Ebb & Flow Week 7: July 16, 2015
July 16, 2015 | 4787 Views
The trend towards bigger fish continues friends, with more and more Tyees being logged by guests. Not only that but they are getting a little beefier with every passing week. Although Chinook Salmon that top 30 pounds are by no means uncommon even at the start of the season, they are now showing up in greater numbers both at Langara Island and at Port Louis, as evidenced by the names and statistics that follow. But wait, there is other news too.
The good folks at The West Coast Fishing Club are busy putting the final touches on a very special trip to close out the season. The impetus for this grand finale is the simple truth that the late-season fishing in each of the past five seasons has been stupendous. I have been witness to it myself in each of those years, when the number of boats on the water is barely half of what is was just a couple of weeks earlier, but the fishing is still on fire. It’s a reassuring feeling to pull up the lines on the final day knowing that the waters are still teeming with Chinook and Coho salmon. It’s also a bit strange, wondering why everybody is leaving when the weather is still balmy, save for a bit of morning fog, and the fish are still in all the usual places. So what to do? Stage a season-ending party is the answer, one that introduces a new element – live classic rock music – to The WCFC special events calendar.
Dubbed Langara Rocks, the last trip of the season will feature the introduction of the new house band for The Clubhouse. Carefully selected from among some of Canada’s most sought-after musicians, the Dock Rockers have collectively recorded and performed with a long list of international artists – from Shania Twain and Cher to Bon Jovi and Motley Crue – and countless musical points in between. They’ve also recorded and/or performed with Canadian rock icons Loverboy, Trooper, Prism, Chilliwack, Barney Bentall and have for many years been the backing band for music legend Randy Bachman and the frame of Bachman-Turner, who made indelible marks in the Canadian recording industry with hits like Takin’ Care of Business, Roll on Down the Highway and a silky jazz-influenced personal favourite of mine called Blue Collar.
More about this in the near future, but the plan includes an outdoor party atmosphere where guests will have ample opportunity to interact with band members and ask them pretty much any question they want about their experiences playing big stages and creating some of the most listened-to music from the 1980’s right up to present day. Add some rock-star guest chefs to the mix and it’s sure to be a memorable ending to a season that already has all the markings of a stellar vintage year.
Now, about those Tyees. A bit of rain has finally arrived at Langara Island, but it has hardly been noticed as more and more monster Chinook Salmon are now swimming through Parry Pass, feeding on massive clusters of needlefish all along the top end of Graham Island. Just ask North Island Lodge guide Brent Gallacher, who has been on a roll of late. Brent guided his guests to three fish topping 40 pounds over the course of just three days, including a new club-leading record 47.5 pounder for Ed Fox. Nice work Ed, and thanks for opting for a quick picture and then releasing this magnificent fish to continue its journey. Brent also guided Nicolas Simon Jr. to a 42-pound catch and release in Parry Pass.
Screamer was on the power-play line as always, helping Clubhouse guest Liam Pattemore and his dad Reg to a 41 along the kelp tight to shore on the West Bank, and carefully released in short order. A couple of other father and son teams did some memorable family business too. Scott Burns and his son Clayton picked up a 37 with expert help from guide Steve Tennant. Doug and son Cam Proctor, a former WCFC guide, picked up a 46 on a North Island Lodge boat. Meanwhile Greg Garske grabbed a 40 self-guided off Cohoe Point after successfully escaping a crowd of sea lions that had assembled at McPherson Point. Good decision Greg, and well-done. Conrad Wangeman also undertook a self-guided mission to Gunia Point where he was rewarded with a 43 after a beautiful day on the water. Justin Foo picked up a 40 off McPherson with guide Mike Ross.
With the influx of so many Tyees of late, it’s hard to keep up with all the action, but other notable catches were recently logged by Kendall Friesen (30); Yvonne McMorran (31); Andi Nelson (31.5); two for Jim Ludlow (32 and 30.5); Sean Barnes (35); Tom Eger (35); Bart Davies (34) and Darren York (38). Jerry Jensen also caught and released a 42 – great work Jerry. Not only are there lots of big fish around Langara Island right now, but whales are gathering like Shriners at convention time. The humpbacks are everywhere and guests are frequently encountering pods of killer whales, who as natural enemies of sea lions are welcome visitors.
Meanwhile, The Outpost gang are still showing their guests a wonderful time on the wild west side of Graham Island. Our friends from The Delta Group were up last week and had a fabulous time in spite of strong winds that hammered them on a couple of outings. Tyees have become more frequent in these waters too of late. Stephen Heller and guide Ben Russell helped Stephen’s son Geoffrey land a 32 the trip before last. More recently the team of Ben Wiebe and Jason Thomas from Edmonton picked up a 33 and 30, respectively, thanks to the help of guide Francis Archambault. Kristian Eligh took some time off from Vancouver’s fabulous Hawksworth restaurant and picked up a 30. Halibut fishing continues to be a breeze at The Outpost too, with guests boating take-home turkey-sized slabs all within a short distance of the lodge.
Speaking of Hawksworth restaurant, the man himself will be making his way up to The Clubhouse this weekend for the annual David Hawksworth and Friends Culinary Adventure, which welcomes this year’s guest celebrity chef Normand Laprise of Montreal’s Toqué! restaurant. Sold out as always, that event, as is the upcoming Fishing For Kids Tournament. This year will be the 10th annual for the event that is held in partnership with the Vancouver Canucks and has raised almost six million dollars to date for BC children’s charities, and in recent years for the Canucks Autism Network. Gotta love The West Coast Fishing Club for doing the right things and always reaching “far beyond” in everything they do. Special events in marine wilderness settings require extra care and lots of attention to detail, but who better than the WCFC crew who have been doing amazing things along these lines for close to 30 years.
And with that, I will close for now, save to say that I hope to meet some of The Club’s most ardent anglers up at The Clubhouse September 6-9 for the season-ending Langara Rocks party, which a handful of regulars who have already signed up are referring to as “The Last Blast at Parry Pass.” Rest assured it promises to be all that and more.
Until next week friends, stay safe and well.