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November 29, 2022 Bre Guolo0

The weather has officially shifted and the holiday season is nearly upon us! Like most, the QCL team is looking forward to all the upcoming festivities. While an amazing time for reflection and getting together with loved ones, we also know it can be overwhelming – Ensuring you have the right ingredients for family gathering meals and picking out the perfect gifts (especially for the ones who say they don’t need anything) can be time consuming endeavors. We’ve put together the QCL Holiday Gift Guide in hopes that we can help make finding the perfect gift for the angler in your life a smooth (and maybe an easier) process!

Connect with Kristine Renaud to order | [email protected] 800 688 8959

 

FOR THE BEST DRESSED

If you’re familiar with QCL, you’d know that every year we feature a new guest hat design. This tradition is 30+ years strong and typically reserved as an on-season exclusive.

Our 2022 hat was a fan favourite so we’ve made an exemption! Snag one before they’re gone!

 

FOR THE AVID ANGLER

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you or someone you know love to fish and any angler would appreciate an Islander reel. Available in 5 colours, the Islander MR3 mooching reel is sure to impress. Warning, fishing with an Islander might turn a hobby into a passion and passion into an obsession.

 

FOR THE ADVENTURE SEEKER

Go above and beyond, surprise your loved one with the fishing adventure of a lifetime. Connect with our team of Sales Executives to inquire about the limited opportunities remaining for 2023 or plan well in advance and explore the many options in 2024!

 

FOR THE FOODIE

Whether you’re buying for a seafood lover, aspiring chef or a master entertainer, Taste of B-Sea has something for all. Perfect for those who are looking to supplement their 2022 catch or for a friend that hasn’t yet had the chance to visit QCL, you can’t go wrong with the gift of premium seafood. QCL’s Taste of B-Sea program delivers Ocean Wise products from some of the most sustainable fisheries on the West Coast of British Columbia, straight to your door. https://www.queencharlottelodge.com/luxury-fishing-lodge/amenities/taste-of-b-sea/ 

Our Pre-Holiday Sale includes Lingcod ($29), Halibut ($40), Spot Prawns ($49) and Dungeness Crab Meat ($65). Stock up on these great options and check out what else Taste of B-Sea offers!

 

FOR THE TECH LOVER

As the world becomes more connected than ever, it’s important to keep that connection safe. Rep your favourite fishing adventure and protect your tech with our water and stain resistant laptop case – It’s a win, win!

 

FOR THOSE VISITING QCL

For those who already have a trip booked to QCL, we’ve added in a few of our favourite items to have at the Lodge.

  1. We always want our guests to remain as comfortable as possible on the water. Time flies when you’re having fun and catching fish, but not if you’re a little cold or wet. A warm pair of gloves, warm toque or wool socks would make for a perfect stocking stuffer!
  2. For the beginner or veteran, every angler needs a pair of sunglasses. Protection on the water is a necessity – Plus, everyone can do with a stylish pair of polarized glasses to reduce the glare and create a clearer view of the water.
  3. While it’s the middle of summer during our season’s, we never really know what the weather will be in the Pacific Northwest. Sneaking base layers under the tree is a sure fire way to ensure your loved one stays warm in between all the rod action or until reeling in the fish of their dreams!
  4. Haida Gwaii is full of abundant wildlife both on and off the water. A pair of waterproof binoculars would not be a bad item to pack!

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August 24, 2022 Duane Foerter0

Amazing August!  QCL guests have enjoyed so much epic adventure up here this summer that it’s hard to see how it could get any better.  But these past weeks have delivered that “trip of a lifetime” experience for many.  The fishing overall has been steady… the big fish are not as plentiful as we’ve come to expect, but the action is consistent, and anglers aren’t spending too much time in their seats!  Going home with a nice box of beautiful wild salmon, halibut and lingcod is a precious treat that will be shared and savoured for months to come.

Small tides and light winds in the past week have really opened the door all day to bottom fishing, so our guests are really getting their fill of jiggin’ the deep!  It’s yielding outstanding catches of halibut, lingcod and Pacific cod.  This coincides nicely with a recent regulation change from DFO allowing sport anglers to retain a third halibut under 90 cm if they don’t have one larger than 90.

While most of our guides are still committing some part of their day to fishing inshore in search of big Chinooks, they’re finding good success on all salmon species while trolling offshore in 200-240 feet of water.  That’s typical for late season salmon and the results have been good!  We’re finally seeing more Coho in the 10-plus class, mixed in with powerful 16-20 pound Chinooks.  Every so often a big, bright Chum hooks up and delivers that outstanding battle that they’re known for!  Back at the Bell Ringer the Tyee bell is ringing every night for a wide array of big catches – from 40-50 pound halibut, to 30-pound-plus Lingcod and, of course, Tyee Chinooks over 30-pounds, some retained and some released.  There’s always cause for celebration down there!

August weather has been particularly warm and dry, so long days spent out in a boat are pretty sweet… especially with a nice social lunch break at the Driftwood to catch up with friends and compare notes.  With only 3 trips remaining in this 2022 season after Friday, we’re thankful that the fishing and the weather continue to cooperate and all of our guests, some of whom have waited since 2019 to get here, are getting the QCL adventure experience that they were hoping for!


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August 13, 2022 Duane Foerter0

I guess we could call it the height of our summer!  The past few days of brilliant sunshine delivered some of those iconic deep colours that say it’s summer at the lodge!  The fishing effort was largely focused on the waters from Yatze east to the Mazzaredos and the salmon action was quite steady overall.  Anglers were busy reeling in lots of nice Coho mixed with a bunch of Pinks; punctuated by a chunky Chinook every so often!  We managed to find a few Tyees in the mix, between 30 and 36 pounds – and lots of those amazing 20-somethings, the top target of our salmon anglers!  We caught a break on Thursday and the winds died right off to send the entire fleet offshore to load up on halibut and lingcod, which they did quite successfully.

Seeing as it’s already August 13th (or Foggust as many call it) we’ve been really lucky to avoid much fog in the area so far.  But a big bank rolled in late Thursday; we usually watch it creep in from the north and settle over the east side of Naden Harbour.  Combined with a brilliant super-full-moon, it made for another dramatic visual this week. 

I hope you enjoy this eclectic collection of photos that pretty much describe how the week went!  But don’t worry, the weekend, so far, has been different!  Tune in next week for the update!


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August 9, 2022 Duane Foerter0

A classic northwesterly system is bringing us big blue skies this week – the staff are enjoying our version of beach life and our guests are doing the great drift on the seas rolling down from Shag Rock past Cape Naden.  While there are excellent opportunities hunting for Chinooks that lurk around the kelp beds at Yatze, the Bird Rocks and Parker Point, the offshore drift along the 120-foot line is usually quite productive and fairly unpredictable in these conditions. Depending on your depth you can hit good numbers of Cohos and Chinook, but you can also find lots of action from Pink and Chum salmon along the way.  Bottom fishing will have to wait for Thursday when we will be able to access the offshore waters again.

We’ve seen some great Chinook action this past week with a number of big Tyees in the area.  Normand B masterfully brought a huge Chinook to the net for his guide Alex K on Thursday… after a measurement and a quick pic Alex carefully revived the big beauty to watch it pull away with a few strokes of its massive tail.  She scored at 49-pounds and was cause for some serious celebration at the Bell Ringer on the final night of the trip!  Great job guys and Congratulations! 

On the weekend Myron N was able to follow suit, releasing a stellar 33-pounder with his guide Chris M.  Bill G celebrated a 31 on the dock on Sunday along with a nice 32-pounder for John M to cap off a terrific weekend of salmon action.  We also had outstanding lingcod catches on Friday when Mo N returned to the dock with an impressive 32-pounder, only to be upstaged by his fishing partner Scott N, who weighed a 42 – the largest of the season so far!  Kudos to their angling skills – and those of their guide Alex!


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August 5, 2022 Duane Foerter0

In 2020 I had been involved in rowing for close to half my life. I had rowed as an athlete for ten years and transitioned into coaching after a spinal injury in the lead up to the Rio Olympic Games ended my career. I spent 2015 to 2020 as the head coach and then general manager of the rowing centre where I first learned to row, on the gorge in the heart of Victoria. I loved my role working with people and had no plans to change my chosen career.

When COVID closed the club I had worked so hard to build I went back to my first passion in life, fishing! I grew up in Jasper, Alberta. I learned to love fishing in the family canoe with my father, fishing for pike on Talbot lake with the goofiest spinning frog lure you’ve ever seen. I still have one. As I got older I got into fly fishing and spent most days that the water wasn’t frozen chasing trout on the fly.

When I got into rowing at age fifteen, fishing largely fell out of my life with the exception of a few days swinging for salmon and steelhead in the rivers of Vancouver Island. With Covid opening the horizon, as it did for so many, I dove head first back into the sport. I’m still fairly young in my guiding career but it feels very familiar to me because to be a guiding is to be a coach. You are enabling success, achieving goals and teaching guests to the skills to take their QCL experience in their own hands and make the most of it.

Just like coaching you need both “soft skills” and “hard skills” guiding salmon fishing. The hard skills are the tangible things like knowing where the fish will be, what they’ll be feeding on and when they’ll be feeding. The soft skills are more subtle such as a hand on the back when a good one pops off. Soft skills are needed to build relationships to enable your guests to learn and land the fish of their dreams. I love both sides of the job but strongly believe that the softs skills are where the guides at QCL set themselves apart.

We see all kinds of guests and each have their own expectations and goals. Just like coaching, our job is to learn those goals and impart the knowledge and skill for the guests to achieve them. I grew up in a team environment and I have enjoyed being a part of this guide team immensely. Knowledge is power on the water and I’ve been humbled to learn from some of the best rods on the west coast while I’ve been here and what I continually find amazing is their willingness to teach and enable newer guides like myself.

If you asked me in March 2020 where I would be in two year years, I never would have thought I’d be tough tacking Cape Naden in ten foot seas and scraping kelp beds for a clip popping hog but after the first time I came around the dolphin I’ve never looked back. Every time I see the joy in my guests eyes when “that fish” hits the bag I fall in love with fishing all over again because just like coaching shared success is always sweeter than individual success.

Tight lines and I hope I see you out there this season!               Alex W


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August 3, 2022 Duane Foerter0

The mid-summer stretch is treating QCL guests to some really excellent fishing adventure these days!  Very favourable weather conditions have added some icing on the cake – some of us are wearing t-shirts!  We even had 3 guests go for a dip off the lodge beach before enjoying the hot tub!  Life is good!

It was especially good for veteran anglers Joe H & Brad R as they first set their gear at Green Point Tuesday morning.  Joe’s rod had the twitch before Brad even managed to get his in the water!  But together these fellows would share an epic battle with a massive salmon that they’ll remember for a long time. Brad finally slipped the net below the big beauty and when they lifted it aboard, they were super thrilled!  Finally returning to the dock last night, the scale at the Bell Ringer revealed a weight of 52 pounds! Cause for celebration for sure! Nice fish boys!

While big Tyees over 50 pounds aren’t as common as they used to be, we’ve certainly seen a nice bump in the big fish department recently with several Tyees kept or released.  Jeff W released a 33-pounder on the weekend and Jason N boated a 38 on Saturday, followed by a 30 on Sunday!  Zack J followed up with nice 31-pounder and Ryan O returned to the Bell Ringer with a stunning 14 lb Coho, the largest of the season so far!  When we have the right tide and wind conditions the halibut grounds are a wonderland!  On Saturday we saw lots of nice keepers land back on the dock but the Tyee Bell was ringing big-time with released giant halibut reports!  Richard K released an 87-pounder, Janet B recorded a 69-inch halibut that scored 168 lb and Clint C turned back a full-on barn door that measured 75-inches to score 220 pounds!  Amazing!  Coho catches remain very strong with the average size creeping up around 8-pounds now so everyone is enjoying the awesome salmon action on the water.

Light to moderate winds wavering from southwest to northwest are to continue right into next week with very little precipitation and the odd sunny period – so we have pretty perfect conditions to look forward to.  Peak tides will return around the 12th when we’ll see 17-foot swings, so hold on for that one!  Stay tuned!


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August 1, 2022 Duane Foerter0

As we crest over the midway point of our summer season here at QCL, we find ourselves knee deep in Coho.  There appears to be no sign of slowing to the arrival of the acrobatic white gums.   As the flow of fish continues to increase, we have begun to see an increase in size as well.  Fish stretching into the double digits are becoming more and more common every week.  Yesterday a 14-pounder arrived at the Bell Ringer!  What a fish!

At the same time, I felt that Chinook fishing had been slower than usual last week.   But there has been no lack of quality when you do find a pocket of black gums!  Though the hookups on Springs have been hindered by the relentless hammering of Coho, the fish that are being caught are often up into the twenty-plus class and put up quite a battle for our visiting anglers!

This past week my guests and I were fortunate enough to connect with a trio of gorgeous Chinooks at Cape Naden.  On three consecutive passes we managed to find an eighteen pounder, followed by a fat 23-pounder.  Not much later, on our third tack through the shallow bay that divides Cape Naden and Hanna Bay, the portside rod popped off and began to strain from the heavy head shakes of what would turn out to be a stunning 37-pound Chinook!  After an exciting battle, punctuated by many long runs, the 27”x 38” chrome missile was carefully landed onto the deck of our 22’ Bridgeview.  After a quick measurement, this big beauty was successfully released to continue his long Journey home!

Tipper


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July 27, 2022 Duane Foerter0

While we’re enjoying big blue skies and bright, sunny conditions this week, northwesterly winds blowing 15 to 25 are keeping anglers down inside the shelter of Virago Sound.  Salmon fishing continues to be productive with consistent catches of Coho and Chinooks in the near-shore waters.  An 11-foot morning flood tide moving with the westerlies provides decent opportunities to get offshore far enough to pick up some bottomfish, before the ebb starts and the sea gets a bit lumpy for comfort!

Given good conditions, QCL anglers do very well on halibut and lingcod while they’re here.  Modern Navionics and depth sounders have mapped the undersea world to the point that guides are able to navigate an amazing world down 200-300 feet below.  With the right skillset and some creative planning, they’re finding excellent catches of tasty lingcod and halibut.  Challenges enough remain to keep it a very interesting exercise for anglers to put a few in the box!  But those rewards are some of the finest fish dinners they’ll ever have!

Lingcod are very common and plentiful in the area and are carefully managed by Fisheries & Oceans.  Anglers may retain 3 lingcod per day so the possession limit on a trip is 6.  They can be found in less than 100 feet of water near shore but we typically fish for them offshore among pinnacles at depths of 200-300 feet.  They are extremely structure-oriented so anglers must work hard to get on the structure long enough to present the jig/bait before drifting off with wind or tide.  Lots of repositioning of the boat, lots of reeling and, lots of reeling!  But the medium-firm, moist, and flavourful white flesh of lingcod is well worth the effort!

Lingcod can live 20-25 years and females mature at 3-5 years of age at an average length of 24-30 inches.  They spawn in nests / crevices from December into March, and the males guard the nests until the eggs hatch.  That’s why lingcod season is closed mid-November thru April 1st – they guard aggressively and are extremely vulnerable to anglers.  Lingcod are highly susceptible to overfishing so they are closely managed from the Aleutian Islands all the way to Baja California!


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July 26, 2022 Duane Foerter0

Light winds and light tides were the norm over the past week, providing optimal conditions for anglers testing the waters of Haida Gwaii.  QCL guests made the most of it by exploring the offshore slopes and pinnacles for halibut and lingcod, trolling the 120-foot line for Coho and cruising inshore along points and kelp beds in search of those big Chinook!

Their efforts were rewarded with nice full fish boxes coming back to the Bell Ringer!   Coho salmon have quickly displaced Chum and Pinks in the box with huge numbers of 6 to 8 pounders feeding heavily right now.  We’ll see the average size increase steadily over the coming weeks!  The large quantity of smaller “feeder Chinooks” that dominated our catch earlier in the season have given way to fewer, but certainly larger salmon.  The proportion of fish over 20-pounds has come up quite nicely through July and most anglers are finding some real beauties to take home.  The Tyee count is still lower than what we’d call “normal”but the Tyee Bell is getting a few good cracks every day.

Big celebrations on Friday night at the Bell Ringer marked the catch & release of a marvellous giant Chinook landed by Petr P at Cape Naden. It was taped out to 54-pounds before being skilfully released by veteran QCL guide Kylie T, captured beautifully on iPhone by fellow guides! Congratulations Petr and thanks for choosing to let that amazing fish carry on with its journey to the river!  Petr’s efforts were echoed on Sunday with C&R Tyees for Tasha S who turned back a 34-pounder with guide Rob C and Matt M releasing a 37 with his guide Brett T.  Well done!


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July 16, 2022 Duane Foerter0

It’s hard to believe but we are officially at the halfway point for the 2022 season up here at QCL!  After an unseasonably late start to “summer” in June, the past 2-3 weeks have been pretty awesome!  Lots of fish, better than average weather and so much fun on the water and back at the lodge.  We’ve enjoyed very healthy numbers of what we’d call “feeder salmon” in recent weeks.  Lots of Chinook salmon in the low-mid-teens and hungry Coho in the 6-8 pound class are keeping anglers busy throughout most of the fishing grounds.  The presence of larger Chinook has been increasing steadily with regular catches of those stunning twenty-somethings, and the Tyee Bell is ringing every night now in celebration of Tyee-class fish either kept or released. Everything is feeling more like a “normal” fishing season, just a little later this year.

We started off this week’s trip with a bang on Monday night at the Bell Ringer with David H cracking the bell four times after releasing a big beautiful Tyee that taped out to 43-pounds before guide Alex K carefully returned it to the water. Roger P celebrated releasing a 30-pounder with his partner and their guide Colton M and Dan B was turning heads with an impressive 42 lb Chinook that came back to the dock with guide Dan R.  We’ve been very fortunate to find solid salmon fishing off most every point of the fishing grounds, at the right stage of the tide, which have been especially large this week with ranges up to 18 feet!

However, nice calm seas on Monday thru Wednesday provided perfect conditions for any angler’s preference!  Halibut fishing is very reliable on most days and this week was no different with many anglers finding impressive fish over 30-pounds and some tangling with the proverbial “barn doors” out on the grounds. Finding that magic number where it’s “not too little but not too big” is a challenge that definitely comes with fishing and Dan S pretty much maxed out his opportunity, bringing a 55-pounder back to the Bell Ringer!  Lionel W turned back a 5-foot-long halibut that scored over 100 pounds and Matt C hauled up a 75-incher which scored 230-pounds!  But the big catch this week went to Josh P who battled an 87-inch behemoth that would weigh about 273 pounds if you could get it in the boat!  While not every angler wants to work that hard, there are endless possibilities out there for those who dream of catching a fish larger than themselves!  Up here we seem to do that every week.

This weekend the large tides will start to diminish and we’re enjoying light winds and a comfortable mix of cloud and sunshine… with the occasional shower tossed in for good measure!