July 30, 2013 Duane Foerter0

The final weekend in July proved to be another great fishing trip for QCL guests. With the weather swinging around to moderate northwest, anglers tended to focus on the waters east of Klashwun Point to the Mazzaredo Islands.  The fishing along that stretch has to be some of the finest salmon water anywhere and we had no problem keeping everyone busy with steady action on nice coho and Chinook salmon, spiced up with enough shallow water halibut for many pleasant surprises.  The effort was evenly balanced between those using herring, anchovies and artificials and they were all working.  

Fishing with QCL guide Kraig Coulter at Cape Edenshaw, Earl Devall boated a nice 30 pounder and then did battle with an even bigger Chinook that taped out to 48 pounds before they revived and released it.  Great work guys!  Over at the Mazzaredo’s, Makenna Clough did a wonderful job playing a big Tyee to the boat that scored at 38 pounds – welcome to the Tyee Club Makenna!  Thanks for letting that big one go!  Saturday was a fantastic day at Parker Point with Jordan Cruz boating a 49 pounder and Bryce Jones-Jonson a fifty!  Cameron & Cary Matthewson found an even bigger prize at Bird 2 when Cam hooked up with a beautiful chrome giant that took them a solid half hour to bring to the net.  That night at the Bell Ringer they celebrated Cameron’s joining the 50 Pounder Club with his 55 pound trophy! 

 On Sunday guide Ryan Simpkins took Tony Anderson back to Parker Point where a “cop car” spoon fished at 50 feet tempted a big Chinook to attack.  Tony came out on top though and celebrated his 46 pound prize with 4 cracks at the Tyee bell!  We’re also finding lots of nice halibut without trecking out too far from shore.  John Occhipinti released a big one that scored 74 pounds and 82 year old Ron Barbaro turned back an even bigger one that taped out to 82 pounds!  Great work guys!  The big fish of the day went to Dan Tardiff whose released halibut scored at 103 pounds! 

While it’s sure nice to see these big breeding females go back, thankfully there are lots of nice fish in the 30’s and 40’s to take home for the freezer.  With QCL’s unique portion packing program you can enjoy beautiful portion-sized chunks of halibut and salmon all year long, safely vacuum-sealed for fresh tasting fish any time. 

The beautiful warm & sunny weather should continue all week – and the staff are really soaking it all up!  The winds will stay moderate northwest so the calm waters behind the Bird Rocks, Parker Pt. and Cape Naden will definitely be popular destinations.  Tides are moderating all week.


July 27, 2013 Duane Foerter0

They don’t call it the Bell Ringer for nothing! The Tyee bell was ringing steadily this week as both salmon and halibut fishing continue to be outstanding. Each evening as the boats returned to the dock with their catches, the collection of lodge guests at the Bell Ringer happily celebrated the fish and the stories of how they were (or weren’t) caught. And there was lots to celebrate!

Experienced QCL angler John Bowser started things off in a big way on Monday with a beautiful Chinook that tipped the scale at 53 pounds, fishing off Yatze with guide Luke Wagner. Around the same time first-timer Matt Newton was reeling a very comparable prize to the gunwhale of the Fishfinder while enjoying a staff fishing day with Paul Clough and a collection of lodge crew. After a good strong fight Paul slipped the net under a broad-backed giant that taped out to more than 55 pounds before they quickly revived and released it. Awesome job gang! That’s quite the start to your fishing career Matt! Well done!

There were more great releases through the week as Reed Courtney turned back a nice 39 pounder on Monday and Tom Boos a 33. Tuesday saw Jordan Rule catch and release a nice 51-pound plus Tyee (his second in 3 years!) with guide Ryan Winger. And Jordan Clough had another great day fishing with his Dad Rob, bringing a giant chrome trophy to the boat that taped out to 51 pounds before they released it. That just happens to be Jordan’s second 50-plus salmon at QCL and he’s not in high school yet! Fantastic fishing gang! Thanks for letting those big ones go! On Thursday Conner and Brad Rule returned to the Bell Ringer with a shiny 52 pounder, complementing a number of nice 30-something Tyees on the dock that evening. Great fishing guys!

The halibut fishing had its highlights as well with several nice fish in the 30 – 55 pound range coming to the scale from depths in the 200 foot zone, great additions to all of those 12 – 15 pounders we see every day.

The weekend looks promising with clearing skies and moderate northwesterlies in the forecast. The big tides peaked days ago and we’re looking forward moderate flows over the next while. Lots of bait is still showing in the area and these northerly winds will certainly help keep it here so we are optimistic that these times of plenty will carry on for a good while yet!


July 23, 2013 Duane Foerter0

Great fish stories continue to be written almost daily up here at The Lodge! Last week QCL guide Cody Johnstone got to drive the newest addition to our fleet of custom-built aluminum fishing boats, a beautiful 24-foot Broadwater built in Prince Rupert. He really enjoyed the many features of the vessel but he especially appreciated what it did for his fishing! Working the productive waters off the outside face of Bird 2 on Wednesday, veteran QCL guest Gary Nelson hooked up with a nice big Chinook and, after a solid battle, boated the 42 pounder. They returned to Bird 2 on Thursday and enjoyed a productive morning catching lots of coho and teen-sized Springs before Gary once again set the hook on a particularly heavy salmon. The big fish certainly gave them a workout but Cody finally slipped the net beneath it. This fish was definitely going to be released so after a quick measurement Cody revived it off the extended transom and away it went. The score – 48 pounds! Beauty fish boys!

After lunch Cody moved on down to Parker Point to test the waters around Chuck’s Corner. Fishing his trademark anchovy at 35 feet they hit another good fish. This strike was for boat-mate Jeff Rimer, who lifted the rod from the holder and hung on 30 minutes for a real ride. When they finally had it to the boat they discovered that it was clearly even bigger than either of Gary’s 40-plus fish. Once again Cody carefully boated the fish and did the measurements to determine that this bright chrome beauty scored out to 59 pounds! No time for celebration as they got her back in the water and after 5 minutes of revival, the giant salmon swam back into the safety of the kelp. High-fives all around followed and a toast to a fabulous couple of days on the water! Well done guys! Congratulations and thanks for letting those incredible big fish go!

This week we’re seeing a shift to southerly winds after several days of northwesterlies. We may see some showers – it’s actually getting dusty around here – and QCL anglers should enjoy pretty calm seas for most of the week. The tides are peaking Tuesday with 17-foot changes so portions of the fishing grounds start to look like a giant river at certain times of the day. We’re looking forward to a fun night at the Bell Ringer as the boats start to return! More news coming soon!


July 20, 2013 Duane Foerter0

An interesting thing about fishing is that you just never know how things are going to turn out. Each morning we get into our gear and head out to try our luck. And it’s true, sometimes you have to be good to be lucky!

This week a few of our guests must have been very good! On Monday Kyle Shropshire arrived at the lodge from Michigan with his father Carl and some friends. Never having fished in the north Pacific, they opted to fish with a guide during their stay and were matched up with their guide Craig. On day one they did exceptionally well fishing for Chinook salmon. Kyle was able to catch & release 2 outstanding fish – taping them out to 34 & 51 pounds! Tuesday and Wednesday went well and they kept some nice springs in the high teens and some coho. Beautiful flat water on Thursday found them out on the halibut grounds where they had steady action until Kyle lifted the rod on a solid bite and it felt like he’d hooked onto a sunken ship! Except this one started moving. Forty five minutes later they had the proverbial “barn-door” alongside the boat. As we’re releasing all halibut over 126 cm they knew this one was going back. But since it kept fairly calm just below the surface, Craig wanted to try and measure it. The best tool he had on board was the halibut rod itself, a stiff 6½ footer, which he managed to lay out along the lateral line of the giant fish as it swam beside the boat. Based on the published formula used to estimate their size, Kyle’s 71 inch-length halibut would weigh approximately 186 pounds! That’s definitely in the same league as our QCL record halibut at 183 lb. caught in 2000 by Mike Sutherland. The nice thing is this giant female swam gracefully away after Craig removed the single hook from its upper lip. Well done guys! Congratulations Kyle on some amazing fishing here at Queen Charlotte Lodge this week!


July 17, 2013 Duane Foerter0

Sunshine is the order of the week and QCL staff and guests alike are reveling in it. While the weather so far this season has been particularly fine, these warm temperatures are bringing out the sun tanning crowd and tempting the brave to go for a dip in the cool waters of Naden Harbour. It’s a treat to be sure.

Out on the fishing grounds the salmon action is pretty steady with the slack tides providing a definite bump in activity. The perennial favourite fishing hole at Bird Rock 2 has come through on both Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, yielding some stunning Tyees to the early anglers. Fishing with QCL guide Craig Coulter, Driftwood guest Kyle Shropshire became the newest inductee to the 50 Pounder Club with a beautiful big Chinook that taped out to 52 pounds. After a solid battle Kyle decided to let the big salmon return to the sea and after a few minutes of recovery they watched it swim to the safety of the kelp forest below. (They did the same with a nice 34 pounder just an hour later!) Great job Kyle!

The waters between Bird 2 and Bird 1 have been very productive with the fish moving through various depths with the changes in the tides and light levels. The traditional hiding spots along the kelp beds have produced very well but the bulk of the catch is coming from slightly deeper waters, generally along the 120 foot line all the way from Klashwun Point to Cape Naden. We’re still seeing lots of exciting feeder springs in the mix with larger Chinooks and coho in the 7-10 pound range. On Tuesday night, right at high slack, the action was hot well off the face of Bird 2. Several nice Chinooks were taken and Derald Walker, fishing with guide Jason Drury, hooked up a hot fish on the outside of the group. Some aggressive reeling and expert boatmanship combined to bring a beautiful big Tyee to the boat in short order. After a measurement and a quick photo Jason released the stunning chrome bar which taped out to 35 pounds. Great work guys! That was exciting to watch!


July 15, 2013 Duane Foerter0

QCL guests departing the lodge this morning enjoyed an amazing weekend of fishing and some splendid weather. The waters between Cape Naden and Klashwun Point have been particularly productive, especially around high slack tide. We’re getting into some nice big Chinooks these days, trolling herring and anchovies at 35 – 45 feet off the points. The offshore drift from Yatze down to Cape Naden, fishing down 50 – 90 feet in 120 feet of water, has been awesome, producing steady Chinook action through much of the day. Those green & glow and green/chrome spoons are also working wonders on both salmon and halibut.

Salmon highlights for the weekend were a 46 pound Chinook for Grant Mason, a 45 pounder for Bob Baxter, a 44 for Jean Marasse and a 48 lb Tyee for first timer Stephanie Brun-Brunet. Fishing along with Stephanie was Lecia Stewart, no stranger to big fish, who landed 3 Tyees – 31, 33, 38 lb – over the weekend with the expert assistance of QCL guide Jason Orr. What a fishing trip ladies! Great job Jason! Another big fish was caught and released at Parker Point on Saturday night by guide Craig Coulter, taping it out to 44 pounds. Congratulations!

We’re still picking up some bigger halibut (up to 60 pounds) incidentally while trolling for salmon in these areas. Moving off to water depths of 150 – 180 feet off Shag Rock, the Bird Rocks and Cape Naden, is consistently producing strong halibut catches through slack tide periods.

Special mention goes out to successful halibut-hunters Jean Marasse 46 lb., Terry Dirk 46 lb., Punia Harpal 48 lb., Boris Culum 44 lb., Joey Johnstone 42 lb., and Eric Macey 42 lb.. The big hali for the trip was caught by Valerie Broda while salmon fishing off Yatze – a 60 pounder that required some serious pulling on Valerie’s part! Good job!

The coming week looks sunny with big blue skies and moderate winds out of the northwest. The good news is that the best fishing has been exactly where we’ll be focused this week – Cape Naden to Klashwun Point! Stay tuned for more reports!


July 12, 2013 Duane Foerter0

There is a bit of a buzz around that this is shaping up to be a big year for big fish… could be true! We’re certainly seeing lots of promise in 2013 so far! With several fish in the fifties caught in June we had our first indication that it might be an exceptional season. Nate Schwartz’s 66 pounder on June 25th got us pretty excited and now we’ve seen our second over-60 this summer.

Neil Lassesen and Paul Bell were fishing self-guided in 200 feet of water off Shag Rock yesterday, doing pretty well on feeder Chinooks, when Neil’s rod dipped hard off the rigger at the 80 foot depth. Neil jumped to the rod and tightened up just as Paul’s rod tip came to life. Double header. Paul made short work of his fish which turned out to be a pink salmon but Neil wasn’t playing a pink! He was into a serious battle with a heavy fish which stayed down deep and had the Islander reel working hard. When the big salmon first showed on the surface they got a glimpse of the broad tail and they knew this was one of “those fish” that most anglers wait a lifetime for.

A moderate northwesterly sea added to the challenge but eventually the guys brought the salmon and the boat close enough together to let Paul slip the net under the gleaming chrome Chinook. Since they knew all along that this fish was going back they were prepared and quickly had it measured, photographed and back in the water. It took both men to support the huge salmon alongside the boat as it eventually regained its strength. When the strong kick of the tail told them it was ready, they watched in wonder as it swam away from the boat and returned on its journey to the spawning gravel of its home stream. The calculations determined that this salmon was around 63 pounds and had a girth of 32 inches! What a beautiful specimen and thanks guys for letting it go! Just so happens Neil was celebrating his birthday too so what a present to receive! Congratulations Neil on joining the very exclusive Kingfisher Club at Queen Charlotte Lodge!


July 11, 2013 Duane Foerter0

The mixed up weather this week has given QCL guests the full spectrum of island conditions; ever changing with gusty squalls blowing though followed by brilliant sunshine and glassy flat water. Many anglers have taken advantage of the flat seas to go off in search for halibut. We catch many of our halibut incidentally; they come up and take your bait while trolling for salmon, which is convenient but some people love to see what they can jig off the bottom!
Our “halibut grounds” are extensive, the slope of the ocean floor gradually dropping away from the shoreline provides lots of good habitat relatively close to shore and many of the best spots are well tagged in the onboard GPS units of our boats. This week we’ve seen several anglers return to the dock with nice chunky halibut in the 30 to 60 pound class, pretty impressive catches when they show up at the Bell Ringer.
The best salmon action continues to be focused between Bird 2 and Cape Naden, with the action peaking through the tide change periods, especially on the early ebb. Fishing this week with his son Matt, a veteran QCL guide, David Burr has caught and released 4 Tyees in the mid-30’s already!
Looking ahead to the weekend we’re expecting light to moderate westerlies so the sun should make an appearance and the tides are moderate.


July 10, 2013 Duane Foerter0

What a way to start your salmon fishing experience! First time salmon angler Jeff Magee is enjoying his “15 minutes of fame” this week after his first day on the water. Only a couple of hours into his first trip to QCL, and after a pair of feisty coho to warm him up, Jeff hooked up with a big brawny Chinook that kept him on his feet for 45 minutes. His guide Jeff Smirfitt had just made a pass inside the kelp off the point at Bird 2 when the hungry salmon gulped his anchovy and took off. But the two Jeffs did a great job of controlling the fish and eventually bringing it to the boat. The catch was made all the more exciting as it happened at the peak of the lunch time service aboard the Driftwood, and a healthy audience followed Jeff’s every move while they enjoyed their bowls of hot chowder and chili! Back at the dock, the cheers went up as Jeff’s first ever Chinook tipped the digital scale at 41 pounds! Congratulations guys! Well done!

July 6, 2013 Duane Foerter0

Our guests are raving about the newly renovated MV Driftwood as she anchors right on the fishing grounds providing great service and comforts to QCL anglers throughout their stay. We’ve made a number of changes to the vessel to create a place where all guests can come aboard and take a break, enjoy a delicious and varied lunch service, restock on bait and tackle and compare fishing stories with newfound friends.

We’ve set up a new grill on the lower deck and enclosed the whole upper deck with window curtains to provide the ultimate floating terrace diner right at Bird Rock 2! We call it “The Hook” and you’ll know why after you visit. You sure can’t beat the view, with frequent hunting raids on the gull colony by the resident eagles and regular siting’s of bears and whales, it’s truly a unique lunchtime experience.
Be sure and spend some time at The Hook when you’re up fishing this summer!