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July 28, 2020 Duane Foerter0

For a lot of salmon anglers, the month of July is their favourite time of year.  Here in the north it’s when we see the full menu; all 5 species of salmon are in our waters, in all shapes and sizes!  In one morning you could run into a bunch of those perfect 22 pound Springs hanging around the kelp beds, a big school of migrating Coho offshore and down deep or, somewhere in the mix, a bright silver Chum, 15 or 16 pounds in its prime, homing in on one of our local streams.  And, of course, it’s when you may have a chance at that fish of a lifetime… the giant Tyee Chinook in the range of 40, 50 or 60 or more pounds!  They’re all here.

QCL anglers are out there giving it their best shot!  And having so much fun doing it!  The fishery so far this season has been great and fair weather has provided full access to the whole grounds.  This past week we’ve seen several Tyees and many of them have been released.  Cape Edenshaw provided a good share of them last week along with the Mazzaredos, Cape Naden, Parker Point and all the way around to Green Pt..  Daffyd C became the newest member of the 50-Pounder Club, releasing a beautiful Chinook that taped out to 51-pounds with QCL guide Derek P.  Geoff N turned back big Chinooks that scored 45 and 34 pounds and Adam S released a nice 41-pounder!  Our teenage anglers are doing a great job too with Thomas A releasing a 37 on the first day and Callan N sending back a 32-pounder.  Those are awesome fish guys and it’s always nice to see them get another chance to find their way back to the river!

Sometimes C&R isn’t possible and we saw some of those too.  Tim K had quite a battle with a big Chinook that tipped the scale at 49 pounds on Thursday right after Ryan T weighed in a stunning 39-pound Tyee.  Matthew H had an amazing week fishing with his Grandpa and they shared one of those epic moments on Wednesday when Matthew landed a handsome 40-pound Tyee with veteran QCL guide Jeff S.  Congratulations!

While these big fish are on the bucket list of many anglers, it’s the catch of all those “average” fish that are shared at dinner with friends and family and create the moments when stories are told of experiences shared.  Telling the tales of how they happened is more than half the fun!


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July 21, 2020 Duane Foerter0

Getting in a boat and spending time out on the water is just the best medicine.  It’s so easy to lose track of whatever was on your mind – whether you want to or not!  Surrounded by all the natural wonders that we find here, you can’t avoid the purity of it.  Soak it up whenever you can!

QCL guests were definitely enjoying all of that this week with some great fishing, pretty nice weather and lots of nature.  A nice pair of Sitka Blacktails waded / swam their way over to big rock on Cape Naden for a little outing which we seldom see.  Several feeding Humpbacks and a travelling pod of resident Orcas added plenty of distraction to the collection of boats fishing off the top side on Sunday.

Fishing has been solid – most everyone is getting their share of salmon and halibut over the course of the trip and there are enough big fish out there to keep an angler on edge; you never know when one will show up!  Reg L. likes to celebrate his birthday with us every year and this time around he received an especially nice present – a 37 lb. Tyee!  Congrats Reg!  Joel A. released a 30-pound beauty on Sunday but the big fish of the trip, despite efforts to release him, had to come to the scale, where Jeff L. weighed him in at 48 pounds!  A wonderful fish Jeff!  Sometimes it just goes that way.  Lots of medium-sized Coho around now, ranging 5 to 8 pounds but we’re starting to see 9’s and 10’s as well.  They’re all exciting to catch and they’re amazing on the plate!

Weather this week is all westerlies and we’re seeing the sun for the first time in a while!  Big tides dictate the fishing schedule this week with last night’s new moon producing a 17.4 foot high tonight and a 0.7 foot low tomorrow morning!


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July 19, 2020 Duane Foerter0

QCL guests have been enjoying the full fishing grounds this week with just light west and southerly winds most days.  As a result, the fishing effort is well distributed and they’re finding fish everywhere.  Everyone has their favourite spots but Parker Pt., Bird 2 and Klashwun Pt are the faves for Chinook hunting this week.

While there are lots of nice Springs in the mid to high teens, most anglers are getting to tangle with some in the twenties and of course, the Tyee Bell gets noisy every night for those over-30’s.  The big salmon of the trip was a fine 42-pounder landed off Green Point by Andrew K, returning for his 32nd visit to QCL in the past 30 years!  Congrats Andrew!

Moving offshore the Coho numbers are strong over the Pinnacles and, as usual, picking up a couple of nice halibut is an easy way to enjoy this delicious fish in the coming months.

Our guests are sure enjoying the terrific new boats we’ve added and when they arrive back to the lodge at the end of a beautiful day on the water our culinary team is waiting to wow them with goodness!

Looking ahead to next week we’re going to finally see a little dry spell and some sunshine!  We may even break the 20-degree mark!  Wow!

 


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July 15, 2020 Duane Foerter0

We’re just nicely into our second trip of the season and are happy to report that everything is coming together quite well.  Our staff are settling into their positions and really enjoying having guests around to look after.  The Chef’s pantry is full and the wine list is looking good!

We are working hard to provide a quality QCL Experience during your stay at the Lodge. At the same time, we are trying our very best to ensure the health and safety of our guests and our staff.  We want you to relax and enjoy all the wonderful things you come here for, but we ask that you remember, this is not 2019.  This is different, and we need to do some things differently.

At the lodge we have adopted, by necessity, a number of measures that you will be very familiar with by now.  Physical distancing, wearing face masks and using hand sanitizer frequently are all part of everyday life here; much like you experience at home.  Everyone will appreciate that you continue to be vigilant in protecting yourself and others against this coronavirus.  That said, we have created spaces for you to safely enjoy dining and partying and fishing and telling stories.  We want you to have fun!  But we need everybody to pull together and take care of one another.

Now let’s talk about fishing…  with less boats on the water there are even more opportunities to find your own favourite spot!   We’ve had a lot of southerly wind systems in the past week and it looks like that will continue for at least another week.  Light to moderate winds swinging between southeast and southwest find us in sheltered water most of the time.  As a result, we’re fishing the full grounds from Green Point all the way over to Cape Edenshaw.  Chinook action inshore has been pretty steady with lots of feeder Springs in the mid-teens mixed with enough of those twenty-somethings to keep you holding out for something bigger.  There are some Tyees in the mix as well; we released a couple of 40-pounders in training week and on opening weekend the biggest Chinook was a beautiful 39-pounder for Gary W.  On Tuesday we saw a pair of 30-pounders come to the scale, one for Cecil D, celebrating his first ever Tyee, and one for Sean B. who’s enjoyed catching several big fish in recent years.  Congratulations Guys!

We’re seeing Cohos (6-8 pounds) and Pinks in solid numbers, mostly offshore, over the Pinnacles in 150-200 feet of water.  The halibut fishing is always reliable and several anglers have been rewarded with some very nice fish!  Last week the bar was set pretty high when Dr. James C. ventured out with veteran QCL guide Derek “Demo” P. and promptly hauled up a giant that they taped out to 76 inches (235 pounds) before releasing it.  Great work! What a way to kick off a fishing season!  On the weekend Bob M was trolling for salmon inshore between Parker Pt and Cape Naden with guide Jordan F. – they brought a perfect 30-pound halibut to the boat – but that was after catching and releasing two much larger halibut that measured 96 and 104 pounds!  You just never know what you’ll catch out there!  Great work guys.  The Tyee bell has rung for several other chunky halibut weighing between 30 and 50 pounds this week as well.

Wildlife has been abundant out there too.  Besides the usual collection of feeding Humpback whales and giant black bears foraging on the beaches, we’ve had several transient Orca cruising inshore – maybe they’re hanging around because we’ve also seen a few more sea lions than normal so far this summer.

Stay tuned – right here – for more updates as the 2020 season rolls on!


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February 24, 2020 Duane Foerter0

QCL Kingfisher DerbyThe QCL Kingfisher Derby has been annual tradition for many years. In fact, many of the participants have been fishing this derby for more than a decade!  The Kingfisher is a Catch & Release salmon derby that happens in mid-June – so that means Chinook salmon.  Fish guided or self-guided, weighted rods or downriggers; Go with what you know!  All entered fish are measured, scored, revived and carefully released by derby marshals.  Guides may not touch the rod.  It’s 3 exciting days of intense fishing effort, right down to the wire on the last day.  More than once the winner was netted in the final hours of the derby!  To spice up the competition a bit, there is one prize for largest killed salmon; often a strategic decision!  With an entry fee of $2000 per angler the top prize has ranged from $40K to over $60K.

QCL C&R This year’s event, our 18th Annual, is our biggest yet, with the richest prize pool ever!  It’s a highlight of the summer with over $100,000 up for grabs for anglers pursuing the largest Catch & Release salmon.  Top prize for the largest salmon released will be minimum $50,000 and there are prizes for runners up as well as daily catch.  It’s a party all weekend with special treatment from the food & beverage department as well!  Tons of fun!  At this time there are still a few spaces left so if you enjoy a little competition in your fishin’ you should give us a call today!

 


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January 21, 2020 Duane Foerter0

Come see us in Puyallup!This week members of our sales team are attending the annual Washington Sportsmen’s Show in Puyallup; look for Roger, Craig and Kevin at Booth #621.  We’ll be at the Pacific Northwest show in Portland on February 5-9. At the same time we’ll be in Reno for the big Safari Club International show.  Remaining spaces for the 2020 season are going even more quickly now with show season in full swing.  If you haven’t reserved your dates for this year you’d best not delay any longer!


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October 24, 2019 Duane Foerter0

QCL Moments is our new slideshow series featuring the many memorable experiences that QCL guests enjoy every summer.  It could be fishing, dining, wildlife or wild life!  It’s all about the QCL Experience – every day is a new day at the Lodge!  You never know what’s going to come your way.


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October 5, 2019 Duane Foerter0

QCL and the rest of the Sport Fishing Industry were notified in mid-September that one of our major competitors were suspending operations. This was definitely a shock as they have hosted thousands of guests since opening their doors in 1994.  West Coast Resorts operated two lodges on the west coast of Haida Gwaii, so we know that their customers will miss fishing at Englefield Bay and Hippa Island.

QCL estimates that 2000 or more avid WCR clients will be looking for a new home in Haida Gwaii. It would be an understatement to say that our phones and Sales Executives have been busy since this announcement.  As the dust starts to settle and we review our 2020 bookings we see that we are just now over 70% booked for 2020.  Another way to look at things is that we only closed our doors for the 2019 season 30 days ago and we are already almost three quarters full.

We are excited to be booked to this level as the 2020 season is still almost a year away. We are happy with this up-turn in business, however, we are also worried about our existing, loyal guests. We have made every attempt to reach out and let folks know about WCR and the effect this has had on our available space. We want to make sure our existing QCL clients have a chance to reserve their preferred space so we urge you to reach out to us and let us know what your thoughts and plans are for 2020.  After a great 2019 fishing season we want to see you make it back up to QCL in Haida Gwaii for another amazing trip next year. Help us help you!   We strongly suggest you call us soon at 1.800.688.8959


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August 21, 2019 Duane Foerter0

QCL salmon fishing Well just when we were bragging about how great the weather has been this summer, we’ve had a couple of “rock ‘n roll”shows this week!  On the weekend, some good old-fashioned northwesterly winds bumped up the energy level a notch and we discovered that fishing is really good inshore!  From Bird 2 all the way past the Mazzaredo Islands and over towards Inskip Point, QCL guests found loads of terrific salmon action.  Admittedly we didn’t see so many halibut but everybody was busy!

Tyee Chinook salmon C&R

 

One exception on Friday was a stunning big Tyee, hooked up at Eagle Rock by guest Larry C, fishing with guide Nic Rasovic in the 102.  It might have been some good luck that Nic’s Dad was aboard as Larry’s fishing partner, but after an epic battle Nic slipped the net beneath a big chrome beauty that he quickly taped out to 48-pounds before getting it back in the water!  It took Nic a while to revive the huge Chinook but with some assistance from Fishmaster Trevor Harris they were thrilled to see it swim away with nice strong strokes of its tail.  Congratulations Larry!  Well done boys!  Always amazing to see this caliber of fish and thanks for sending her back!

The fishing has been steady through the weekend and into Monday as well.  Here’s a few shots of the kind of action we’re enjoying… No napping in the boat these days!