August 28, 2013 Duane Foerter0

QCL guests experienced the full spectrum of fishing adventure over the weekend with some huge tides, glassy calm seas Saturday and then howling southeasterly winds on Sunday.  The big tides these days have created real up & down fishing cycles with some long quiet periods punctuated by crazy double-header style bites around the slack periods.  With these types of fishing days many guests tend to plan their weekend accordingly – some late night fun at the Bell Ringer and late starts in the morning are a common sign.  It is a holiday after all!  Speaking of holidays, we really enjoyed hosting a great 40th Anniversary celebration for Jan & Ralph Ettles; their family and friends are surely a keen group of anglers!

Gorgeous glassy seas on Friday and Saturday had QCL fishing boats scattered widely over the fishing grounds, picking up a wide mix of Coho and Chinook salmon, halibut, lingcod and groundfish.  While we didn’t see many big fish there were lots to go around and most anglers returned to the dock with a nice box to weigh in.  Kevin Armon boated the largest coho of the season to date, a deep-sided 17 pounder and father / son team Greg and Tim Boshard managed a nice pair of Tyees at 32 and 31 pounds respectively – great work guys!

Sunday arrived with fairly strong southeasterly winds so all anglers were focused on the Cape Edenshaw side where the winds can blow hard but the water generally remains pretty comfortable, especially near the shore.  While the catch suggested a pretty slow day of fishing, anglers chose to stay out through the day and enjoyed the hospitality at “The Hook” grill aboard the Driftwood anchored right there inside “the Cape.”  Guests are really loving the newly renovated Driftwood where the fully enclosed upper deck provides the ultimate patio-lunch experience right on the fishing grounds.  Captain Ryan Horlyck and his crew have done a commendable job this summer of providing on-the-spot service to all QCL guests during their stay.

Looking at the current week, the southeasterly system will prevail through much of the time but the breeze has slackened off to allow guests access to the whole fishing grounds.  Hopefully the fishing continues to provide excitement for the final week of the 2013 season and we can finish it off with a flourish!  Stay tuned.


August 22, 2013 Duane Foerter0

With less than 2 weeks left in the 2013 season we’re certainly happy to say that the fantastic fishery we’ve enjoyed all summer is still going strong!  Typically at this time of year we find that much of the best Chinook action moves slightly offshore; we’ll still find some of those big lunkers in along the kelp beds but the bulk of the catch happens in 120 to 200 feet of water at depths varying with conditions.  Some years we’ve fished into September and spent our most productive hours fishing tidelines 2 – 3 miles offshore!  While we’re not seeing the need to do that yet we’ve enjoyed some awesome salmon bites down 90 feet in depths of 130 – 150 these past 2 weeks.  The massive tides this week with 16 foot swings have generated serious bites off Shag Rock and off Klashwun Point in particular.  Mixed in with the Chinooks are those teen-sized Cohos that we really love to catch.  Several 13 to 15 pounders are showing up now from Green Point to Shag Rock.  Anchovies, spoons and hoochies are all producing well.

 A special toast goes out to a couple of QCL anglers releasing impressive Tyees this week.  On Tuesday evening Greg Ecker hooked up off Bird 2 while fishing with Maurice Winter and guide Ryan Winger.  The powerful fish stayed down deep and out of sight for almost an hour while it worked the anglers several hundred metres from where it was hooked.  The underwater dance continued until Ryan moved the boat off and led the salmon up top where Greg was able to bring it alongside to the net. A quick measurement and some photos were taken before the big Chinook swam away with a few broad sweeps of it tail.  The numbers worked out to 42 pounds and a silver C&R Tyee pin for Greg to celebrate this marvelous fish!  Well done guys! 

On Wednesday we fished Cape Edenshaw for the morning while a bit of snarly weather blew through.  Fishing the kelp beds off Slab Rock with guide Luke Wagner, Mark Butler teased a big one out to bite a white UV hoochie and the fun began.  After a solid battle they brought a nice Tyee to the net and taped it out to 38 pounds before reviving and releasing it.  Congratulations Mark – thanks for letting that big one go!

Looking ahead to the weekend the variable winds should continue with moderate northwest going southwest to southeast over the 3 days.  The tides have peaked now with last night’s “blue moon” and we should see moderating conditions over the next week.  Looking forward to some more great action this weekend!


August 19, 2013 Duane Foerter0

August fishing up here at The Lodge is generally characterized by warmer weather, bigger Coho and the odd giant Chinook!  While we haven’t seen too many giants this month we’re batting a thousand on the weather and the Coho.  It doesn’t get much more exciting than to set the hook on a deep-sided Northern when it slams your polar bear bucktail and launches skyward in the twisting turning aerial frenzy that these silver princes are famous for!  (a fly fisher’s bias I suppose!)

Salmon fishing continues to be very consistent as their migration to the home stream continues.  The abundance of bait in the area has definitely helped keep fish in close to shore where weighted rod and downrigger anglers alike have found considerable success.  The hallmark of this season has to be the 18-20 pound Chinook – there hasn’t been a day this summer when you couldn’t go out and catch a couple of these fantastic gamefish.  They’re so strong and athletic that they’re always exciting to catch, heavy enough to test your skills and provide just the perfect size filet for the ultimate salmon dinner!  And there are still lots of them out there.

Of course salmon anglers always want to get a chance at a Tyee and there’s plenty of opportunity in close to shore, working along the kelp beds.  Keith Taylor boated a nice 38 pounder on Friday with guide Jeff Smirfitt, Pete Welly landed a 35 with guide Andrew Simpson and Jim Broadfoot released a 37 pound beauty with guide Greg Horton.  Nice work guys!  The big fish of the weekend was a stunning 44 pound Chinook caught by Wayne Lloyd at Bird Rock 2 on Sunday morning – what a great fish!  In their annual fishing derby the Huber brothers duked it out, releasing several nice big Chinooks with Conrad emerging victorious on Sunday night with 35 and 36 pound released Tyees.  Beautiful fishing guys!

For this week we’re looking at quite changeable weather with the winds swinging all around the compass and mainly cloudy skies interspersed with regular doses of rain and sunshine!  Summer temperatures of around 18 degrees.  Island weather to be sure!


August 15, 2013 Duane Foerter0

Large volumes of bait, both needlefish and herring, have shown up on the fishing grounds in recent days. As a result, we are finding lots of great salmon action throughout the grounds from Cape Naden to Klashwun Point.  We’re seeing some really nice coho in the 12 to 15 pound class and the quantity of pink salmon seems to be decreasing noticeably.  The most productive water is generally in the 120 to 130 foot range with steady action on feeder springs throughout much of the day.  Fishing depths vary with time of day and tide but we are commonly fishing between 50 and 70 feet in the morning and often between 80 and 100 foot depths at mid day.  While many anglers are accustomed to fishing herring, many have discovered through our guides that anchovies and spoons are working as well or better in most instances.  Green Point has turned out the majority of large Coho so far but the waters off Bird 2 are starting to produce well just slightly offshore.

Recent salmon highlights are a 39 pound Chinook for Doug Quinn on the weekend, leading lots of thirty-something Tyees at the Bell Ringer through Sunday.  Tuesday was the lucky day for first timer Karen Denna.  While  fishing with her husband Smokey and guide Chelsea Sinitsin at Parker Point, Karen battled an awesome Chinook for 40 minutes before it came to the net.  Not surprising, considering it weighed in at 42 pounds.  That’s a great fish Karen!  And John Clough became the newest member of the 50 Pounder Club, aboard the FishFinder on Saturday, releasing a stunning fish that taped out to 51 pounds.  Awesome John and Welcome to the Club!

Looking ahead to the weekend, this moderate southeasterly system will continue to dominate our area, bringing mainly cloudy skies.  The tides are settling down now after peaking last Saturday so we could see the pattern change from the strong ebb tide bites we’re getting this week.


August 10, 2013 Duane Foerter0

Each season we make a special effort to implement some new ideas and try them out.  These might be as simple as a new license pouch or a different hat.  They might be a little more involved, a different menu or some new electronics in the boats.  Sometimes the results turn out to be less than stellar but more often we get a terrific response from our guests.  Once in a while we hit a home run! And so it is with the Bell Ringer. 

“Back in the day” anglers would reel ‘em up and return to the dock to weigh in their catch and hit the shower before dinner.  But we’ve always felt that a lot of the fun of going fishing with your friends is seeing what they caught and trading stories about the one that got away. The weigh scale has always been a gathering place and a focal point for sharing the experience.   So we built our own little social house around it!  The Bell Ringer is now a highlight of the trip for many of our guests, enjoying the “good time” atmosphere with all of their newfound friends.  Lots of tasty snacks, refreshing beverages, great tunes and a fun, lively crew combine to welcome our guests back to the dock after a great day on the water.  It’s a fitting way to wrap up the fishing day as the Tyee Bell rings for every big fish that hits the dock. 

The bell was certainly ringing this week as Lodge & Driftwood anglers enjoyed very productive fishing conditions.  Light variable winds and intermittent fog added some drama to the fishing experience. But with our new Lowrance GPS units on every boat, no one had a concern about the changing visibility. Fishing action went up and down with the tides; there were some slow periods punctuated by terrific bites at the key fishing points. 

QCL guide Kingsley Bryce set the pace this week with his guests Denis Dion and Gilles Beaumier aboard.  On Monday Denis released a nice 32 pounder while Gilles boated a big beauty that weighed in at 41 lb..  On Tuesday they went back out and landed 37 and 33 pounders.  Donald Dion enjoyed a spectacular day Tuesday with guide Dan Rainville, returning to the dock with a 39 lb. Tyee and a 42 pound halibut!  Spectacular.

This weekend we’re going to see the return of moderate northwesterlies and sunshine.  The strong tides will peak Saturday and they have definitely been a factor.  Stay tuned! 


August 6, 2013 Duane Foerter0

They say: Time flies when you’re having fun… Well that could explain why we suddenly see only 4 weeks left in the 2013 fishing season!  We sure have been having a lot of fun this summer!  The weather has been exceptional; maybe one gale warning in the past 70 days and certainly more sunshine that we ever expect to see.  The fishing, from Day One, has been amazing – if we tried to choose one word to describe it.  There may not have been as many “big” fish as we often see and we haven’t broken any records, but the action has been very steady. The fish, particularly the Chinooks, have been so strong and exciting to catch that anglers are often just exhausted when they return to the dock.  The 2013 crew here at the lodge and on the Driftwood have been a joy to work with – our guests love them!  Thank you.

So as we enter the first week of August we’re not surprised that QCL guests are catching all the fish they could want.  Saturday and Sunday afternoons this weekend produced excellent salmon bites from Klashwun Point to Cape Naden.  Last week’s northwesterly winds settled back to light southerlies, giving glassy smooth conditions Sunday and the halibut fishing really shone with lots of nice 20 to 50 pound flatties coming to the scale.  Anglers did find a few of those “too big to keep” halibut – spawning females that we’re happy to see going back – and they celebrated their success with lots of ringing at the Bell Ringer and presentation of our Halibut pins to mark the occasion.

Salmon highlights of the weekend had to be Adrian Neilson’s beautiful matched set of 36 pound Tyees – one taken close in to the kelp at Cape Naden and one on the Bird 2 to Parker Point drift.  Congratulations to Adrian and his guide Matt Burr – a derby winning effort to be sure!  And Brenda Smith pulled the big move in the final hour of the family fishing challenge on Sunday night – edging out her son Wyatt’s 35 pounder with a stunning big Tyee that guide Kerry Bueche taped out to 42 pounds!  Beautiful fish Brenda!  Thanks for letting that big one go!

 This week we’re enjoying light variable winds through to Thursday when moderate northwesterlies (and sunshine) return for the weekend.  The tide range is building again and will peak on Saturday with a 13 foot change.  It’s all shaping up to be another great week at The Lodge!


August 3, 2013 Duane Foerter0

A few days of northwesterly wind has kept the fishing effort focused on the waters between Klashwun Point and the Mazzaredos.  The morning action has been best in close to the shore at depths of 40 to 60 feet.  Later in the day we’re moving off to the 140 foot line and fishing just off the bottom much of the time.  These efforts are producing steady action on Chinooks in the 18 to 30 pound range with a few Tyees thrown into the mix.  

Of course there are always some giants swimming out there amongst them.  First time guest Cheyenne Fontaine managed to find and land one of these on her first day!  Fishing with guide Dan Rainville and her father Larry, Cheyenne boated a beautiful 40 pounder to join the QCL Tyee Club.  Congratulations Cheyenne!  On Wednesday morning Steve Bowers was fishing the drift between Bird 2 and Parker Point with his father Dennis when a heavy fish slammed his anchovy at 55 feet.  After a terrific battle they brought it to the boat.  At the Bell Ringer that night the digital scale confirmed 47 pounds and the celebrations continued with 4 cracks of the bell.  That’s an awesome fish guys – worthy of serious celebration!

Normally these northwesterly systems are accompanied by big blue skies but a large fog bank sat just on the edge of the fishing grounds, leaving the Mazzaredos in warm sheltered sunshine and Klashwun Point in cool blustery clouds.  As we start into the long weekend we’re expecting the winds to settle down to light westerlies and light southerlies.  Tides are moderate this weekend and we should see some sunshine every day over the next week!