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June 12, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

Summer is almost upon us, and with summer comes first class fishing trips and fish you can turn into delicacies. The warm weather of the summer calls for our chef’s salmon burgers, to be enjoyed on the patio with friends. Don’t forget to tell them how you brought this one into the boat, among your other fishing tales!

Materials

  • 650g of skinless salmon *This is a great way to use salmon scraps
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 egg
  • 50g Breadcrumbs
  • 10g Pickles, chopped
  • 15g Capers, chopped
  • 2g Fresh Dill, chopped
  • 5ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 5ml Tabasco sauce
  • S+P to taste

Method

  1. Place salmon in a food processor or chop by hand. Pieces should be small, but not fine as you want to have chunks.
  2. Mix chopped salmon and all other ingredients together in large bowl.
  3. Scoop small spoonful of mixture in small pan with a few drops of oil and cook to taste, adjust seasoning and taste again
  4. Form salmon patties on small squares of parchment paper to ease transfer to cooking pan
  5. Heat large pan with natural oil of choice, sear both sides, and cook salmon patties until desired doneness.
  6. Serve on warmed bun with topping and sides of choice.
  7. Enjoy!

Don’t worry if you’ve moved through your supply of QCL caught fish already, our Taste of B-Sea program runs year round. The finest quality fish and shellfish, these products are Ocean Wise and come from some of the most sustainable fisheries in the world using the most eco-friendly fishing methods.

To learn more and to place your order, contact us | 1-800-688-8959


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June 11, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

Fishing is not the only wonderful part of your QCL Experience.

While it’s often what brings us all together, QCL has developed into a first-class experience that extends beyond the rods. Much of your time on the water is looking along the coastline, taking in the marine ecosystem and wildlife that seemingly puts on a daily show for us.

Our waters are frequented by majestic marine mammals such as seals, sea lions, humpbacks, orcas and from time to time porpoises. While most hangout around the rugged coastline to sunbathe or hide from predators, you’ll often encounter them swimming alongside your boat.

And the wonders don’t stop there! Low tide reveals starfish, sea urchins and more. The dark rugged rocks teem with vibrant colours.

Seals

Harbor seals are the most abundant marine mammal that can be found in our waters. They spend their days hunting for fish and sleeping on the rocks throughout our fishing grounds. They are one of the smaller species of seals, weighing in at a maximum of 300 pounds. These seals are very common around the docks at our lodge, typically you can find 6-10 of them bobbing around the waters of our dock. During the summer months they give birth to their young, which can be seen swimming around our docks with their mothers. If you ever see the harbor seals at our lodge all tucked into shore; that is a good sign that there may be Orcas around as they are a favorite prey species for transient Orcas

Sea Lions

Steller sea lions spend their summers on the north end of Haida Gwaii where they congregate in large groups for the breeding season as well as feeding on the large populations of salmon and bait fish. You can either find them patrolling the waters of our fishing grounds in search of bait or sunbathing on the costal rocks. Stellar sea Lions are the largest species of seal in our North Pacific waters and the 4th largest species in the world with the males reaching up to 11 feet and 2,500 pounds.

Humpbacks

Humpback whales migrate north in the summers to feed in our cool productive waters after they spend their winters raising their young in the warmer southern waters. These whales can reach up to 60 feet and 36.3 metric tons. You can typically find them on the grounds searching for large schools of bait fish. They will often slap their tails, fins or fully breach out of the water as a way to communicate with other whales or as a dominance display towards rival whales. They are quite common on our grounds and it is important that we respect their space and insure that we shut our motors off when the whales are passing by to insure their safety and ours.

Orcas

Orcas can also be found hunting in our fishing grounds throughout the summers. These whales are actually the largest species of dolphin in the world measuring up to 27 feet and weigh up to 13,000 pounds. There are two ecotypes of orcas that we encounter on our fishing grounds, Transient and Resident Orcas. Resident Orcas specialize in hunting fish such as salmon and have been known to try and steal fish from anglers. These Orcas have a smaller home range and won’t venture far out of those ranges to hunt. Transient Orcas do not stay in a home range and will instead travel throughout the waters reaching from Alaska to the Oregon Coast. These whales specialize in hunting marine mammals such as seal, sea lions and even whale calves.

Starfish

Starfish used to be extremely common along all the shores of Haida Gwaii. Unfortunately, in recent years a disease called Sea Star Wasting disease has decimated the population starting in the early 2010’s. However, in the last couple of years we have seen the population slowly bounce back. This change has been most noticeable for us along the piers of our docks. In the last two years at low tide we have started to see the population of Ochre Sea Stars bounce back as more and more of them populate our docks. These creatures are extremely resilient and are even able to completely regrow limbs once they have been ripped off by predators. The Ochre Sea Star is the most common species of starfish that you will find in our waters and typically feed on snails, barnacles and muscles.

So the next time you’re on the water, take a moment to take in the beauty of your surroundings, before the reel screams and your next fish is on!


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June 8, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

The fishing scene is starting to heat up!

Chinook salmon are stealing the spotlight, ranging from 10 to 15 pounds, these beauties are keeping anglers on their toes. With the occasional 20+ pounder adding excitement to the mix and cheers in the Bell Ringer. Coho and Chum salmon are also making appearances, adding variety to the catch. Despite intermittent rain during the week, the weekend has brought clear skies and sunshine, perfect for a day out on the water.

As the annual Kingfisher Derby unfolds, anticipation is high among anglers vying for the winning hog and its coveted prize. Popular fishing points such as Klash, Eagle, Green, Naden, and Edenshaw are bustling with activity as enthusiasts try their luck. With the weather on our side and the fish biting, it’s shaping up to be a memorable season for fishing enthusiasts.

QCL Guide, Mackenzie Adam

The Kingfisher Derby is our annual fishing derby, hosted by QCL. With competition and spirits high, it always makes for a great trip at the Lodge. Inquire with our Sales Executives about 2025’s derby, entrance fee and more by calling now | 1-800-688-8959

 


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June 7, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

Welcome to the 2024 Season, It’s a Guide’s Life, blog series.

A little different than our Kingfisher Report, this blog will provide insights into what a day in the life of a guide at Queen Charlotte Lodge entails! Whether it be a big fish, amazing wildlife or just a great day with guests having fun. For this first entry I wanted to share what my favorite part of the day is and surprisingly it happens before even hitting the water.

Each morning, the excitement of every angler and guide on the dock is truly amazing – No matter the weather or the misfortune of a lost fish from the day prior.

Every day is a chance at the fish of a lifetime. The enthusiasm and optimism is what keeps bringing me back.

I look forward to seeing you all, every morning, and talking about what spot we are headed to! Keep an eye out for all the fishing tales coming your way over the course of our first class fishing season.

Lead Guide, Ryan Kelly


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June 4, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

Welcome back folks to another Kingfisher Report!

The season is flying along, already a handful of days into June.

This past weekend was windy with a series of Southeast fronts moving across the sound and fishing grounds. But anglers, Lodge wide, toughed it out and put some serious numbers up on the boards.

 

Solid Chinook numbers continue to hit the dock, in the 10–15-pound range, with the odd bigger one in the mix. Guests are ending their fishing days stoked and ready for what the tomorrow has in store. Cape Edenshaw, the Finger Dipper, and Green Point have all been protected points out of the weather and continue to hold fish. Bottom fishing out at the Pinnacles and the Peanut continue to be on point, with big hali and ling hitting the dock and rewarding anglers the chance to ring the Tyee bell!

 

As conditions persist into this week, our guests are demonstrating great determination.

We look forward to seeing you all here this 2024 season. Tight lines!

Lead Guide, Jake Hillier


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June 3, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

After welcoming staff mid-May to get things ready for our first round of guests, we finally made it! We’ve been saying it for months now, and though we’re only one week into the 34th season here at QCL, it truly is turning out to be the best season yet.

The Lodge has been filled with energy and already many exciting moments that won’t soon be forgotten. From the Northern Lights putting on a splendid show for the crew during “rig up”, to the Orcas visiting the dock on the first trip, the magic of the QCL Experience is in full force.

In typical Haida Gwaii fashion, the weather has provided a full range of conditions. The sun has shined, the rain has hit and when we’re sick of the grey, the sun does its thing and a rainbow appears just beyond the dock.

We have been fortunate to see favorable fishing conditions. Chinook fishing has been productive, with the majority of our guests experiencing multiple opportunities at some fresh and strong fish. The average size of Chinooks have ranged from 10 to 15lbs but we have seen some lucky anglers catching in the high 20s! Our biggest Chinooks of the season, so far, came a couple days apart from one another, both weighing in at 36lbs. Lastly, our bottom fishing has been productive with halibut and lingcod ranging from all sizes – Most notable being a 260lbs halibut and 47lbs lingcod. We are loving the exciting early fishery and look forward to seeing more as the season continues.

But fishing is not the only thing that makes your QCL Experience, all that it is. Each of our venues have come to life with guests enjoying the delicacies that our incredible team of chef’s create daily. The team in the Bell Ringer had a blast welcoming each guest as they return to the dock with stories of their day, kelp bongs have been flowing and the echo of the Tyee bell ringing has been almost daily. The Angler’s Club Lounge remains a favourite meeting place for most to grab a cocktail and warm up next to the crackling fireplace. The hot tub and sauna have also seen their fair share of use with even some brave souls taking cold plunges in Naden Harbour.

It’s hard to believe we’re only one week in. We cannot wait for you to arrive and experience this place we call home each summer. Here’s to many more incredible moments to come!


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May 30, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

Things are in full swing up here in Naden Harbour!

As is typical for May, we’ve had a mixed bag of weather; sunshine, overcast and torrential downpour, sometime all within the same hour. Winds have been fairly tame out of the south east this past week, and look to be getting stronger for the upcoming week.

Guests arrived last Friday, and Chinooks, mostly in the 8-15 pound range. Anglers have been enjoying success at Cape Naden, Cape Edenshaw, Bird Rock 2 and Yatze Bay, however the timing of the action has been hard to predict, so picking a spot and sticking it out has been the key to getting into fish. Both herring and anchovies have been producing fish, as well as smaller spoons and Kingcandy lures, at depths of 25 to 55 feet.

The pinnacles have been the favourite spot for anglers targeting “chicken” halibut, but some guests have been having success by fishing their regular salmon spots a little deeper, and getting their halibut “on the troll”. The weekend trip did see two Tyees on the board, one at 36.4lbs, so there’s always the chance of a big Chinook salmon out there! Tuesday we saw our first Pink salmon of the season, which means the Coho should be showing up soon!

Lead Guide, Liam Longacre


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May 17, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

Whether this will be your first visit to QCL, or your tenth, we know this time of year brings anticipation of a productive fishing and incredible memories.

Our Concierge team is working to connect with each group lead to ensure that your QCL Experience is planned to a tee. Let us worry about the details – arrive as you are and enjoy all the we have to offer.

As you await your trip, spend some time familiarizing yourself with common fishing terms and our Angler Orientation video. The below terms are frequently used on the boats and are a good starting point for those new to fishing to ensure you understand some of the basics upon arrival.

Right Rod to the Rock | When there are multiple boats fishing one particular point, we like to fish “right rod to the rock.” Meaning a boat that has its starboard side or has its right side of the boat closest to the shore, has the right of way to fish closest to the structure/kelp bed/shoreline. This helps to keep boat traffic moving smoothly while trolling and helps prevent boats and anglers from cutting each other off while trying to fish the inside pass.

Trolling | Trolling is a method of fishing where the boat is moving at various slower speeds while towing fishing lines. Most commonly to target salmon on our fishing grounds, your fishing lines can be attached to a downrigger or through the use of weighted rods in a style of fishing called mooching, to fish various depths.

Mooching | Mooching is a style of salmon fishing where lead weights, typically 4 to 10 oz’s., are attached to the fishing line, above the leader, to get the bait/hooks down to a desired depth. Mooching does not use downriggers and typically a cut plug herring is used as bait.

Back Rod | A back rod is used in the stern (back) of the boat as an additional or extra rod while trolling. Not attached to a downrigger, your backrod will have a banana weight or sliding weight attached to the fishing line above the leader. Commonly fished in the top 10 or 15 feet of the water column.

Jigging | A method of fishing used primarily for bottom fishing. A weighted lure, known as a jig, is dropped to the ocean floor , while attached to a fishing line, and is moved up and down by the angler using a fishing rod, to entice a bite.

Dummy Flasher / In-line Flasher | A flasher is a piece of fishing tackle used to attract salmon while trolling. A flasher can be used as a dummy flasher, where it’s attached to your downrigger line  or downrigger cannonball, using swivels and a few feet of thick monofilament or a flasher can also be used “in-line”, where the flasher is attached to one end of your fishing mainline and the other end attached to the leader line.

Pop the Clip | “Pop (or popping) the clip” refers to the motion of pulling your fishing line to release it out of the downrigger clip. There are a few methods to do this but the most common would be to reel your fishing line and rod tighter to the downrigger and while holding onto your fishing reel (to prevent line from spooling off of it), you lift the rod upwards to either set the hook on a fish or to bring in the line.

Let it go/Let it run/Hand off | Commonly said by QCL fishing guides, while their guest is playing a fish, these terms are used when a fish, most often a salmon, is trying to swim away from the angler and to prevent the line from breaking, one will take their reeling hand off of the reel, allowing the salmon to take line while still being hooked, which will tire the fish out. It should be noted that it is VERY important to still hold onto the fishing rod with your non reeling hand. “Let it go” does not mean let go of the rod.

Cut Plug | A presentation for salmon fishing using a herring as bait, where the head of the herring is cut off at certain angles, roughly 45 degrees and the ‘guts’ are removed. There are various ways to attach your hooks to a cut plug,  but the cut plug herring will imitate a wounded baitfish moving through the water.

Tyee | Tyee is most commonly a term for a Chinook salmon which weighs 30 pounds or more. Any guest at QCL who catches a Tyee, released or kept, rings the Tyee bell at the Bell Ringer, and later presented a celebratory pin.

As these are only a handful of the terms used when fishing, please let us know if there is anything else you want to learn! 

We’ll see you at the Dock!


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May 14, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

We’re only a few weeks away from another season of first class fishing! Which means that soon enough you’ll be bringing your catch home to enjoy while sharing stories of your time on the water.

Prepare your Halibut with this Signature Series recipe before your trip, or after. Our chef’s have crafted this to enjoy at any point of the year, with your favourite side dishes.

Materials

  • 4x 170g Halibut Fillets
  • 2g Garlic Powder
  • 2g Paprika
  • 4g Salt
  • 1g Ground Black Pepper
  • 30ml Neutral Cooking Oil
  • 225g Butter
  • 1x Medium Lemon, cut in half

Method

  1. Mix spices together and use to season halibut fillets
  2. In large saute pan place halibut fillets down and sear both sides until both are golden brown, cook 2-4 minutes on each side.
  3. Remove fish from pan once ready, add butter into the hot pan and melt.
  4. Simmer butter for 1-2 minutes and then add juice of lemon.
  5. Simmer sauce for 2-3 minutes while stirring often.
  6. Plate the fish alongside your preferred sides and drizzle lemon butter over top of the Halibut.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Don’t worry if you’ve moved through your supply of QCL caught fish already, our Taste of B-Sea program runs year round. The finest quality fish and shellfish, these products are Ocean Wise and come from some of the most sustainable fisheries in the world using the most eco-friendly fishing methods.

To learn more and to place your order, contact us | 1-800-688-8959


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May 1, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

The 34th season of operation for QCL is swiftly approaching and soon the doors will be open, reels will be screaming and smiles will be plenty.

Every season we welcome guests from around the world for the fishing adventure of a lifetime. From opening day to closing, our guests are in constant awe of the thought and consideration that goes into their vacation. Beyond the rich waters, that offer some of the best fishing grounds in the world, QCL is known for incredible hospitality.

With May 24th just around the corner now, the months of working behind the scenes, both in our Richmond Office and on-site at the Lodge, will soon come to an end. Like every year, our team has been implementing your suggestions and bringing continued improvements to life.

We’re excited to share with you a few updates taking place at the Lodge – new boats, exciting programs (new and revised), and on-going upgrades to our infrastructure.

In 2023 we saw the addition of 10 boats to our fleet, and this year will see an additional 3! Partnering with Bridgeview, we have added to our premium vessel class with one 26” Cabin boat, and two 22” Centre Consoles.

As a testament to the high standard of client care and satisfaction that our guides provide on the water, this year will also see our largest guide team to date!

Without a doubt, one of the most exciting program additions this year is the introduction of our new Tyee Release Club! Designed to promote sustainable fishing by encouraging our guests to engage in salmon conservation, QCL will make a donation towards Salmon Enhancement for each Tyee released.

With our on-water program only a portion of your QCL Experience, the Lodge has seen updates across property.

Continuing to put an emphasis on sustainable choices across the whole property, don’t forget to pop your head into the Kingfisher Gallery or Pro Shop to see the new additions to our retail program. Our team has worked hard to partner with sustainable brands that continue to offer the best in the industry.

Now in the final push, Operations is in the midst of refinishing logs, replacing walkways, and updating finishings. Among these smaller projects, we have also seen completed larger projects – namely replacing the roof on the Main Lodge, and cosmetic changes to select guest rooms. Whether these changes are small or large, the Operations team works alongside the Hospitality team, ensuring guest rooms are well-appointed and comfortable after a full day of being on the water.

Although, these are only a handful of the noticeable updates happening at QCL this year there are plenty that we are anxiously awaiting to share. Together, we are certain that this season will be the best season yet.

With just under a month until Opening Day, we cannot wait until your helicopter lands.