Ebb & Flow Report Week 17 ~ September 14, 2017
September 14, 2017 | 2514 Views
Saving the Best for Last
By Deepwater Don
Where oh where to begin…
In truth friends, that may well have been the most memorable trip I have ever experienced to Langara Island. It was as though Mother Nature and The Clubhouse staff conspired to save their very best for last.
Let’s start with the weather – hot and sunny, especially on The Clubhouse deck. It may have been mid-September but it was still summer friends. As we cruised out under blue skies and on gentle seas to fish “the highway” between McPherson Point and Langara Rocks, I wondered why anyone would decide the season was over. Humpback whales cruised lazily about, arching their tails in the air to begin a dive or slapping a massive fluke on the water. The sea lions were well behaved for the most part, staying on the rocks and serving notice of their presence with loud baritone snorts. The peaks of the coastal mountain ranges of Alaska lay strikingly across the strait, eagles soared overhead and…well, you get the picture. It was Haida Gwaii at her very best.
The End-of-Season Party was so much fun to just be there, especially with the Dock Rockers kicking out red hot rock and roll every night. Fresh off a recording session with Randy Bachman, the boys were even more musically attuned to one another than usual, and the full house of guests were clearly mesmerized with their vast repertoire of classic rock. Having played the drums for a living myself in a previous millennium, I sat in for a few tunes each night and was impressed at how darn easy it is to play with people who do it with such confidence and expertise. As an aside to guest Jim Currie, nice vocal addition on Honky Tonk Women. And Dave (T-Bone) Sligh, good job getting the crowd moving on the dance floor. You and your gentlemanly pals from the southern states were an absolute pleasure to have in the house.
Speaking of the Dock Rockers, hats off to Mick Dalla-Vee, Marc LaFrance, Brent Knudsen and Ian Cameron for being on hand for a third season, and not only for the music and energy you brought to The Clubhouse, but also the friendly interaction with all the guests, many of whom made it clear they will be back in one year’s time. And our hats also go off to Rick Grange and Brian Legge, who co-founded The West Coast Fishing Club 29 years ago and forced the entire industry to get serious about service. Best of all, they used their imaginations to create experiences nothing short of extraordinary through a commitment to dining, creature comforts, special events – including live music – philanthropic fishing tournaments and conservation efforts “to put more fish back in than we take out.” It is an honour to be a part of what you created.
And no wrap-up report could be complete without a reverent note of appreciation to the people who spent 140 straight days up at The Clubhouse and looked after every guest whim with expertise, spirit and warmth. To all of the people who toiled relentlessly since May, we wish you the very best in the adventures to come, whether it be travelling the world looking for some well-deserved fun, a return to school, or just letting a little of life’s water flow to decide what comes next. On behalf of all of the 2000-plus guests of 2017, thank you to you and your colleagues at North Island Lodge and The Outpost. At the end of the day, it’s you more than anything else that makes The Club what is is.
As for those 2000-plus guests, there is no adequate way to thank you for choosing one of the lodges of The West Coast Fishing Club for your marine wilderness getaway in 2017. I am guessing that most of you agree that one of the many great things about a visit to one of the lodges is the opportunity to interact with so many extraordinary people through the commonality of fishing and gracious living amidst the marine wilderness. We estimate that you caught over 100 tyee-sized salmon this year, and it is with gratitude that we note that you opted to release the vast majority of them to help preserve the upper end of the gene pool. Thank you for doing so and thank you for coming from across North America and beyond to share your time and laughter in so many memorable ways.
And so for the last time in 2017, here are the highlights from the leader board. During the September 7-10 trip, the top fish went to Terry Canning, which at 32 pounds turned out to be the final tyee of the season for The Club. Bill Ruff came ever so close with a 28.5 while Eli Howard and Alan Makovicka tied for third place with 27-pound versions.
The End Of Season Party top chinook salmon went to Maxime Douellou for a 25. Dock Rockers drummer Marc LaFrance snuck in a 21 in the final minutes of the season to take the last plus-20 fish of the year.
One final note of thanks to close and that is to my friends at The West Coast Fishing Club who gather photos and data together that we used in this year’s weekly reports – Stephanie Hansen, Patricia Wu, Derek Nyrose and Chris Dale. Couldn’t have done it without you all chipping in where you could, so thank you all from me.
Until we meet again, please stay safe and well friends. And remember that whenever and wherever you go to match wits with nature on the water…always, always, always keep a tight line!
See you in 2018.