The Countdown to our 35th Season BeginsMarch 29, 2023 | 3524 Views
With only about sixty days until lines are dropped in spectacular Haida Gwaii, the offices of The West Coast Fishing Club are abuzz with activity.
Delivery drivers come and go, client service staff led by Alexis Steer and Emma McCarthy are on phones assisting guests with trip details, while lodge managers and team leaders interview a steady stream of staff applicants. Soon they will depart for the marine wilderness, where they will rendezvous with barges laden with several tons of non-perishable supplies to be unloaded and carefully stored in the precise order of when they will be used.
Amidst the organized chaos, there is a noticeable air of excitement and optimism. And with good reason: 2022 was not only a year in which the worst of the pandemic was in the rear-view mirror, it was also a season of spectacular fishing. Not surprisingly, hopes are high for more of the same in the fast-approaching 35th anniversary season.Sunset views of Lucy Island and Parry Pass from The Clubhouse deck.
“The majority of our guests have visited us before so they know what to expect,” says Clubhouse general manager Jordan Knight, a veteran of Canada’s world-famous heli-skiing and sport-fishing industries. “It’s not just the incredible fishing; there is also a standard of service and comfort that has been cultivated for over 35 years by our staff. The result is that we see these folks not as guests but as friends, and I think most of them see us the same way.”
In just under fifty days, we will welcome guests back to The Clubhouse, located on the highest point of Langara Island.
“First timers, on the other hand, don’t know what to expect, but you can see the amazement in their eyes the moment they get off the helicopters. The view from the deck is immediately overwhelming. And before they know it, someone offers them an ice-cold mimosa.”
The first choppers touch down June 1 at The Clubhouse. First time visitors and long-time friends alike will be pleased to know that Chef Blaine Robinson will again lead the culinary team of all-stars. With 20 years experience in some of Vancouver’s finest restaurants, Chef Blaine has refined his passion for using seasonal ingredients and mixing classic flavours with modern techniques.Chef Blaine and his skilled culinary team are thrilled to provide guests with a Far Beyond culinary experience, yet again.
House Manager and Sommelier, Dawn Schultz, will also return in 2023, bringing almost two decades of experience in every facet of restaurant operations and management. A certified International Sommelier, she has won numerous industry awards, including Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence. And Mike Tonnesen, who has been with The Club since day one, returns for a remarkable 35th season as head guide.
The sun shines into September. Guest Ron (Guide DJ) showcase that here, along with a released 38lb tyee caught at The Clubhouse.
Self-guided guests will be assured to know that avid anglers Chantal Parent and Thomas Madsen will serve as fish-masters at The Clubhouse. They will maintain contact on and off the water to ensure boats and equipment are prepped, provide daily information on weather and tides and pass along the latest intel from the guide crew.Preparations for the upcoming season are well underway. This stunning view of Parry Pass was taken by a Clubhouse team member on a sunny March afternoon.
The Clubhouse will again offer a full slate of special event trips, beginning with the Beef, Barbeque & Bourbon, which features the return of Matt Pittman, a world-renowned pitmaster who played to rave reviews at his Clubhouse debut last year. Chef Danny McCallum of Toronto’s famous Jacob and Co. Steakhouse will also make a return appearance at the popular event that goes June 4-8.Join Chef Danny Mccallum and Pitmaster Matt Pittman at this years Beef, Barbeque & Bourbon event. To learn more, please click here.
The David Hawksworth and Friends Culinary Adventure returns for a 17th season July 9-13, hosted by the executive chef of Vancouver’s prestigious Hawksworth Restaurant Group. Hawksworth Chef de Cuisine Sylvain Assie will also be in the house for daily hands-on cooking demonstrations. Guests looking to release their inner chef will be enthused to know that Chef Rob McKinlay, executive chef of Toronto’s renowned Canoe, will make a special guest appearance along with Sommelier Mark Davidson, the Global Education Director for Wine Australia, and Chef Dino Renaerts, Executive Chef and Partner at the Bon Vivant Group.The tradition of culinary excellence continues. For more information about this years David Hawksworth & Friends Culinary Adventure, please click here.
The Clubhouse season wraps up on a high note as live music returns to Langara Island, with Marc LaFrance and Mick Dalla-Vee, long-time members of the Randy Bachman Band, returning to rock the fireplace lounge August 31 to September 3, and again September 3-7. Guitar-slinger Brent Knudsen, also a member of the Bachman band, will close out the season September 7-10 along with Richard Sera, a veteran keyboardist and singer who can be heard on Tom Cochrane’s Life is a Highway.
These music-themed trip features nightly live performances, hand-crafted cocktails and the world’s best salmon fishing experience. For more information about this years Far Beyond Concert Series, please click here.
Meanwhile, just a few nautical miles to the south on the sheltered waters of Port Louis, The Outpost will also welcome its first guests on June 1. With capacity for just 14 guests, The Outpost offers the most intimate fishing experience in all of Haida Gwaii, often serving private groups and families seeking lifelong memories.The Outpost, located in Port Louis, is a destination like no other. Surrounded by untouched wilderness, our guests find tranquility in this private, luxury oasis.
“A trip to The Outpost is different than anywhere else,” says lodge manager Shawn Crawford, who honed his uniquely varied skills as a golf club executive chef and later as a guide for over 15 seasons at The Clubhouse. “We’re a small group in an even more remote region, but the guest experience is not compromised in any way. The same standards of service apply, and the fishing is typically off-the-charts.”
The Outpost’s trademark culinary standards will again be maintained by returning executive chef Stjepan Balen. Trained in classical French and Italian cuisine, Chef Stjepan honed his skills in the fine dining scene in Ontario at King Valley Golf Club and in British Columbia at Sun Peaks Grand Hotel. House manager Vicky Smith is also back for another season to expertly oversee the rustic elegance and refined service for which The Outpost is long renowned.
There will be many familiar faces on the dock too, as The Outpost welcomes the return of a strong veteran guide crew, who know every rock and bay of a large stretch of water that guests will have entirely to themselves.For those of you joining us in 2023, this 66lb Tyee caught by Scott J. and guide Scott Beckett in 2022 is the one to beat!
And the fishing? Typically, at this time of year, experts examine as many indicators as possible in order to cautiously predict when and where Pacific salmon will converge. Invariably, however, it is Mother Nature herself who is in charge. But regardless of what the early season indicators might be, there is one universally accepted principle among veteran anglers: The more remote the location, the better the fishing tends to be. And there is no place more remote on the entire BC coast than Haida Gwaii, which is the first stop for all species of wild Pacific Salmon as they make their way south from the Bering Sea to natal waters.The Club is proud to continue the Catch & Release program in 2023, for more information please click here.
And it is for this reason that, almost exactly 35 years ago, founders Rick Grange and Brian Legge created The West Coast Fishing Club as a place where people from throughout the world could gather in a club-like atmosphere of familiarity, and safely experience the exhilaration of salmon fishing by day and relax in refined comfort by night.Brian Legge and Rick Grange enjoying the waters around Langara Island.
And so, the well-rehearsed bustle continues at the Club’s offices – just mere steps from the south terminal of Vancouver International Airport – where some 2000 guests will depart in the weeks and months ahead for their Far Beyond adventure.
It will be one in which they can leave all their cares and responsibilities behind, except for one.
To always, always, always keep a tight line!
Don’t have your adventure booked yet? The Outpost is now sold out for 2023, and limited spots remain at The Clubhouse, call us TODAY at 1-888-432-6666 or click here to fill out an online inquiry.