Ebb & Flow Week 11 | August 22, 2019
August 23, 2019 | 1821 Viewswcfcviews
There are Strange Things Done in the Mid-August Sun…
By Deepwater Don
Greetings friends. Just a little over three weeks to go in this stellar fishing season, and there are still no signs of things slowing down up north, with another 12 tyees recorded this past week. I’ll provide some details, but first, let me tell you a story about a young guide from The Clubhouse named Paul Jordan and his guest Matthew Antchak.
On Monday they set out in Paul’s ultra-seaworthy 29-foot Boston Whaler to a well-known but far-off halibut haven, located some 10 miles west of Langara Island. They anchored up in about 250 feet of water and within short order coaxed some good-sized turkeys to the surface. Nothing surprising about that, but what happened next is rather unusual.
I should preface the remainder of this tale by saying that Paul is a bit extraordinary, and I mean that in the kindest way. I’ve fished with him and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. He’s a tall and sturdy lad of some 25-years, born and raised on Saltspring Island and a master angler, to be sure. But why he decided to stay 10 miles offshore to fish for salmon – salmon! – is a bit of a mystery.
In any case, he lowered a downrigger to 150 feet where a chance encounter occurred between the slow-rolling bait fish and a very large chinook salmon. With the Japanese coast seemingly just over the horizon, Matthew swung into action and before too long, Paul slipped the net under a 48-pound tyee, the largest chinook of the week for The Club and the third largest of the season. They kept the fish just long enough to get a tape measure on it and snap a couple pictures, and then released it back into the emerald waters.
To repeat friends, this was on a halibut mission. 10 miles offshore. Just goes to show that anything can happen on the mystical waters of Haida Gwaii.
Up until some big winds brought things to a temporary halt late on Monday (emphasis on temporary), nothing has really changed since we last spoke. There is still no shortage of chinook and coho salmon for the taking, along with steady halibut fishing, which has been the story pretty much all season long.
North Island Lodge welcomed back the Bob Waldern group sans Bob Waldern and 23 friends and associates for an exclusive trip that featured a friendly fishing derby with plenty of antics. A total of six tyees and lots of fish in the mid-twenties went up on the board among the North Island congregation this past week, with first place going to Hayden Brodigan for catching and releasing a pair of tyees of 33 and 30 pounds. Brian Williams also said hello and goodbye to a 33, as did Travis Brown with a 32. Fin Jensen and Michael Sanfilippo rounded out the scoring with a 32 and 31, respectively.
Meanwhile, guests of The Clubhouse were similarly productive, with plenty of chinook salmon in the twenty and up category. Jack McInerney placed second behind the aforementioned Matthew Antchak with a 33, followed by Brad Allan with a 31. Jeffrey Wright narrowly missing joining the Tyee Club but was no doubt all smiles after boating a 29. I can’t be certain where these larger fish were caught but various places along the north shore of Graham Island have been downright hot at times this past week, particularly on the slack tides. Lots of coho still out there in various places, but nowhere in greater abundance than the north-eastern side of Langara Island.
The Outpost welcomed back some good folks from Prince Rupert Grain for another year, many of whom reported they had never seen better fishing. Same theme played out in the Port Louis region as Langara Island, with ample chinook salmon in the 18-25-pound range and coho aplenty in the low teens. Top fish from The Outpost was a 37 caught and released on Tuesday by Carstin Bredin, followed by a 30 for Steve Conderon on the previous trip.
So that’s a wrap for this week friends. Although the end may be in sight, I have a hunch that things are going to remain very busy right until the final lines are pulled. At least I hope that’s the case, because I plan on getting out there myself between now and when next we speak.
Until then, stay safe and well.