Ebb & Flow Week 6 ~ June 29, 2017
June 29, 2017 | 2207 Views
Summer arrived almost on cue friends. Last week I had the privilege to observe the June 21 solstice from The Outpost. On the following evening, the 11:00 pm sunset view from the helipad of Port Louis was breathtaking, with Brock Island perfectly silhouetted against a crimson sky. Dawn broke just five hours later, featuring radiant sunlight on flat calm water – a portrait of serenity, if only it wasn’t changeover day! How we envied the new guests who would soon arrive to fish and “just be” in that magnificent place for the next four days.
The fish appeared to observe the official change of season too. They came out to play in great numbers, and a superb time was had by all. And so with this note I want to say thanks again to my lodge mates of last week – Bruce, Brian, Dan, Ron, Jeff (fingers crossed you made it to the Flying Beaver for poutine last Friday night Jeff), Steve 1, Steve 2, Mike (nice job on the 38 pal), Ted, Al, Gary, Brandon and of course my fishing partner Bluewater Bernard. We were all a bit reserved at first, but became increasingly light-hearted and conversant, save for dinner when you could have heard a pin drop. I have concluded that the ultimate compliment to chefs is silence. If that is true, Chef Derek Ingram, who arrived at The Outpost this year by way of Vancouver’s famous Bluewater Café, and Sous Chef Colin Davidson, were admired beyond words. Simply put, the food is again off the charts at The Outpost, as indicated during dinner by bowed heads and reverent silence, broken only by the clink of cutlery.
Sunny skies prevailed at Langara Island too, where the fishing has picked up dramatically of late, much to the delight of those who gathered for the eighth consecutive year for the Reeling for Ronnie Derby at North Island Lodge. The 24 contestants, who hailed from across North America, were friends of the late and sadly missed Ron Brown at executive search firm Lock Search Group. During their stay they hold a derby and auction to raise money for the Ron Brown Scholar Program which aids students from Isla Mujeres in Mexico where Ron and his family lived until the time of his passing. Ron was obviously a pretty special guy, and having friends like his proves once again that, in life, we truly do reap what we sow. Congratulations to Ron’s buddies for their poignant annual tribute, which raised over $10,000 this year, bringing the all-time total to over $100,000 for students to attend the university and program of their choosing.
Kudos too to the North Island Lodge staff, who exceeded all expectations according to tournament co-organizer Richard Lock, and in particular to lodge manager Todd McIntyre for generously putting his near-legendary guiding skills up as an auction item with him guiding the top bidder for a half-day. It went for a whopping $2,000! Thanks are also in order to my old friend Dave Matuschewski, who donated a number of items for auction. A total of six Tyees were recorded in the derby, with the top catch going to Aron Carmak, a 36-pound Chinook, netting him 300 bucks in prize money. The Calcutta (team fishing for most Salmon combined) went to Mike (Woody) Sherwood and Glen Lesko who shared a pot of $13,600.00, but returned half to the charity. Jamie Fay picked up first prize in the total Salmon category, which tallied up to 109 pounds and earned him a $500 prize. The largest Halibut for the tournament was caught by Ian Currie, a 30 that netted him a $300 prize. Finally, there is more evidence of Coho cruising about, with 81-year-young Keith Dagg picking up 300 bucks for a 12-pound version.
To The Clubhouse now, where guests similarly enjoyed outstanding fishing under azure skies. Top Chinook Salmon of late went to Mike Paul (36.5), Tim Mallicoat (31.5) and William Halsey (28). In the lifting-a-grand piano-off-the ocean-floor category (Halibut), Ramsey Ayloush moves into an approximated tie for the season with a 250-pound specimen (we don’t remove these fish from the water friends; their length is tape-measured as accurately as their demeanor permits and then released). Eric Roth muscled an estimated 115 to the surface. Michael McQuaid similarly said hello and goodbye to an 80-pounder.
As Saturday is Canada Day, I want to wish all of our compatriots from coast to coast to coast, and those living throughout the world, the happiest of celebrations as we mark 150 years of confederation. Same goes for our American friends as they celebrate the Fourth of July next week. And a special salute to members of armed forces from both countries who are serving at home and overseas. With that, here is a special shout-out to our musical friends, The Dock Rockers, who are entertaining the men and women serving aboard the HMCS Ottawa currently at harbour in Seoul, Korea. Looking forward to seeing Brent, Marc, Mick and Ian back at The Clubhouse when they rock it up at The Club’s season-ending party September 10-13.
But that is still over two full months away, and in the meantime there are infinite good times and memories just waiting to be had on the mystical waters of Haida Gwaii. I do hope our paths cross there one day friends.
Until next week, stay safe and well.