Ebb & Flow Week 16 ~ September 7, 2017
September 7, 2017 | 2749 Views
Final Few Days On Langara Island
By Deepwater Don
There is but a single week remaining in the 2017 season friends. Soon Langara Island and all her creatures will be left unfettered for the long North Pacific winter. But as anyone who has patrolled her shores in the early days of September knows, summer is not yet over. Trust me friends; it’s just not and neither is the fishing
Throughout our adult lives we seem to interpret Labour Day as something akin to the school bell that summoned us back indoors, putting a perfunctory end to the carefree days of summer. With each increasingly precious passing year, this makes less sense to me. And so this coming Sunday, I am going to once again ignore the tolling of the autumn bell and return to a captivating place with the person who means the most to me.
North Island Lodge manager Todd McIntyre says there are still lots of big chinook and coho salmon waiting around for those of us who are willing to be patient. Ken Gardner, who I have met on a couple of occasions and is one who clearly understands the joys of early and late-season fishing, was rewarded for his faith just a few days ago with a 36 pound tyee caught out on the west side on an unguided mission. Todd reports that lots of nice fish in the 20’s were caught during this last trip of the season by other devout members of the North Island congregation. Richard Ray took second place on the leaderboard with a 27 and my old friend Dave Matuschewski guided himself to a 26. Like Ken and me, Dave likes to be among the first and last on the water year to year.
A 16-pound coho for Tia Edwards and Patricia Wu, meanwhile, tie with the largest silver of the season, although I have a hunch we could see that eclipsed in the days to come. The very likely prospect of doing business with one of these hook-snouted thrashers is another bonus of late season fishing at Langara Island. Just ask Marc LaFrance, drummer of the Dock Rockers, who netted a 19-pound version on the final day last year.
It was good to hear that the North Island Lodge staff members, who are now in full shut-down mode, have managed to sneak out in the evenings to pick up a few fish. Those folks deserve every bit of R & R they can get after another marathon summer looking after guests in the manner they do. I hope they get a chance to see these words, because I am certain that anybody who had the pleasure of overnighting in their care in the shelter of Beale Cove will want to join me in extending sincere thanks for their herculean efforts and the very best wishes in their next adventures. Congratulations team! Hope to see as many of you as possible when we rev it up again next May.
Meanwhile over at The Clubhouse, things have been cooking, quite literally as the inaugural event of the International Culinary Series is winding up. This year featured the flavours of Panama as exemplified by Chef Mario Castrellon, owner and chef of MAITO, one of Latin America’s top 50 restaurants. The Club’s own Patricia Wu took in this special trip, so watch for a full report coming your way soon. For now, here is a sneak peak.
Out on the water, guests of The Clubhouse found a few fish along with spectacular sunny weather at times. Top anglers were Warren Carter with a 32 and Rob Alliston with a 31 (released).
The final group of the season descends on The Clubhouse today, and then the End of Season Party trip begins Sunday, featuring live music nightly by Marc LaFrance, Mick Dalla-Vee, Brent Knudsen and Ian Cameron. While we affectionately dubbed this foursome The Dock Rockers for the purposes of closing down The Clubhouse, they are otherwise known as Cease and Desist, and for the past 25 or so years, they have been one of Canada’s most popular party bands. The boys are well-known outside of Canada too, having toured extensively with many well-known recording artists, including Canadian guitar and songwriting legend Randy Bachman, with whom they are putting the finishing touches on a new album at Studio Bell in Calgary. With every other lodge in the vicinity – if not all of Haida Gwaii – closed for the season, we will have the waters of Langara Island all to ourselves, and I can’t flippin’ wait.
Here is hoping the weather is still glorious at that place we’ve all come to love and that the salmon are yet hungry. What I know for sure is that the fire will be crackling; the Dock Rockers will kick it out nightly, and that Chef Rob Ratcliffe and his team will pull out all the stops for the final dinners of the season. And then and only then will we at last say goodbye to the summer of 2017.
I’ve been unspeakably fortunate to meet countless incredible people on these marine sojourns over the years. Many of you are reading this and know who you are. I do wish you were all coming with us friends. I truly do.
Until next week’s final report, please stay safe and well.