West Coast Fishing Club
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Weekly Fishing Reports

Ebb & Flow Week 1 | May 31, 2018

May 31, 2018 | 2386 Views

30th Anniversary Seasons Greetings

By Deepwater Don

The first helicopter of the season touched down at The Clubhouse just before 11 am PDT last Sunday, with 12 noticeably happy folks who had likely been anticipating this moment for weeks. Within 30 minutes, another three choppers and 36 more smiling faces arrived. After a quick orientation brunch, they suited up, met their guides at the dock, and fanned out to various locations in the quest for their underwater quarry. And just like that, the 30th anniversary season for The West Coast Fishing Club officially began.

The WCFC team eagerly awaiting the arrival of the first guests of our 30th anniversary season.

Over the next 13 weeks, thousands of eager anglers will touch down at The Club’s three lodges with their hopes of an adventure far beyond the ordinary. They won’t be disappointed. In addition to memories that will last a lifetime, they will also take home ample supplies of wild Pacific salmon, halibut and other species that constitute the purest form of protein known to humankind.

Don’t you just love springtime in Haida Gwaii?

In keeping with tradition, the season opened with The Clubhouse’s annual Short Notice Club Derby, and as usual, there was an air of serious but friendly competition among the assembled, which included long-time visitors and a few father-son combinations, including Dad Paul Craviotto and son Jay, who have been coming to the lodge since 1994.

Father-son duo, Paul and Jay Craviotto enjoying the SNC Salmon Derby.

Harvey Hansen with his nice 19.5 lb chinook which put him in the lead on Day 2 of the Derby.

Tournament Master Randy Lee will post a complete report of the competition in the days ahead, but at the conclusion of day three the lead was held by Sonny Gallina with a 29-pound specimen, followed by Doug Shigaki with a 25. The first day was a bit slow but the action improved as the guides worked hard to zero in on productive locations and depth. On that note, I was mighty pleased to read earlier this week, head guide Mike Tonnesen’s (Screamer) always entertaining and informative reports, read here. For anyone looking for a truly expert perspective on the finer points of fishing, Screamer’s weekly salvos are a must-read.

Doug Shigaki with his second place fish of 25 lbs, caught during the afternoon session.

SNC Derby winner, Sonny Gallina with his beautiful 29 lb, winning chinook.

Hats off to the guides and staff at The Clubhouse, who have been hard at work throughout the month of May getting things ready for the first guests. Word is that the lodge staff graciously accepted the not-so-ominous task of testing executive chef Rob Ratcliffe’s season menus over the past few days, and perfecting signature cocktails, including the famous WCFC Caesar.

Meanwhile, just one day after The Clubhouse opened for business, the first guests of the year touched down at North Island Lodge. After just two days on the water, head guide D.J. Shinduke reported a bit of a slow start with smaller chinook in the 10-12 pound range but quickly picked up with the first tyee of the season being caught by guest Krista McBay with the help of guide, Graham Obee. D.J. also reported some nice-sized halibut being caught and guests enjoying warm weather.

First tyee of the season goes to Krista McBay with a beautiful 30 lb chinook guided by Graham Obee.

Guide D.J. Shinduke and James McBeath with a take home halibut.

For the 16th consecutive year, North Island Lodge manager Todd McIntyre oversaw the seven-day journey of the well-appointed floating lodge to its summer anchor in Beale Cove on the lee side of Langara Island. There they were met by commercial divers, who began the rigorous underwater task of securing the lodge and its dock facilities. With that completed, Todd and his crew set about to operationalize power and water systems while the guides changed out lines and readied their boats for the 12 weeks of non-stop adventure that this 30th anniversary season will invariably bring.

Nothing to report yet from down Port Louis way yet, but rest assured that The Outpost manager Jordan Knight and his team have been working sun-up to sundown in preparation for tomorrow’s opening. Watch for reports from Jordan all season long from the sheltered waters of Port Louis and the wild west side of Graham Island.

That’s it for now friends. Please do check back next week for a full report from all three lodges as we move head-on into another season of fun, frivolity and fishing on the mystical waters of Haida Gwaii.

Until then, remember the rule: Tight Lines!
Deepwater Don

There are 12 comments on this post:


  1. James McBeath says:

    My father-in-law and I had a great trip, with some great fishing at a first class Lodge. It may have been slow fishing for Haida Gwaii but it was still better fishing than I’ve ever experienced. The smile on my face with the halibut says it all!! Thanks to DJ for working hard to get us some good fish (and keeping the sea lions away!), and the rest of the staff were also excellent. I’m still impressed how quickly the staff learned everyone’s names and food and drink preferences!

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    • The West Coast Fishing Club says:

      Hi James,

      We are thrilled to hear you had such a great time and we hope to see you again in the near future.

      Until then, Tight Lines!
      The West Coast Fishing Club

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  2. Mark Rauchfleisz and Krista McBay says:

    Trip of a lifetime and one for the bucket list. Stayed at North Island floating lodge and woke up to bold eagles circling above and water outside our window. Todd runs the lodge with one of the best crews in experiened. From a firm handshake upon arrival to he hugs good bye from our guide Graham. Fishing was just starting to pick up but my wife managed to catch my Tyee salmon. Took 3 days to wipe that smile off her face and her Tyee salmon pin proudly displayed everywhere she goes. If you are looking good an experience of a lifetime, with gourmet meals prepared by some of the best chefs, you found the place. By the way, the dock hands and dinning team will make you smile and keep your bellies full 😀

    Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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    • The West Coast Fishing Club says:

      Hi Mark & Krista,

      Thank you for the kind words. We loved having you two as guests and can only hope we will see you again soon. Also – big congratulations to Krista on her tyee! It will be remembered as the first tyee caught of our 30th anniversary season, congrats again!

      Tight Lines,
      The West Coast Fishing Club

      Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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  3. Trudi Diening says:

    The excitement mounts…we are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary at NIL as the club turns 30 as well. Stars aligning in a magical part of Canada….say what? T-minus three more sleeps!

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    • The West Coast Fishing Club says:

      Hi Trudi!

      What an amazing way to celebrate your 30 year wedding anniversary. Congratulations! And thanks for choosing to spend your special time in one of the most beautiful parts of the world with us – we know you’re in great hands at North Island Lodge.

      Tight Lines!
      The West Coast Fishing Club

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  4. Roland Kleer says:

    When is the BEST time of year for SOCKEYE?
    Thanks!

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    • Don Wells says:

      Hi Roland. Sockeye tend to show up later in the summer, but even when do, our guests tend to catch only the odd one Targeting sockeye requires different techniques than what guides use for the more abundant chinook and coho species. That said, it is always a pleasant surprise when they do land a sockeye and I have had the good fortune to do so on several occasions in late August.

      Don

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  5. Gary Hammond says:

    Enjoyed your report, my visit last year 2017 was one of the greatest things in my life. I don’t know if I can ever make it back, but I have dreams and memories to last a life time. Every single thing about the trip was 5 star and simply unbelievable. Thank you so much for the service you provide. If it is your first visit or your 20th you sure are in for a treat.

    Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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    • The West Coast Fishing Club says:

      Hi Gary,

      Thank you for the kind words. We very much enjoyed having you at our lodge last season and hope in the future we will see you out on the water again.

      Until then, take care and Tight Lines!
      The West Coast Fishing Club

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  6. Robin MacGregor says:

    Good report Don.

    I hope to be joining my Bro again with his boys later in June. Couple of other friends joining the trip this year so let the lies begin!

    Robin MacGregor

    Rating: 5.0/5. From 1 vote.
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    • The West Coast Fishing Club says:

      Hi Robin!

      Thanks for the comment. We hope to see you on the water this season!

      Tight Lines
      The West Coast Fishing Club

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Short Notice Club View Dates!

2018 Pricing & Packages

Download Pricelist PDF
  • WCFC All-Inclusive Fishing4 Days/3 Nights5 Days/4 Nights
  • Self Guided Package
  • 19’ Boston Whaler & Standard Room
  • 2 guests per boat$4,960$5,570
  • Guided Package
  • 22’ Boston Whaler boat & Standard Room
  • 2 guests per boat$6,175$6,930
  • 3 guests per boat$5,735$6,335
  • Offshore Guided Package
  • 25’ or 27’ Boston Whaler & Standard Room
  • 2 guests per boat$6,655$7,570
  • 3 guests per boat$6,055$6,760
  • 4 guests per boat$5,743$6,345
  • Deluxe Offshore Guided Package
  • 29’ or 31' Boston Whaler & Standard Room
  • 2 guests per boat$6,765$7,740
  • 3 guests per boat$6,110$6,830
  • 4 guests per boat$5,795$6,405
  • Room Supplements
  • Standard Room$Incl$Incl
  • Ocean View Room$180$230
  • Single Room Supplement - Standard$350$450
  • Single Room Supplement - Forest View$1,000$1,325
  • Owner's Suite - Henslung Cove$510$690
  • Owner's Suite - Grange Point$770$1,025
  • Private Dining Room (for full trip)$770$1,025
  • Rates are per person based on double occupancy
  • Single rooms, ocean view rooms and owners suites are subject to availability
  • Private Dining Room is $250 per night based on availability
  • Ocean view singles available upon special request
  • Not Included: gratuities and taxes
    Each package includes:
  • Flights from Vancouver to The Clubhouse (private charter & helicopter)
  • Luxury accommodations, guided fishing, gourmet dining, host bar including beer, liquor and wine
  • Custom fishing equipment & weather gear, fish cleaning, freezing and packaging for travel home
    Packages do not include:
  • Tax, fishing licenses, gratuities, beer on boats and custom fish processing
Inquire Online
Download Pricelist PDF
  • WCFC All-Inclusive Fishing4 Days/3 Nights5 Days/4 Nights
  • Guided Package
  • 22’ Boston Whaler
  • 2 guests per boat$5,545$6,450
  • 3 guests per boat$4,940$5,850
  • Rates are per person based on double occupancy
  • Not Included: gratuities and taxes
    Each package includes:
  • Flights from Vancouver to The Outpost (private charter & helicopter)
  • Luxury accommodations, guided fishing, gourmet dining, host bar including beer, liquor and wine
  • Custom fishing equipment & weather gear, fish cleaning, freezing and packaging for travel home
    Packages do not include:
  • Tax, fishing licenses, gratuities, beer on boats and custom fish processing
Inquire Online
Download Pricelist PDF
  • WCFC All-Inclusive Fishing4 Days/3 Nights5 Days/4 Nights
  • Guided Package
  • 24' Northwest$5,250$5,645
  • 21' EagleCraft$5,150$5,500
  • 18' EagleCraft$5,020$5,325
  • Self Guided Package
  • 18' EagleCraft$4,273$4,520
  • Rates are per person based on double occupancy
  • Not Included: gratuities and taxes
    Each package includes:
  • Flights from Vancouver to North Island Lodge (private charter & helicopter)
  • Luxury accommodations, guided or self-guided fishing, gourmet dining, host bar including beer and wine
  • Custom fishing equipment & weather gear, fish cleaning, freezing and packaging for travel home
    Packages do not include:
  • Tax, fishing licenses, gratuities, beer on boats and custom fish processing
Inquire Online
Reservations