Head Guide & Partner
At a towering 6’6″ and 300 lbs, Dustin Kovacvich – Nicholas Dean’s head guide & partner – shares perhaps more similarities to that of Sasquatch lineage at first sight than he does the makings of a world class fishing guide. But, underneath his Bunyan-esque figure, Dustin is one of the most knowledgeable anglers you’re likely ever to encounter. His unrelenting desire in pursuing Steelhead, Salmon and trout in often remote, difficult to reach places has made him a pioneer in exploring some of the furthest reaches of the Skeena system and northwestern BC. He also possesses a rare ability to find fish in difficult conditions and is an outstanding caster. A devout outdoorsman, well read and spoken, Dustin is also an excellent teacher and his ability to elevate novice anglers to a higher level within a short period of time is exemplary. These skills and abilities make him the natural leader as head guide of the Nicholas Dean team.
General Manager & Partner
Chad is an amazing asset and the face of Nicholas Dean. Most often for guests, he is the first and last person you see when joining us on your adventure. His love and passion for fly fishing and outdoor pursuits has brought him to Nicholas Dean and we are grateful to have him. You may not be lucky enough to have Chad guide you, but surely you will see that he does everything, marketing, sales, hosting and of course the chauffeur for all fly-in guests of Nicholas Dean. He brings a great deal of hard work, focus and demands the highest of customer service from our guides and staff, which makes him a great asset to the Nicholas Dean team.
Amanda & Mark Ross
Hospitality Manager & Executive Chef
Amanda & Mark Ross are the quintessential power couple and driving force behind our exceptional Hospitality program. The simple truth is – there’s very few who can match their focus and attention to detail when it comes to making sure that our guests are looked after, experience the best in fine dining, and want for nothing! With over 40 years combined in the lodge & restaurant industry, Amanda & Mark are Red Seal certified, and true professionals. Amanda, in her capacity as Hospitality Manager, oversees all aspects of the guest experience at the lodge, ensuring that everything runs smoothly in front of, and behind the scenes. If you’re wanting another drink while down at the fire pit, don’t worry, there will be another on its way! Mark “Pit Boss” Ross is our Executive Chef extraordinaire, whose culinary talents will more than likely put a few pounds on you during your trip – fair warning! We are proud to have Amanda & Mark as our full time Hospitality “A Team” – if you’re joining us, you’ll soon find out why.
Assistant Head Guide
If you’ve ever hiked through the rugged northern BC wilderness with guide Sky Richard, you’ll come to realize that he’s part mountain goat, part river elf, part spey fishing jedi. He is a complete natural when it comes to navigating waters and leading clients to the best fishing around, whether by foot, raft or boat. Though quiet by nature, he is one of the most skilled anglers and guides you’ll meet, period. When he talks about fishing, you listen with both ears wide open. Sky literally grew up on the banks of the Skeena just upstream of Terrace and has spent so much time on the river he’s practically a fish. And, if you do happen to find yourself on the river bank with him, ask about his more harrowing river experiences – you’ll be entertained for hours.
Rock’n’Roll is the flavour that comes to mind when you talk and fish with Scott Young. From his long hair pulled back in a pony tail, to his Thunder Jet guide boat, Scott is a bundle of energy which translates well into his drive to put guests on fish. Scott’s love of Steelhead and Salmon fishing is conspicuous. He moved to Terrace in 2007 to live year-round in Skeena Steelhead country and has a cabin on the banks of the Kalum River, on one of the river’s juiciest runs. Consequently, to say that Scott knows the Kalum, Skeena and its many tributaries well is an understatement. A superb caster and teacher, Scott is a veritable fish magnet and guests always come back to the lodge having enjoyed their day with him on the river.
Dan is quite simply, a fun, jovial guy to be around, who also happens to have a single minded passion – Steelhead & Salmon guiding. Dan has been guiding for over 15 years and is the lead guide at Queen Charlotte Lodge during the summer. A dedicated and attentive guide, Dan is an excellent casting instructor who excels at reading water, knowing where the fish are, and working with guests on the water. His strong, customer-first work ethic and upbeat enthusiasm make him a true asset to our Nicholas Dean team.
Kylie is a super keen, well versed guide who draws on her experience guiding Salmon anglers at Queen Charlotte Lodge in Haida Gwaii, where she’s been in the lodge industry for over 8 years. An exceptionally hard working individual with the highest standards in guest service, Kylie’s passion for Steelhead fly fishing brought her to us in 2020, after working for several years at a lodge on the Upper Skeena. With her dedication and passion for Steelhead and the lodge industry, we are thrilled to welcome Kylie as a valuable member of our guide team.
Rob, along with new partners Dustin Kovacvich and Chad Black, will help with all aspects of the business. Rob has tremendous knowledge of the fishing industry. Since 1999, Rob has worked with his family-owned and operated business, Queen Charlotte Lodge, in a multitude of different positions. Serving as Senior Vice President for the last 10 years, Rob has gained invaluable knowledge of the industry and is poised to help Nicholas Dean with their next steps. Since the acquisition of Nicholas Dean, Rob has been asked by guests what he intends to do? His answer is always the same. “We have a beautiful apple, my job is to help Dustin and Chad shine it up!”
As a steelhead fishing addict, Rob has always dreamed of combining his knowledge of the industry with his addiction. With the support of Paul Clough and David Bossons, QCL and fishing buddy friend, a deal was consummated in April 2019 to purchase NDO. Fortunately for guests and staff alike, Rob will be around the lodge throughout most of the season. He loves people and fishing so feel free to sit by the fire and hear his story. But beware, he’ll want to hear your story first!