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July 21, 2017 Duane Foerter0

The Tyee Bell was ringing last night in celebration of a couple of the season’s largest catches.  We just love celebrating at the Bell Ringer!

Joe & Ruth H spent some quality time on the halibut grounds this week with their guide Jake Harach… and they made the most of it!  Ruth boated a perfect “over” at 51 pounds but Joe had to contend with some serious heavy lifting.  He got his 30-minute workout wrangling a massive fish that taped out to 71 inches in length for a calculated weight of 187 pounds.  A few quick photos alongside the boat and a measurement and then she was gone with a splash!  Eighteen cracks of the bell on Thursday night and presentation of a gold halibut pin capped a great week of fishing.

Ten-year-old Hayden B returned to the lodge this week with his Grandpa Sam and his Aunt & Uncle to share their annual fishing adventure.  Hayden was learning to use the single-action salmon gear that we use on the BC coast and he was making good progress, albeit with a few bruises and mixed success.  On Thursday morning their veteran guide “Rainman” Dan chose to “turn right” to fish the kelp beds past Cape Edenshaw and they hooked up with “a real good fish.”  It was Hayden’s time.

And he was up to the task – kept the tip up and didn’t lock up on the Islander!  Twenty minutes of tug-o-war and Dan slipped the net beneath a very sizable salmon.  Here was one excited young man!  Of course he was dying to know how big his fish was but managed to stay out all day.  When his turn at the scale came at the Bell Ringer last night there were lots of bets on the size of Hayden’s fish.  “Rainman” hoisted the big beauty onto the hook and covered the numbers while the scaled settled.  Seconds later he lifted his hand… 45-pounds was the weight!  Welcome to the Tyee Club Hayden!  That’s a marvelous catch and quite an achievement for a young angler.  Congratulations!  With a little boost from his guide he gave the Tyee Bell four good dings to a huge round of applause from the crowd, a moment that we’re sure he’ll remember for a very long time.


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July 18, 2017 Duane Foerter0

Mixed fishing catch at QCLIt was another gorgeous day in Haida Gwaii as my guests and I drove out on flat calm waters to one of the spots that has been fishing really well known as “the Nursery”. As soon as we dropped in we noticed multiple boats around us had fish on. It didn’t take long before one of our rods doubled over… Fish On!  We kept busy for over an hour with a mix of Chinook and Coho pushing needlefish in just 50 feet of water. After playing lots of smaller Chinooks we finally hooked into a better one. Seeing it jump a few times right away, I knew this was a good fish and after a 10 minute fight it was in the boat. There was no doubt it was a heavy fish but wasn’t sure it was quite a Tyee. But when we returned to the dock my and got it on the scale, first-time guests were ecstatic when it went 30.0 lbs, a real Bell Ringer!

Big Coho at QCLWith lots of what we call “cookie cutter” Chinook and the odd bigger fish around it makes for a fun day. The offshore Coho fishing has been producing really well, with guides often trolling in from halibut fishing and getting limits of coho, with the odd spring mixed in too. It’s shaping up to be another awesome week!

Tight lines. Kashes Redfern

 

 


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July 11, 2017 Duane Foerter0

Today was a spectacular day to be fishing in Haida Gwaii, better known on the west coast as the “Mecca” of salmon fishing.  With a fresh push of fish entering the grounds, we knew we were in for a treat today!

With the anxious feeling to fill tags behind us, it was time to do some hog hunting!  Today we decided to fish tight to the structure of “Brown’s Pile”. The action was consistent for the better part of the day but unfortunately the size wasn’t there.  At the 11th hour we decided to troll down to the Mazzaredo Islands.  With time winding down on the final day of our fishing trip… Boom! We were onto a good one.

This big Chinook took a naked anchovy at 37 ft. The fight was heavy and lethargic, but the fish jumped multiple times in desperation to shake the hooks.  Fortunately, we were able to keep the pins in it long enough to get him in the bag. We had high hopes of releasing a fish of this caliber, but due to the hook placement he wasn’t going to make it.

Looks like he was coming back to the Bell Ringer with us after all!  This one turned out to be a 41-pounder, a great way to finish the day and an unforgettable trip at QCL.

Until next time, tight lines!

Ryan “Horseshoe” Winger


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July 8, 2017 Duane Foerter0

Rolling over into July, we’ve been very happy to see strong numbers of mid-sized Chinooks showing up along the kelp beds this week.  They’re widespread, from Cape Edenshaw all the way to Green Point.  Through June we’ve done the bulk of our salmon “catching” a little offshore, along the 130-foot line.  Much of the current catch is coming from a little closer in, often from depths 18-28 feet.  The Tyee Bell has been ringin’ for sure.  Mark S boated a big 40-pounder at Cape Edenshaw with his guide Nick Mercer on Tuesday while Liam N released a barn door halibut that taped out to 104 pounds today.  Long time lodge guest Jim B also landed a 40-pound Tyee, fishing self-guided with his partners Andrew and Jay.  Veteran QCL guide Ryan Winger celebrated a career benchmark yesterday with his guests Greg and Chris.  Green Point turned out some big fish for these boys and they didn’t waste the opportunity.  Chris landed a pair of 31 pounders while Greg started with a 30 and capped it off with a stunning fish that tipped the scale at over 47 pounds!  As if that wasn’t enough, they spent a beautiful calm afternoon offshore and boated 35 and 31-pound halibut! That’s an amazing day of fishing by any standard!

We’ve been spoiled by light variable winds this week and the offshore grounds have been the perfect spot to hang out and jig up some halibut and lingcod.  Flatties in the 30-pound class have become pretty normal for us this year and QCL guests really appreciate the excellent GPS/Sounder units installed on every boat.

Between the offshore jigging and the inshore trolling we’re find increasing numbers of Coho spiced with the occasional Chum salmon.  These early Coho are generally in the 5-8 pound range and they provide a nice compliment to all the other tasty treats in the box!

The weekend is shaping up really well with light winds from the west and moderate tides. We have a full slate of guides on the water this weekend so expect to see some great catches on the books!  Will keep you posted!


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July 3, 2017 Duane Foerter0

I wake up, rub my eyes, get dressed and crack a smile. It’s time to get ready to go fishing. What a time to be alive. The winds are manageable, the fish are running, and I’ve got a bucket of bait and nothing but time and opportunity. Game on, let’s get these lines in water.

On Day 1 the fish are not cooperating but we are having a great time. We have landed a few, missed a few, and lost a few. All in all, a pretty good start. Most importantly, I have gathered all of the information I need to make a plan for Day 2. There are tons of fish at Brown’s Pile. We’re going to slay ‘em tomorrow.

As Day 2 kicks off, I share the plan with the boys. I can’t even call them my guests at this point because they are such cool guys that at this point, we feel like a couple of old fishing buddies. We start out slow, waiting for the slack tide to hit to send the fish into a feeding frenzy.  Like turning on a switch, the tide slacks and the fishing lights up. We are hitting fish every 10 minutes and we even have a couple double headers.

After what seems like hours of fun but turns out to be about 90 minutes, things settle down and it’s time for me to reach into my bag of tricks to find us a big one. I decided to go with a big sexy 7-inch spoon. After only about 20 minutes, the rod tip buries 4 eyes into the water and the line is just screaming out. YEAH BABY!  Hooked up. It’s a big one.  After all of the gear is in the boat, we get on top of the fish and I can tell by the bend in the rod, it’s a big one. After about 20 minutes of circling and battling, this monster comes into sight.

Huh? Really? No way. It’s not a Chinook at all. I race for the harpoon and take aim.  Whack. Right between the eyes. Game over fish. I drag the monster over the side and the three of us marvel at the 38-pound Halibut that we’ve just hauled out of 60 feet of water on a spoon. Sometimes is better to be lucky than good.

You never know what you’ll get when you fish in the most amazing place on earth. By the end of the day we had kept 4 Chinook, 3 Coho, and 2 big halibut. The second of the 2 being 69 pounds. Just another day in the Gwaii. Living the dream.  Hope we see you soon.

Derek “Demo” Poitras


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July 1, 2017 Duane Foerter0

 

With the strong northwest winds we had last week fishing has been a little scratchy. Today was another changeover and as all the guides waited on the dock to meet our newest guests the question is always where to fish today. It’s kind of a roll of the dice.

QCL fishing lodgeAs we left the harbour in One-O-Four, we were one of the last boats off the dock.  I placed my bets that the northwest winds had pushed a few fish over to our eastern fishing grounds.  Fishing up at Slab Rock we had a few missed hits but our first hookup was a double header. This is always a bit of a chaotic way to start a trip but for me it also is very positive. There’s fish there!  We landed both fish, a nice little Coho and a beautiful 19-pound Chinook.  As I watched some of the boats drift down wind I fought to stay in the spot we hooked up.  Staying on top of a pocket of fish is always key.  As the tide was flooding we worked hard to not lose the school.  In what sounded like a fairly spotty day on the grounds, we hooked roughly a dozen fish, kept three, and released a few smaller ones.  Also we saw two other really good fish landed.

It’s a great start to the trip and we’re looking forward to heading out tomorrow and getting into some more salmon and… going offshore to do some bottom fishing!

Tight lines!

Dan “Rainman”

Salmon fishing at QCL


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June 27, 2017 Duane Foerter0

Calm waters continued through the remainder of our weekend trip. This worked out quite well, as the majority of our fish were being caught in the waters from Eagle Rock to Green Point, making the run to the top side quite pleasant.  Once again the afternoon ebb tide seemed to produce the best fishing of the day for both salmon and bottom fish. Back at the Bell Ringer, everyone was having a good time on Sunday night, celebrating their day’s catch and an overall fun weekend at QCL!

Our weekday trip is now underway, with new guests arriving this morning. My two guests are on their first ever salmon fishing trip and they kicked it off in fine form! We started the day at Bird Rock 2 and saw a couple of other boats hook fish, but were eventually pushed out by an abundance of floating kelp that made it tough to keep the lines down. Then we drifted down to Parker Point with the northwest winds that started this morning. While approaching the Point, the left rod started to pump and my one guest was quick to grab the rod and set the hook on his first ever salmon. I quickly started clearing our back line when the right rod buried into the water and all of a sudden my other guest now had his first ever salmon on the line. Double header! This father-son duo played these fish like pros and we soon bagged two mid-teeners. After lunch things slowed down a bit but we managed to hook and land a hard-fighting twenty-pounder on our final pass of the afternoon!

Back at the dock I heard three rings of the bell on three separate occasions while cleaning my boat. This meant that a few Tyees came in today. Here’s to hoping we can hook into one of them tomorrow!

(Check out Glenda’s 34 pounder in the photo above!)

Tight lines,

Jackson “Wacko Jacko” Jane

 


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June 24, 2017 Duane Foerter0

The past few days have consisted of ideal water conditions, with calm seas being the norm. This has made for great days on the water, as whale spouts and other wildlife can be spotted from miles away. In addition, these conditions have also allowed us work the points and kelp beds extra hard in search of big Chinook salmon. Although not hot and heavy, each day has seen many nice Chinook taken on the afternoon ebb and low slack tide. This has resulted in a couple of Tyee-class fish being caught on a daily basis. On the other hand, boats have been getting into better numbers of teen-sized fish when working the offshore tack at Green Point and and the waters around Cape Edenshaw. There have also been some schools of Coho starting to show up off of some of the offshore pinnacles. With all of this in mind, there are certainly many salmon fishing options to choose from right now.

Today I had to thank fellow guide Ryan Winger for some helpful insight. After lunch, my guests and I went out to the Hali grounds and pulled up a couple nice chickens. We were then looking to head back to the salmon grounds to finish off the afternoon. I gave Winger a call on the radio and asked him if he has at Parker Point or Bird Rock 2. He replied that he was at Parker and that it might be worth a shot. I started my tack from “Chucks Corner” and worked in tight towards the Point. With my inside rod only a few feet away from the kelp it dipped down and we had a sizzler on the line. After two long runs, we bagged a nice 18 lb fish. After a few more tacks we managed to pull in one more, smaller Chinook that ended up concluding our awesome day!

Until next time,

Jackson “Wacko Jacko” Jane


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June 23, 2017 Duane Foerter0

What a fine week of fishing we’ve just come through!  Not that there were loads of giant Chinooks jumping into boats or non-stop bites on the slack tides, but it was a full spectrum of the QCL experience that made it outstanding.  True, there were some awesome fish caught; a couple of beautiful Tyees in the mid-forties amongst a number in the low thirties and lots in the twenties.  We logged five more anglers into the Halibut 100 Pounder Club, one of them scoring 225 pounds with a length of 76 inches!  We discovered numerous patches of hungry Coho scattered throughout the fishing grounds at a time when we usually don’t expect them.

The weather was fine and sometimes outstanding – with mostly calm water conditions due to light south and southwest winds – sometimes with the bouts of liquid sunshine that usually come with southerlies.  We had several humpback whales feeding and traveling throughout the grounds and eagles jostling with gulls as they foraged on boiling schools of needlefish along the tidelines.

Haida Gwaii black bearAmong our groups of guests this week were a fair number of first-timers, eagerly taking in all the wonders of the place. They were thrilled at all the excitement of getting out onto the ocean and catching some fish of their own to take home and share with friends and family, deliciously spiced with stories of the ones that got away.

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The Bell Ringer was rockin’ each evening with celebrations of success and, of course, tales of woe over those fish that didn’t quite get in the boat.  Guests from all over – Brampton and Boucherville, Saskatoon and Dartmouth, San Diego and Spruce Grove – discovered our little corner of the world and enjoyed our hospitality.  We had a great week, and it sounded like our guests did too.  We’d love to see them all again next year!

Team Tyee on the Driftwood


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June 20, 2017 Duane Foerter0

Breaking barriers through fishing!

With the Kingfisher Derby wrapped up Sunday evening it’s back to business as usual for the guides at Queen Charlotte Lodge.  With that comes working just as hard at putting our guests on to fish as well as having great shared memories on the water with old and new friends. So really not much is different for us.

What my guests for the derby weekend and my new guests for this week’s trip have in common is that they’re all French Canadians, all residing close to Montreal.  Another similarity between two of them involve Tyee Chinook. Meeting my guests Monday morning for the first time I quickly found out that both Denis and Steve are from Quebec and that there would be a bit of a language gap for the three of us. Either way we had the same goal, to enjoy our time out on the water and make memories to last a lifetime. Fishing the grounds at QCL was going to break the language barrier and we were going to make it work.

Rounding the dolphin on changeover Monday, we headed straight to Cape Naden in Grady 114.  It’s just a twenty minute drive so we were able to get the lines in the water in short order. The afternoon still proved to be fairly tough fishing inshore as was the theme over the weekend, with a few Chinook averaging 10 to 15 lbs.  But with the evening tide change approaching the lure of hogs lurking in the depths kept us motivated to keep on grinding the kelp and structure. With an hour before low slack we were fishing tight to the kelp and rocks when the inside rod popped the clip and my Islander started screaming line. Denis C was up to bat and although never having fished for salmon before, he instinctively knew to carefully grab hold of the rod without touching the reel and let this big slab of a fish sizzle line. The battle was on and we knew we had a good one. Long runs and sounding on the bottom had this fish tiring itself out quickly. This Chinook was looking for a fight as it kept charging my boat like a bull, with us as the matador. Careful maneuvering of the boat had this “bull” in control.  The language barrier we had experienced throughout the day vanished as Denis and I now were on the same wavelength. He seemed to know what suggestion or tip I was going to give him next as he was already doing them. Nothing needed to be said because he was already doing exactly what I was guiding him to do. Twenty minutes later the Chinook was in the net, 33 lbs… not too bad for a first timer. Congrats Denis!  Looking forward to spending the rest of the week with you and Steve.

Just another day in the life of a guide. You never know what’s in the stack of cards you’re dealt. All part of why I love this “job”.

Keep your tip up, line tight and hang on for the ride.

Jeff “Smurf”


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