Ebb & Flow Week 11 ~ August 12, 2016
August 12, 2016 | 1600 Views
Anytime somebody rings the bell on a plus-forty-pound fish, it’s a pretty big deal. Well, Paul Sczeny, congratulations to you and to guide Bradan James for not only bringing this one in, but for also setting a new season-high for The Outpost. Paul and Bradan encountered this hog at a place simply known as Fishhook – don’t ask me exactly where that is friends but suffice to say it’s less than 10 minutes from the lodge – and at first thought they had hooked into a Shark. But after a long thrash of a fight that spooled the line down to the backing, the deal was done.
The trick was even more impressive when one considers the constant wind that battered anglers all over Haida Gwaii last week. At the risk of sounding overly promotional, I have to say one of the many advantages that the lodges of The West Coast Fishing Club hold over others is the close proximity to the best fishing areas. Nothing is very far from home base, and that makes a huge difference when battling waves and elements to get to where you want to go. That is particularly true at Langara Island, which has numerous leeward spots where anglers can escape winds like the strong northwesterly that blew for several straight days last week. Weather notwithstanding, the guests of both North Island Lodge and The Clubhouse fished merrily on sheltered waters and fared rather well for both Chinook and oodles of Coho over 10 pounds. Three Tyees were recorded for the trip of August 4-7 with the top hog of 37.2 pounds going to Shane O’Malley, who released the fish but understandably relegated a 30 and a 27 to the barbecue back home. Jerry Remaklus and Jefferson Mullins also earned their coveted Tyee pins with fish of 36 and 32.5 pounds respectively.
A fresh new wave of Tyees appeared to arrive in the days that followed, including another 46 that was hooked and released by Gilles Berube. Gilles also muscled a 210-pound Hali up off the ocean floor and then gave her a nice pat on the snout before setting the old girl free. Bill Strand did something nobody has yet done this year and that is catch two Chinook Salmon in the plus-forty range, a 43 and a 42, both released – double thanks and congrats to you Bill! Bill’s wife Brenda Strand also weighed in with a Tyee of 35.5 pounds. Doug Gowland and Jim Legget both earned Tyee pins with fish of 37 and 35.5 pounds, respectively. The Eveley Brothers – no not the Everly Brothers but close – Brandon and Byron caught and released a pair of identical twins of 33 pounds each. Eric Lebel scored a triple with Chinooks of 32 and 31 pounds along with a 180-pound Halibut that has since resumed combing the ocean floor west of Lacy Island.
The other Tyee anglers from what appeared to have been a highly productive week for guests of The Clubhouse are Jocelyn Riverin (32); Kendall Bonner (31.5); Scott Talbot and Andrew Williams (30.5), and Simon Cantin (30). I am happy to report that Coho are still around in huge numbers and appear to be getting bigger. There is no way to record all the names of the many anglers who boated Coho in excess of 10 pounds, but I should mention Matt Wapiennik, whose 14.5-pound silver is the best of the season so far for The West Coast Fishing Club, followed closely this week by Rick Luska with a 13.5 pound specimen.
There was also a bit of action on the celebrity watch this week up north, proving once again that you never know who you’ll meet when adventuring with The West Coast Fishing Club. This week it was country music superstar and actress Reba McEntire who blended in with the faithful gathered at The Clubhouse, along with her son Shelby Blackstock who is an Indy Light race car driver on the Andretti Autosports team.
Guests of the inaugural and long sold-out Coastal Culinary Experience are in for a treat starting on Sunday at The Clubhouse. The headliner is none other than Charles-Antoine Crête, whose new restaurant, Montréal Plaza, was one of this country’s most keenly anticipated restaurant openings when it occurred exactly one year ago in the city’s vibrant Plaza St-Hubert. That isn’t surprising to Montreal foodies who were no doubt well aware that Crête had risen admirably through the ranks from line cook to chef de cuisine under uber-famed Chef Normand Laprise at Toqué!
As for me, I’m off to The Outpost this week to fish the wild west side of Graham Island with my old school chum and fellow Tuna-head, Bluewater Bernard. Looking forward to seeing the amiable gang of guides there (hey Bradan, if you think you might know the whereabouts of another 46, please book us for your boat!) and savouring the sophisticated offerings of Chef Steph. Afterwards, as I’ve said time and again, there is nothing quite as soothing and magical as sitting on the deck and watching the summer sun setting behind Cox Island at the entrance to Port Louis. I will have a full report live and direct from those heavenly waters next week.
Until then friends, stay safe and well.
*Main sunset cover photo courtesy of Outpost guest Amos Kazzaz.