Ebb & Flow Week 5: July 1, 2015
July 1, 2015 | 2311 Views
One of these years I’m going to do it. Be in Haida Gwaii on Canada Day, that is.
Even on this day when folks everywhere from Saint John’s, Newfoundland to Victoria, BC are gathered in large numbers to celebrate the 148th anniversary of Confederation, I prefer quieter places to observe and consider Canada. I can think of few places that better symbolize our country, and our hunting and gathering frontier heritage than Haida Gwaii.
There isn’t a house, cabin or even a power line in sight from any point offshore. Located six hours by ferry across the Hecate Strait from Prince Rupert, BC, the archipelago known until recent years as the Queen Charlotte Islands is really out there friends. I mean, really out there. And Langara Island and Port Louis, home to the lodges of The West Coast Fishing Club, are even more remote. In fact, they are about as far off the grid as you can get. And that is precisely what I imagine would be so captivating about being at one of them on Canada Day.
Alas, I am not there. Instead, I am writing this week’s salvo from the heart of the Blue Canadian Rockies at the eastern gateway to Banff National Park. This too is an iconic place to observe and consider Canada. But it’s fun to think for a bit about what’s going on up north where an almost unprecedented length of sunny days continues. Guests will be down to shirt sleeves and some of the more patriotic guides will have attached Canadian flags to their radio antennae.
As for the fishing, there really isn’t much new to report friends, which is of course a good thing because the fishing throughout the month of June has been, for the most part, superb. Our man Screamer, veteran head guide at The Clubhouse and the most knowledgeable authority on fishing and marine wildlife in these parts, reports that there are fish all over the east side of Langara Island, mostly in the teenage size range, but that there has also been a slight bump-up in size this week, with more fish in the twenties showing up out west and on the north side of Graham Island. Scream says the fish are feeding shallow and that guests who run mooching rods out back are being rewarded for their efforts. More and more Coho showing up in the seven to nine-pound range too.
WCFC vice-president of Sales & Client Services Mark Hodge also provided some intel regarding last week’s action up at Langara, and reported that “Chinooks were hitting every offering that came their way – J-plugs, Tomics, spoons and the go-to cut-plug herring.” Fresh from the open Pacific, these spectacular chrome fish are feeding voraciously and punching well above their weight at this time of year. As Mark noted, many anglers guessed that the twenty-pounders were 30 pounds or better given the battles they put up.
Interesting kind of one-two catch for Clubhouse guest Nicholas Greatrex last week. Guided by Brandon, Nicholas picked up a 31-pound Chinook and later boated and released a massive 60-pound lingcod.
Longtime West Coast Fishing Club members JB and Diane Rupert added to their already sizable collection of tyee pins with JB picking up a 35 in Bud’s boat. Just so happened to be JB’s birthday too, so a nice way to celebrate.
Meanwhile over at North Island Lodge the annual Reeling for Ronnie Charity Tournament was on. Pat Parent guided himself to a repeat win with a 42, the second of the year for North Island Lodge and a tie with Nathan Merkel for the biggest fish of the year so far for West Coast Fishing Club. North Island guide Brent Gallagher continues in his role as resident Halibut guru, guiding his guests to several sessions of memorable days of boating perfect turkey Halibut in the 40-60 pound range, along with a 175 release just a couple of days ago.
Internet problems have temporarily interrupted the flow of reports from The Outpost where Chris Dale and his father John are reconnecting in the bow chairs of a boat that Chris ran when he guided there a couple of seasons ago. Ditto for former lodge manager Ken Beatty who is also at The Outpost this Canada Day with his dad. It’s difficult to imagine that things would be any different in those waters than at Langara.
June has again been a fabulous month of fishing with all guests limiting out on Chinook Salmon and Halibut. I’ll pass along some highlights upon their return. In the meantime, however, here is some big news. Outpost executive chef Paul Moran is on his way back to Port Louis from Milan, Italy where he just placed fifth in a global competition among the world’s top young chefs (under 30 years of age). Incredible Paul. Well done!
I think I’ll leave it there for now. Time to make our way down to main street of Canmore, Alberta for this great town’s Canada Day parade. It will be wonderful I am sure, but I’m still thinking next year is the year to celebrate Confederation from Port Louis or Langara island.
Wherever you happen to be friends, Happy Canada Day, and Happy Fourth of July this week to our legions of American friends too.
Life is truly grand, isn’t it?
Until next week, Tight Lines!