Ebb & Flow Week 3 ~ June 8, 2017
June 8, 2017 | 1824 Views
Busy times in northern Haida Gwaii these past few days friends. The third annual Ultimate Grill Showdown played to rave reviews at North Island Lodge, while the Short Notice Club Derby wrapped up just days later over at The Clubhouse. Guests of the second annual Back Deck Bourbon Barbeque gathered on the deck of The Clubhouse sipping bourbon cocktails courtesy of our friends from the Jack Daniel’s family of fine whiskeys, and enjoyed a gastronomic extravaganza courtesy of five-time World Champion pit-master Tuffy Stone. Seems about the only thing more famous about Lynchburg, Tennessee than the Jack Daniel’s distillery is Tuffy, who is a native son of that town and a classically trained French chef, television personality and widely regarded as the most successful guy on the competitive barbeque circuit over the last few years.
Meanwhile, just a few nautical miles to the south, The Outpost welcomed its first guests of the season last week. At just 14 guests, The Outpost is a popular destination for folks looking for an exclusive gathering. A group headed by Jeff Clarke kicked it off this year and they wasted little time in doing business with a whole lot of wild Chinook Salmon. Jeff told us his group had the time of their lives from start to finish down at Port Louis, with lots of fish in the 20-pound-and-up range, topped by a 24-pound specimen for Doug Wynn and turkey-sized Halibut up to 60 pounds. The second group of the year at The Outpost, Bob Gayton and friends, have also had early-season success with eight fish over 20 pounds in the first afternoon. Lodge manager Jordan Knight filed a great report in which he says the top fish to date came in yesterday morning at just under 30 pounds, a “Tryee” as they say up north. Not sure of the angler’s name but good going, whoever you are friend!
Top catches of late at North Island Lodge included the first hog of the season, a 41 for Dan Ternoway of the 16-member crew from Mott Electric. Big thanks to my friend and fellow UBC alumnus Rob Brett, CFO of that fine company, for sending photos of this fish, which was caught in Boulder Bay under the guidance of DJ Shinduke in one of the new 24-footers that went into service this year. Special congratulations to Dan’s colleague Jenna Brewer for catching her first-ever Chinook Salmon, one that tipped the scales at 22 pounds. Although Rob had to pass on this year’s company fishing retreat owing to a son’s upcoming wedding (please kids, always check with parents before scheduling nuptial activities), he assured me that the Mott Electric gang had the usual great time.
The Clubhouse also recorded its first Tyee of the season last week, an even 30 for Jeff French. Lisa Hudson meanwhile came close to being the first female member of the Tyee Club this season with a 29. Some larger fish are beginning to show up at Langara Island now it appears, with a few more topping 20 pounds, including one just over 24 on the most recent trip for Bill Whitham and a 23 for Roger Clark.
The week prior saw the closest finish ever in the seven-year history of the Short Notice Club Derby. The top three fish all weighed in at the dock at 25 lbs. First place was ultimately awarded to Bob Matlock, who wins a return trip for two later this year. Second place went to Amos Kazziz, who picks up an Islander fishing reel while Dave Shigaki received a $200 gift certificate to The Clubhouse gift shop for his third place finish.
I have noticed a lot of guests have recently been catching mid-water Halibut on the troll all around Langara Island, which I consider to be a rather pleasant change-up whenever it occurs. Looks like some folks got out west for some bigger action too with some sizable slabs reported during the SNC derby. Top marks for that group went to Irene Ervin who caught and released one that measured out to about 95 pounds. Margo Schneyder similarly said hello and goodbye to an estimated 90-pound model, while Anthony Delatolla and Kal Rebin did the same with Halis in the 75-pound range. A 180 pounder was also reported just a few days ago by Michael Watts. Wow, I bet he slept well after hauling that grand piano off the ocean floor. She too is now back on the sandy bottom resuming the long life of a large female Halibut.
No Coho so far, save for one or two versions of about five pounds. Rest assured they are scheduled for imminent arrival, which always makes life more interesting, especially for whoever is on the weighted rod out back. Mighty acrobatic fish, those Coho, always punching well above their weight.
Just one more thing before I go, and that is to send best wishes to long-time friend of The Club, Lloyd Larsen, who is resting comfortably in his home in Vanderhoof, BC after successful emergency heart surgery last week. I fished with Lloyd on my very first venture to Langara Island, and like many people who make new acquaintances on those mystical waters, Lloyd and I became the best of friends. I know you are reading this Lloyd. Sorry you had to cancel your planned trip to The Outpost next week chum, but I look forward to suiting up with you later in the year if we can make that happen, and I surely hope we can.
That’s a wrap friends. If you are heading up north this week, remember to set two alarms!
Until next time, you know the rules – stay well and always keep a tight line!