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June 7, 2019 Duane Foerter0

With the departure of our second group of guests this morning we’re feeling pretty darn good about the weeks ahead.  We’ve been treated to favourable weather and productive fishing.  The trend has been toward light northwesterly winds and as result our salmon fishery has been most productive inshore along the rocks and kelp beds –“where they should be”as our guides like to say!  All the favourite points are turning up salmon action, with a variety pack of sizes served up every day. Craig H and Sean C both hooked up with beautiful 30-pounders on Monday while Paul S boated a 33 on Tuesday.

QCL salmon fishingQCL guest Eugene Knuttila, staying aboard the Driftwood with his son Jeff, had the ultimate salmon experience while fishing off the bay at Yatze with QCL guide Liam Longacre.  On their second tack in glassy calm water Eugene’s rod dipped and he was soon onto a solid fish.  The battle lasted about 20 minutes with lots of jumps and some tug-o-war from the bottom.  But when the fish came to the boat and they saw that big head & shoulders, they knew this one was going back. After a quick measurement it was back in the water and only took Liam a few minutes to revive before it swam away with good strong strokes.  It taped out to 46 pounds and proved to be the fish of a lifetime for Eugene, who was thrilled to experience such a moment with his son. It was definitely a high point for Liam as well –great job guys!   Newlyweds Julia and Isaiah shared a similar experience when they tempted another big Chinook out of the kelp at Yatze, this one measuring out to 35 pounds before retreating to the shelter of the weeds after reviving.  Beautiful fishing everyone…  and Congratulations!
QCL salmon fishingThis week marked the first edition of the White Gold bottom fishing derby with prizes for largest halibut and lingcod. Tide swings of 16-plus feet made for challenging conditions but determined anglers prevailed and a number of good fish came to the scale.  A 37-pound lingcod took the top prize for John F while Eric H claimed the cash for halibut with a 33-pounder.  There were several big halibut caught and released this week – a 78 for Syd C, an 80 for Raymond P, a 100-pounder for Justin C and a 160 for John S – but the derby is for keeper fish only and that sweet spot between 50 and 60 pounds was elusive this week.  Good fun guys and we’ll maybe look for smaller tides for the next edition!

For this weekend light northwesterlies will prevail thru Saturday before we get a 10-hour dose of southeast that will steer us over to fish Cape Edenshaw on Sunday.  Tides are moderating nicely so we should see much easier bottom-fishing today and tomorrow.QCL Haida Gwaii


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June 5, 2019 Duane Foerter0

QCL salmon fishingAfter a crackerjack opening weekend we’re happy to report that the fun just keeps on coming!  QCL guests are enjoying fair weather and exploring the full fishing grounds, finding lots of great rewards!

The salmon fishing continues to be very good, especially in all the usual places.  There is a significant quantity of 20-pound-plus fish in the mix with the usual teen-sized feeders we expect to see at this time.  And we’re seeing a few Tyees every day so it’s pretty exciting to get out there and try your luck.  Hangin’out at the Bell Ringer weigh scale in the evening is a biologist’s candy store; so many variations on a species – different sizes, shapes and colours of Chinook salmon, obviously coming from a range of river systems up and down the coast. QCL salmon fishing

Andre T. and Chad B. each boated 35-pounders on Sunday while Chad’s partner Sonya released a beauty that taped out to 32 pounds. Jordan W released our first 100-pound halibut of the season and we’ve seen others tagged at 70, 78, 80, 82 and 85 pounds.  This week we’re hosting the QCL White Gold Derby, focused on lingcod and halibut so it’ll be interesting to see how the numbers stack up by Friday.

With the largest “keeper”halibut this year –at max. length of 126 cm, scoring in the range of approximately 59 pounds, it’ll be fun to see how close the winner can come!  Stay tuned for the results!QCL salmon fishingQCL salmon fishing


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June 1, 2019 Duane Foerter0

QCL salmon fishingOpening Day 2019 dawned misty, moist and grey with barely a breath of wind. After a solid week of sunny skies and warm temperatures (by our standards 18 degrees is warm) our world returned to normal.  The jet arrived at Masset on time and very soon the steady purr of those Sikorsky helicopters filled the harbour.  Showtime!

Some of the new crew were a little anxious but the giddy enthusiasm of our arriving guests soon calmed them.  Before long they were headed down the dock and out of the harbour. Those nice flat seas made for a very comfortable day on the water and our guides took advantage to focus on all of their favourite spots.  A 10-foot flood and and 8-foot ebb provided lots of moving water, setting up some sweet lines around all those rocky points. QCL halibut fishing And they caught fish.  Lots of nice typical feeder Springs are in the area right now, feeding among the humpbacks and eagles on large schools of needlefish.  We’re finding them at typical depths for the season, mostly from 35 to 45 feet inshore and 55 to 75 a little further out.  Anchovies are our bait of choice and they’re working well but there’s always someone gettin’em on herring, spoons and assorted hardware.

Returning to the dock between 7 and 9, the Bell Ringer was abuzz with fish stories and photo ops.  Between halibut and Chinooks they managed to keep the Bell ringing throughout the evening.  Typical for June fishing, we had some big halibut releases, a 70 pounder for Randy P and an 85 for Jordan N.  While lots of teen-sized “chickens”were caught, Andrew W found the perfect keeper, tipping the scale at 41 pounds.

 

QCL Bell RingerFor a first day, in May, we were thrilled to see 3 Tyees on the dock, as well as some in the mid to high twenties.  A good range of sizes in the catch is always a positive sign.  Fishing on their own, Vancouver bro’s Pat and Matt H came back with 32 and 29 pounders, creating a buzz among the guides!  Great work fishing the tide at Parker Point boys!  Mike K weighed a 32-pound beauty as well, fishing with guide Sam Johnstone.  Two of our guests missed their connection and arrived about 4 pm.  But their guide Aaron Lomax was ready to rumble when they got down the dock and on their first pass at beautiful Klashwun point Marc S tied into a nice heavy fish.  It took some work but in the end Aaron slipped the net beneath Marc’s catch and lifted it into the boat.  When it showed up at the Bell Ringer there was tons of interest and the volume soared as the scale registered 44.4 pounds.  That’s quite a fish and a fantastic catch for Marc.  Sometimes a live release isn’t an option but seeing such an amazing specimen up close is a dream come true for any angler.  Congrats boys and welcome to the Tyee Club Marc.   All in all it was an especially fine day on the water for our guests and we’re hopeful it’s an indication of a fantastic season ahead!

QCL salmon fishingQCL Bell Ringer


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May 29, 2019 Duane Foerter0

With only a couple days left to go before we open up for the 2019 season, you can imagine that we’re a pretty busy bunch around here!  While the lodge staff and the kitchen crew are shining up their programs, it’s the guides that most people want to hear from right about now!

The weather has been stunning this past week and we’ve had boats on the water every day.  The guides are treating the staff to some quality fishing time and everybody comes out a winner.  Moderate northwesterlies come with all this sunshine so the water has been a little choppy at times.  We’ve focused on the western grounds from Cape Naden to Klashwun Point, working the inshore tacks around the rocks as well as the offshore zone…doing the Haida Drift between the two points.

Most boats are getting into a few Chinooks; feisty feeders in the mid-teens are making up the bulk of the catch.  We’ve seen a few in the twenties but haven’t found a Tyee yet!  It’s only a matter of time!  Anchovies and spoons are producing but so are the guys running herring. There was a 21 and a 25 on the dock last night so we’re finding the usual mix for this early in the season.  It’s worth noting that we have not fished any prime time, no morning or evening fishing, and only for 4-hour blocks of time in mid-day.  So the guides are keen to get started fishing full-time this weekend and really see what’s out there!

Tides will be moderate this weekend with swings of about 12 feet on the morning floods.  These westerlies will give way to just a few hours of southerly weather on Friday (showers and very light wind) before returning to moderate west for Saturday and fading out to light variable on Sunday.  Temperatures will be cool, just 12-14 degrees.  Perfect fishing weather!


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September 2, 2018 Duane Foerter0

What a wrap to the 2018 season! While it might have been a bit of a slow start (by our standards) to the season this year, the past month has been cracker jack! Good weather and tons of fish around has sent a lot of smiling faces home in recent weeks. It’s taking some getting used to but the offshore fishery has been incredible. We’re finding offshore trolling tacks that are producing great results at depths from 55 to 75 to 95 feet and deeper. This is producing reliable catches of gorgeous Coho to 16 pounds, quite a few hefty Chum in the mid-teens and Chinooks to 20 pounds. Halibut catches are virtually instantaneous when you touch bottom; but you do have to weed through somme chickens to find the turkeys! All good fun.

Giant Chinook salmon fishing at QCLOur inshore fishing for Chinook salmon requires a different approach but it’s no less rewarding. The Tyee catch has been pretty consistent this month with several beauties in the low to mid-thirties coming to the boat every trip. And, just to keep everyone on their toes, there have been enough huge Chinooks around to reward the most dedicated Tyee angler! And it’s surprising how it can happen! Last week, on the first drop of the trip with his guests Bill and son Robert, veteran QCL guide Derek “Demo” Poitras started out at Parker Point. The herring must have landed right on its nose but before they had the second line in the water Robert was onto a heavy fish! After a serious tug-o-war, Derek slipped the net beneath a huge chrome buck and it was high-fives all around. Giant Chinook salmon at QCLWasting no time they did a quick measurement and this “king of salmon” was back in the water and on its way again. Taped out to 47-pounds it was one of the largest fish of the season. Fantastic catch Robert! Well played and kudos to you for choosing to let him go!

QCL Chinook salmon fishingOn the next day Jason A was on board One-Fifteen with guide Lance Mercer. Cape Naden has been especially productive this summer and Lance had “that feeling” when they decided to drop in there first thing. It didn’t happen right away but after an hour of teasing an anchovy along the kelp they were rewarded with a big hit and a screaming reel. Jason worked the heavy fish masterfully and Lance was able to keep them out of the kelp. This big beauty taped out to 44 pounds and Jason never hesitated to send it back in hopes that it’ll return to its home stream! Congratulations guys and well done!


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August 24, 2018 Duane Foerter0

August fishing… oh boy!   It seems that everything really comes together by the time August rolls around.  Certainly the catch board would say so!  The inshore fishery, mainly focused on Chinooks, has turned out lots of beautiful big salmon every day.  Those brawny 20-something pounders are the backbone of the action but there always a few surprises lurking in the kelp!  The Tyee bell gets a workout every night with a couple big Chinooks caught and/or released.  Lately the median-sized Tyees have been in the low to mid 30’s with the occasional giant making an appearance.   Last week we were thrilled to see 3 of our largest salmon of the season caught – and released  – at 3 different locations.

Working a herring along the wall at Bird 2 has to be one of the most effective ways to find a Tyee anywhere on the west coast!  QCL guide Brett Towers was doing it right the other day, as the pressure was on!  He had his Dad on board with a couple of friends.  Making the turn along the kelp, deep in the bay, that herring worked its magic and Don was onto the fish of his dreams!  It took them on a bit of a hayride but in the end, Brett was able to get the net under it and lift it into the boat.  With a quick photo and a measurement, they had the silver giant back in the water.  Taped out to 47 pounds, it was the largest Chinook we’ve seen this season and cause for some serious celebration back at the Bell Ringer that night!  Fantastic work guys!  Well done Brett!

Catch & Release TyeeA couple of days later, Driftwood guest Stan T was over at Cape Edenshaw with his guide Mark Kasumovich when they also teased a big slab away from the shelter of the kelp.  Nice and vigourous when they got it in the net, Stan chose to send it back as well.  This one scored out to 45 pounds and was yet another proof of Edenshaw’s reputation for holding big fish under the right conditions.  Nice work guys and Congratulations to you Stan!   Not far away, on the very same day, Dave R was fishing Cape Naden on board 97 with guide Jackson Jane, when they connected with a big Tyee.  As Jackson reported in his post, it took the bait trolled on the back rod and gave them quite a workout before coming to the net.  David was quick to choose releasing this beauty and it swam off with strong strokes of its tail after measuring out to 46 pounds!  Amazing fish!

Catch & ReleaseWhen these Chinooks aren’t bleeding and are properly revived, the survival rate is apparently very good.  So it’s quite an extraordinary feeling to watch a big Tyee swim out of your grip and return to the depths.  We have always believed that big fish breed big fish, and while we fully respect the angler’s right to choose, we try to ensure that they make an informed choice.  Many anglers dream of having that opportunity and we support anything that can help to ensure those opportunities continue in the future.


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August 20, 2018 Duane Foerter0

Things are still going strong here at QCL, with a good assortment of fish spread across our fishing grounds. Daily catches have ranged from Coho, Chum and Chinook action offshore to the odd Tyee-class salmon being picked up at some of our well known inshore points. Our best success inshore has certainly come as a result of the “stick, stay, make it pay” method of fishing, in order to catch the random snap bites that take place throughout the day. Fortunately, we have also had the privilege of extremely calm waters over the past week, which always gives some of our hotspots a real “fishy” feeling.

C&R Chinook SalmonOn Thursday morning at Cape Naden that “fishy” feeling was certainly in the air. As we made our way onto the fishing grounds I overheard some radio chatter about a few fish already being picked up Bird 2. Yet as we cruised past Naden something told me I should probably stop in for at least a pass or two.

That pass or two turned into an hour and a half at Naden with no bites, yet all four of us on board were optimistic that something was going to happen. Finally, around 9:30am, the screaming sound from our back rod interrupted a peaceful morning on the water. My guest, Dave R grabbed the rod, with no hook set needed, as the fish already had the Islander reel sizzling. We immediately cleared our other two rods, as we knew we were in for a battle! After a long first run that seemed like it may not end, Dave was finally able to slowly work the fish to the boat for our first look. At that point it was pretty clear we had a Tyee on the line and off it went for another powerful run. After a lengthy tug-o-war with this large specimen, we were finally able to put it in the bag!  After some high fives and a few loud cheers, we brought the fish into the boat for a measurement and a few quick photos. This fish was then released to continue its migratory journey to its home river. This big silver beauty taped out to 46 pounds!  Congrats Dave!  Thanks for choosing to let it go!

QCL Bell RingerLater on at the Bell Ringer things were buzzing, as there was also a 45 caught and released at Cape Edenshaw that morning, along with a few more Tyees caught at various spots on our western fishing grounds. Things are shaping up well for a great end to yet another season in Haida Gwaii!

Tight lines and silver smiles!

Jacko


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August 19, 2018 Duane Foerter0

There is no better way to get up each morning than having your hands on the steering wheel and a crisp breeze on your cheeks,  smoothly carving through the waters of Naden Harbour.

This week I have the pleasure to share my boat with Rick and Michelle, who are about to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary!  We started our day on the west side of our fishing grounds at one of my favourite areas to fish; Yatze bay, which is on the east side of Klashwun Point. We dropped lines and were blessed with a hit within moments, the lines singing and the thrill of the fight gleaming in our eyes. Unfortunately, after several minutes the fish shook the hooks, but we did not let that dampen our spirits. Our day on the water had just begun after all! It wasn’t long thereafter that we landed and released a beautiful 12 pound Chinook, sending it on its way and telling it to bring its big daddy. But the flurry wasn’t over yet. As we worked together to drop our lines once more I heard Michelle pipe up from the front of the boat where she was watching the rod behind me as I was finishing dropping the third line.  “Jaxon, is the rod supposed to be doing that?”

Salmon fishing at QCLWhipping around I see the rod tip rising as the fish took our bait from below and rush towards the surface. Yelling “Fish On!” Rick and I raced to prepare the boat, clearing lines and steering downwind of where the fish was running. But it wasn’t long before it wrapped itself around the prop and the back line as it ripped through the water around us. It was desperate to get off our line. But it was no match for us. It was like the three of us had fished together our entire lives as Michelle masterfully maneuvered the rod around the prop, Rick raising the engine while I quickly cut the back line while helping Michelle keep the line away from the engine as the fish jumped around us. It was a show for the ages, with only the eagles as our audience. It wasn’t long after that we landed the stunning 20 lb Chinook for the box.  High fives and beaming smiles filled the boat.

We ended our day with four beautiful fish;  25, 20, 19 and 13 lb Chinooks, the smallest of which had unfortunately taken our hooks through the gills. Ecstatic with the amazing start to the trip we called it a day and headed back to the barn to celebrate our success, and prepare for the next!

Tight Lines,

Jaxon “Mr. Clean”


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August 15, 2018 Duane Foerter0

A big Tyee Chinook salmon at QCLWhat a week it’s been!  With easy access to the whole fishing grounds, QCL anglers last week enjoyed one of the fishiest trips of the season.  Working the inshore sweet spots from Green Point all the way around to Cape Naden, our guests found their share of chunky Chinooks, many in the 21 to 28 pound class, with lots of high-teeners and enough Tyees to keep it interesting!

41-pounder Tyee ChinookIt was certainly a good trip for Saskatchewan angler David S, visiting the Lodge for his 8thtime, when he joined the QCL Tyee Club, boating a beautiful 37-pound Chinook with his guide Mark Kasumovich and fishing buddy John P.  Andy S came from Washington state to enjoy some great QCL fishing and was rewarded with a 41 pounder with some help from his guide Tristan O’Brian.  Gary V, fishing with his wife Janice and veteran  QCL guide Nick Mercer, returned to the Bell Ringer with one of the season’s largest salmon, a stunning Tyee that tipped the scale at 45 pounds! For a lot of first-timers, seeing some big salmon up close is pretty inspiring, hopeful that they will get a chance to tangle with one like that someday!

Tyee Time at QCL Haida Gwaii!When our guests chose to move offshore they found it pretty easy to “double-up”on their efforts.  Halibut fishing has been a breeze lately, with many boats investing a whole 30-minutes to pick up a couple of nice “chickens”for the freezer.  While they’re out there they spend more time trolling for Coho and they’re finding really nice fish.  We’re seeing 12-13 pounders every day now and the occasional 14-15.  The second half of August will be pretty exciting!


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August 7, 2018 Duane Foerter0

Last Saturday was one of those days when you talk yourself into going fishing. Breezy southeast conditions were predicted, the Driftwood was anchored at George Point and every boat would be trolling the shorelines around Cape Edenshaw. As the day wore on, boats would gradually make their exit and return to the lodge for some cocktails and a nice dinner. But often thats when the determined angler utters those magic wordsJust one more pass! 

Working the kelp line inside Piggy Bay late in the afternoon, Tim & Karen D, hosting their newlywed daughter and son-in-law, lined up the perfect tack at the perfect time and the stars aligned. The inside rod dipped and Derek was there on the double. The telltale power of a heavy fish had the crew frantically clearing all the gear while Derek held on for quite a ride! Avoiding the safety of the kelp, this salmon was headed for open water. 

Over the next 30 minutes they were gradually pulled about 500 metres offshore, away from the relative calm of the leeward shoreline. But patience and a deft touch on the gear eventually saw Tim ease the net beneath a big silver slab in the rock & roll seas. No blood and with lots of kick left in him, they chose to get a quick measurement and release this beautiful Tyee. Fishmaster Trevor Harris was alongside to witness the battle and take a few photos, then revive the big Chinook for a few minutes before it swam away with strong and steady strokes of its tail. 

Congratulations were in order! Scoring out to 44 pounds, Derek and family released one of those legendary fish, the one that every angler wants to catch. Hopefully good fortune will see this salmon find its natal stream and itll spawn successfully. Certainly there will be lots of anglers 4 or 5 years from now who will thank Derek for giving it the chance!


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