West Coast Fishing Club
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Weekly Fishing Reports

Ebb & Flow Week 16: September 16, 2016

September 16, 2016 | 488 Views

Deepwater Don_edit
By Deepwater Don

From my seat in the chopper, the sight of the humpback whale waving goodbye from just off Pillar Rock was an amazing and curious thing. Of course she wasn’t really waving goodbye with those massive flippers. She was just slapping the surface the way humpies do, likely as a means of stunning baitfish prior to scooping them up, mouths agape. But it was fun to contemplate this highly intelligent and gentle-spirited leviathan one last time, and imagine that she really was wishing us all well from her home, as we began the airborne journey to ours.

<em>*Can't blame the Humpbacks for hanging around for weather like this! </em>

*Humpbacks playing around in the September sun!

In fact, we were on the very last chopper of the season for The West Coast Fishing Club. With all other lodges closed down except for The Clubhouse, we had been inordinately privileged this week to fish the waters of Langara Island unfettered by any other boats. It had been a wonderful feeling of solitude. On board the chopper were our friends, The Dock Rockers, four of the most talented musicians and singers that most of us will ever hear in such an intimate setting, where guitar amplifiers miraculously work in spite of being plugged in so very far off the grid.

<em>* The Dock Rockers playing for our privileged group of guests. </em>

* The Dock Rockers playing for our privileged group of guests.

At the same time though, it seemed puzzling to be leaving on this mid-September morning. Below us were calm waters, highly agreeable weather and the odd commercial fishing vessel still working the waters for the Salmon that yet remain. It would have been a great day to fish I thought quietly. But for those of us who took in this last trip of 2016, it had been the grandest of finales.

<em>* Perfect Haida Gwaii day. </em>

* Perfect Haida Gwaii day.

We had to be patient at times in our search for fish, but eventually we all found them. Almost everybody limited out on Salmon, and the trend towards larger and larger Coho continued, with most of the action taking place off on the northeast side of the island. No Tyees on this trip, although there were two taken on the previous trip (September 8-11) to The Clubhouse, the largest of which was a 31.5 for Darrell Gillan. And as the luck of the Irish would have it, the very last Tyee of the season – an even 30 – went to Padraic Kelly.

<em>* Don Wells and Chris Dale with a nice 24lb Chinook. </em>

* Don Wells and Chris Dale with a nice 24lb Chinook.

<em>* Kristie Nyrose and Dyane Legge with two perfect take home fish. </em>

* Kristie Nyrose and Dyane Legge with two perfect take home fish.

What we didn’t have to look hard for on this last trip was wildlife. We fished routinely in the immediate vicinity of Humpbacks throughout the trip, and for the first time I saw one come straight up and out of the water in close proximity. The breath eventually does return after witnessing something like that but it can take a while. We saw pods of Orcas on the move too, including an enormous bull whose dorsal fin could be seen slicing through the water from great distance. A din of seabirds was appropriately constant in the ears, along with the frequent snorts of sea lions that thankfully remained on the rocks and well behaved.

<em>* Dyane with a fine mid September Chinook caught with guide Screamer. </em>

* Dyane Legge with a fine mid September Chinook caught with guide Screamer.

And yes friends, there was music. This last trip had been a season-ending party for some of The Club’s most frequent guests and some happy first-timers who were dazzled nightly as The Dock Rockers kicked out high-energy tunes across an amazingly wide range of music genres. People danced, sang along, wined and dined like Monaco royalty, and some – three couples to be exact – celebrated milestone wedding anniversaries.

<em>* A group of new and returning faces gather on the back deck on a magical Haida Gwaii evening. </em>

* A group of new and returning faces gather on the back deck on a magical Haida Gwaii evening.

* Wishing We Were Fishing contest winners Cozette and Ted Ellis together on the back deck.

* Wishing We Were Fishing contest winners Cozette and Ted Ellis together on the back deck.

Weather? Sunny and down-right hot during one noon-hour in which I snoozed peacefully on a deck chair in shorts. That was the same day that Mick Dalla-Vee, Marc LaFrance and Ian Cameron (three quarters of the Dock Rockers) stayed out on the water over lunch and did business with Chinook and Coho Salmon until each had filled their quota. Marc’s 19-pound Coho was the largest of the year for The West Coast Fishing Club, eclipsing the mark of 18 pounds that had been set just days earlier. Ian grabbed the biggest Chinook of the trip with a 28-pound “Tryee.” Guitar slinger Brent Knudsen joined me and my good friend Lloyd Larsen on a self-guided mission that afternoon on “The Highway” between McPherson Point and Langara Rocks. It was a great session of hooking into 15-pound-plus Northern Cohos to end the year, along with a Blue Shark for Brent that thankfully sawed through the leader before we had to figure out what the heck to do with it.

<em>* Dock Rockers showing off their days catch with guide Steve Tennant. </em>

* Dock Rockers showing off their catch with guide Steve Tennant.

<em>* Marc Lafrance with his 19lb Coho. </em>

* Marc LaFrance with his 19lb Coho.

Alas, I am home now and pecking out this final salvo of the season while my friend and editor Chris Dale awaits, as he has every week all season long, choosing the pictures that we hope will help to describe these experiences that, in spite of our best efforts, remain utterly indescribable. It was just 48 hours ago that I bid a quiet farewell to the Humpback off Pillar Rock, and it is a most pleasant memory to tide me over until next she and I meet.

<em>* One last goodbye to The Clubhouse until the 2017 season. </em>

* One last goodbye to The Clubhouse until the 2017 season.

You and I will meet again too, dear friends. And when we do, we’ll again make indelible memories with some of the people that matter the most to us. The heady anticipation will build in the days and nights before our trip, and we’ll double check the alarm on the eve of departure. And when at last it’s our turn to board the helicopter, we will again be wide-eyed with excitement to soon gaze upon some of the world’s most rugged and impossibly beautiful seascapes.

Upon arrival we will be greeted once again by truly amazing people whose work and cheerfulness are nothing short of inspirational. We won’t know exactly how they pull off these 100-plus day marathon seasons, nor for that matter how the enigmatic Salmon find their way back to these waters year in and year out. But we will be eternally grateful they do.

And so until that time when we meet again in the marine wilderness, please do stay safe and very well friends.

And always keep a tight line!

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2016 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$4,865$5,135
  • Guided Package
  • 22’ Boston Whaler boat & Standard Room
  • 2 guests per boat$6,080$6,800
  • 3 guests per boat$5,595$6,135
  • Offshore Guided Package
  • 25’ or 27’ Boston Whaler & Standard Room
  • 2 guests per boat$6,590$7,470
  • 3 guests per boat$5,930$6,590
  • 4 guests per boat$5,600$6,150
  • Deluxe Offshore Guided Package
  • 29’ Boston Whaler & Standard Room
  • 2 guests per boat$6,655$7,560
  • 3 guests per boat$5,975$6,645
  • 4 guests per boat$5,630$6,195
  • Room Supplements
  • Standard Room$Incl$Incl
  • Ocean View Room$180$230
  • Single Room Supplement$310$410
  • Ocean View Room Supplement$410$540
  • 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
    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
    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
  • 21' EagleCraft$5,080$5,220
  • 18’ EagleCraft$4,920$5,065
  • Self Guided Package
  • 18’ EagleCraft$4,190$4,295
  • Rates are per person based on double occupancy
    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
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