Ebb & Flow Week 3 | June 14, 2018
June 14, 2018 | 1582 Views
The WCFC Has It All!
By Deepwater Don
Greetings friends, from the marine wilderness of Langara Island, where nobody – and I mean nobody – is roughing it. On the contrary, we the privileged have been pampered by service and creature comforts for which our hosts are legendary, and satiated by food and drink to tempt the gods.
More specifically, my wife and I are here at The Clubhouse taking in this year’s International Culinary Series event, which on the second night featured a dinner and wine pairing of extraordinary refinement, courtesy of guest chef Gary Foulkes of London England’s Michelin-starred Angler restaurant and Mission Hill wines ambassador Rocco D’Agostino. The following morning Kim joined some other kitchen keeners for a hands-on cooking demonstration by Chef Gary during which they followed his lead to create Lobster Minestrone. I peeked in on them just after they had finished up the consumption part of the exercise, happy campers all in their customized black aprons.
From what I can tell, everybody here remains in very good spirits in spite of the intermittent fishing (more on that in a minute), especially when the evening meal is served in the solarium dining room, which affords views of land and seas that are unmatched at any food establishment in the province. But for some reason – maybe it’s just the long winter we just went through across Canada – everything seems even more far beyond the ordinary than ever. For example, on day two we were trolling gently along the eastern shores of Langara Island, soaking up June sunshine and watching a humpback whale on patrol just a hundred or so metres away. As we quietly counted our blessings to be in a place where such sightings are routine, a female voice came over the radio with a friendly reminder to a guest about her 6 pm massage appointment. Kim and I looked at each other and chuckled. Only here as a guest of The Club can a person experience such diametrically opposed extremes of luxury and nature.
Now about the fishing…to be frank, it’s still not great. At least not yet. At lunch yesterday, somebody observed that it felt like we have assembled for a surprise party and are having a great time waiting for the guests of honour – the salmon – to arrive. Whether they are caught up in traffic or experienced some other delay we can’t be certain, but in the meantime we cling to patience and optimism and are occasionally rewarded for doing so. Kim and I just wrapped up our final full day and are taking home enough chinook salmon, halibut and lingcod to satisfy our gastronomic needs and those of neighbors whose curiosity about these fish tends to peak immediately upon our return from these sojourns.
We caught mostly fish in the low teens and missed a couple more during some encouraging moments off Gunia Point. One was a particularly spirited chap of reasonable size that broke Kim’s heart with an effective shake of the head just a rod length away from the net. We also trolled up a couple of halibut in shallow water just off Cohoe Point and again this morning in Pillar Bay. Long-time friend and guest of The Club Greg Garske has honed considerable expertise catching halibut while trolling for salmon in a certain spot he knows well. On Tuesday he picked up a 60-pound slab on a self-guided mission in a mere 50 feet of water. Then this morning he guided his fishing partner Dusty Rowland to a 33-pound tyee, the third of the season for The Clubhouse, somewhere near McPherson Point I think.
I haven’t yet done a full investigation on how everybody made out today, but I did bump into Screamer on the dock a few minutes ago. He was wearing a certain kind of wry smile in the way that some guides do when something out of the ordinary occurs. I will let Screamer tell the whole story in his next report, but the main characters are a fish that weighed 42 pounds, Screamer, his two guests and a large sea lion. The lucky – and I mean very lucky angler who matched wits with both the biggest fish of the season for The Club and a thousand-pound sea mammal was Jay German.
I don’t have a lot of details from elsewhere to pass along, but North Island Lodge has reportedly seen a handful of fish in the mid-twenties in the past few days, with John Godlasky catching and releasing a pair in that weight class. John was part of a conservation-minded foursome Bob and friends Justin and Trudy Allen who opted for a strictly catch-and-release trip. My friend Lloyd Larsen was at The Outpost last week and told me that the fishing has been a bit slow but that last Thursday he and his son Scott had a fantastic afternoon just outside of Port Louis. In a welcome flurry of activity, they caught and released quite a few chinook salmon, save for a nice 24 that is now securely stored in Lloyd’s freezer back home in Vanderhoof, BC.
Right around the same time last week, Alain Patrice registered the first tyee of the season for The Clubhouse, while Ryan Cheverie and Robert Reynolds both took home 27-pound models. Then last Saturday Adam Ungarian picked up the second tyee of the season at The Clubhouse with another meaty 33. Several guests took advantage of great weather last Saturday and headed way out west, anchored up and had a fine time catching and releasing large halibut, including a 125 for Matt Cieski, a 110 for Dave Weese and an even 100 for Ken Rohs. I believe some other folks had a similar experience on the pick out west this afternoon.
I have to run now friends. I will wrap up news from this trip and hopefully provide a more full report from the other lodges next week. You see, the sun is out, it’s appie hour downstairs, and there are plenty of great folk I want to join for our last night of frivolity. On that note, I should quickly wish many years of health and happiness to honeymooners Kim Grange and Nathan Haldane, whose company Kim and I have hugely enjoyed. There are lots of other couples and some keen female anglers in the house too, including Valerie Savard of La Belle Province (Quebec) and her mother Paquerette Fortin, who is at last fulfilling a long-time wish to go salmon fishing. And with her daughter no less. Ca, c’est si formidable!
The Club’s Patricia Wu will have a complete report and photos on the International Culinary Series event in the days ahead. Next up on the special events calendar is the inaugural Father’s Day Trip and tournament here at The Clubhouse, which will include music and storytelling by musician and adventure TV personality Les Stroud of the popular network series Survivorman.
Until next week, keep the faith fisher friends.