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June 25, 2022 Duane Foerter1

There are a lot of important qualities involved in being a successful angler, and among some of the most important are patience and positivity. I maintain the belief that fish will only bite hooks that are attached to a vessel with positive attitudes on board, and if you ever fish with me then you will probably hear me say that at least once or twice throughout the trip.

Fishing isn’t always easy; it can often test us. We all love those days where you can barely even sink a line to 45 feet without a Chinook ripping it off the clip on the way down!  On those days positivity is easily achieved!  The thing is, in order to reach those action-packed days an angler may need to work through some days that are not so action-packed. Fishing can be slow, but to be successful on those slower days patience and positivity are needed. There could be torrential rain, big winds, and kelp as far as the eye can see, but if you possess a positive mindset and believe that if you keep working your tacks effectively and roll some tight ‘chovies or mean cut-plugs then results will eventually come your way.

A bite can turn on like a flick of a switch. One simple switch from an ebb to a flood, or a slight change in water depth, gear colours, or maybe even a switch from country radio to classic rock.  Sometimes just cracking open an ice-cold silver bullet could bring an angler the bite they’ve been searching for all morning!  They just have to believe that it will happen.  Hope, visualize, and work hard to make it a reality. Patience will be rewarded in some way, shape, or form and positivity will help those rewards flourish.  I guarantee it.

 

Tight lines and good luck out there!

Braeden “Bhard” Hardie

 


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June 19, 2022 Duane Foerter0

One of the more common questions I get asked by my guests during trips is how I got into fishing and more so, how I got into guiding. For me it’s a two-part answer that blends into one.

From a very early age, before I can remember, my parents always spent time taking my two older brothers and myself on camping and outdoor trips that always had river, lake or ocean fishing involved. This set me on a course to always have a passion and love for the outdoors, nature, fishing, and everything in between.

My Dad spent a lot of his life ocean fishing around Vancouver Island and as I got older, into my late teens, I knew I wanted to spend a lot more of my time ocean fishing as well.  In a way I was following in his footsteps but in a more professional and serious manner.  That’s what led me to be a fishing guide in Haida Gwaii at QCL.

This past week I was fortunate enough to have my Mom and Dad visit QCL for the first time for a fishing trip, a 4-day trip guided by me!  I was able to show them, more than ever before, my passion for the outdoors and for fishing, as they had done for me in my early years.

Fishing has a unique way to create a bond between fathers and sons, mothers, daughters, grandparents, siblings, friends and really, everyone.  I hope all of you who enjoy fishing, regardless of type or level of ability, are able to spend time with someone that you care about this Father’s Day weekend, enjoying the outdoors, as I was able to do this past week.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers and father figures out there. Happy Father’s Day Dad…Thank you. Love you always.

Jeff “Smirf” Smirfitt

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February 2, 2022 Duane Foerter0

We hope you enjoy the 2022 edition of the QCL Desktop Calendar. It’s sized at 2560 px by 1440 px so it’ll look stunning on your computer desktop or on your HDTV.

This special selection of images is set up as monthly calendars for your computer desktop.
They’re easy to download from our QCL Flickr page and we hope you use them them all year long!

It’s easy to download each month from our Flickr page. https://www.flickr.com/photos/qclshooter/albums/72177720296388065
Here’s the link to download February: https://flic.kr/p/2n1tdzm

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October 5, 2021 Duane Foerter0

Well, that was Season #31… it took a little while to get going but when our guests arrived it was all systems go!  The delayed opening this summer found us moving our staff onsite a full 2-weeks before opening day on July 2nd – but that extra week of training and preparation provided a crew whose huge enthusiasm was only matched by that of our excited guests.

So that’s why we want to send out a huge Thank You to our 2021 Crew for coming through for us this season, despite all the uncertainty and delays, they totally brought their A-game and gave it all this season at QCL!  We all appreciate you!

By any measure it was a great summer – the weather was above average, the fishing was good overall and the wildlife viewing opportunities were exceptional.  Along with the “normal” daily humpback whale sightings, this summer there was a sizeable pod of northern resident Orcas traveling and feeding back and forth between Rose Spit and Langara Island; with viewing opportunities lasting all summer long.  No matter how often we see whales, it just never gets old!

Our talented culinary team delivered an exciting new menu this summer featuring many of the delicious products available through our Taste of B-Sea program.  Of course, our guests will be keen to try these dishes at home with some of the amazing fish going back in their own fish boxes!  But keep in mind that throughout the winter you’ll still be able to order local specialties like smoked sablefish, BC spot prawns and albacore tuna loins!

Our Covid-19 protocols were highly appreciated by both guests and staff, easing some of the uncertainty that we’ve all been dealing with.  We want to say a big Thank You to all for getting on board and supporting our efforts to keep everyone safe.  Working together is the best way forward and we appreciate all your help.

With progress on vaccinations and easing of restrictions we were able to host guests from across Canada on opening day and on August 9th we could welcome vaccinated visitors from the USA.  Interestingly, by the end of this abbreviated season we had hosted more British Columbians than in any other year!  That’s fantastic!

Now the key priority is coming back in 2022 – there are lots of guests with reservations for next summer who booked their trips in Fall 2019.  But they couldn’t visit in 2020 or 2021, so they’re extra keen to get up here in 2022!   Certainly, the calendar is looking pretty crowded!  So if you haven’t secured your dates for next summer we can’t overemphasize the need to get on that as soon as you can, because they’re going fast!  Avoid disappointment, have a look at our Dates & Rates page and give us a call.  You’ll be glad you did!

 

 


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August 31, 2021 Duane Foerter0

Getting away and doing something fun and exciting (or relaxing) with friends and family this summer has been the biggest goal of most of our guests.  Seeing them leaving the helipad and having their first good look around is priceless… Off comes the mask, revealing a big smile, and the holiday has begun. (Not that we don’t still abide by the Covid rules – we have those too) But being in a beautiful, wild place with wide open spaces and abundant, fresh cool air is pretty exhilarating this summer!

So here we are at the end of August with the end in sight; the days are shorter – off the dock at 7 am just feels weird!  But we’re enjoying some really fine weather and exploring the fishing grounds in search of fish and wildlife and adventure.  Chinook salmon are still turning up inshore with opportunities to tackle a Tyee, ever-present off our favourite points. Fishing with her husband and their guide Jake off Bird Rock, Nadja M boated a nice 32-pounder on Wednesday as did Leesa A with her husband and their guide Tristan at Parker Point.  Anthony C landed a stunning 33-pounder on Tuesday and his wife Mimi followed suit with a 32 on Thursday, fishing with their guide Colten – quite an achievement!

Jaxon R turned eleven on Tuesday. We were thrilled that he celebrated here at QCL with his Dad, his Grandfather and his Great-Grandfather!  We are very fortunate to host family groups up here all the time – they’re a huge part of our guestlist every week.  But even for us, it’s rare to see four generations all in a boat together!  So the opportunity to get that photo to mark the occasion just couldn’t be missed!  Jaxon provided the key to putting it all together – catching a nice shiny Chinook salmon on his birthday and the moment was preserved!  We know you’ll remember it fondly Jaxon!

And late on Thursday, Marli J was still working the kelp beds off Yatze with her sister and her Dad, with guide DP at the helm.  A year ago, they had an epic encounter with a big salmon over at Cape Edenshaw and Marli was able to catch & release a beautiful Tyee.  You never expect these moments to repeat themselves but, sure enough, DP lured a big Chinook out of the kelp and it was Marli’s turn at the rod!  Her deft touch was still there and with some effort they managed to boat another Tyee Chinook together.  This one couldn’t be revived, as sometimes happens, but the group shared another momentous fishing experience that they’ll never forget. Whether you keep a fish, release it, or even lose it, there’s always a story that goes with it; to be shared (and maybe embellished!) with friends for years to come, and that’s one of the things we really like about fishing that never gets old!


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August 8, 2021 Duane Foerter0

With the morning light just starting to dawn, my guests and I decided to leave the dock as early as possible. But we weren’t alone and one quick boat steered towards our fishing spot of choice. Fortunately they changed their minds and we got there with the spot untouched. With a purple dawn barely broken and not a breath of wind disturbing the waters, a magic hour was upon us. Our lines not yet in the water, we knew the bite was going to be swift upon us. “First boat, first pass!” I said to my guests. The first salmon we hooked immediately but she slipped the hook after steaming sideways next to the boat. We reset our lines and although there was a wait, we boated two nice Chinook salmon! Streaks on the sonar, calm water and the laughter created by the odd salmon biting our gear set the tone for the day. Excited to capitalize on our time on the water, we took advantage of a to-go order on the lunch boat, the M.V. Driftwood. Loaded with hot burgers cold beverages on the boat, we fished the day away, enchanted by the surrounding trees, waves, and rocks offered by the northern coast of Graham Island. Don’t worry, we topped the day off with a sighting of orcas dipping and fishing their way eastbound along the coast.

– Logan Allen


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August 5, 2021 Duane Foerter0

Every angler has their favourite time to go fishing… “Anytime” is the answer for most!  But there are a lot of QCL guests who just love August.  Maybe it’s the warmer weather, the bigger Coho, the later starts… certainly there all kinds of reasons.  For this year, we’re now at the halfway point of our season, due to the late start on July 2nd, and we’re happy to report that everything is ticking along very nicely.

On the fishing front, we’re currently seeing a nice bump in the number of larger Chinooks, with the Tyee bell getting a workout each evening.  Big fish are especially celebrated and those over 40 pounds are revered.  On the weekend, self-guided guests Sasha and Brandi spent some quality time at Klashwun Point with a beautiful big Tyee that they taped out to 42 pounds before carefully sending it back on its homeward journey.  Nicely done you two!  Jeff F and his buds had a pretty fine day fishing with QCL guide Tristan O’Brian, with Jeff boating a chunky 46-pound halibut and releasing an awesome Chinook that scored 34 pounds.  We saw a couple of big chrome beauties on the dock this week with Tom S boating a handsome 47 lb. Tyee with guide Craig Wensel and Taylor H, fishing with his Grandad, caught the fish of a lifetime in a 43-pounder with guide Noah Crumb at the helm.

The light southerly winds have continued to provide easy and comfortable access to the offshore waters and every angler is getting lots of opportunity to get down for some nice halibut and lingcod.  We get reports of several big hali’s over 100-pounds hooked each week but most everyone is having a good time pulling up some nice keepers between 15 and 50 pounds.  Getting over the pinnacles to catch your first lingcod is generally an easy feat, while finding that spot again for a second one is the bigger challenge!  That’s why we call it fishing!

While we’ve been enjoying a lot of calm water over the past couple of weeks we are looking forward to a general shift to westerly winds for the coming days.  We find that southerlies tend to disperse the feed, and the fish, while west and northwesterlies bring everything back closer to shore and concentrates the salmon fishing noticeably.  We’ll soon see if that rings true in the early days of August!  Stay tuned!


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July 11, 2021 Duane Foerter0

July 3rd Report

And here we are!  So excited to be in Naden Harbour and be open for our 31st season!   With all the uncertainty of the past 15 months it certainly feels wonderful to open the doors and welcome our friends back the The Lodge.  We want to send out a huge wave of thanks and appreciation to our guests and friends who have demonstrated amazing support and patience throughout that time.  We know that this pandemic has been a shocking and sobering experience for many on so many levels.  But if people are now able to venture back out into the world to enjoy some of their favourite things, we feel very fortunate that so many want to get back up here!

With opening day as a moving target, our whole staff enjoyed the benefit of a full two-week training period!  But Wow!  What a great two weeks it was!  The level of excitement on Opening Day was off the charts as our first guests arrived and everyone fell into their roles so well.  And our guests?  They are just so thrilled to finally be here… we know it’s going to be an awesome season, already!

July 10th Report

One week in and I gotta say, it’s so great to be back!  We’ve had a few days of nice sunny weather and the usual northwesterlies that come with it, but the fishing has been on fire.  Through most of the past week we’ve been fishing the prime stretch of water from Klashwun Point down to Cape Naden.  But a lot of our guests love working the quiet water around Brown’s Pile down to the Mazzaredos.  Loaded with a healthy mix of Chinook and Coho, anglers have enjoyed terrific action inshore.  Average Chinooks right now are generally in the mid-teens, mixed with a good dose of 20-somethings and enough Tyees to keep everybody really interested every time the reel goes off!

Often in midsummer the Coho are feeding offshore but these days we’re finding lots of them in close, swimming with the Chinook.  And they’re feeding aggressively on both needlefish and herring in the middle of the water column.  Coho size has bumped up in the past couple of days and we’re seeing some 9 and 10-pounders, but the bulk of them are still 6 to 8…beautiful feisty fish all the same.

The NW winds settled back to light variable in the past 3 days, giving easy access to the rest of the fishing grounds.  Many of our guides love fishing Cape Edenshaw and they were not disappointed when they finally got over there this weekend.  The steady push of several days of westerlies tends to move a lot of bait in that direction and that brings in the salmon.  It’s a favourite place to hunt for the big ones!

But Bird 2 and Parker Point have been rewarding dedicated anglers with some great action and some spectacular fish.  We’ve welcomed our first new member of the 50-Pounder Club for 2021 already this week when Brian M brought a stunning fish to the boat that taped out to 56-pounds before it was carefully released from a cradle by guide Marcus M.  Ellen D and her husband Patrick teased a big beauty out of the kelp at Cape Naden on Tuesday that got everyone at the Bell Ringer super excited when it tipped the scale at 38-pounds.  Nice work!

Guide Marcus was at it again on Friday, with new guest Daniel N, who showed his fishing skills, reeling a big chrome beauty to the boat. It was quickly taped out to 44-pounds in the cradle before revival and release back to the wild. Congratulations all!  Wonderful fishing experiences and precious salmon filets add up to memories to savour for a lifetime.

Flat calm days like today are a treat for those who love to fish the deep water.  Off the north shore we find some spectacular underwater terrain that holds massive stocks of halibut and lingcod.  Anglers have done very well out there this week, bringing impressive catches back to the Bell Ringer.  Of course, every day there are some fish caught that are simply too big to bring back.  On the last trip, Craig A, fishing with Ray P out at HaliWood, pulled a huge halibut up alongside the boat that they were able to measure out to 74-inches in length for a weight score of 215 pounds!  Seth K released one at 128 lb., Chuck H and Sean G each measured giant “butts” out to 121 pounds!  Happily, they all managed to find some nice keepers in the 20-30 pound class.

This weekend, QCL anglers have been exploring the full breadth of the fishing grounds, enjoying perfect conditions on the water and catching some very nice fish to take home and share with friends and family.  They’ve been thrilled by the presence of several humpback whales feeding in the area, especially when they decide to launch themselves from the depths and breach the surface with a massive splash.  All these moments add up to create amazing stories that our guests go home with – to share with their friends.  It’s our privilege to play some small part in that and we all look forward to doing it again and again!