August 28, 2014 Duane Foerter0

QCL anglers are revelling in some of the best weather of the summer and finding that they have fantastic fishing to match!  These past few days have been fairly typical for August with very steady Chinook fishing, especially along the traditional shores between Cape Naden and Klashwun Point.  While it often tends to be hot and cold, Parker Point seems to be the single most productive spot out there, turning out nice Tyee-class fish every day.

At this stage of the season we generally find that the bulk of salmon are off shore a little, in 120 to 180 feet of water and found at a full range of depths, from 90 feet right up to the surface.  This is the case off both the Bird Rocks shore as well as the north shore beyond Klashwun Point.  Anchovy/flasher combos are catching loads of salmon but many of the larger fish are falling for herring, fished “wholly roller” style in close to the kelp beds.  There always seems to be a few of those big ones hiding in the kelp!  Glen Matys chose to release a 40 pounder there last trip, fishing with guide Matt Brown.  Well done Glen!  Vince Parker picked up a 44 with guide Sam Johnstone, Mitchell Wolfe turned back a 34 and Russ Carter released a 37 pounder with guide Ryan Kelly.  First timer at QCL, Bobbie Ence landed a stunning 39 pounder with her guide Dakota Kitchen on Monday.  Our special congratulations go out to Holly and Vince Morelli who chose to celebrate their wedding anniversary with us and did so in fine fashion, boating a matched set of Tyees on their first day of fishing!   So lodge guests are still getting a decent shot at landing a big salmon, right into the last days of summer!

Coho fishing has been pretty crazy with huge quantities of beautiful chrome fish found throughout the grounds, particularly up topside between Green Point and Klashwun.  The sizes are still very mixed but we are seeing some of those awesome 15-18 pound Northerns on the dock every night.  It’s worth noting that we’re also seeing well above average numbers of sockeye at the lodge this month, maybe something to do with the huge projections for the Fraser this year!

Our awesome halibut fishing is still the big story of the summer with lodge guests catching / reporting way more larger-sized halibut than we’ve ever had before.  A new approach to halibut fishing at the lodge is providing lots of excitement and very happy anglers at the Bell Ringer in the evening!  Perhaps most notable are the number of 100 lb. plus fishing being released.  Dale Johnson taped out 2 giants last week, a 107 and a 124 with guide Emmo Scharnberg – way to go guys!  Larry Schultz turned back a 105 with Lucas Grayson and Murray Olson battled a huge fish to the side of Nick Mercer’s Grady White where they measured it out to score 220 pounds!  That’s 4 fish over 200 this summer!  Amazing fish!  On the keeper side, Breauna Hatecke’s 60 pounder was one of many super fish to come to the Bell Ringer this week!   Well done!

Heading into the Labour Day weekend, traditionally the final trip of the season, we expect the weather to switch to moderate southerlies, retaining the nice calm seas we’ve enjoyed but switching to liquid sunshine rather than the nice warm stuff we’ve gotten quite accustomed to lately!  Moderate tides with changes in the 8-12 foot range should help keep the action pretty steady throughout the day!  Fingers crossed for a big finish to an excellent season!

Halibut heaven at QCL!


August 21, 2014 Duane Foerter0

As we run headlong into the final two weeks of the season the fishing action continues to bring lodge guests back to the dock with big smiles on their faces, almost every day.  There are still lulls through the day but for the most part we’re busy catching fish!  Chinook catches this past week have moved offshore a little, the drift from Shag Rock down to Cape Naden in 130-150 feet of water has been quite productive.  Fishing down 65-95 feet with either herring or anchovy, this stretch accounts for a lot of fish, mainly in the 18-25 pound class.  Fishing anything shallower yields Coho and pink salmon in considerable numbers!  Likewise offshore on the north side, off Green Point to Klashwun, is very productive for Chinooks and Cohos alike.  The Tyee is count is down a bit this week but the salmon volume is definitely there!  Big salmon catches this week include a 39 lb. Tyee release for Conrad Huber, edged out of the money by brother Willy with a 45 pounder that he sent back as well!  Brother Gerhart released a 32 for third place! Great job guys!  Glad you keep that family C&R tradition alive!  Out on the DW Kevin Wurmlinger boated 42 and 39 pound Chinooks – huge success!

We’re seeing some very impressive Coho among the huge schools that are pouring through the fishing grounds these days!  While the average size is in the 9-10 pound class, we thrill to see a few fish over 15 pounds every trip.  Larry Burian landed a 17 on Monday and Scott Carley an 18 – amazing fish these are! We’re seeing a few keen fly-casting anglers in the groups these days and they’re having a heyday teasing these silver bullets out of the kelp beds.  It’s such a rush to feel that line slip through wet fingers as they scream across the surface of the water like so many torpedoes! Ah yes… August.

Awarding QCL anglers for impressive Halibut catches is a major event each evening in the Bell Ringer and later in the dining room! We’ve never seen so many flatties over 30 pounds!  Of course the big kudos go to those anglers who release the big fish – door-sized halibut over 100 pounds!  Conrad Huber released a 102, Trevor Schable a 110, Wyndom Dixon a 102, Omar Gutierrez a 102 and father / son team of Travis and Griffin Sydow a 134 pound giant!  Nice to see those big catches and nice to know that they’re all still out there!  Well done gang!

Looking toward the weekend we’re expecting moderate northwest winds to continue with mainly sunny skies and warm 20-degree temperatures.  Tides are in a moderate phase right now but they will build slightly thru the weekend.  Look forward to more and larger Cohos and a continuing tendency to find larger numbers of salmon offshore.  But we know there are usually a few of those big lunkers hanging around the kelp beds in all the traditional spots, right into September!



August 15, 2014 Duane Foerter0

Early August traditionally provides some of the most “summerlike” weather that we experience here and this past week was no exception.  Warm sunny days on mostly flat water have lots of appeal; guests and staff alike were soaking it up with almost giddy smiles!  Those clear full moon nights didn’t appear to affect the fishing so much either.  Chinook catches were distributed quite evenly through the day with some great fish taken in the mornings at Parker Point; Bird 1 was producing really well at mid-day Thursday and Bird 2 had decent action on Tuesday evening.  The big tides were certainly a factor for those anglers who prefer traditional power mooching with weighted rods – it can be tough to get your bait where it needs to be during a 17-foot flood!  But by Thursday afternoon most anglers were pretty relaxed in the knowledge that they had caught all the fish they needed and were content to just enjoy the gorgeous weather and the humpbacks feeding on baitfish throughout the fishing grounds.

Guests were treated to quite a show at Bird 2 on Tuesday evening when a young (30 foot long!) humpback performed an impressive display of acrobatics amidst a dozen or more boats fishing off the point.  After a series of 15-20 headstand / tail splashes the frisky whale finished of with 3 corkscrew breaches and headed on down the shoreline to the next kelp bed and more needlefish.  All the while a larger whale (maybe the mother) was content to continue surface feeding in the bay right beside the anchored Driftwood.  We never tire of the awesome presence of these incredible neighbours of ours!

The weekend weather looks like a mixed bag with light winds from the south and west and only a chance of a shower on Friday.  Tides are moderating now with small changes of 7-9 feet so QCL anglers should enjoy perfect conditions to explore the full fishing grounds and target all species wherever they want.

Notable catches this week were 4 more halibut over 100 pounds – Derek Muirhead released a 109 and kept a 58 pounder, Paul McNeil released a 115 and Marco Fretes a 121 pound giant.  The big halibut for the trip was a 130 pounder for Bill Tucker.  That’s pretty exciting guys!  Betty Zuelke, fishing with her husband Paul and guide Sam Johnstone at Parker Point released a nice Tyee that taped out to 37 pounds.  First time salmon angler Lynda Grimmon boated a stunning 42 pound Chinook with guide Kingsley Bryce and the big salmon of the week was a husky 47 pounder for Luke Jessen, fishing with guide Brett Clarke.  Lots of smiles at the Bell Ringer this week!




August 11, 2014 Duane Foerter0

While last week’s record catch volume wasn’t quite matched this weekend, it was impressive nonetheless!  A persistent easterly swell that came with southeasterly winds on Friday and Saturday sent anglers to “the topside” waters between Klashwun Point and Green Point.  Productive Coho action kept most boats busy through the day but the Chinooks seemed to come to life in the latter hours.  We enjoyed solid Chinook action off Klashwun and Eagle between 5 and 8 pm.  Several fish in the mid-30’s kept the Tyee bell ringing in the evenings but the highlight had to be two great Tyee releases – measured to 35 and 37 pounds – by Fred Pye on Friday, fishing with QCL guide Lucas Grayson.  Great job guys!

In halibut news the big catches just keep coming.  Last week’s fair weather saw lots of boats going offshore and enjoying some incredible bottom fishing.  Several anglers weighed in nice flatties in the 30 to 50 pound class, a real treat to take home.  There were also a number of anglers who’ll have their names added to the 100 Pound Halibut board with “barn-door-sized” catches that were measured and released.  Mark Baldwin turned back a 103, Brian Saucier a 120 and Brian Fiedler taped one out to 184 pounds before watching it swim back into the depths.  It’s quite a rush to see a fish that big alongside your boat!

It was only a few days ago that we celebrated Tim Freeman’s new lodge record halibut at 234 pounds.  Who would have imagined that his record would be nudged aside by an even bigger fish?  On Wednesday veteran QCL guide Derek Poitras headed out to deep water with anglers Donald Walker and Michael Stockton on board.  Great water conditions allowed them a nice straight drop to the structure 260 feet below.  Derek was first to see the distinctive tug on the line and after a little game of give and take they were solidly hooked onto something big.  The forty-five minute tug-of-war was shared between Donald and Michael but ultimately a massive grey-green shape rose from the deep and they tied it alongside the boat.  Derek’s standard 60-inch tape was nowhere near long enough but with the additional 18-inch measure the final length of 78 inches charts out to 254.7 pounds – a giant of a fish that any angler would be proud to have experienced!  And the cool thing with a lip-hooked halibut is they seem to swim away without a care.  Congratulations men!  Welcome to a very exclusive group who’ve even seen a halibut over 200 pounds!

QCL Bell Ringer


August 8, 2014 Duane Foerter0

Fishing started off well Tuesday morning with boats getting the early bite at Bird 1 and Parker Point. Action was steady for Chinook and coho through till late morning. The mid-day slowdown was broken up by fishing for some white fish, with easy catches of tasty chicken halibut and plentiful rock cod. Lots of fun on the light rods and jigs.  The afternoon salmon bite came on from Green Point through to Shag and action continued for several hours into the evening. Parker Point also gave up a good number of fish for the boats working the area.

ashtons2It’s great to see so many young anglers enjoying time on the water with their families. First time salmon angler Nicholas Fisher has definitely got into it this week, catching his first two salmon ever.  It just so happened that each of his first salmon weighed 31 pounds!  Great job Nicholas!  The Tyee bell has seen lots of use this week with a healthy dose of beautiful Chinooks in the 30-35 pound class being recorded.  While we haven’t had any of the really big salmon so far this week, last weekend saw a 48 pounder released by Jared Politz and a 49 pounder turned back by Grant Benson. Jacob Trumbull boated a hefty 47 lb Chinook and Jason Hancock a 45.  Fantastic fish guys!  The 100 pounder Halibut board continues to fill up with some more giants caught and released:  Andrew Wong had a 134 pounder, Manuel Bussieres a 155 and Marty Van Drunen measured one giant out to 215 pounds before turning out the hook and watching it swim away!  Amazing catches all around!


August 4, 2014 Duane Foerter0

Moderate northwesterly winds and those beautiful blue skies that come with them have been a treat for QCL guests and staff alike through much of the past week.  While northwesterlies can provide some fairly lumpy seas on parts of the fishing grounds, they also tend to be very productive, pushing the bait into Virago Sound, drawing more salmon in from offshore.  That could perhaps explain why the fishing has ramped up so nicely!  We’re seeing strong catches of Chinook and Coho salmon, particularly in close from Bird 2 down to the Mazzaredo Islands.  Springs in the low to mid 20’s are more prevalent now and there has been a nice bump in the quantity of big Tyees in the 40-plus class.

There are 3 new members of the QCL 50-Pounder club this week.   Fishing Klashwun Point with guide Jason Orr, Vince Profeta boated a 52 pounder, Brad Malley released a Tyee that taped out to 58 pounds with Rob Clough at Bird Rock 2 and Jason Clark turned back a perfect chrome 55 pound beauty that guide Andrew Simpson released off Bird 2.  Well done guys!  Awesome fish!

Now that we’re releasing all those big breeding female halibut over 133 cm., the good karma must be working because we’re finding more than we ever have!  New names on the 100 pounder board last week were Patrick Murphy at 141, Vince Kulpa at 121, Michael Galarneau at 101 and Corey Bruno at 120.  On the weekend QCL guide Emmo Scharnberg took his guests Tim and Kindahl Freeman offshore to try their luck at halibut hunting.  Jigging their bait at 275 feet certainly was a bit of work but not nearly so much work as Tim had to do, battling a proverbial giant to the surface that completely shattered our previous records for halibut!  Using the harpoon as a measuring stick rather than a weapon, Emmo determined that Tim’s fish was 76 inches long.  The reference chart from the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) determined that this fish was in the order of 234 pounds!  That’s an amazing catch Tim, it must have been very cool to experience and congratulations for raising the bar once again for the biggest fish at Queen Charlotte Lodge!

As we enter the first week of August, anglers will be treated to light variable winds, partly sunny skies and temperatures in the high teens – pretty much perfect conditions!  The tides are increasing in range now as we head toward the big “super-moon” next weekend.



August 1, 2014 Duane Foerter0

Silver and Gold!  Those are the colours of the Tyee pins we’ve been awarding this week.  Big fish are the story at QCL these days with a lot of very impressive salmon appearing throughout the fishing grounds.  Fishing the major gateway to the coast for so many salmon stocks migrating to their home streams has distinct advantages for QCL anglers!

Chinook salmon over 40 pounds are especially impressive animals.  They are the royalty of the salmon family – the Chiefs, the Queens and Kings.  They are typically 5, 6 or even 7 years old, their biological clocks somehow out of synch with the rest of their race who mature and spawn at age four.  While some rivers are famous for their returns of these giant salmon, we hear about lots of smaller systems that usually see a handful of 45 and 55 pounders make it to the spawning gravel.  One thing we know for sure, these monarchs make up a very select group, a small fraction of the salmon population.

On our fishing grounds we’re very fortunate to encounter more than our fair share of these big Tyees. While there often are peak times, the possibility is always there throughout the summer to tangle with a fish over 40 pounds.  That’s part of the mystique of fishing… expectation and opportunity.  You just have to be there.

And over the past week there have been many opportunities!  Sometimes the fish wins outright, managing to spit the hook or break the line, leaving the angler with a strange mix of awe and disappointment that the feeling was so short-lived. Others come to the boat and return to the lodge in the fish box, a deserved source of pride and accomplishment for the successful angler.

Increasingly we’re finding some middle ground – after the battle has been fought, the angler and the salmon part ways after some careful resuscitation – and hopefully both come out as winners. Research has shown that survival rates can be very high for released fish.  QCL guides are instructed in proper catch & release techniques and will work very hard to ensure that a released fish will have the best chance at a good recovery after it swims away from their boat.  Measurements provide an excellent indication of fish size and we’re especially pleased to recognize those anglers who choose to let a big fish go.  We just prefer that anglers consider the options and make an informed choice.  Whichever the outcome, the value of the “Big Fish” is never diminished.  They are prized, sought after, enjoyed and revered.