busy on the Willamette as I write this, and there are plenty of details to arrange as they prepare to move up to Kimsquit Bay Lodge on the Dean and begin their season there with the famous/infamous run of magnificent king salmon that will be greeting clients in mid June.
The following notes identify times when a few slots are still available to fish with two highly skilled guides who work for Jeff and Kathryn. Jeff won’t be guiding, but he will fish just a little. Most of his time working with Kathryn will involve the basic aspects of hosting clients, helping maintain tackle, working with guides to plan the next day’s strategies and tactics, and generally making sure that the lodge runs smoothly and everyone has a wonderful time with their entire experience at the lodge.
There are currently still available spots in these weeks:
June 19th – 26th Chinook
June 26th – July 3rd Chinook
July 3rd – 10th Chinook and Steelhead
August 7th – 14th Steelhead
August 14th – 21st Steelhead
Cost:Prices are $6150 and include transportation from Smithers, BC. This includes 6 days guided and one day unguided fishing from the Lodge – 7 nights lodging and meals.
In my opinion, these are trips that are valuable beyond comparison.