It’s a foggy morning in Naden Harbour. New guests have been anxiously waiting for the fog to clear, while old guests are reluctantly waiting to return to the busy world from their time in paradise. Finally, the fog lifts and the helicopters fly in one by one. The dock becomes a busy and excited place as guides greet their new guests and one by one, the boats all leave the dock for an afternoon of fishing.
I’ve got four guests who are keen on salmon fishing. After checking the tides and weather forecast, I decide to take them to my favourite salmon fishing point, Cape Naden, which is often productive on the ebb which coincides with this afternoon’s tide.
Cape Naden looks picturesque today – The tide is high, the whole kelp bed is visible and the current is ebbing as the water curls around the rocks heading west. The water is clear of debris and only a few boats are fishing the point. As we roll in and drop lines we see a boat or two catching fish every pass. As the afternoon goes on we catch a small Chinook, however we have yet to catch any fish worth keeping. Our patience is being tested as we make another inside pass that yields no results.
This time, we go a little further past the last eastern rock on the cape and as we make our turn, boom, the outside rod with and anchovy starts bouncing. My guest immediately spring into action popping the rod out of the holder and off the downrigger clip. It’s a nice Chinook that starts running and so the rest of us begin clearing rods. First comes the back rod which is taken out of the water and stowed up front. Next, I reposition the boat so that the Chinook is off to the side. Then, I go to clear the other downrigger rod, I pull it out of the rod holder, pop it off the release clip and begin to reel. All of a sudden I feel a grab! I set the hook and hand it over to my guest – We’re doubled up! Although this first fish was a nice Chinook, the second one is clearly bigger and starts peeling line in the opposite direction of the first fish. After a couple minutes of chaos we successfully netted a 21 pounder. The second fish was still way off in the distance making wake at the surface and peeling line. The mood was tense as this second fish dragged us offshore. After circling the fish and tiring it out we finally coaxed it into the net. It was a 37lbs Chinook! Celebrations are in order and it’s time to cap a successful first day of the trip at the Bell Ringer. We follow many other excited guests back to the Lodge where we tell stories of our day, take pictures of our catch and enjoy some “Fishmaster Ceasar’s”.
Guide, Gerritt Dunstee