Ebb & Flow Week 9 | July 27, 2018
July 27, 2018 | 1264 Views
By Deepwater Don
Greetings friends from the shores of supernatural British Columbia The strong winds that hampered fishing the past three days have at last subsided and guests are once again enjoying jackets and boots cast off, and soaking it all in.
With cautious optimism – with added emphasis on cautious – I tell you that it appears that a few more chinook have moved into the waters around Langara Island in the past 24 hours. Their arrival comes as blessed relief to fishing guides, whose seven-day-a-week profession can be challenging in the extreme, particularly in a season such as this when the fishing has been inconsistent in comparison to other years. For that reason, I think they all deserve a little love about now.
But first, here are some details on the past week. If you’ve read Screamer’s latest report, you already know that the chinook fishing has picked up a bit after a tough ten or so days. Fortunately, however, the coho have remained in sufficient numbers throughout, as have halibut, to make for some fun times. And yesterday was promising for the week ahead. Two 31-pound tyees were recorded and lots of fish in the mid-twenties too. You can see a photo of Clubhouse guest Renae Tulak and guide Austin Soars with her beautiful tyee below. Combined with coho and halibut, we estimate that the boats are currently picking up anywhere from six to 12 fish per day. Long-time guests have acknowledged that this is not quite what they are used to for this time of year at Langara, and that the fish are a bit smaller than normal. But as at all times in this extraordinary part of the planet, discouraging words are rarely if ever heard. On the contrary, smiles and laughter among friends and family remain the order of both the day and night at all three lodges.
The fish are in most locations at present, so the guides have fanned out to a number of spots both off Langara and Graham Islands. Screamer reports that a lot of the better fish are being caught shallow, 25 to 50 feet, mostly on herring. The chinook salmon are averaging in the high teens, with lots of low twenties reported in the last 48 hours. Coho that currently average about 10-12 pounds are striking randomly on shallow lines, but also as deep as 100 feet, with a lot of silver action off the mouth of the Jalun River. I have had a lot of fun fishing down that way and I think it’s well worth the run as a means of switching things up, particularly when coho are in abundance. Anyone interested in finding a halibut on the way down there might consider a pause over some flat sandy bottom off Pillar Rock and run the lines deep for a few minutes. Overall, it continues to be a good year for shallow-water chickens, and even some better sized halis of up to 40 pounds. Those who venture out west are continuing to find larger halibut, often far too big to keep, but with a little patience on the anchor, most anglers are being rewarded with optimal take-home size halibut that will make for some spectacular dinners for months to come. (Just don’t overcook them though, which is very easy to do.)
Meanwhile a mere 40 kilometres to the south, the fishing has remained very good for guests at The Outpost. Jordan Knight’s latest report contains mention of three 30-pound tyees recently, and lots of fish in the high teens and mid-20s and coho between 10 and 12 pounds in the mix too. Halibut fishing remains extremely good down that way with most guests finding perfect turkeys of around 40 pounds. If you have never been to The Outpost, I highly recommend a visit to this spectacular piece of marine wilderness. It’s an extra special feeling to be among just seven boats and almost 20 square miles of ocean all to yourself. And with an ocean breeze and temperatures in the 20’s (that’s about 80 degrees for you good people of the USA), it’s a fine place to be. Just ask my friend Tony Adrian who just returned to his home in Oregon after a second trip to The Outpost in a little over a month. If you are reading this Tony, happy birthday in advance from all of us at The Club.
Here are the leaderboard highlights for Langara Island. The top fish for guests of The Clubhouse prior to yesterday was a 26 for PJ Ohashi, guided by Owen Drysdale; a 25 for Stan Swales, guide Leon Shaw and a pair of 24’s for Nick Hauge, guide Geoff Martynuik and Scott McGill guide, Nathan Vogstad.
The North Island Lodge gang fared a little better in the honest weight category. Nancy Orozco was fishing with guide Graham Obee and landed one that tipped the Toledos at 32 pounds (I’ve said it many times that the inherent patience of women make them better anglers – way to keep a tight line Nancy!). David Shuman found an even 30 under the watchful eye of guide Morgan Johnston while Bruce Burley picked up a 29-pound tryee thanks in part to North Island Lodge manager and fill-in guide Todd McIntyre. Most fish were caught on the east side during this time period as northwest winds temporarily confined the fishing to the shorelines of Cohoe, Andrews and McPherson regions.
Finally friends, I would like to say a word about guiding. It is not a skilled profession; it is an extremely skilled profession. Guides need scads of certification for safety, boat and radio operation, and they need to be handy with screwdrivers, pliers and wrenches. They need to be an expert skipper and they need to know all the intricacies of electronics, reels, downriggers, spoons, plugs, swivels, hooks, lines and leaders. They need to be able to swiftly cut a herring plug that rolls tight, all the while running the boat and up to four rods in wind and rough water. They need to have infinite patience, particularly when the fishing is slow as it can invariably be. They need to be awake and sharp at dawn and then go hard with constant concentration until sundown, and they need to do this for a hundred or so consecutive days. They need to be sturdy on the sea but calm as glass and personable at all times. But of course you already know all that.
I just thought it was worth a mention anyway, along with a big shout-out to the all-star guide crews at all three of The Club’s lodges. We know, and I am pretty sure that the vast majority of the guests know, that nobody wants to find those fish more than you. We also know that it’s a demanding task, even in the world-renowned waters of Haida Gwaii, to always be able to find the enigmatic and altogether unpredictable salmon, which are constantly on the move – there in great numbers one moment and vanished in the next. And so on behalf of all of us who have had the experiences of a lifetime thanks to your patience and wisdom, let me just say thanks.
No, I mean it. A very big…thanks.
That’s it for this week friends. We are now into the second half of the season but lots of fun still to come.