June 30, 2016 Duane Foerter0

Energy was high on the dock this changeover, a new group of guests were arriving and the weekend brought in the first big fish of the season. There where multiple Tyees caught on the weekend, capped off by a 54 on Friday and a 61 on Sunday! As guides, this is exactly what we have been waiting for! As a whole we are all just a little bit more on edge, aware that any bite could be that fish of a lifetime.

Getting Started(Thanks! Roger Baker for the photo!)



60623164_wEvery day we are seeing more bait, more diving birds and more seagulls on large bait balls. Yesterday while fishing in Yatze bay there where huge bait balls for over three hundred yards in the tide line and you could see salmon slashing through them just under the surface of the water. Things are setting up real nice and it’s time to start grinding for those trophy class slabs.


Dan “Rainman”


June 28, 2016 Duane Foerter0

Wow!  It’s our 10th trip of the season already!  Canada Day is coming on Friday!  And things are really rockin’ up here at The Lodge!  Our Edmonton-Direct guests returned home today with full boxes of fish and hopefully memories full of wonderful moments from their weekend here in Haida Gwaii!  We noted a whole new group of fish had arrived in the past few days, distinctly silver, husky fish that tested the mettle of every angler.  The average size is getting into the twenties with this crowd and, most excitingly, there are some BIG fish in the mix!

61 Pound ChinookFollowing up on the stunning 42 and 54 pound releases last week, QCL guests found some more where those came from!  Recording our largest salmon catch of the 2016 season to date, Greg P hooked and landed a big beauty that taped out to 61 pounds on Sunday!  Just setting the gear along the edge of the kelp off Yatze, his guide Isaiah Dahl had not yet placed the rod in the holder when the chrome giant crashed the anchovy and tore off, luckily, away from the kelp!  It was Greg’s turn on the rod and he handled it masterfully, bringing fish to boat in good time.  When Isaiah finally slipped the net beneath it, the guys gulped a big breath as they finally got a good look.  A call out to Shooter for some photos, a quick measurement, and they were able to release the big beauty in perfect shape.  Well done fellas!  That’s a great fish and thanks for sending her back!

C&R 61 lb. Chinook

Around the same time a similar situation played out just north in the gap between Klashwun Pt. and Shag Rock.  With lots of current and unpredictable upwelling this can be a tough place to fish.  But it is productive and so discovered Rick S when he hooked into a heavy Chinook that put up a serious battle before finally coming to the net.  With no intention of keeping it, Rick and his fishing partners quickly taped the prize out to 39 pounds before reviving and sending it back.  Wonderful work guys!

Meanwhile over on “the dark side” at Cape Edenshaw, Jay R was doing battle with yet another mighty Chinook from the boat of guide Ryan Winger!  The waters off “Piggy Bay” have been particularly productive lately and that’s where “Horseshoe” was working his ‘chovy when the rod lurched beneath the surface and Jay leaped to action.  The determined salmon took some serious work to boat but the guys were over the top when they finally had it in the net.  Ryan had already started reviving the fish alongside his Grady when they got a call from another, alerting of an approaching sea lion!  With some quick thinking, they lifted the salmon back into the boat for safety.  Ryan jammed the boat into gear and they sped off to elude the hungry mammal.  Safe from the sea lion, they resumed the revival until the huge Tyee swam away with strong strokes.  Scoring out to 42 pounds, this big Chinook will hopefully find its way back home to keep the strain alive in the future!  Fantastic fishing boys!  Thanks for going the extra mile!


June 26, 2016 Duane Foerter0

QCL guests enjoyed some fine weather on the water this week with a total stunner on Wednesday… flat water, bright sunshine and loads of crazy looking clouds on the horizon!  And the fishing wasn’t too bad either!  Those flat water days see everybody heading offshore to their favorite halibut haunts.  The result were telling!  Lots of awesome “overs” in the 84–133 cm class (16 to 70 lb) came to the dock as our guides continue to hone their bottom-fishing skills!  Of course there were a bunch of fish that were turned back, giant females too big for retention!  Max Z released a 104 pounder, Jeremiah F a 94 and a 250 lb. barn door!  Rick W tangled with a big fish that taped out to 121 and John F released a 150 pounder.  It’s always exciting to hear the stories and watch the “phone videos” of these events!  There’s no shortage of adventure on the halibut grounds!

54 lb Chinook C&R

On the salmon front we saw our first 50 Pounder of the 2016 season! Fishing with his roomy Ian and veteran guide Jackson Jane, Phillip B successfully brought a stunning fish to the boat at Cape Naden on Friday.  After carefully taping it out to 54 pounds the big Chinook swam away directly after some revival from Jackson.  What a beauty Phillip!  Thanks for letting that big one go!  And welcome to becoming the first member of the 50-Pounder Club for 2016!



C&R 42 pounder at QCL

Just 2 days earlier another splendid release was celebrated by Selena G and Denis B when their guide Isaiah Dahl carefully let a big chrome beauty back to swim away; this one measured at 42 pounds!  Fantastic fish folks!  And again, we really enjoy seeing these 40-plus pounders getting a chance to return to the spawning streams!  Thanks again!  Look forward to more great fish stories in the days to come!


June 23, 2016 Duane Foerter0

Sunday was like no other day I’d see this summer. It was derby day! Not only was it derby day, but the final day of the prestigious Kingfisher Salmon Classic.

The weekend had been moderately slow due to a couple of pods of orcas cruising throughout the fishing grounds. This made for an extremely interesting derby, leaving no Grand Prize out of reach. On Sunday we decided Bird Rock ll was going to be the home of the hog we were hunting.

In my boat there seemed to be no additional pressure from the derby. The boys were enjoying cold beer and talk radio all morning. Our only issue was that the last ten consecutive Chinook releases were between 10-15 lb., which was a pretty good problem to have! Unfortunately, that size of fish was not going to move us up in the rankings anytime soon.

After meticulously carving up a couple of cut plugs, I weaved my way through the fleet of red and white boats. Hugging the wall of B2 I had a feeling there would be a nice fish sitting deep in the east bay. As the ebb tide helped me swing my gear into the strike zone I saw our first derby-worthy take. This fish was off the clip and heading straight for the kelp! We were fortunate enough to cut him off just in time, and after a solid 10-minute fight he was in the bag. Not soon enough either, as I pulled the net away from the waterline, a massive bull sea lion attempted to steal our fish. Not this time though, which felt good considering he obliterated a couple of our salmon earlier that morning!

After a quick hand off to the derby marshall, we decided this fish was going to be entered in the “kill” category. A 22.3 had been leading the weekend. A few chewed nails and empty beer cans later, we got the verdict… our 22.6 was the new leader! We managed to hold on to the title throughout the evening tide. Back to the Bell Ringer boys, we got him!

Thanks for reading, tight lines and silver smiles!

Ryan “Horseshoe” Winger

Sounding the salmon horn


June 21, 2016 Duane Foerter0

Persistent westerly winds have been pushing tons of bait into the fishing grounds this week and with the bait comes all forms of sea life!  Humpback whales are a constant presence in the quiet coves between the Mazzaredo Islands and Green Point.  It’s amazing to watch them work their massive bodies around the rocky outcrops, doing headstands underwater, their broad tails waving at us as they corner schools of needlefish against the rocky walls below.  They go about their business patiently, moving back and forth along the shore for hours.  Savvy anglers recognize the feeding whale as a good sign that the salmon will also be there to get their share.  Many a good salmon catch has come right from the whale’s dining room!

Cape Naden continues to be the most productive spot on our grounds, partly because it’s seen the most boats but also because the bait is hanging in that area. Parker Point, Bird 2 and Yatze have all produced decent action at some time during the day.  While we haven’t had much problem with sea lions this summer, there were a couple of busy ones at Cape Naden and Bird 2 on Sunday, helping themselves to the odd Chinook.  With the approaching full moon the flood tides have been more productive than the ebbs and the slack periods are brief but rewarding for those who get their timing right!

We’ve seen some nice big Chinooks come to the scale in the past few days – 35, 35, 36 on Tuesday, 30, 31, 37, 38, 46 on Wednesday, and 32, 38, 38, 43 on Thursday.   It promised big things for the weekend Kingfisher Derby, our 14th annual.  But the action slowed considerably and derby participants worked very hard to find Tyee-class salmon for our popular Catch & Release event.  A handful of Tyees were recorded but no one was able to best Steve Rule’s catch on Saturday that taped out to 33.3 pounds, winning him the $40,000 top prize.  Miles D boated the largest salmon of the weekend with a beautiful 37 pounder on Sunday afternoon, but he wasn’t in the derby! (shades of 2015 when Russ B weighed in a 50-pounder to not win the derby for the same reason!)  Congratulations go out to Steve and his Denver team who did very very well in the overall scoring!


June 19, 2016 Duane Foerter0

What have you been Herring about us? If anyone was Biting for more Reel reasons to visit the Bell Ringer – look no further! But hurry Onboard – this could get pretty fishy.

Just for the Halibut, we’ve put together 10 reasons why every fisher-Buoy and fisher-Gil should make a stop at the Bell Ringer at the end of their fishing day.

Here at the Bell Ringer, we don’t discriminate! Whether you’re a brain Sturgeon or the Fairy Cod-Mother, the Red Boot Team will show you a good time!

We’re pretty Shellfish here at QCL, and we like to treat our guests right! We offer you some of the tastiest appetizers and refreshing drinks on property!

We don’t Scale back – on anything!

Don’t get your Line in a Tangle! Sit back and watch everyone’s catch from the day get weighed up – you won’t miss the chance to see that Tyee on the scale!

You’ll have a Whale of a time!

We’re not a pain in the Bass! We want you to have the best time, and will go to great Lengths to make it happen!

If you’re sole-ly here for the fishing – great! Chat to our Fish Supervisors about processing your catch and bringing home some extra goodies.

Still need to Mullet over? Troll through our website and check out the photos for yourself!

Remember, any Fin is possible at the Bell Ringer!

Well… What are you Wading for? The Oppor-Tuna-ty is waiting!


Jessica I – Fish Services Supervisor


QCL Bell Ringer


June 16, 2016 Duane Foerter1

Friends and relatives of the QCL family, welcome to another installment of the Guide Report, my first of the 2016 season. Another highly anticipated year is well underway and returning guides and guests alike are back into the mix and routine of spending day after day fishing the world class waters of Dixon Entrance. As well, guests and guides who are new to Queen Charlotte Lodge are experiencing the magic of the lodge and fishing grounds that keep many of us returning year after year.

Tuesday morning featured a practically cloudless sky with the sun shining off of the Grady White fleet of fifteen. Leaving the dock in One-Fourteen with my guests after most of the fleet had already left for the early morning bite, I made a call to Fishmaster for a report as I rounded the dolphin. Cape Naden and Parker Point were the two points that seemed to have the most activity to start the day off. Wanting to wet the lines sooner rather than later I dropped in just west of Naden so I could set my gear and let the start of the day’s northwest wind drift me past the point. The Fishmaster report of fish activity was still holding true as I saw many bent rods across the collection of boats working the area. Minutes after dropping in, the first bite of the day came. My guest Lorne set the hook and is instantly into a Chinook. Seconds later I look behind me and Lorne’s son Martin is setting the hook on the other rod. Right on boys…tough to beat a double header to start the day. A solid 20 lb Chinook was kept while the 10 pounder was released to hopefully grow into that 50-plus pounder we all hope to catch. The furious activity kept going for the next hour or two but started to taper off as the tide started to ebb hard. Action never did quite pick up again the rest of the day like it did in the morning. But every fish that was netted throughout the day kept the positivity up until the next “smiley” was hooked.

Each day a couple more 30 pound-plus slabs hit the scales which always adds some extra excitement at the Bell Ringer… giving guests and guides some extra encouragement to fish the grounds hard the next day. Also a decent amount of Coho salmon were caught by the fleet today… the nice treat of a bonus Coho to take home is always welcomed.

We hope to see you all up here sometime soon!

Remember… keep your rods bent, line tight, and hang on for the ride!

‘Till next time…

Jeff “Smurf”


June 14, 2016 Duane Foerter0

It’s hard to believe we’re already 2 weeks into the season!  The crew has settled in nicely and we’re so pleased with the great job they’re doing!  Ryan and Rob have assembled a crack team down on the dock to look after all things “fishing.”  The guide team, all 35 of them, really have it going on the water!  The Bell Ringer is a happening place with the RBT (Red Boot Team) ensuring that everybody loves weigh-in time!  Up at the lodge Bre has the front-of-house crew working up a storm with both F&B and housekeeping.  Executive Chef Ryan MacKay has returned “home” and teamed up with Jin to take our culinary program to a whole new level with a talented brigade of enthusiastic cooks. John and his operations crew have all systems GO and the property looking sharp!  Mike “Bosko” Boscovich has returned to skipper the Driftwood with an excellent crew and Natalie and Joanne are super busy in the spa.  We’re all tuned in for a banner 26th year in Naden Harbour!

The fishing so far this summer has been about on par with past seasons.  The volume of feeder Springs – 14 to 18 pound Chinooks – at this point may be down a bit from last summer’s exceptional numbers but we’re seeing more fish in the 18-25 pound class. But guests are able to tangle with a few every day and get lots of nice salmon to take home.  The Tyee count is on track with several fish in the 30’s and a couple of 40-plus fish coming to the boat in the past week.  We always expect halibut fishing to be great in early June as many large fish come inshore to feed on needlefish emerging from the gravel and this season is no different!  Many anglers have been able to get their 2 halibut while trolling for salmon.  Those who love to go offshore to deeper water and hunt for a big one are not disappointed.  Lots of stunning “overs” (halibut 20-60 lb.) have some to the scale.  Already we’ve recorded 14 fish in the 100 lb. plus class including 2 fish over 200!  Monte K tagged a 206 pounder in the first week of June and last week Denis C hauled up a giant that measured 78 inches in length for a calculated weight of 255 pounds!  So no complaints about the fishing!

This week we’ve got very moderate tides with northwest winds to 20 knots but that’s to settle back to light variable winds for Thursday thru the weekend.  Look for lots more news before then!


June 13, 2016 Duane Foerter1

What a beautiful day to wake up to today! I could hear the eagles outside so I grabbed my camera and went to see what they were up to this morning. After getting some great shots I sat on the beach and thought about today’s trip. We had such a productive first day, with both my guests getting their halibut and chinook for the day, as well as black and yelloweye rockfish, and releasing around 12 salmon. I decided that we would start off at “the peanut”, one of our guides favourite hali holes to pick up our last 2 halibut, then to the Driftwood for lunch. Then we’ll spend the rest of our day looking for a nice big salmon or two.

We arrived at “the peanut”, got the rods in the water and sent the bait to the bottom.  It was like we dropped it right on the head of one halibut, because as soon as it hit bottom and did a couple jigs we had our first fish on!  While one guest was bringing that one up we also got one on the other line. Double header!  We lost one but proceeded to get a beauty in the boat.  Not long after that, we got our second one and headed off to meet the other family members on the Driftwood.  The barbecue was smoking away onboard and wow did it smell good. After lunch we headed off to Shag Rock to try to find a big spring that could maybe win their family derby.  The water was calm, lots of bait, birds everywhere.  Setting up real nice. The music was going in the boat, we were all having some great laughs when the first salmon of the day hit. After a great fight we got the 17 pounder on board.  After that the bite tapered off a bit; we had a few mystery bites for a while so we headed down to Cape Naden. After a bit of trolling around the rod finally shot off the rigger. This was a big fish! Line was ripping off the reel.  I cleared the second rod and got on the wheel, we had to chase this fish down as it took so much line!  I noticed the Fishmaster off in the distance and called him on the radio to come over and get some photos of this great battle.  After a spectacular 15-minute fight the bright chrome beauty was in the net.  25 pounds!  Such an amazing fight.  After the pictures were taken, we decided to end the day on that note as it couldn’t have got better!  My guests were elated and so was I.  As it turned out this fish actually won the family the derby.  I couldn’t have asked for a better day. We also saw killer whales and humpbacks passing through the area.  And the best part is we get to do it all over again tomorrow. I love my job!!

Until next time, tight lines.

Randy”the Hitman” Zinck

Family Fishing Derby at QCLFamily Fishing Derby at QCL


June 8, 2016 Duane Foerter3

Waking up this morning, everything felt right. The sun was shining, the water glistening, and all the boys were in good spirits looking forward to another day fishing in our own Disneyland. We headed to Edenshaw on our eastern fishing grounds, where the fishing has been really consistent the last few days.  So off we went to get into the fish! It was not long after the lines were in the water when the port rod hit. “Fish on!” My guest grabbed the rod and the fight was on!  It was such a scrapper! 5 minutes later it was in the net. Weighing out later at 21 pounds, it was a gorgeous fish! The rest of the morning we landed 7 more, a spectacular morning.

After the guests had lunch on the Driftwood, we headed to Bird Rock 2 on our western fishing grounds. The stories with my guests were so much fun. Like I have always told the younger guides, it’s not about the fishing, they will catch fish for sure, but it’s about the guest experience on the boat first and foremost.  Learning about their lives, the jokes, it’s such a great experience. I was loving it. We were not even paying attention to the rods, when one of the guys asked me what this new noise was he was hearing. I looked over and it was my Islander reel, line screaming off of it!  Another fish on! It was an amazing fight, and the best part was this was going to be a catch and release fish. After popping the hooks out and watching it swim away, we high fived and got right back to the fishing.

By the end of our day we were 12 for 12 landed to the boat. We encountered sea lions, bald eagles, and humpback whales all throughout our day. I have fished and guided in many different places throughout my life, but never have I had an opportunity to experience such a magical place like what we have here at QCL. Great guests, great staff, amazing fishing, great laughs. You really couldn’t ask for anything more. I can’t wait to get out tomorrow and see what great experiences we will have! I guarantee it will be phenomenal.

” A day without fishing is like a day without sunshine”

Randy “the Hitman” Zinck