Ebb & Flow Week 12 | August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 | 1576 Viewswcfcviews
“A New Season Record Set”
By Stephanie Hansen, WCFC Marketing Coordinator
Another week in Haida Gwaii, means another week of stories to tell. Due to a family emergency, Deepwater Don is unable to provide his weekly report however, I am here to relay some stories and fish tales from the week.
On August 12th, myself along with 50 other eager guests made our way up to The Clubhouse for the 3rd annual Coastal Culinary Experience. And what an experience it was. Weather was fair all trip long with the combination of sun shining each afternoon, minimal winds and calm seas. What more could you want?
Oh, the fish.
We have exciting news to report this week. While I was temporarily residing at The Clubhouse, I caught wind that a new season record for top fish of the season had been set on Monday, August 13th. Measuring out to 51 lbs, North Island Lodge [NIL] guide Bryce Belyea caught and released this beauty while on an evening personal mission with a couple fellow guides, Graham Obee and William Mitchell. Congrats to Bryce and the boys and thanks for releasing that beautiful fish. See photo below!
As if that wasn’t exciting enough, a couple days later NIL guest, Mark Methot got down to business in Boulder Bay and took first place for top guest fish of the season with a beautiful 48 lb tyee that was caught and released with the help of guide William Mitchell. Exciting times. A big thank you to Jonathon and Will for their conservation efforts.
Next up, a few Clubhouse stats. Below are the top 3 fish from this week:
Sean Finamore – 31 lbs – released
Brian Nixon – 31 lbs
Ben Evans – 30 lbs
Now, getting back to the Coastal Culinary Experience. The beach lunch took place on Wednesday – this day was unbeatable! The skies were blue, and the sun was waiting for us. Perfect conditions for our to guests to hop into the helicopter and be whisked away to stunning Beresford Bay on Graham Island for a 5-star lunch prepared by some of Canada’s top chefs, John Horne of Canoe Restaurant, Malcolm Campbell of Auberge du Pommier and our very own, Rob Ratcliffe.
I’ll be writing a full event recap with all the details in the coming days, but for now I’ll share a few of my favourite moments starting with the guest’s arrival. It was exciting to see the expression on our guest’s faces and how grateful and excited they were to be able to experience an event like this. Moments after they arrived and had sparkling wine and beer in hand, we got down to business and began to load up our plates with the stunning meal the chefs had prepared for us. Spoiler alert, there was dungeness crab, lobster chowder, maple seared salmon, ribeye and hand-made bannock. Just to name a few items on Wednesday’s menu.
Guest Leah Shaw jokingly said, “Can we stay out here and camp for the night? We never want to leave this place.”
It was quite tempting to set up camp and stay. Also, a big Happy Birthday to Leah whom was celebrating her big day with us.
Another one of our lovely guests, Barbara Lee said, “Have you tried this chowder? I’ve never had anything like this in my life. This is absolutely amazing.”
After a few hours of beachcombing and tasting John, Malcolm and Rob’s take on a seafood beach lunch featuring local ingredients and techniques of preparation, guests loaded into the helicopter and set out for the fishing grounds. What a day. I will go into more detail in my event recap – stay tuned!
Time to cover a few more fish stats for North Island Lodge before we get to The Outpost. Outside of the 50 & 48 lb tyees caught this week, there are a few more fish we’d like to congratulate our guests and guides on. See below.
Jordan Thomas – 35 guide Bryce Belyea
Paul McGuire – 32 guide William Mitchell
David Crofton – 31
Todd McIntyre sent a note saying the fish are pretty good average size of slightly over 20 lbs mainly being caught off the South shore from Fishbowl to Pillar Bay – most of the fish being taken very shallow. He also mentioned he didn’t see as many coho around during the past week. That’s it for NIL, now onto Outpost matters.
This week The Outpost welcomed our very own Vice President of Sales & Client Services, Chris Dale along with his family and family friends for a well-deserved fishing trip in Port Louis. Chris wanted in on this cameo appearance action, so I’ll let him takeover for a bit.
Greetings from The OP. Couple days into the trip and it has been fantastic. Fishing hasn’t been hot, but everyone is catching great numbers of fish and loving it here.
Our group consists of my dad and I, and 12 of our closest friends and family from Toronto. 11 of them who have never experienced life on the wild West Coast and it has blown their minds.
Day one saw a 29 lb chinook retained (largest of trip so far) by Geoff Gouinlock who has been reminding everyone about his big catch ever since. Jamie Macdonald and Stephen Gilbert had the most exciting opening day catching several chinook and the highlight of the afternoon being in a half hour period a 6 foot blue shark by Stephen and a 200 lb hali by Jamie that was shortly after attacked by a monster sea lion. That completely blew their minds and was the talk of the dinner table all evening.
Day two started with wet, lumpy seas but the groups that went south to Salveston were rewarded. Brayden Irwin caught his first ever chinook salmon – a 24 lb specimen that was skillfully angled with the assistance of guide/manager Jordan and myself on a yellow/green silver spoon that the guides have been using heavily all season.
Today was as calm as it gets with blue skies. Most guests getting into 6-12 fish in the morning including a 14 lb coho for John Dale.
Jordan guided Rob Dale and Jamie Macdonald into a double header at Tian with a 23 and 24 lb fish – both boated. The 23 Rob Dale’s first ever salmon.
Top three chinook so far:
Geoff Gouinlock – 29 lbs
Jamie Macdonald – 27 lbs
Bart Bull – 27lbs
Lots of chicken halibut around as everyone couldn’t “believe how easy it was” as everyone dropped down and had their pick of the litter. and as I type wind is picking up but everyone is anxious to get back out and see what’s next.
Everyone is loving the humpback whale action and marveling in the beauty of Port Louis. That’s it from me.
Well, I had fun taking over the report and had an absolute blast at The Clubhouse meeting new guests and chatting with returning ones. Every trip I have the opportunity to attend, I always enjoy meeting all of you and hearing your stories. Sending my best wishes to Deepwater Don, we hope to see you back next week.