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June 12, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

Summer is almost upon us, and with summer comes first class fishing trips and fish you can turn into delicacies. The warm weather of the summer calls for our chef’s salmon burgers, to be enjoyed on the patio with friends. Don’t forget to tell them how you brought this one into the boat, among your other fishing tales!

Materials

  • 650g of skinless salmon *This is a great way to use salmon scraps
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 egg
  • 50g Breadcrumbs
  • 10g Pickles, chopped
  • 15g Capers, chopped
  • 2g Fresh Dill, chopped
  • 5ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 5ml Tabasco sauce
  • S+P to taste

Method

  1. Place salmon in a food processor or chop by hand. Pieces should be small, but not fine as you want to have chunks.
  2. Mix chopped salmon and all other ingredients together in large bowl.
  3. Scoop small spoonful of mixture in small pan with a few drops of oil and cook to taste, adjust seasoning and taste again
  4. Form salmon patties on small squares of parchment paper to ease transfer to cooking pan
  5. Heat large pan with natural oil of choice, sear both sides, and cook salmon patties until desired doneness.
  6. Serve on warmed bun with topping and sides of choice.
  7. Enjoy!

Don’t worry if you’ve moved through your supply of QCL caught fish already, our Taste of B-Sea program runs year round. The finest quality fish and shellfish, these products are Ocean Wise and come from some of the most sustainable fisheries in the world using the most eco-friendly fishing methods.

To learn more and to place your order, contact us | 1-800-688-8959


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June 11, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

Fishing is not the only wonderful part of your QCL Experience.

While it’s often what brings us all together, QCL has developed into a first-class experience that extends beyond the rods. Much of your time on the water is looking along the coastline, taking in the marine ecosystem and wildlife that seemingly puts on a daily show for us.

Our waters are frequented by majestic marine mammals such as seals, sea lions, humpbacks, orcas and from time to time porpoises. While most hangout around the rugged coastline to sunbathe or hide from predators, you’ll often encounter them swimming alongside your boat.

And the wonders don’t stop there! Low tide reveals starfish, sea urchins and more. The dark rugged rocks teem with vibrant colours.

Seals

Harbor seals are the most abundant marine mammal that can be found in our waters. They spend their days hunting for fish and sleeping on the rocks throughout our fishing grounds. They are one of the smaller species of seals, weighing in at a maximum of 300 pounds. These seals are very common around the docks at our lodge, typically you can find 6-10 of them bobbing around the waters of our dock. During the summer months they give birth to their young, which can be seen swimming around our docks with their mothers. If you ever see the harbor seals at our lodge all tucked into shore; that is a good sign that there may be Orcas around as they are a favorite prey species for transient Orcas

Sea Lions

Steller sea lions spend their summers on the north end of Haida Gwaii where they congregate in large groups for the breeding season as well as feeding on the large populations of salmon and bait fish. You can either find them patrolling the waters of our fishing grounds in search of bait or sunbathing on the costal rocks. Stellar sea Lions are the largest species of seal in our North Pacific waters and the 4th largest species in the world with the males reaching up to 11 feet and 2,500 pounds.

Humpbacks

Humpback whales migrate north in the summers to feed in our cool productive waters after they spend their winters raising their young in the warmer southern waters. These whales can reach up to 60 feet and 36.3 metric tons. You can typically find them on the grounds searching for large schools of bait fish. They will often slap their tails, fins or fully breach out of the water as a way to communicate with other whales or as a dominance display towards rival whales. They are quite common on our grounds and it is important that we respect their space and insure that we shut our motors off when the whales are passing by to insure their safety and ours.

Orcas

Orcas can also be found hunting in our fishing grounds throughout the summers. These whales are actually the largest species of dolphin in the world measuring up to 27 feet and weigh up to 13,000 pounds. There are two ecotypes of orcas that we encounter on our fishing grounds, Transient and Resident Orcas. Resident Orcas specialize in hunting fish such as salmon and have been known to try and steal fish from anglers. These Orcas have a smaller home range and won’t venture far out of those ranges to hunt. Transient Orcas do not stay in a home range and will instead travel throughout the waters reaching from Alaska to the Oregon Coast. These whales specialize in hunting marine mammals such as seal, sea lions and even whale calves.

Starfish

Starfish used to be extremely common along all the shores of Haida Gwaii. Unfortunately, in recent years a disease called Sea Star Wasting disease has decimated the population starting in the early 2010’s. However, in the last couple of years we have seen the population slowly bounce back. This change has been most noticeable for us along the piers of our docks. In the last two years at low tide we have started to see the population of Ochre Sea Stars bounce back as more and more of them populate our docks. These creatures are extremely resilient and are even able to completely regrow limbs once they have been ripped off by predators. The Ochre Sea Star is the most common species of starfish that you will find in our waters and typically feed on snails, barnacles and muscles.

So the next time you’re on the water, take a moment to take in the beauty of your surroundings, before the reel screams and your next fish is on!


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June 3, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

After welcoming staff mid-May to get things ready for our first round of guests, we finally made it! We’ve been saying it for months now, and though we’re only one week into the 34th season here at QCL, it truly is turning out to be the best season yet.

The Lodge has been filled with energy and already many exciting moments that won’t soon be forgotten. From the Northern Lights putting on a splendid show for the crew during “rig up”, to the Orcas visiting the dock on the first trip, the magic of the QCL Experience is in full force.

In typical Haida Gwaii fashion, the weather has provided a full range of conditions. The sun has shined, the rain has hit and when we’re sick of the grey, the sun does its thing and a rainbow appears just beyond the dock.

We have been fortunate to see favorable fishing conditions. Chinook fishing has been productive, with the majority of our guests experiencing multiple opportunities at some fresh and strong fish. The average size of Chinooks have ranged from 10 to 15lbs but we have seen some lucky anglers catching in the high 20s! Our biggest Chinooks of the season, so far, came a couple days apart from one another, both weighing in at 36lbs. Lastly, our bottom fishing has been productive with halibut and lingcod ranging from all sizes – Most notable being a 260lbs halibut and 47lbs lingcod. We are loving the exciting early fishery and look forward to seeing more as the season continues.

But fishing is not the only thing that makes your QCL Experience, all that it is. Each of our venues have come to life with guests enjoying the delicacies that our incredible team of chef’s create daily. The team in the Bell Ringer had a blast welcoming each guest as they return to the dock with stories of their day, kelp bongs have been flowing and the echo of the Tyee bell ringing has been almost daily. The Angler’s Club Lounge remains a favourite meeting place for most to grab a cocktail and warm up next to the crackling fireplace. The hot tub and sauna have also seen their fair share of use with even some brave souls taking cold plunges in Naden Harbour.

It’s hard to believe we’re only one week in. We cannot wait for you to arrive and experience this place we call home each summer. Here’s to many more incredible moments to come!


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May 30, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

Things are in full swing up here in Naden Harbour!

As is typical for May, we’ve had a mixed bag of weather; sunshine, overcast and torrential downpour, sometime all within the same hour. Winds have been fairly tame out of the south east this past week, and look to be getting stronger for the upcoming week.

Guests arrived last Friday, and Chinooks, mostly in the 8-15 pound range. Anglers have been enjoying success at Cape Naden, Cape Edenshaw, Bird Rock 2 and Yatze Bay, however the timing of the action has been hard to predict, so picking a spot and sticking it out has been the key to getting into fish. Both herring and anchovies have been producing fish, as well as smaller spoons and Kingcandy lures, at depths of 25 to 55 feet.

The pinnacles have been the favourite spot for anglers targeting “chicken” halibut, but some guests have been having success by fishing their regular salmon spots a little deeper, and getting their halibut “on the troll”. The weekend trip did see two Tyees on the board, one at 36.4lbs, so there’s always the chance of a big Chinook salmon out there! Tuesday we saw our first Pink salmon of the season, which means the Coho should be showing up soon!

Lead Guide, Liam Longacre


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May 17, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

Whether this will be your first visit to QCL, or your tenth, we know this time of year brings anticipation of a productive fishing and incredible memories.

Our Concierge team is working to connect with each group lead to ensure that your QCL Experience is planned to a tee. Let us worry about the details – arrive as you are and enjoy all the we have to offer.

As you await your trip, spend some time familiarizing yourself with common fishing terms and our Angler Orientation video. The below terms are frequently used on the boats and are a good starting point for those new to fishing to ensure you understand some of the basics upon arrival.

Right Rod to the Rock | When there are multiple boats fishing one particular point, we like to fish “right rod to the rock.” Meaning a boat that has its starboard side or has its right side of the boat closest to the shore, has the right of way to fish closest to the structure/kelp bed/shoreline. This helps to keep boat traffic moving smoothly while trolling and helps prevent boats and anglers from cutting each other off while trying to fish the inside pass.

Trolling | Trolling is a method of fishing where the boat is moving at various slower speeds while towing fishing lines. Most commonly to target salmon on our fishing grounds, your fishing lines can be attached to a downrigger or through the use of weighted rods in a style of fishing called mooching, to fish various depths.

Mooching | Mooching is a style of salmon fishing where lead weights, typically 4 to 10 oz’s., are attached to the fishing line, above the leader, to get the bait/hooks down to a desired depth. Mooching does not use downriggers and typically a cut plug herring is used as bait.

Back Rod | A back rod is used in the stern (back) of the boat as an additional or extra rod while trolling. Not attached to a downrigger, your backrod will have a banana weight or sliding weight attached to the fishing line above the leader. Commonly fished in the top 10 or 15 feet of the water column.

Jigging | A method of fishing used primarily for bottom fishing. A weighted lure, known as a jig, is dropped to the ocean floor , while attached to a fishing line, and is moved up and down by the angler using a fishing rod, to entice a bite.

Dummy Flasher / In-line Flasher | A flasher is a piece of fishing tackle used to attract salmon while trolling. A flasher can be used as a dummy flasher, where it’s attached to your downrigger line  or downrigger cannonball, using swivels and a few feet of thick monofilament or a flasher can also be used “in-line”, where the flasher is attached to one end of your fishing mainline and the other end attached to the leader line.

Pop the Clip | “Pop (or popping) the clip” refers to the motion of pulling your fishing line to release it out of the downrigger clip. There are a few methods to do this but the most common would be to reel your fishing line and rod tighter to the downrigger and while holding onto your fishing reel (to prevent line from spooling off of it), you lift the rod upwards to either set the hook on a fish or to bring in the line.

Let it go/Let it run/Hand off | Commonly said by QCL fishing guides, while their guest is playing a fish, these terms are used when a fish, most often a salmon, is trying to swim away from the angler and to prevent the line from breaking, one will take their reeling hand off of the reel, allowing the salmon to take line while still being hooked, which will tire the fish out. It should be noted that it is VERY important to still hold onto the fishing rod with your non reeling hand. “Let it go” does not mean let go of the rod.

Cut Plug | A presentation for salmon fishing using a herring as bait, where the head of the herring is cut off at certain angles, roughly 45 degrees and the ‘guts’ are removed. There are various ways to attach your hooks to a cut plug,  but the cut plug herring will imitate a wounded baitfish moving through the water.

Tyee | Tyee is most commonly a term for a Chinook salmon which weighs 30 pounds or more. Any guest at QCL who catches a Tyee, released or kept, rings the Tyee bell at the Bell Ringer, and later presented a celebratory pin.

As these are only a handful of the terms used when fishing, please let us know if there is anything else you want to learn! 

We’ll see you at the Dock!


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April 24, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

We strive to push the boundaries when it comes to the level of service we offer and are always looking at new, exciting ways to make the QCL Experience more memorable than the last.

Experiencing fishing first class extends beyond the water into our dining room, with dishes that will create memories all on their own.

Our Food and Beverage team has been hard at work, all off-season, preparing for opening day, May 2024. To those that will be joining us this summer, we have come up with various new offerings for you enjoy!

When it comes to beverages, our team definitely knows how to build a well-rounded menu! On the wine front, we have kept several guest favourites around, such as Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon, while updating with some new options like 1 Mill Road Pinot Noir Rose from Naramata, BC. Other than our wine list, we have also updated our QCL cocktail recipes as well as the addition of a couple new canned beverages for our guests to sip on their day on the water.

Not only can we curate an excellent bar list for our guests, but the team has been busy tasting, sourcing and planning exciting new dishes for our guests as well. A few notable items to look forward to would be our Boursin Stuffed Chicken Supreme that will be served in the Main Lodge Dining Room or our Chorizo Hash Bowl that will be available for breakfast in the Main Lodge. Also watch out for our new Après Pêche snacks, exclusively at the Bell Ringer, after your daily fishing adventure.

Remote dining like you’ve never experienced before!

We are thrilled to share this piece of your QCL Experience with you.

 


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April 13, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

We’re back with another Signatures Series recipe to wow your family or your guests. Our Back of House team has done an excellent job creating dishes that are easy to prepare and worth adding to your dinner lineup. This Ginger Soy Lingcod is a great addition to any plate.

Materials

  • Lingcod Fillets | 4 x 170g
  • Ginger Slices | x4
  • Cooking Oil | 60ml
  • Honey | 30ml
  • Shallot, finely minced | x1
  • Garlic clove, finely minced | x1
  • Soy Sauce | 125ml
  • Fresh cracked black pepper

Method

  1. In a wok, heat oil.
  2. Add ginger slices to the wok, lightly fry then discard.
  3. Place Lingcod in the same wok and sear for 5 minutes on each side. Remove the fish and keep warm.
  4. Add shallots and garlic to the same wok and saute slightly. Add honey and soy sauce and reduce until syrup. Pour over fish.
  5. Pour the sauce over the fish, paired with your choice of sides. Serve and enjoy!

Don’t worry if you’ve moved through your supply of QCL caught fish already, our Taste of B-Sea program runs year round. The finest quality fish and shellfish, these products are Ocean Wise and come from some of the most sustainable fisheries in the world using the most eco-friendly fishing methods.

To learn more and to place your order, contact us | 1-800-688-8959


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March 22, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

Last year, on World Water Day, we announced a new conservation initiative for 2023 – The Guest Water Bottle program.

Each guest was gifted a QCL water bottle for their use at the Lodge, and on the water, with the intention of reducing our plastic consumption. Paired with this was the addition of water bottle refill stations across the property. This program was developed, as most of ours are, by listening to our guests’ needs and suggestions.

There is no doubt that the creation of plastic bottles has a significant impact on our environment. With plenty of natural resources consumed, and pollution produced, we agreed that our consumption was out of balance with our values.

Proud to continue this initiative into 2024, we are excited to share with you the impact we saw in the 2023 season and adjustments we’ve made to better our conservation efforts this upcoming summer.

With 20oz bottle, our collective usage, by both guests and staff, saw a reduction in plastic bottles by over 65%!

Looking to better this number, we have increased the Guest Water Bottle size to 25oz. Additionally, you’ll notice that when on land, we no longer offer plastic bottles but rather will provide a glass or jug of water for your use.

We appreciate each of you in supporting our initiatives to better support the environment we all know and love.

We are looking forward to another exciting season of providing you continued excellence, known only as the QCL Experience.

 

 

 


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March 13, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

Our Back of House team has prepared another QCL Signatures Series dish for you to prepare at home! Whether you are enjoying with guests or family, this Chili Crab will enhance any dinner.

Materials

  • Dungeness Crab, broken down | 4
  • Shallots | 3
  • Ginger | 3-ince piece
  • Red Chilis | 3
  • Ketchup | 30ml
  • Shrimp Paste | 5ml
  • Cooking Oil | 30ml
  • Chicken Stock | 360ml
  • Rice Wine Vinegar | 30ml
  • Sweet Chili Sauce | 120g
  • Green Onion, chopped | 1
  • Butter | 50g
  • Soy Sauce | 30ml
  • Palm Sugar | 30ml

Method

  1. In a food processor, add shallots, ginger, red chillies, garlic, ketchup, and shrimp paste. Pulse until it combined, forming a paste.
  2. Heat oil in a wok over medium heat, add the chilli paste and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the crab pieces into the wok and stir until they are fully coated. Allow the crab to absorb the flavours and colouring until it begins to turn red/orange in colour.
  4. Add the tomato puree, chicken stock, rice wine vinegar, sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce and palm sugar, then stir until combined. The crab should be fully orange by now. Place a lid on top, allowing the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the crab legs and head, plating on a shallow dish.
  6. Add butter and green onion to the sauce and stir to combine.
  7. Pour the sauce on top of the plated crab, garnishing with cilantro.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Don’t worry if you’ve moved through your supply of QCL caught fish already, our Taste of B-Sea program runs year round. The finest quality fish and shellfish, these products are Ocean Wise and come from some of the most sustainable fisheries in the world using the most eco-friendly fishing methods.

To learn more and to place your order, contact us | 1-800-688-8959


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February 26, 2024 Tayler Fuerst0

QCL is a paradise for anglers however, there is so much more to QCL than what is underwater. The next time you’re at the Lodge take a moment to look beyond the tides and take in the unique beauty Haida Gwaii offers above water.

A secret known only to those who are looking for it, the area is home to incredible bird-watching opportunities. With unique species hiding amongst the forest’s edge, shorelines, rugged coastlines and diving down below the tides.

A few of our favourites to keep a lookout for are:

  1. Eagle

Holding a special place here in Haida Gwaii, the Eagle is one of the most recognizable soaring through the sky and hanging out at low tide.

Powerful and beautiful birds of prey, you’ll find upon reaching maturity these birds are dark brown with a white head and tail. Featuring a beak, feet and irises that are all yellow in colour, with highly developed talons to pierce their prey. Known as opportunistic feeders, these birds can be found wherever they can find something to eat – Whether that is along the shoreline or diving into bait balls.

 

  1. Raven

Also, culturally significant to the Haida people, the Common Raven is an all-black passerine bird that has co-existed with humans for thousands of years. This species is among the smartest animals in the world and is highly regarded among mythology.

The Ravens found in Haida Gwaii are some of the biggest globally, due to the colder weather.  The iridescent plumage and dark brown irises that they feature are among a few of the distinguishable features. Look for these birds in trees along the coastline while out on the water.

 

  1. Red-Breasted Sapsucker

Don’t let the name deceive you, this beautiful bird is a part of the Woodpecker species that regularly drill holes in bark to find food. Your best bet at sneaking a peek at the vibrant red head and breast is to head into the lush, old growth forest. Most often spotted near ground level, you’ll see them feeding on insects tucked away into the bark of Spruce and Hemlock trees.

 

  1. Varied Thrush

A beautiful songbird that features a large, rounded head and a straight bill, and will most often be found amongst the trees. The male thrushes are dark blue-gray and rich burnt-orange with a soot black breastband and an orange line over their eyes., while females feature the same, but muted colouring. These beautifully coloured birds are mixed among the humid evergreens along the Pacific Coast.

 

  1. Black Turnstone

A small and short shorebird, the Black Turnstone can be found along the rocky outcrops forming our little piece of fishing paradise. Identified by the dark black and brown colouring with a white belly and bold patterns only visible in flight, the mature adult’s individual white stripes on each wing, with a mostly white tail.

 

  1. Rhinoceros Auklet

A favourite at QCL, so much so that we named one of our freight boats after it – the Auklet.

A seabird that is closely related to the puffin. Getting its name from the horned bill, this bird can be distinguished among the crowd through its cloudy gray colour, two white facial plumes and the thick orange-yellow bill.

An aquatic bird at heart, keep your eyes peeled while on the water as they are often in large flocks, swimming underwater as they chase prey.

 

  1. Tufted Puffin

Not as commonly seen but certainly a sight to behold if you do, the Tufted Puffin is one of two Pacific Puffin species. Sometimes called the Crested Puffin, this pelagic seabird is thriving with interesting facts – One of is that they nest mostly in deep burrows as it digs into cliff edges, they can get more than 1.5 meters deep.

Identify this bird by their long, pale yellow head plumes and intense red bill that offset the white face and black body. As they spend most of their lives on the open ocean, far from shore, Virago Sound is a perfect viewing spot.

 

  1. Black Oystercatcher

Camouflaged by their dark bodies, and only noticeable by their red orange bills and eyes, and pale pink feet, the Black Oystercatcher goes after marine organisms that are left unprotected when the shore is visible.

Another species with interesting facts – the Black Oystercatcher was first described as being “blood-footed” due to the pink colour of its feet.

 

9.  Harlequin Duck

Another beautifully coloured bird worth looking out for during your time on the fishing grounds is the Harlequin Duck, a small sea duck that boasts many names. With striking plumage, the males are easily identifiable boasting a slate blue body, a white facial crescent, spot chestnut crown patching/flanks and bold white strips. Females are brown with similar telltale facial markings as the male.

Like most ducks, they dive for aquatic invertebrates along the turbulent coastal waters. Keep a look out during the tide changes and wavy days as they favour white water.

 

10. Belted Kingfisher

Featured in our original logo, in 1991, the Belted Kingfisher holds a special place in not only our history but our hearts.

Blue-gray with a white band around the neck and under belly, the Kingfisher sports a large head with a shaggy crest. Females have a rusty band on their bellies, unlike the pure white and blue gray of males. Spending majority of their time perching along the edges of nearby water sources, these birds will hunt for small fish by hovering over the water and diving with their thick, pointed bill.

Around the Lodge, you can spot them when walking the trails and sometimes, they will perch amongst the trees on property. And if you look hard, you might even see a guest sporting a cap with the vintage logo.

These are only a few of the many birds that frequent Naden Harbour and Virago Sound. During your time at QCL, we encourage you to look beyond the tides, towards the skies to see how many you can identify.

Save this for reference and keep an eye out for what other adventures are yours for the taking while you experience fishing first class.