June 29, 2022 Duane Foerter0

It’s hard to believe… but June is almost over!  It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, with full house trips right off the bat and a “green but keen” new crew to bring up to speed in a hurry.  But we have to say, it’s been a great start to the season with tons of memorable experiences and stories being created.

We’ve seen an unusually solid streak of moderate northwesterly weather in the latter half of this month, bringing lots of sunshine, but still cool temperatures.  Fishing in general had a slower start with delayed spring runoff from the mainland river systems and cold water, but by mid-June the migratory salmon were showing up in numbers and we’ve been catching all 5 salmon species ever since.  Lots of teen-sized Chinooks have dominated the catch and we’re seeing more 20-plus fish and Tyees reported every day.  Mark N boated a nice 32-pounder on the weekend with guide Nick R and Daniel T had an awesome trip, combining a 30-pound Chinook with a 32-pound lingcod!  Most anglers are going home with several “other” salmon, mostly a tasty combination of Coho and Pinks these days.

Our bottom fishing has always been outstanding out on the grounds with anglers’ favourite spots marked at depths from 175 to 325 feet!  But some know there are places where, at the right stage of the tide, large halibut are regularly caught in as little as 30-feet of water!  Just ask Brian M who boated a 49-pounder just a few minutes from the lodge or Desmond F who pulled a 55-pound halibut right out from beneath the Driftwood at Bird 2!  Sometimes in life, an in fishing, it helps to think outside the box!  Good work guys!


June 25, 2022 Duane Foerter1

There are a lot of important qualities involved in being a successful angler, and among some of the most important are patience and positivity. I maintain the belief that fish will only bite hooks that are attached to a vessel with positive attitudes on board, and if you ever fish with me then you will probably hear me say that at least once or twice throughout the trip.

Fishing isn’t always easy; it can often test us. We all love those days where you can barely even sink a line to 45 feet without a Chinook ripping it off the clip on the way down!  On those days positivity is easily achieved!  The thing is, in order to reach those action-packed days an angler may need to work through some days that are not so action-packed. Fishing can be slow, but to be successful on those slower days patience and positivity are needed. There could be torrential rain, big winds, and kelp as far as the eye can see, but if you possess a positive mindset and believe that if you keep working your tacks effectively and roll some tight ‘chovies or mean cut-plugs then results will eventually come your way.

A bite can turn on like a flick of a switch. One simple switch from an ebb to a flood, or a slight change in water depth, gear colours, or maybe even a switch from country radio to classic rock.  Sometimes just cracking open an ice-cold silver bullet could bring an angler the bite they’ve been searching for all morning!  They just have to believe that it will happen.  Hope, visualize, and work hard to make it a reality. Patience will be rewarded in some way, shape, or form and positivity will help those rewards flourish.  I guarantee it.


Tight lines and good luck out there!

Braeden “Bhard” Hardie



June 21, 2022 Duane Foerter0

Light winds from the west and a generous dose of sunshine really delivered some summer vibes for our guests this week.  It certainly helped that the fish were around, and everybody had their chances at some really nice salmon and groundfish.  The average Chinooks are still in the low to mid-teens but we’re definitely seeing more fish in the twenty-plus class and the Tyee Bell gets to sing most every night for some of those larger salmon, halibut and lingcod. This week we saw all five salmon species on the dock which is always a good sign of things to come.  Some of the outstanding catches were 33-pound Chinooks for Andy B (guide Alex) and Paul C (with guide Anton) last trip.  While there were no giant halibut released last week, QCL anglers managed to find lots of keepers in both the “under” (<90 cm) and “over” (90-133 cm) classes. Several anglers found impressive fish between 30 and 46 pounds, which always draw some attention at the Bell Ringer.

The weekend saw some blustery northwesterlies on Saturday but the salmon really seemed to like it… because the action from Klashwun Point down to Parker was very good on the ebb tide.  Solid numbers of teen-sized Chinooks were taken, with a surprising number of Coho, Chum and Pink salmon mixed in. Curtis L landed a fine 31-pound Tyee with his buds and veteran QCL guide Derek P in those lumpy seas on Saturday so he’s got a great story to tell!   Sunday flattened right out to pancake seas for Father’s Day and we scattered over the whole fishing grounds to pick up limits of halibut and lingcod.  Jim M released a big halibut that taped out to 180-pounds & Brian H turned back a 92.  First time angler Erin R battled her first halibut, which just happened to be an 82-pounder (Wow!) and veteran QCL guest Dana B released a 77.  This week is shaping up nicely with a busy Bell Ringer last night, celebrating several nice halibut and lingcod in the 25 to 40-pound class.  While we didn’t see a Tyee Chinook yesterday there were several in the mid-twenties so we’ll see what today’s effort brings!  We’ve got light to moderate northwesterlies all week with daily doses of sunshine, so everyone is enjoying beautiful Haida Gwaii weather through the weekend.


June 19, 2022 Duane Foerter0

One of the more common questions I get asked by my guests during trips is how I got into fishing and more so, how I got into guiding. For me it’s a two-part answer that blends into one.

From a very early age, before I can remember, my parents always spent time taking my two older brothers and myself on camping and outdoor trips that always had river, lake or ocean fishing involved. This set me on a course to always have a passion and love for the outdoors, nature, fishing, and everything in between.

My Dad spent a lot of his life ocean fishing around Vancouver Island and as I got older, into my late teens, I knew I wanted to spend a lot more of my time ocean fishing as well.  In a way I was following in his footsteps but in a more professional and serious manner.  That’s what led me to be a fishing guide in Haida Gwaii at QCL.

This past week I was fortunate enough to have my Mom and Dad visit QCL for the first time for a fishing trip, a 4-day trip guided by me!  I was able to show them, more than ever before, my passion for the outdoors and for fishing, as they had done for me in my early years.

Fishing has a unique way to create a bond between fathers and sons, mothers, daughters, grandparents, siblings, friends and really, everyone.  I hope all of you who enjoy fishing, regardless of type or level of ability, are able to spend time with someone that you care about this Father’s Day weekend, enjoying the outdoors, as I was able to do this past week.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers and father figures out there. Happy Father’s Day Dad…Thank you. Love you always.

Jeff “Smirf” Smirfitt



June 14, 2022 Duane Foerter0

So here we find ourselves at the middle of June and it finally feels like the fishing season has really got going.  With a strong start on the opening weekend, we were pretty pumped for traditional June fishing, which sees strong numbers of “feeder Springs” in the 10 to 15-pound class mixed with enough 20-pound plus Chinooks to keep anglers on their toes.

However, a combination of cold, clear water (9-degrees C / 48-degrees F), meaning low volumes of basic foodchain blocks – algae, plankton, krill, needlefish – provided no good reason for salmon to be foraging inshore where we expect to find them!  Even the birds and the whales were on the hunt for food that was in short supply.  Add to that, the cooler than normal air temperatures on the mainland, meaning a late freshet from the interior to the coastal rivers, and we’re simply 2-3 weeks behind schedule this year!

QCL anglers have enjoyed great, reliable action for halibut and lingcod, with most picking up a couple of salmon in between.  On Sunday the salmon migration seemed to really get started and we were finding noticeably more, and bigger, Chinooks in the area, along with a bunch of Chum and Coho in the mix.  Since then, our current guests are seeing much more salmon action and there is a nice buzz on the dock again tonight!  Kicking off Day 1 of the current trip, Lead Guide Jeff S got right down to business, with his parents in his boat for their first visit!  Always one to rise to the challenge, Jeff and his folks returned to the Bell Ringer Monday night with a beautiful 30-pounder in the box!  Congratulations to Doug and welcome to the Tyee Club at QCL!  Nice calm water this week ensures that the weigh station will be busy every night with a healthy mix of halibut and lingcod along with the salmon.

We’re very fortunate that there always seem to be a number of giant halibut come to the boat each trip, even though all halibut over about 55-pounds are released.  Last weekend, Meghan P, visiting all the way from Conception Bay, Newfoundland, lifted not one, but two impressive halibut from the depths!  On Friday, her first one taped out to 76-inches in length or 176 pounds! And if that wasn’t enough, she went out on Sunday and pulled up another one half that size, at 56-inches for 83-pounds!  It’s such a thrill to see a fish that size alongside your boat, but what a lot of work!  The good news is that Meghan also managed to find a couple of nice keepers to take home to share her stories with friends and family!  And for many of our guests, that’s the best part of the experience!


June 2, 2022 Duane Foerter0

After what felt like the longest wait ever… we were absolutely thrilled to welcome our first QCL guests of the 2022 season on Friday.  And it felt so good!  While every guest who popped out of a helicopter was wearing a mask, once they took it off, the smiles were a mile wide.  Many of our guests this season booked their trip in the summer of 2019!  And finally, they’re here.
An awesome crew of talented and enthusiastic staff have just come through training week with flying colours and they’re looking forward to the next 100 days, working together here in Naden Harbour.

Our first group of guests found pretty typical early season angling with good numbers of teen-sized Chinook salmon sprinkled with a bunch of twenty-somethings to keep them on their toes.  Our first Tyee of the summer arrived on the dock on Day One when Fred M and his guide Gerritt put a 31-pounder on the scale.  While effort was well distributed around the fishing grounds, Cape Edenshaw was where we found most of the action on the weekend. Early season halibut are commonly found in close to the kelp and this May weekend was no different with several nice flatties picked up while trolling bait close to shore.  But we did see quite a few come in from the usual haunts, with some larger-sized fish among them.  Top “keepers” were a 37 for David R, a 39 for Patrick M and an impressive 63-pounder for Myles M!  Of course, there are always halibut out there that are just too big to keep!  Michael J released a 73-pounder on Friday, Lauren D turned back a 92 on Sunday and Carole T battled a “barn-door” halibut that taped out to 180 cm for a score of 188 pounds!  Those are some impressive fish for sure!  Well done!

Our culinary team under the direction of Chef Chris Green have outdone themselves once again this season with exciting new menus in the Main Lodge dining room as well as in the Totem House and Charlotte House.  First impressions have been awesome so our guests should look forward to memorable dining to compliment their incredible experiences out on the water this summer!