Ebb & Flow Week 2: June 10, 2015
June 10, 2015 | 4052 Views
By Deepwater Don
Ever been to a big concert where the band rocked the crowd out of their chairs right from the opening number? That’s kind of the way this fishing season has started out. Not only are there fish everywhere around Langara Island and Port Louis (more about that in a minute) but the staff at all three lodges are perfectly in tune, nailing their harmonies and hitting all the high notes – even the newbies found their groove right off the count.
This isn’t anecdotal speculation friends; the evidence is plain as day right there in the guest comment cards. I was witness to it myself last week at North Island Lodge, where the inaugural Ultimate Grill Showdown was a bigger hit than Smoke on the Water in the 1970’s. It sounds like the SNC Salmon Derby was a similar success, thanks to The Clubhouse General Manager Terry Cowan’s team. (Congrats by the way to winner Dave Rishel, whose 28.7 pound fish secured him a return trip later this season.) Overall, the high-octane service culture of The West Coast Fishing Club staff never ceases to amaze me, particularly the uber-energetic and personable young people, many of whom are hunkered down for a marathon summer to finance post-secondary education. Nice work kids!
To the fishing – North Island Lodge guest Ken Gardiner rang the bell June 4 on the first Tyee of the season for The West Coast Fishing Club. Although it didn’t qualify by much, Ken was still pretty happy about the 30 he grabbed on a self-guided mission at Gunia. Tyees have been a regular occurrence since that time, including a nice his and hers set for Clubhouse guests Lad and Sandee Dawson, who celebrated their wedding anniversary with their first-ever Tyees, a 31 for Sandee and a 36 for her groom.
North Island Lodge guest Nathan Merkel, who was up with my old UBC Thunderbird friend Rob Brett and all the other fine folks from Mott Electric, moved the bar even higher on June 7 with a 42, expertly guided by the gentlemanly Patrick Davies off McPherson Point. North Island general manager Todd McIntyre put in a guide shift the following morning and proved he still has the touch, helping one of his guests to a 31 out of Bruin Bay.
And the beat goes on, or so it seems. West Coast Fishing Club Sales and Marketing Manager Chris Dale called me on the sat phone from The Clubhouse last night and said there are “fish for days off Cohoe and Andrews,” and that guests are also being rewarded with nice Halis if they are willing to put in the time. Chris also says that the mornings have been clear, with broken cloud in the afternoon to ward off the heat and minimal wind to stir up the chop. Not only that, but the humpback whales appear to outnumber the sea lions – more music to the ears.
Word from Port Louis has it that the hit parade is rolling along down there too. The first trip of the season at The Outpost welcomed a group of excited anglers hosted by Dominion Lending Centres and the fishing was on from the opening afternoon. One of the first guests hooked, but subsequently lost a very large fish in Brock Bay just a driver and five-iron away from the lodge. Other than that the bay has been a bit slow, but general manager Jordan Knight says that there are now lots of fish offshore in all the usual places. This first trip saw lots of Chinooks in the mid twenties and the first Tyee of the season on the final day to cap off a productive opening trip.
Next week, as the runs of Chinook Salmon continue their southward migration from Langara Island to the waters off Port Louis, there will be something waiting for them – me! Can’t wait to escort my wife – arguably the world’s most patient and tolerant woman – on her first trip to The Outpost, a jewel of a lodge if there ever was one, and an epicentre of gastronomic nirvana all summer long thanks to chefs Paul Moran and Stephanie Noel, two of the brightest lights in the Canadian culinary universe. Watch for next week’s report live and direct from Port Louis.
Until then friends – tight lines!