Ebb & Flow Week 11 ~ August 3, 2017
August 3, 2017 | 2188 Views
By Deepwater Don
Just four more sleeps, I think.
Let’s see…Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday…yup – four more sleeps until my favourite fishing partner and I make our way back to the marine wilderness of Haida Gwaii.
This time we are off to The Outpost on the exhilaratingly scenic west side of Graham Island. It will be a first for Kim, my wife and aforementioned favourite fishing partner, who has soaked up all that is wonderful about Langara Island in previous seasons, but has not yet descended upon the diminutive 14-guest jewel of a lodge that sits all by itself in the shelter of Port Louis.
Last night, in an effort to temper her expectations, I explained that it does not appear that 2017 is going to go down as a vintage year for Salmon fishing in BC, and that recent reports from pretty much everywhere in the province indicate that the fishing has been slower than normal for this time of year. She just rolled her eyes and said: “We’re going to The Outpost for heaven’s sake! It’s going to be fantastic!!” Of course she is right. And “fantastic” is pretty much how the vast majority of The Club’s guests have described their experiences this year, with close encounters with Humpback whales, Orcas and other forms of marine wildlife topping their lists of never-to-be-forgotten moments. And so with that in mind, off we shall go.
In the latest news, North Island Lodge welcomed back the Anderson group, a 24-person contingent led by their long-time leader John Anderson. We are happy to report that John is back after a hiatus owing to health issues that are now in his wake, and has resumed his annual visits to North Island Lodge, the first of which was 28 years ago. This makes John one of the charter members of The West Coast Fishing Club and we are mighty glad to see him back and in fighting form. According to lodge manager Todd McIntyre, he wasted no time getting back to business, picking up a 28 and a 21 right out of the gate under the guiding of his old friend DJ Shinduke. Todd also passed along the tragic news that much-loved group member Al Norris was conspicuously absent this year, having passed away in early July. Both a scholar and a gentleman, Al was a skilled radiologist and an ardent angler who made the trip annually with his wife Amy, who was also missed by all on this trip. Todd and the North Island lodge gang want to express sincere condolences to Amy, and their hope to see her back in the fold as soon as she is up to it.
Meanwhile out on the water, this year’s friendly derby champ among the Anderson group was Gary Olimpia, who under the guiding of Danny Snyder ventured over to Pop-Off Point, where they netted, measured and gently released a 50-pound Chinook Salmon, the top fish of the season so far for The Club. A 50 friends! As in five-oh!! Congratulations Gary, and thanks for the release. Hats off to you too Bill Ireland for opting for the total catch-and-release program on this last foray.
Conservation-minded angling was the order of the week over at The Clubhouse too, as exemplified by Kenneth McMahon, who caught a Chinook Salmon calculated at 44 pounds and then promptly sent the chrome-coloured beast back into the depths. Nobody would have batted an eye if DC Morse had kept the 32 he caught, but nonetheless returned to the depths. Monte Monteleone meanwhile took third place on the leader board with a 30. The offshore Halibut hunt continued out west of Langara this week too, and with consistently good results. Bill Price and Paul Carey muscled up fish that measured out to an estimated 150 pounds each before being released, while Steve Glavine bid farewell to one that taped out at about 120. Coho Salmon are reportedly still being found in moderate numbers, mostly on the east side off McPherson and Andrews Point.
Guide Carl Archibald reported in from The Outpost earlier this week and said that the fishing in those waters appeared to be turning for the better after an unusually spotty summer. Most of the action has been in the regular spots close to the lodge – Fish Hook, Three Rocks and Danger Bay primarily. The erstwhile hot spots further south towards Hippa Island haven’t produced particularly well so far this year, according to radio chatter overheard between boats from a lodge down that way. Wisely, the all-star guide team from The Outpost has stayed closer to home, where they continue to find the guests their limits in Chinook Salmon and turkey-sized Halibut, all bound for the freezers of discriminating seafood lovers back home.
But wait! Here is some music for the ears of those for whom a certain four-letter word causes the heart to race. TUNA!!!
I love shouting that word out loud, especially on those mind-blowing mornings when we find massive schools of them offshore from Port Louis. So here goes again – TOOOONAAAAAHHH!!! Carl and his mates have been watching the satellite imagery of the warm blue-water line that is steadily moving eastward and is now within striking distance for guests at The Outpost. The boys also stay in touch with some friendlies among the commercial fleet, who say that the Albacore Tuna that typically feed on squid along that blue water line are not yet in evidence, but that conditions for same are perfect. Could be any day now, and if weather and sea conditions permit, some very lucky anglers will be able to go after them. Having experienced such a bonanza myself three seasons ago, I look ahead to next week with heady anticipation.
Did I happen to mention that we leave in just four more sleeps?
Until next week friends, stay safe and well.