Ebb & Flow Week 14 ~ September 2, 2016
September 2, 2016 | 1206 Views
An elderly man I once knew, who has since departed this mortal plain, frequently cursed his luck at fishing, saying that “the fish always seem to be biting the day before and the day after I go fishing.” It’s true that fishing frequently goes from very hot to rather cold and back to hot again. In the case of Salmon fishing, I believe that it is simply because fish are always on the move in the world’s largest body of water. They are cruising for feed, or in the case of mature fish, are destination bound for natal streams and are merely stopping in for a bite to eat. It’s something we all have to accept, and I think for the most part, we all do.
Sometimes, however, severe weather seems to churn up the ocean’s waters and puts a temporary damper on the bite, and I have a hunch that was the case this week when 42 contestants took to the waters of Langara Island intent on claiming first prize in the 11th annual Fishing for Kids Tournament. On day one, they saw rain that would have worried Noah, and that nasty bit of weather may have been the culprit in the sudden slowdown from the fabulous fishing that I and others had experienced in the days before the tournament began.
Irrespective of the cause, the anglers in what we confidently regard as Canada’s most prestigious and benevolent sport fishing tournament had to exercise patience this week. But did they have a good time? No. By all indications, they had an absolutely wonderful time. It began with the kick-off reception last Saturday night in Reflections lounge at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, where contestants, sponsors and guests mixed with Vancouver Canucks players, alumni and staff and listened to the music of Alan Frew, erstwhile front man of Juno Award winning rockers Glass Tiger and co-composer of the memorable 2010 Winter Olympic Games theme song I Believe. The next day they made their way to The Clubhouse, where the camaraderie of being in one of the planet’s most fascinating places took over, along with raising big money for The Canucks Autism Network (CAN).
The winner was Glenn Fereday, whose 41.6-pound fish was guided by Kuiama St-Gelais, a former all-star guide at The Clubhouse and lodge manager at The Outpost. Glenn received a cheque for $200,000 for his efforts, but donated it all to the cause, as did all the runners-up, adding to the $820,000 total that went to CAN to support BC families living with autism. John Klassen, who coincidentally was in the St.-Gelais boat with Glenn, also tossed back his cheque for $23,400 for taking first prize in the Coho pool. The evenings were highlighted by meals to tempt the Gods, complimented by more music by Frew and company and assorted fun and games designed to further loosen wallets and raise even more money for a truly meaningful cause. Guests also mixed with Canucks mascot Fin and this year’s Ledcor Champion Child, Brandon Carinha. With the 2016 edition of the Fishing for Kids tournament now in the books, the total amount raised to date now tops $8 million. Congratulations to FFK vice-president Courtney Hatfield and members of her organizing committee and to tournament master Derek Nyrose for a stellar job once again. Sincere gratitude to sponsors and participants – hope to see you all back when we do it over again in 2017.
Yesterday, after the FFK group had departed, The West Coast Fishing Club’s Mark Hodge went out on the water on a self-guided mission with his son Jared and reported that the weather was wonderful and the fishing had picked up (prompting the memory of my aforementioned lousy-luck acquaintance). They had a wonderful time, as fathers and sons invariably do while fishing in Haida Gwaii, highlighted by a 17-pound Coho and a 28-pound Chinook for Jared. Then word came down from Screamer this morning that indeed the bite seemed to be picking up again. Scream fished on the west side and had, as always, some colorful stories about finding fish for his guests. After almost three full decades guiding at The Clubhouse, Screamer contends that September is a productive and peaceful time to fish as all the other lodges have closed and the Salmon feed in strong numbers.
That is great news for anyone taking in the last two weeks of the season at Langara Island. I am ecstatic to say that I will be among them, and hoping for a repeat experience of last year’s Langara Rocks season-ending party at The Clubhouse. The live music featuring The Dock Rockers will be incredible – that’s a guarantee – but I’m also hoping for a repeat of the superb fishing we saw last year in early September, which included a first-ever Tyee for Yours Truly.
That’s it for this week friends. The season may be winding down, but it isn’t over, not by a long hard slap-shot.
Stay safe and well, and tight Lines!