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Return to Misty Moorings - Trip Tic V-2

Destination: Dean River to Sigutlat Village

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Route Briefing

  • This Scenery is for "Return to Misty Moorings" only.
  • Suggested Altitude: Start 1200, End 2400 feet
  • Landing zone is: Water - Freezes in Winter
  • GPS for destination: N52 57.04 - W126 11.36
  • Distance approximately: 47 Miles
  • Download PRINT-ABLE copy HERE
  • Flight-Seeing Flight Plan & Map HERE
  • Scenery Needed: Dean River

Dean River Flight to Sigutlat Village

This trip begins at PF32, Dean River on a dirt runway near the little community. You take off out over the harbor then do a slow 360 to come back around and head up the Dean River. The trip is 47 miles long and you will be following the river all of the way altering altitude from 1200 feet to 2800 feet. Your destination is Sigutlat Village, a little community perched on Sigutlat Lake at the beginnings of the Dean River.

  • The Dean River originates in Chilcotin Plateau and meanders through the interior high-altitude forest and grasslands picking up nutrients from the soils and eventually cascading its way through the eastern part of the Coast Mountains to the sea. Anyone flying over the Coast Mountains cannot help but notice the sea of white, even in the middle of summer. The cap of the range is also all glacial and, as the Dean passes through it, many of the tributaries add glacial tint to the river. The degree of tint has profound effects on the selection of fly-fishing technique and will be discussed at length later.
  • Above the natural anadromous barrier - a 60-foot-high falls - located a mile or so above the the junction with the Iltasyuko River, the Dean watershed is primarily the domain of rainbow trout. Because the nature of the Chilcotin Plateau soils, the water is richer in dissolved minerals than it is in coastal steelhead streams. The nutrient-rich water produces larger quantities of insects resulting in streams with good trout populations. However, another characteristic of the Chilcotin Plateau is its climate: long, extremely cold winter and relatively short but hot summers. So, although the streams are rich in insects, the growing season is short and trout, although plentiful, take a number of years to become large. While the fly fishing in such places as the Upper Dean, Anahim Lake and Nimpo Lake, has attracted anglers for years it does not form part of this treatise. The focus instead is on the lower Dean's world-class summer-run steelhead fly fishing that is sampled by anglers journeying far and wide to her banks.
    Native accounts had, for a number of years, led to rumours that the Dean supported a large population of steelhead. Confirmation of these fish came fromn the large by-catch of summer-runs by commercial gillnetters operating in Burke and Dean channels. By the mid - to late 1950's, the Dean River had begun to draw interest from sportfishers.
  • The first rod-caught steelhead were taken from Tanya Lake during pack-horse trips into the Rainbow Mountains by Bella Coola guide Tommy Walker in the mid-1940s. However, it was to be the summer-run steelhead migration through the Lower Dean above the canyon that would bring the river's fly-fishing world-wide attention.
  • Since time immemorial the Kimsquit people had poled their canoes to pools above the Dean's canyon to catch steelhead using traditional native fishing techniques. It was not until Al Else settled in the Bella Coola valley, and learned through conversations with natives or logging crew that steelhead could be netted in pools above the canyon, that the sport potential of the Lower Dean was considered to be worth exploring.

WaveTop VFR Plan

FROM : Dean River Airstrip (PF32)
TO: Sigutlat Village, BC

Leg: Harbor Tour
Initial Course: 338
Leg Distance: 5 miles
Leg Altitude: 1200 feet

You take off from the Dean River Community Airstrip on the 338 heading. As you lift off, you will see the community to starboard. As you go out over the harbor, you will see the medical facility (white building) for this area.

Out over the harbor, you will see a Brad's BBQ, log shipping docks and other businesses along the harbor front Begin a lazy circle to port circling away from the harbor. You will then see the outfall rapids of the Dean River to port. Adjust to fly over the rapids and begin following the Dean River to it's source, Sigutlat Lake.

Leg: Lower Dean River to Brad's BBQ
Initial Course: 066 ... adjust with river turns
Leg Distance: About 30 miles along the river route
Leg Altitude: 1200 Feet = 1500 Feet (follow the terrain)

As you fly over the outfall of the Dean River and begin your journey upstream, (if you have it installed) you will see the setup for the Dean River Regatta ... a boat racing scenario from RTMM. You will also notice the river has tiny red and green buoys indicating the route up the river. This is for the "Dean River Run" ... a boating adventure you can download from The Moorings at RTMM. You can also keep an eye on these little markers so you do not make a wrong turn as you fly up the river.

If you are going to land, this can be very difficult, but possible. Stay low and down to the river in this area to be ready for the landing zone. This happens beyond Waypoints 27 and 28. You will see a constriction in the river, it is safe to land anywhere beyond that constriction, Brad's is 1 mile ahead.

Leg: Brad's to Sigutlat Village
Initial Course: 080 (Follow the River)
Leg Distance: About 30 Miles following the river
Leg Altitude:1600 to 2800 feet, gaining as you go

Continue to follow the river. Adjust your altitude since you will be climbing slowly to 2800 feet. There is one turn you can easily miss near waypoint 29. The Dean River Splits ... you should go to PORT, turning left of that branch.

Continue to follow the river, make sure your altitude is about 2800 feet.

Leg: Approach to Sigutlat Lake
Initial Course: 330
Leg Distance: (Lake in View)
Leg Altitude: 2800 Feet

When you see the lake on the horizon, you should be in landing configuration. You will be landing just beyond the shoreline. The village will be on your right. Land and taxi back to the dock.

Welcome to Sigutlat Village!

Doug Linn
Charter Manager
Misty Moorings, Inc

(Revised 07.10.2012)
Copyright Return to Misty Moorings 2012