Ebb & Flow Week 4 | June 21, 2018
June 21, 2018 | 1815 Views
Slowly Picking Up Speed
By Deepwater Don
Last Thursday I took the morning off from fishing. A lot of other people did too, largely because the final dinner of our trip the night before had been particularly memorable and we carried on for a bit, one could say. That might have been a bad call, because many of those who did rise and shine on our final morning at The Clubhouse were rewarded for their perseverance.
Take Rocco D’Agostino for example. The gentlemanly wine ambassador from the Mark Anthony Group was back out at McPherson Point bright and early on that beautiful morning, and immediately had a triple-header to contend with. With his fishing partner still snoozing like a baby in a car seat (I’m talking to you now, Tony Dong), Rocco grabbed one rod, his guide Lemmer grabbed the other, and I’m not sure what they did with the back rod, but they got all three fish. Rocco kept one and gave it to the well-rested Tony, who was just finishing up his smoked salmon benedict when Rocco returned to the lodge. You have to love Italians; when it comes to food, they sure do like to share.
The point is friends that the bite was finally on that morning after several days of intermittent action. Greg Garske also found three fish on an early two-hour self-guided mission, so when I left Langara Island later that morning, my hopes were high that a semblance of normalcy had finally arrived to those hallowed waters.
Yes, things have picked up somewhat, but a bit more patience is still in order it seems, as the 2018 season is taking its time resuming the standards for which northern Haida Gwaii is world famous. It matters not to me; June is still my favourite time to go up north, especially for those who are there right now on this first day of summer, when the arresting seascapes of Parry Pass remain in full view until round midnight. My wife and I have some chinook salmon for our efforts, and three decent-sized halibut caught on trolling rods, which seems to be working out extremely well for guests at all three lodges of late. This is a great thing, not only because it’s a fun way to catch halibut, but there are fewer instances of by-catching yelloweye, for which there is now a wisely implemented zero-possession limit.
North Island Lodge manager, Todd McIntyre, also reported some improved results for his guests, highlighted by a 35-pound tyee caught late Tuesday afternoon off Cohoe Point by self-guider Ron Scott. There has reportedly been a few more fish in the mid-twenties in the past few days in the waters around Langara Island. North Island Lodge guest Dick Bockemuehl can attest to that, with a 27-pound chinook salmon as evidence, once again caught on a self-guided voyage. Todd also reported an increase in the frequency of coho sightings, with three hitting the dock on the last trip. Special congratulations to Todd’s brother-in-law, Milan Arbutina, who nailed the 115-centimetre limit on a halibut troll a couple days ago, which equates to a 40-pound specimen. That ought to see Milan and several close friends and family members through much of the summer barbeque season.
If you have not yet done so friends, you can check out the latest news from The Outpost as lodge manager, Jordan Knight, recently sent in a report (read it here) that reveals a similar slow start to the season down Port Louis way. For those of you who were introduced to the game of KRUD by Yours Truly last Wednesday night at The Clubhouse, Jordan’s report includes some photographs from the first couple nights of competition among guests, guides and staff at The Outpost. If you don’t know, KRUD is a maniacal game invented by Royal Canadian Air Force pilots during World War Two that is played by a limitless number of participants running frantically in circles around a billiard table. It’s a whole lot of fun, and it’s been a once-every-trip tradition at The Outpost for many years.
We conclude with a note of thanks to the staff at The Clubhouse for their fantastic work in hosting the second annual International Culinary Series trip last week, as well as Patricia Wu, The Club’s hard-working director of marketing and special events, for making everything happen just as it was supposed to. Special thanks also to Gary Foulkes, executive chef at London’s Michelin-starred Angler restaurant, for making the trip a gastronomic highlight of the 2018 season so far. Cool-headed rookie KRUD player too, Gary was. (Apologies to Nathan Haldane. I read the rules when I got home. You can sink the white ball without incurring a penalty. My bad.)
Finally, grazie mille to the aforementioned Rocco D’Agostino for not only providing fine wines from the portfolio of Mission Hill Winery on this week’s culinary trip, but also for his generosity (remember what I said about those lovable Italians?) in providing each guest with a welcome-home gift in the form of a bottle of the 2012 vintage of Compendium, a silky Bordeaux style blend from select vineyards in the southern Okanagan Valley. I have a bottle breathing softly as I hunt and peck here on our outdoor dining table, awaiting its introduction to a rack of lamb that is gently hissing away on the barbeque. Isn’t summer time just the best?
Next week I will bring more news from the mystical waters of Haida Gwaii, a report on the inaugural Father’s Day Trip and fishing tournament that wraps up today at The Clubhouse, as well as other news from around The Club. Here’s a sneak peak of what Les and his son, Logan are bringing home with them.
Until then, stay safe and well friends.