Ebb & Flow Week 8: July 21, 2016
July 21, 2016 | 1998 Views
Salmon, I just don’t get them.
For example, why does a wave of inordinately large Chinook Salmon suddenly enter an area as they have these past few days at Langara Island? More generally, what is it about Pacific Salmon that so often confound British Columbia’s fisheries scientists, who are beyond doubt among the best in the world? Their habits (fish have habits?) appear to be so complex and mysterious that we know more about mosquitoes than we do about Salmon, and apparently have for some time, given that the first classification of a mosquito species – anopheles – occurred in 1818.
Irrespective of why the big fish have suddenly appeared, the point is friends, they have. For example, in his most recent and always colorful report, Screamer describes how his guest Bob Gallagher picked up a 42 after an animated battle on the west side this week. After a refreshing dip in the “Hippaquarium,” the fish was released back into the cool waters, so hats off to Bob for having the will, and Scream for having the means.
In the aftermath, once another Tyee report crossed the airwaves, the adrenaline among the guide crew kicked in. Sure enough, the West Side Story continued the following morning, and in a big way with the best fish of the year caught and released by David Bickford, a 58-pound prize hog guided by Brent Gallacher. But wait! Just yesterday, North Island Lodge guest Gaby Mirza rang the bell on a similar-sized slab of flesh and bone, thanks to the guiding of Pat Davies, who carefully measured the fish at 49 by 30 inches – 55 pounds – before letting her go unharmed.
The shallow rods seem to be getting the most attention from Tyees, although that too is a bit of a mystery as others have been picked up as deep as 160 feet offshore. Coho remain in abundance too both at Langara and down Port Louis way, where Greg Goodale celebrated a friendly Coho derby win this past week at The Outpost with a fish that topped 14 pounds, the best Coho of the season at any of the three lodges. The Coho appear to be increasing in size, with several now reported at over 10 pounds, up from an average of about nine just last week.
But into every life a little rain must fall – Pink Rain you could say (with no disrespect to Prince). Those pesky pink bait-stealers have finally shown up in their gazillions. Sea lions have also been a source of frustration for a good part of the season, particularly on the east side. Fortunately they too are a migratory species, so we wait and hope for them to move on.
One other important detail to note friends, and that is that today marks the departure of the gastronomically sophisticated, who assembled with great eagerness last Sunday at The Clubhouse and have since then revelled both noon and night at the 10th annual David Hawksworth & Friends Culinary Adventure. I am not going to attempt to describe in words what they saw, sniffed and tasted this week. These things can only be appreciated through the senses, especially with the likes of guest chefs Normand Laprise, Valentine Warner, Derek Dammann and Dino Renaerts in the house, along with sommelier Mark Davidson (Foodies will recognize those names as something akin to a list of recent Nobel Prize winners). As always, Chef Hawksworth himself prepared dinner on the closing night. Again, you’ll just have to use your imagination to consider what that was like, or better yet sign up now for next year.
Here are the all-stars for this week. In addition to those already mentioned, we are pleased to note that a number of women anglers earned coveted West Coast Fishing Club Tyee pins of late. Ina Long took first place in the women’s competition with a 40 which she promptly released to go make more big fish, as did Michele Dunkerley who connected with a double – a 33.5 and a 30.5, both released. Linda Zulinick picked up a 34 and then wished it well on its way home. Ruthie Ross also makes the highlight reel with a 12-pound Coho that we believe is the best silver of the season for The Clubhouse. On the men’s side, Hannes Portmann led the scoring with a caught and released fish of just over 34 pounds, followed by Brian Madigan with a 32 and Russell Ball with a 30.
If you’ve read Jordan Knight’s most recent salvo from The Outpost, you will know that the fishing has been a little slower than usual, although if you’ve been down Port Louis way you will also know that means that the fishing is still quite good. It just means that the all-star guide team has had to go a bit further out to find ‘em. Three Tyees were reported from The Outpost last week: a 32 for both David Schur and Renee Lang (Renee, thank you so much to you and Mathew for travelling all the way from Dubai to fish with The West Coast Fishing Club) and Peter Sokoloski, who led the scoring on the previous trip with an even 30. Lots of big Halibut still out there in the waters of Port Louis too, and by that I mean 200 pounds plus. But anyone wanting a take-home turkey is almost guaranteed to have your way with lots still being taken in the 50-60 pound range.
That’s it for this week friends. I plan on wetting a line myself on the mystical waters of Haida Gwaii in the days and weeks to come. As always, I look forward to breaking bread and having a laugh among as many of you as possible.
Stay safe and well, and keep a tight line.