West Coast Fishing Club
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Weekly Fishing Reports

Ebb & Flow Week 5 ~ June 22, 2017

June 22, 2017 | 1664 Views


By Deepwater Don

Greetings friends from The Outpost on the shores of Port Louis, Haida Gwaii, where Bluewater Bernard and I have journeyed to again match wits with nature.

Tell me, is it just me who finds the lift-off of the helicopter in Masset to be one of the most exciting moments of the entire experience? It thrills and amazes me every time. Irrespective of whether one is destined for Langara Island or Port Louis, the flight is always exhilarating, although the two journeys are distinctly different. In the first case, we fly to the northwest at low altitude along the beaches and rocks of Graham Island until finally the channel between it and Langara Island come into view.

In the latter case, the journey is to the southwest across the wet tundra-like plain that soon gives way to the soaring forested hills of the island’s northern interior. The sole signs of human touch are just a few skid trails used by loggers to access the deep forests and remove their bounty. Those from the previous year are already grown over with deciduous trees, appearing as bright green ribbons traversing the hillsides, soon to be transformed into a new generation of evergreen growth as the forest of this rain-lashed landscape wastes no time reclaiming what it has lost.

Within about 20 minutes, the sea once again comes into view. The shores visible on the approach to Port Louis are strewn with partly submerged rocks upon which emerald waters crash dramatically and recede in bridal veils of snow-white froth. This is Haida Gwaii at her electrifying and refreshing best.

Helicopter views of rugged Graham Island on the way to The Outpost.

To the fishing now. Once again Port Louis delivers friends. Although the winds have kept us close to home in the bay the past two days, we are all finding Chinook Salmon in the 15-25 pound range. And my old friend Mike Dusterhoff, who has been a West Coast Fishing Club disciple for over 20 years, has the top fish of the season for The Outpost, a 38 guided by lodge manager Jordan Knight, who subbed in for wunderkid Jonah Smith, who was receiving medical attention in Masset for a hand infection caused by a…fish. Huh? Anyway, Jonah is back now and Mike and his buddy Steve Swenson are back out there right now looking for a repeat.

A successful & sunny day on the water.

Mike Dusterhoff’s impressive 38 lb Tyee.

Deepwater Don and his 20 lb Chinook.

Outpost guests Brandon, Chad and guide Sean.

Bluewater Bernard and I took advantage of good weather and relatively calm seas on arrival day and ventured offshore in search of turkey-sized Halibut with which we will undoubtedly win friends and influence people around our dining room tables. Fresh Halibut is also effective when seeking favours from neighbors – borrowing hedge trimmers, getting help with small carpentry projects, airport rides and the like. After about an hour of relaxing time while guide Carl Archibald did the work at anchor, Bernard and I got exactly what we were looking for – 44 and 36-pound versions, respectively – and headed straight for the check-out aisle.

Angler Bernie Simpson fighting a fish on the line.

I should tell you a little about Carl friends, as I have done before in this space. He is atypical in many ways, and rather hearty. Consider for example that he went wake-boarding in the twilight of the summer solstice, in air temperature that forbade lingering on the deck fully-clothed let alone shooting across glacial-temperature waters in a wet suit. But I hasten to say that Carl is not particularly unusual when measured against his peers here at The Outpost. The staff, to a person, are a remarkably upbeat, positive and durable lot when it comes to outdoor ocean fun. They appear to be a close-knit group who work hard by day and play cheerfully in the few precious hours they are able during their marathon 24/7 summer. They are a lovable lot and their mothers are all no doubt proud.

Guide Carl Archibald riding the wake.

Outpost Kitchen and Dining Staff Rachel, Colin, Derek and Crystal.

We have one more full day ahead of us and the forecast is calling for lighter winds and calmer seas so Carl, Bernard and I plan to venture further to sea in search of more precious silver. Speaking of silver, I have a small Coho bound for home, so they are beginning to show up. As an aside, Mike and Steve just this minute returned from the bay and reported they doubled up on a couple of 20-somethings along with other smaller specimens and a couple of perfect Lingcod to boot. They are in a happy place sipping ceasars in just a few paces from where I hunt and peck, and I think I just might join them.

But before I go, here are some quick highlights from The Clubhouse and North Island Lodge. Top fish of late went to Scott Hahn with a 33 lb Chinook Salmon; a 31.5 lb for Randy Blair and a 25 lb for Raymond Donahue. A couple of nice Halibut on the board too for Archie Hall a 250 lb release and 125 lb release for Jay Curren. Don Burton retained a nice 57 pounder. Stefanie Johnson  managed to take some time away from The Clubhouse store to land a nice Chinook.

The West Coast Fishing Club’s own Stefanie Johnson and her latest catch. Photo courtesy of Stefanie.

Top fish for North Island Lodge were Kevin Chatterton and Mitch Desmarais both with a couple of Tyees of 30 lbs and Bob Fellows with a 29 lb Chinook. In the Halibut category, Andy Mittlestaedt managed a 65 lb. Nice work guys!

Marc Versage and crew doing a little combo fishing at “The Aquarium”

Ted and Harry Culbertson posing with the results of their strong afternoon – a couple of 9 and 10 lb Coho in the mix.

Hey, it’s officially summertime friends! If you are headed up here to mystical Haida Gwaii, rest assured you are in for exhilarating and memorable times.

Until next week, stay safe and well.

Tight Lines!

*Photo credit: Orca shot – Clubhouse Guide, Jacob Brunelle.

There are 4 comments on this post:


  1. Mike Walker says:

    Deepwater Don – your reports are outstanding – both the words and the photos. It’s almost like being there. Keep it coming.

    Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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    • Deepwater Don says:

      Hi Mike, thanks so much for your kind words. It’s always encouraging to get positive feedback. I do hope our paths cross sometime soon friend.

      Don

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  2. Jim McKeown says:

    Hi Don,

    I must say I truly enjoy your descriptive and entertaining stories. Though I have been to The Clubhouse and North Island Lodge, todays feature on The Outpost reaĺly makes me want to experience it myself very soon, like tomorrow!
    Congrats on your nice 36 lb halibut and please let me know if you ever need a ride to the airport.

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    • Deepwater Don says:

      Thank you Jim. Yes you should get to the OP when you can. As for airport rides, I am on a 6:00 am flight next week – you available?

      Cheers,
      Don

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2017 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$4,960$5,270
  • Guided Package
  • 22’ Boston Whaler boat & Standard Room
  • 2 guests per boat$6,175$6,930
  • 3 guests per boat$5,735$6,335
  • Offshore Guided Package
  • 25’ or 27’ Boston Whaler & Standard Room
  • 2 guests per boat$6,655$7,570
  • 3 guests per boat$6,055$6,760
  • 4 guests per boat$5,743$6,345
  • Deluxe Offshore Guided Package
  • 29’ Boston Whaler & Standard Room
  • 2 guests per boat$6,715$7,650
  • 3 guests per boat$6,095$6,815
  • 4 guests per boat$5,770$6,385
  • Room Supplements
  • Standard Room$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
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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
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  • WCFC All-Inclusive Fishing4 Days/3 Nights5 Days/4 Nights
  • Guided Package
  • 24' Northwest$5,250$5,645
  • 21' EagleCraft$5,150$5,500
  • 18' EagleCraft$5,020$5,325
  • Self Guided Package
  • 18' EagleCraft$4,273$4,520
  • 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
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