Ebb & Flow Week 1 | June 13, 2019
June 13, 2019 | 1453 Views
And We’re Off!
By Deepwater Don
Greetings friends from the Pacific shores of supernatural British Columbia.
The fishing season is just a week old but several tyees have already been recorded by guests at The Clubhouse and North Island Lodge. Overall, the fish have been significantly larger than last year at this time, with lots and lots now being picked up from mid-teens to mid-twenties. Things really heated up on Tuesday with four tyees reported at North Island Lodge alone. Up until that time most of the action has been on the east side, but with fish now showing up in other areas, including Gunia Point, there appears to be excitement brewing among guests and guides alike.
The Clubhouse season kicked off on June 6 with the 14th annual Fishing for Kids Tournament, which raised a total of $800,000 (you read that right friends) for the Canucks Autism Network (CAN). This year’s winner was none other than Vancouver Canucks right-winger Jake Virtanen, whose 32-pound fish was enough to earn him the first-place prize of $200,000. Jake not only released the fish after a couple of quick photos, but he also released the cheque back to the good folks at CAN to help support families living with autism throughout the province. Nice goal Jake!
Greg Sanderson finished in second place with a 29-pound fish followed by Jody Lambert with a specimen just over 27. Greg and Jody both released those chrome-coloured beauties to continue feeding in advance of their upstream journey later in the summer.
Participants were treated to mild weather and calm seas on the trip along with some great wildlife action, including a pod of killer whales (orcas) coming through the pass. Humpbacks were on display daily at various locations and there were even some baby porpoise sightings as a bonus. Country music star Aaron Pritchett played a fantastic acoustic performance on the back deck with guests gathered around sipping special somethings from the outdoor cocktail station.
Regulars at The Clubhouse will be pleasantly surprised to see some changes to the back deck with the addition of extra space to socialize and sit by one of many new firepits, or out of the elements in the new covered area. It’s a big hit by all reports so far.
Then on Monday the first regular guests of the season touched down at North Island Lodge. The aforementioned action on day two included a 38-pound catch-and-release for Jon Low, notably guided by rookie guide, Macgregor Johnston. Congrats to both! That fish was matched scale-for-scale by an identical 38 caught by Kerry Hawley on a self-guided mission. I cannot say for certain where these fish were caught but I suspect it may have been Gunia Point, which according to my good friend and neighbor, Ron Henze, came alive on that day, yielding numerous fish north of 20-pounds.
Ron is also up on a self-guided trip and capably slipped the net under a 33-pound chinook off Gunia for his fishing partner Med Eldridge. Truth is, however, that the pair were cagey about who was on the rod and who was on the net, insisting that it was “a team affair.” They make a good point though, for as all self-guiders know, working the net isn’t as easy as the guides make it look. So good work to both of you fellas.
Benjamin Barstad also picked up a tyee for the North Island Lodge contingent, a 32.5-pound model, found and capably netted by guide Bryce Belyea, who himself caught and released a 31-pound fish on a personal mission last Thursday evening. Not sure about you friends, but all this good news has me more than a little anxious to get out there myself, which I will do in the days ahead.
Speaking of the days ahead, the 2019 season kicks off tomorrow down Port Louis way as Jordan Knight and the gang at The Outpost are making ready for their first guests of the season. I hope to have some news from down that way next week, along with highlights from The Beef, Barbeque & Bourbon trip that wraps up today at The Clubhouse. The Club’s own Derek Nyrose, predictably volunteered to oversee this year’s smoky proceedings and provide his expert analysis, so stay tuned for that in next week’s report.
So there you have it. Another season is under way for The West Coast Fishing Club and it’s going to be a whole lot of fun. But isn’t it always when the mighty Pacific salmon return to Haida Gwaii?
Talk soon friends, and in the meantime, you all know the rule – Tight Lines!!!