Ebb & Flow Week 8: July 22, 2015
July 22, 2015 | 2804 Views
One thing I have noticed over the years is that you just never know who you’ll meet at the lodges of The West Coast Fishing Club.
Take this week for instance. While the best golfers in the world converged on the old course at St. Andrews for the 144th Open Championship, and while golf fans in their hundreds of millions tuned in to see if Jordan Spieth could pull off a third consecutive victory in a major tournament, two-time PGA champion Dave Stockton was patrolling the waters off Port Louis, as he does every year round about this time. After stopping in for a special men’s night at the Pitt Meadows Golf Club that included a short-game clinic by the former Ryder Cup team captain and his sons Ron Stockton and Dave Stockton Jr., the trio made their way to The Outpost for their annual fishing fix.
I enjoy playing and watching golf, and I’m just old enough to remember seeing Dave senior wrap up his career as one of the top players in the game. After winning 10 PGA Tour events, including the PGA Championship in 1970 and 1976, he went on to win 14 events on the Champions Tour and was the leading money winner in 1993 and 94. But would he delay a trip to The Outpost to catch The Open on TV? Apparently not, and who could blame him? He is still a busy guy who needs a break just like anybody else. Since his retirement as a player, he has become a noted short-game guru whose past and present clients include the likes of Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Annika Sorenstam, Lydia Ko and Michelle Wie. I must say I would have enjoyed chatting with him as guests of The Outpost do on an annual basis – maybe next year.
Meanwhile, guests at The Clubhouse took advantage of the satellite TV service in both lounges and crowded around to watch the final rounds of The Open Championship and ensuing playoff holes. Must have been a tough choice whether to catch one of the most classic finishes in major tournament history or get out on the water where guests of both North Island Lodge and The Clubhouse are catching Tyees that seem to be getting bigger with every trip.
There is of course another distraction taking place right now up at The Clubhouse, and it too has attracted a handful of celebrities, beginning with David Hawksworth, one of North America’s most revered chefs and the host of the ninth annual David Hawksworth and Friends Culinary Adventure. This year’s featured guest chef is none other than Normand Laprise, who is to Montreal’s gastronomy scene what Cézanne was to Impressionism in Provence. The owner of Toqué! – by far the most celebrated of Montreal’s fine dining establishments – has been on hand to give cooking demonstrations along with various other members of Canada’s culinary elite.
The rock star chefs included Dino Renaerts, who found the time to undertake a self-guided mission with international sommelier Mark Davidson that yielded a rather impressive result. The principal of the Bon Vivant Group landed and promptly released a spectacular 55-pound Chinook Salmon, the largest of the season for The West Coast Fishing Club. The Clubhouse’s Executive Chef Shaun Snelling kicked off the evening dining program with his aptly named “A Taste of the West Coast.” Day two saw first-time guest chef, Justin Leboe from wildly popular Calgary restaurant Model Milk give the first culinary demo class of the trip for about 24 eager participants. Chef Leboe and the class prepared a confit Salmon, a perfect way for guests to prepare their catch. Dinner was prepared that evening by Chef Laprise and captured a lighthearted east-meets-west theme entitled “A Habs and Canucks Wedding.” No word from Vancouver Canucks defensemen, Dan Hamhuis on who won this match. The Smithers BC native, one of the many NHL players to make regular forays to The Clubhouse, was on hand for both the fishing and the cooking demos with his wife Sarah.
Monsieur Laprise was the host of the cooking demo on the morning of day three followed by afternoon demo host Chef David Hawksworth. At last night’s dinner, guests visited food stations that featured “The Best of The West” hosted by Chef’s Dino, Justin and Shaun. Hopefully Dino was sufficiently well rested after his earlier work-out boating the 55 to provide this morning’s demo that featured his chilled summer seafood plate. Chef Hawksworth, an avid angler and long-time friend of The Club, will be tonight’s dinner headliner. Utilizing a reflective theme entitled “Through the Years with The West Coast Fishing Club,” David will present inimitable fare that would surely tempt the Gods
There is one other food celebrity currently on hand up at The Clubhouse, whose tales of fork and travel are always of interest. A well-known Canadian newspaper and magazine journalist, Jacob Richler is also the son of the late novelist Mordecai Richler and the author of a much-loved cookbook entitled My Canada Includes Foie Gras. One suspects that title would have won the approval of Burgundy trained Chef Laprise, who I am willing to bet knows a thing or two about French farmers and their prized goose liver.
Gee, now that I think about it, even though it would have been swell to shoot the breeze with Dave Stockton at The Outpost, The Clubhouse was clearly the place to be on this trip. Not sure how Chef Hawksworth and friends will top this one, but I’m sure they’ll find a way to make next year’s 10th annual Culinary Adventure one for the millennium. Fisher foodies should perhaps not delay securing their spots for 2016.
Remember how I started out last week saying that the Tyees around Langara Island are getting bigger in both number and size? That trend apparently continues. Just ask Jack Charles Jr., a great and long-time friend of the gang at The Clubhouse, who logged not one, not two, but four Tyees this trip! The largest was a 46 (and released I hasten to add – thanks for that Jack). Other notable catches were recently recorded at Langara Island by Bob Jankovic, who released a 45 after a brief visit; Geoff Smith (36); Howard Stevenson (31); Wendell Zerb (30.5) and Wojtek Wodzicki (32). The previous trip saw Frank Cross take top spot with a 49. Other successful Tyee anglers included Craig Fox, who landed a pair (33 and 30), and David Krause, Christopher Pigott and Rob Alliston, each of whom landed 31s.
As always folks, keep checking back for reports from Screamer for more intel about the bite, the bait and other news around Langara Island. Ditto for lodge managers Todd McIntyre (North Island Lodge) and Jordan Knight (The Outpost) who post pictures and names whenever their 24/7 schedules permit.
Until next week,