West Coast Fishing Club
Rated 5/5 based on 114 reviews

Weekly Fishing Reports

Ebb & Flow Week 2: June 9, 2016

June 9, 2016 | 1466 Views

Deepwater Don_edit
By Deepwater Don

North Island Lodge manager Todd McIntyre’s words from the day before were still ringing in my head as my step-son and I pulled away from the dock for our final afternoon of fishing last week. “Ya just gotta believe,” was the advice he offered in response to fishing that had been hot and cold during the first trip of the year. But after a couple of hours of nothingness, and only a few fish reported on the radio, I was getting a bit discouraged, not to mention disappointed for Chris who was there for the first time and had patiently endured my endless tales of smash-mouth fishing from previous trips. But after we moved a bit further off McPherson Point, things changed.

Having seen only bits of bait here and there for a couple of days, I verbally erupted upon seeing a cloud on the sonar that plunged from the surface down to 150 feet. That’s when two rods went off. A third may have too, but unbeknown to us, it was already busy putting involuntary miles on a thoroughly ravaged rock fish. We subsequently circled back and found the bait ball again and repeated the experience, with the back rod picking up fish both times. We hooked up again shortly thereafter. “Ya just gotta believe.” Indeed.

<em>* Believe in lots of humpback whales feeding when the bait is plentiful and the fishing is hot! </em>

* Believe in lots of humpback whales feeding when the bait is plentiful and the fishing is hot!

True, we would have liked to catch more fish over the course of our trip, but as I reminded Chris ad nauseum through the slow periods, experienced anglers understand and accept the inescapable truth that Salmon are migratory fish. They can arrive and disappear with equal speed. Mother Nature is a bit odd that way; she can change her mind in no time flat. I heard the line: “That’s why it’s called fishing, and not catching” more than once around the lodge last week. But never mind. With four Chinook Salmon in the box for our final afternoon’s work and a Humpback whale getting vertical as we pulled up lines, there was no question it had been a pretty amazing trip, especially for Chris. And that was the important thing.

* Fishing on a sunny day: Jacob Richler holding a nice spring with Jeff Hayes and guide Steve Tennant.

* Fishing on a sunny day: Jacob Richler holding a nice spring with Jeff Hayes and guide Steve Tennant.

<em>* Opening day at The Outpost was memorable for Steve Kasteler and Randy Waddoups here with guide Carl Archibald. <em>

* Opening day at The Outpost was memorable for Steve Kasteler and Randy Waddoups here with guide Carl Archibald.

"John Godlasky with guide Jason and a 25lb Chinook.

“John Godlasky with guide Jason and a 25lb Chinook.

You see friends – and I’m sure many of you will agree – it doesn’t necessarily take a huge number of Pacific Salmon to make for an unforgettable experience, especially when fishing a mystical place like Haida Gwaii with family and friends who matter to us. A few fish a day, maybe the odd double-header and we’re happy as clams. And a nice turkey-sized Halibut caught incidentally on a mooching rod is a nice bonus for guys like Chris and me. While I’m at it, the ubiquitous Lingcod, by no means handsome, nor particularly electrifying to catch, is one of the finest fish known to the human palate, as is routinely proven by chefs at all three of The Club’s lodges. And although most people tend to regard Yellow-eye as the lunch-bag let-down of Halibut fishing, they do make superb tacos.

<em>* Steve Kasteler with guide Carl and a monster Ling at The Outpost. </em>

* Steve Kasteler with guide Carl and a monster Ling at The Outpost.

The point is that after listening to conversations around the lodges for several years, I have concluded that the combination of living graciously amidst the marine wilderness, encountering some of the planet’s most wondrous mammals (I’m talking whales here, not sea lions) and catching a few Salmon and other assorted species is generally enough to spark folks into making immediate plans to return. The look on Chris’s face as we cruised back for our final epic dinner told me he was already thinking that way.

<em>* Whales feeding on the east side. </em>

* Whales feeding on the east side.

<em>* Eagles soaring overhead. </em>

* Eagles soaring overhead.

The next day we were delayed in departing owing to 60-knot winds that turned Parry Pass into violent whitecaps with whirlwinds of vapour sailing across the surface at great speed. As the wind picked up and the boats at both North Island Lodge and The Clubhouse began to pound the dock, and vice versa, the guides prudently untied them and moved out to the channel off Lucy Island where they idled them into the wind and waves. For those of you that have fished Langara Island for many years you know it is the perfect place to fish and escape the wind. Such fierce winds are extremely rare occurrences, but once or twice a year a strong south-westerly like this one blows up and it is the only wind that makes it difficult to fish waters that are otherwise sheltered by Lucy Island. On that particular morning the guides headed out expecting a 30-knot wind, but were caught off-guard when it blew to 60.

<em>* Korey Fletcher battling the southwest storm. </em>

* Korey Fletcher battling the southwest storm.

Eventually things calmed down enough for us to comfortably boat over to The Clubhouse where our chopper had safely touched down on a land-based heli-pad. Stepping onto The Clubhouse dock, I noticed head guide Mike Tonnesen, legendarily known in these parts as “Screamer,” toting a box containing two chrome-colored specimens that appeared well over 20 pounds each. He had a knowing chuckle as he saw my jaw slacken. Huh?! That seafaring rogue had pounded his way over to Boulder Bay in a gale-force wind, found sheltered water and boated two magnificent fish! Now there is a guy who believes, I thought.

<em>* Gerry Gobe and Steve Pavelich found themselves a nice pair of chromers. </em>

* Gerry Jobe and Steve Pavelich found themselves a nice pair of chromers.

In the time since we left last Friday, my editor Chris Dale and I have received lots of information from up north. Screamer, Todd, and The Outpost manager Jordan Knight have all filed excellent detailed reports in the last 48 hours (all three reports and photos are live on The Hub), but in summary all indications are that the fishing is improving, including the appearance of a steadily increasing number of Tyees. Long-time Club friend Greg Garske currently holds the top fish of the year with a self-guided 39 off McPherson, not to mention a 59-pound Halibut he picked up on the troll along with two other similar slabs that he released. My friend and fellow UBC alumnus Rob Brett once again brought the team from Mott Electric for their annual foray of fun. Presumably Rob is a big believer after grabbing a 34 to claim the first and biggest Tyee of the season so far for North Island Lodge.

<em> *Rob Brett with guide Clayton and a 34lb Tyee. </em>

*Rob Brett with guide Clayton and a 34lb Tyee.

* The Mott Electric gang.

* The Mott Electric gang out on the back deck of North Island Lodge.

Last week also saw the first guests of the year touch down in Port Louis and the rustic elegance of The Outpost, where executive chef Stephanie Noel is holding court for enraptured diners, who among other delectable offerings tucked into the salt-encrusted, seaweed-wrapped Salmon that is a signature dish. Those first guests battled strong winds on day one to great success, with lots of fish hitting the dock by end of day and throughout those that followed. And if you don’t already know, Jordan claimed the first green jacket of the year at the KRUD table (the game needs a handicap system to give guests a fighting chance against the more experienced staff, I’m thinking).

<em>* Signature dish at The Outpost: salt-encrusted, seaweed-wrapped Salmon. </em>

* Signature dish at The Outpost: salt-encrusted, seaweed-wrapped Salmon.

The folks up at Langara Island meanwhile continued to incidentally catch Halibut from 18 to 60 pounds while trolling for Salmon, and not just out west where the larger fish tend to congregate but also off McPherson, Cohoe and Fish Bowl. At times, such as yesterday, large pods of cruising Orcas made it temporarily slower, but lots of fish were caught and released in the low teens, with Coho starting to show up in greater numbers. Todd says that guides DJ Shinduke and Jason Wilson each reported double-digit fishing yesterday on the west side with about 30 fish caught between the two boats and the odd Tyee in the mix, including Rob’s aforementioned 34 and a 30.5 for John Godlasky.

<em>* Orcas passing through on a sunny day.. </em>

* Orcas passing through on a sunny day..

* John Godlasky with guide Jason and a 30.5lb Tyee.

* John Godlasky with guide Jason and a 30.5lb Tyee.

Other recent notable catches reported from our reliable friend Sara Meli in The Clubhouse gift shop are as follows: Rick Connors – 31; Marijke Mather – 31; Paulo Pessoa – 30 and Mark Basciano – 30. Sean Ivens gets honourable mention with a 50-pound Halibut.

* Paulo Pessoa posing with his Tyee.

* Paulo Pessoa posing with his Tyee.

* Mark Basciano with his son Paulo.

* Mark Basciano with his son Markus and his Tyee.

Lastly, it appears that yet another wonderful culinary tradition has begun at The Clubhouse, where this week the inaugural Back Deck Bourbon Barbeque played to a sell-out crowd of anglers with an admiration for barbeque cuisine and the finest from the Jack Daniel’s family of whiskies. World-renowned pit-master Tuffy Stone made his way north from his home in Virginia to present smoked and grilled fare of every description. The back deck was awash in sun most of the trip and proved to be an ideal setting for guests to sample bourbon cocktails expertly concocted by Jack Daniel’s brand ambassador and mixology guru Gerry Jobe. By all accounts, big fun was had by all.

<em>* Tuffy Stone and Jeff Hayes showing off the results of their hard work on the Yoder Smoker. </em>

* Tuffy Stone and Jeff Hayes showing off the results of their hard work on the Yoder Smoker.

<em>* Tuffy Stone serving up some Brisket to our hungry guests. <em>

* Tuffy Stone serving up some brisket to our hungry guests.

<em>* Beautiful view - check! Sunny day - check! Now pick your poison! </em>

* Beautiful view – check! Sunny day – check! Now pick your poison!

<em>* Gerry Jobe serving up cocktails for George McCarter and Steve Pavelich. <em>

* Gerry Jobe serving up cocktails for George McCarter and Steve Pavelich. Could you imagine a better place to host a Back Deck Bourbon Barbeque?

That’s it for now friends. Until next week, stay safe and well, keep a tight line, and remember – Ya just gotta believe!

There are 4 comments on this post:


  1. Parnell Kowalski says:

    Great update. Just waiting at the hotel to be picked up heading out to the Outpost for the first time. I believe. Can not wait to get out there.

    • The West Coast Fishing Club says:

      Thank you Parnell! We hope you enjoyed your time at The Outpost.

      The West Coast Fishing Club

  2. Carolyn Shigemura says:

    I’m packed and ready. Counting the days. We’ll bring some Hawaiian sunshine too…or moonshine.

    • The West Coast Fishing Club says:

      Looking forward to having yourself and Gary back at North Island Lodge!

      The West Coast Fishing Club

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Your comment will be displayed when it is approved by the site admin.

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
Reservations