QCL offers access to some of the most sought-after salmon fishing grounds in the world. It’s the northern Haida Gwaii waters that home a rich salmon population due to a combination of the remote wilderness and geography.
After hatching, salmon spend time growing in and around the rivers before venturing out into the open ocean. Once in the ocean, their search for prey such as herring and squid leads them north. After years of growing, they begin their journey south to return to the river they hatched in, for spawning.
Geographically, our fishing grounds are the prime spot for fish making their journey south. Situated along the north coast of Graham Island, salmon on their way to spawn, must pass through these waters. For others trying to gain their last few pounds of weight before beginning their trek, our healthy kelp beds and unique shorelines provide shelter for many of these fish to rest.
As the fishing grounds are the first stop for majority of southbound salmon, this creates multiple advantages for our guests. The first being that we are among the first to encounter these fish, giving us first pick. Fish are fresh and energetic when they arrive, providing some of the best battles an angler can experience with a wild salmon. As they have not traveled far, they are still focused on feeding, creating the perfect fishing scenario! At this point in their migration, salmon have not become accustomed to boats or fishing gear which allows us to fish where they like to hide. Without the threat of spooking them, we can approach shallow depths around kelp beds and rock structures close to shore.
Of all the advantages, the best may be that we have access to all salmon genetics. All salmon of one species do not share the same genetics. Many of the Chinook salmon that spawn in northern rivers in BC are genetically bigger than many of the Chinooks that spawn in the southern rivers. Our location has us perfectly positioned to have the best shot at some of the largest Chinook Salmon swimming in the Pacific.
Since 1991, when QCL first opened our doors, the world has seen significant change. With advances in almost every aspect of our world, it speaks to a parallel with how we at QCL advance. We have a passion for learning from our guests and developing how we run our programs to best suit their needs. Taking notes from past guests, future guests, our team, and the world around us, we’ve created the QCL you know today.
You asked for this and we have listened…
As of the 2023 season each guest will be gifted a QCL water bottle for their use on site, and to bring home with them as a reminder of their experience at QCL.
With the uncertain times that plagued our world for nearly 2 years, this project was a long time coming and after long deliberations, problem solving and designing the perfect bottle for our guests, this water bottle means the world to us. It is our hope that, should you be visiting QCL this upcoming season, you bring it home with you to honour the environment and smile at the thought of your time at QCL.
A huge thank you to our partners, Helijet + Bridgeview for their contribution in this endeavor.
In a world that is adjusting to the realities that the past few years have brought upon us, we as a community have faced challenges and made realizations. Through uncertainty and isolation, many people have developed a desire for connection and adventure. As the world has reopened, these desires bring forth the perfect opportunity to try new things, visit new places and create memories. Often we think about crossing oceans, flying to tropical places, but the travelling limitations the pandemic created had Canadians exploring their own backyard. While the tropical vacation is tempting, there are a few experiences worth having right here, in the Pacific Northwest.
We often talk about the QCL Experience, something you won’t experience anywhere else. For those who have visited us, it’s a magical feeling when thinking about the memories created while at the Lodge. And while it’s a feeling that can only be experienced firsthand, we have put together a few reasons we believe the QCL Experience to be unmatched.
1. The Legendary Fishing
Along with our remote location in what is known as, the Galapagos of Canada, our fishing grounds are located in the gateway to the Northern Pacific. The Virago Sound shoreline is rugged, with rocky outcrops forming little coves and providing the perfect
place for hungry salmon. The relatively shallow waters and kelp beds offer plenty of baitfish and plankton which continuously draw in salmon on their migration homeward. Offering some of the best salmon fishing in the world, our guests see multiple species and genetics. The fishing opportunities don’t end with salmon, as our guests have the chance to bottom fish for Lingcod or Pacific Halibut, which has been known to grow up to 400lbs.
Do it yourself or opt to fish with a professional guide. QCL offers something for every level of angler. Whether you’re starting your fishing journey or continuing it, join us at QCL to hear your reels scream and the ever continuous “Fish On!”
2. The Beauty of Haida Gwaii
We’re perched on the far western edge of Canada, surrounded by a lush oasis of old growth forests, rich waters and abundant with wildlife. This paradise is Haida Gwaii and we know the beauty of these islands is unparalleled. Eagles soar overhead, diving down to enjoy their catch on the rocky beach. Blacktail deer graze on the lawn at all hours, and swallows fly past you to show off their beauty. Starfish and Dungeness crab are scattered through the water on your walk down to the dock. While out on the
water, coffee in hand, a humpback waves hello. Venture into the mossy forest to breathe in the fresh air or wake up early to soak in a majestic sunrise. The beauty of Haida Gwaii is apparent at anytime of day or night, and never ceases to amaze.
3. Top-of-the-line Equipment and Fleet
We believe in continuous development, learning from our guests and our staff. Over the years, QCL has meticulously chosen the best equipment and boats to ensure our guests have the fishing adventure of their dreams. While keeping safety top of mind, our guests have the opportunity to choose from 6 different style vessels.
Each style of boat comes with different features to meet each guest’s need, including, sheltered cabins, private washrooms, the ability to walk around a center console, etc. Each vessel is diligently maintained and outfitted with the new motors each season. Guests visiting in 2023 will also see the new boats that are joining our fleet this year.
4. MV Driftwood
Serving as the hospitality center on the water, the MV Driftwood is unique to QCL.
The perfect accommodation for adventure seekers and die-hard anglers, and a place all QCL guests can gather for lunch. The Driftwood, or DW, accommodates 12 guests with a crew dedicated to providing attentive, genuine hospitality. Take in the untouched wilderness the coast offers. Catch the sunrise over Cape Edenshaw, or a sunset from the aft deck.
Typically anchored in the quiet waters behind Bird Rock 1 or 2, the wooden vessel is the liveliest place on the water. Offering full lunch service and beverages to all guests – Take a break, enjoy a drink and swap fishing tales with new friends.
5. Food + Beverage Program
QCL is a place where modern-day travelers can revel in the taste of wilderness perfectly blended with the comfort of attentive hospitality, and this shines true through our F+B program. Our approach is simple, we aim to create unforgettable dishes with the freshest ingredients in the best of settings. Through an emphasis on the local seafood, a nod to a classic steakhouse and an array of dining experiences, there is something for every guest.
Whether you’re interested in a sit down breakfast, or to grab-n-go, we’ve got your morning covered. Grab a Starbucks specialty beverage, pack some snacks for the day and catch the sunrise on your
commute to the fishing grounds. When you return to the dock, grab your favourite cocktail at the Bell Ringer, and celebrate the day with friends.
Finally, finish off your evening with one of our dining experiences – whether it be our BBQ buffet, a la carte service or an exclusive experience, there is something to exceed your expectations. Offering a unique take on remote dining, The Buoy Teppanyaki House or Bell Ringer Seafood Boil dinners will leave you in awe. With chefs selected for their expertise, each meal is prepared for you by the best. Dining experiences that extend beyond the dining room, to the ocean and back.
6. The Bell Ringer
While our Food + Beverage program is a highlight all to itself, the Bell Ringer is deserves its own spot light. An experience imitated but never replicated. One of the favourite venues across property, the Bell Ringer, is our very own social house. Before heading out on the water, grab a spiked coffee and share in the anticipation for the day. After returning, head to the Bell Ringer for your cocktail of choice, hot appies and to cheers when the Tyee bell rings. A place for meeting, eating and drinking, the Bell Ringer is the place to be. There is nothing quite like it.
7. First Class Service
We’ve shared with you some of our favourite reasons to visit QCL, premier fishing, remote dining, incredible wildlife, and experiences like no other. However, we need to discuss perhaps the most integral part of your visit to QCL, the team. From the moment you book, to stepping off the helicopter, before you leave the dock to the time you go to sleep, the QCL crew is there for you.
Time and time again when asked, our guests say the best part of their QCL experience is the service. We know it takes a certain type of person to live remote for our 100 day season, and to do it with a smile is what truly sets our staff apart. It is our passion to curate the first class fishing experience of your dreams, and helping see that through is your servers, chefs, housekeepers, guides, dock hands, fish processors and operations crew. Whatever adventurous luxury means to you, that is our goal.
Everything we’ve mentioned, and so much more, is a part of the QCL Experience. While no one can truly know the magic of our first-class fishing experience, until they feel it for themselves, we hope these words paint a picture of what is waiting for you at the Lodge.