2015 SNC Salmon Derby!
June 1, 2015 | 2636 Views
Day One – Sunday, May 31
The 2015 SNC Salmon Derby is off to an amazing start with the best warm up day we have ever experienced!
Early Sunday morning and our Dash 8 was wheels up on time at 7:15 am. Several of our guests were sporting shorts and tee shirts with the near-perfect, mid-summer weather conditions in Vancouver over the weekend. Two hours and a bit later, we touched down at the Holy Grail of Salmon fishing and were greeted again by near-perfect (this time by Haida Gwaii standards) weather conditions. Low overcast, light winds and 12 degrees Celsius. Decent fishing weather for sure, but time to ditch the beach gear in favor of your trusty new Simms gear. The derby competition begins Monday morning and Sunday afternoon is a personal fishing day.
By noon, most of the guests were out on the water and the first fishing report of the season was only a few hours away. Long time regular visitors to Langara Island, Bob McDonald and Peggy Zoro were back at the lodge by 5:00 pm. Peggy was all smiles as she recounted her “best first afternoon of fishing ever” at Langara Island. She and Bob tallied a total of seventeen Chinook including five double headers. Al Lynds and David Rishel got their trip started off on the right foot with a 58lb Hali hooked in deeper water off Andrews Point and they caught and landed it on Salmon gear! An unexpected bonus for Dave Shigaki on Day One, a very nice 8.5 lb. Coho. Giddy Up!
Most of our guests had a very successful afternoon warmup session and had a chance to play at least a few fish each. Tomorrow it’s for keeps.
Here are a few great shots from day one:
Day Two – Monday, June 1
The northwest winds that have prevailed in the area for the past few days continued to diminish and the seas were calm by early afternoon. What did not diminish was the steady fishing. An abundance of Chinook in the mid to high teens remain available throughout the Langara Island area and guests enjoyed the freedom to move around and test different hot spots at will. By the close of the fishing day, countless Chinook in the 15 to 20 lb. class were caught and released and we recorded 15 fish over the 20 lb. mark. The Day One leader was Richard Graham’s fish at just under 25 lbs.
Tomorrow morning, the entire gang will be out and at it again.
Here are a few shots from day two:
Day 3 – Tuesday, June 2
It’s 0715 as I scan the southerly horizon from the serene emptiness of The Clubhouse Dining Room, sipping my first cup of morning java. Everyone is out fishing already. Images of Lucy Island and Bruin Bay are slightly blurred. Three explanations are possible. I immediately rule out hangover as I definitely had not over-consumed the night before. Could be that grilling legends, Chef Ted Reader, Park Heffelfinger and Christian Pritchard are toiling down at North Island Lodge and their smoker and grill are filling the air with visible evidence of smoldering chunks of aromatic wood and the tantalizing scent of juicy ribs, pork shoulders and beef brisket. I start to salivate. A quick step out onto the deck confirmed that it sadly did not smell like Kansas City during the American Royal Barbecue competition. Must be the final alternative. That classic weather feature we used to call “Charlotte Mist” – the signature image of Haida Gwaii. Parry Pass below was as calm as a proverbial mill pond. It’s a morning any angler would say “looks fishy”. This is The Clubhouse money shot.
Apparently last night’s recognition of Richard Graham’s prize for catch-of-the-day successfully ignited the competitive spirit in the room. Nobody was ready to let Richard claim the victory with a 25 pounder. At lunch break, the Shigaki clan was in the news again. Defending champion, Doug, grabbed the derby lead with 26.5 pounder while his father, Dale, recorded a truly rare and coveted catch here at Langara Island – a gorgeous 7 lb. prime Sockeye Salmon. No afternoon power naps today. Everyone was back on the water with a new sense of urgency and purpose. There were bigger fish to catch. The waters remained still and the first glimpse of blue sky appeared. There could be no excuses.
The field was well aware of the new benchmark fish and continued to release Salmon that did not qualify for the derby. By the end of the fishing day at 1900, only one Chinook could take over the lead and it was caught by Doug’s younger brother, Dave. Going into the final day of competition, the top fish is at 28 pounds. Lise Barrette recorded a 25.6 pounder and currently sits in third place. In each one of the four previous SNC Derbies, the eventual winner was caught on the final day. Stay tuned to find out whether or not this streak continues.
Here are a few shots from day three:
SNC Derby – Day Four – Wednesday, June 3
The big news of the day was that a fresh run of fish had arrived in the area and the increase in average size of these Chinook was noticeable. Our first WCFC Tuee of the season was recorded next door at North Island Lodge. Just the sign we have been waiting for. For the past three days, the majority of fish have been in the high teens and most of the fish in the new run are north of the 20 lb. mark. It was certainly setting up to be another exciting finish to the derby, complete with last minute heroics. Dave Rishel grabbed the lead in the late afternoon with a 28.7 pounder and decided to watch the final hours of the derby unfold from the comfort of the hot tub overlooking Parry Pass. Life is good! Despite a last minute challenge from Lise Barrette, Dave’s Chinook held on for the win and earned him a spot in The Order of The Black Hoodies.
Here is a great shot of the 2015 SNC Salmon Derby Champion Dave Rishel:
The overall derby prize winners were –
First Place: Dave Rishel 28.7 lbs. SNC Fishing Trip for Two
Second Place: Lise Barrette 28.2 lbs. Islander MR3 Reel
Third Place: Dave Shigaki 28.0 lbs. $200 Gift Certificate
Special thanks to The Clubhouse GM Terry Cowan and his wonderful staff and crew for a truly memorable experience. Congratulations to all and thank you for joining us for the 2015 SNC Salmon Derby. We hope to see you again next summer!
DON’T MISS OUT ON NEXT YEAR: Dates for the 2016 SNC Salmon Derby are May 29 to June 2. To secure your spots be sure to call us TODAY at 1-888-432-6666 or email us at email@example.com