West Coast Fishing Club
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Weekly Fishing Reports

Ebb & Flow Week 10: August 5, 2015

August 5, 2015 | 3100 Views

Deepwater Don_edit
By Deepwater Don

I’ve decided there is something I enjoy every bit as much as travelling to Haida Gwaii on a fishing trip, and that is taking somebody along who has not had the privilege. I never get tired of the looks on their faces when they buckle in for the helicopter flight, or when they are greeted at one of the Club’s lodges by the world’s friendliest staff, or when they see their perfectly fitted all-weather gear neatly hung in the dry room below a card with their name on it.

And when it comes to the fishing, I never take the first strike. The first chance to play a Salmon always goes to the newbie in the bow chair beside me, and I don’t give a hoot if it turns out to be a 60-plus pound fish like it was a few days ago for first-time Clubhouse guest Douglas Smith, who took the rod five minutes into his first session at the insistence of his host Todd Craigen. Even though Todd may have secretly wished that he was the one doing business with that fish, my guess is that he still feels pretty good about providing an unforgettable experience for Douglas. The one thing that’s for sure is that they will both have something to talk about for years.

  Deepwater's wife and favorite partner with a typical late summer Tyee off McPherson Point.

*Deepwater’s wife and favorite fishing partner with a typical late summer Tyee off McPherson Point.

And even if your first-time guest or fishing partner doesn’t catch a Tyee, by the end of the first day they will invariably struggle to find the words to describe their impressions of Salmon fishing in Haida Gwaii with The West Coast Fishing Club. It usually boils down to the simple truth that they had no idea how important it was to go until they arrived.

At least, that’s the way I see it, and I’ve had the pleasure of accompanying several friends and family members on these unforgettable journeys. For some it’s bucket list stuff; for others it’s a reward for an accomplishment, or a chance to bond with special people in their lives. And for still others, it’s a partial means of getting past something difficult. I’ve travelled to all three lodges with people who have lost somebody or something, including their health. No matter how you or they cut it, it’s all good – really good.

* Seagull getting in on the needlefish action.

* Seagull getting in on the needlefish action.

OK, enough rhapsodizing. Although the number of fish has decreased slightly over previous trips, they continue to be larger with every passing week. At The Clubhouse alone, a total of 14 Tyees hit the board for the trip period of July 30 to August 2, mostly caught along the north side of Graham Island, tight to the shore and in shallow water which often makes for some pretty exciting surface action. (As always friends, I encourage you to read the reports by our man Screamer, head guide at The Clubhouse, whose real-life accounts about the action round Langara Island are often masterfully told.)

* Jeff Kuhns and his 41.2lb Tyee caught with guide Screamer.

* Jeff Kuhns and his 41.2lb Tyee caught with guide Screamer.

* Back into the water she goes!

* Back into the water she goes!

While none of those fish topped Douglas Smith’s 61.5 the previous week, it was the largest number posted to date for a single trip. Thomas Doig had the prize hog, a 46, followed closely by a 45 for Frank Terrasi, a 42 for Simon Kaplan, a 41 for Stephen Clark and a 39 for Steve Marsik. Mike Barnett weighed in with a 36.5; Oleg Shingin with a 35; Larry Diduck with a 33.5 and Susan Krever with a 33. Max and William Kaplan both netted 32s, as did Bob Wallis. Rounding out the long list of notable catches were Radek Srubar and Bill Hanus, both with 31s. Once again the bulk of these fish, and all of the largest ones, were photographed and released. Thank you ladies and gentlemen; may the pictures never fade.

* Glen Kaneshige and Chris Waggett with the PCL group show off a couple nice high twenties.

* Glen Kaneshige and Chris Waggett with the PCL group show off a couple nice high twenties.

* Bill Grey and his Tyee caught with guide Screamer.

* Bill Grey and his Tyee caught with guide Screamer.

* Brent Jones, Dick Jones and DC Morse with some late afternoon success off McPherson!

* Brent Jones, Dick Jones and DC Morse with some late afternoon success off McPherson!

Word from down Port Louis way has it that guests of The Outpost have been getting into increasingly large fish too. Bill Zielinski pulled in a 32 last week and followed that up a day later with a tubby 33 to win a friendly derby among members of his group. Trevor Mills made an impressive debut on his first ever Salmon fishing trip with a 32, matched by an identical sized fish for Stuart Anderson. But it was Nick Tosti took home the title of biggest Tyee on this trip with his 35.

* Great day for a troll at The Outpost.

* Great day for a troll at The Outpost.

Weather and seas permitting, the offshore hunt for Tuna continues at The Outpost. The father and son team of Clay and Allan Dowling, and long-time fishing buddies Paul Drost and Tony Roberts decided to embark on the hour-long drive southwest in search of the blue water. After locating the 60-plus degree fishing grounds and encountering a school of frenzied Tuna hitting bait on the surface, it was time to set up the gear. In a three-hour session the two boats pulled in a dozen or so Albacore Tuna with Clay and Allan each finding a 25 pounder.

* Gear set on the Tuna grounds.

* Gear set on the Tuna grounds.

The Halibut fishing remains as reliable as ever down that way too, with several spots for guests to choose from depending on the size they are after. Just three weeks to go in the season for The Outpost crew, and unbelievably there are still a handful of spots available for anybody who wants to experience the unique characteristics of that magical little enclave and the 15 square miles of surrounding ocean that guests have all to themselves.

* Succesful day at The Outpost.

* Succesful day at The Outpost.

On that note, and at the risk of sounding mercenary, I want to clarify that even though the fishing has been stellar right out of the gate this season, and even though all of the lodges have been operating at maximum capacity, there are still a handful of opportunities to share an untold adventure with someone close to you, especially if you are flexible with dates. Also, don’t write off early September as a shoulder season at Langara Island, because for the past five years it has been anything but for both Chinook and Coho Salmon.

 Chris Waggett with a 29 pound Chinook.

*Chris Waggett with a 29 pound Chinook.

Note too that The Clubhouse is the last lodge to close down for the season, and it’s an amazing feeling to patrol the waters of Langara Island unfettered by other boats in the lingering warmth of September. So don’t give up on setting your hooks on a trip in these final days of summer.

And if you can, take someone special along with you. You’ll be talking about it for years.

Until next week friends…

Tight Lines!

There are 4 comments on this post:


  1. Mike Walker says:

    Your team posts the best fishing reports I’ve been able to find so far. The stories and photos are excellent. I just returned from a five day trip near Bella Bella. The trophy fish eluded me this year.

  2. Hasnain Khaku says:

    I love your comments. Your passion for fishing comes through so clearly.
    I am visiting Outpost Lodge with 11 of my (amateur fishermen) cousins starting next Friday-Monday.
    Would love the chance to talk to you about the lodge and fishing tips.
    Hasnain Khaku
    Anaheim Hills, California
    714-719-7060 cell

  3. Tammy Charles says:

    Deepwater Don is right . . . it is a magical experience! Along with the surreal fishing experiences be prepared to enjoy the world’s best oxygen bar. Absolute pure air.

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