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June 10, 2019 Duane Foerter0

It’s amazing that they can predict weather a week in advance and when the day comes, it actually happens exactly as promised!  That brief 6-hour burst of southeasterly wind that sent us to the shelter of Cape Edenshaw yesterday was bang on the money.  It didn’t blow quite so hard as we’d feared but it blew.  All is well.

Tyee Chinook releasedGuests on our third trip of the season were treated to beautiful days on Friday and Saturday and they sure made the most of it! Greasy flat water, skies just sunny enough and hungry fish everywhere.  We’re starting to see the salmon species mix coming –we saw only Chinooks last week but now we’re getting some Coho, Chum and Pink salmon as well.  The Tyee count continues with a 31 for Richard M, and a 34 pounder for Chris M on Friday.

Chinook salmon fishingRobert N caught and released our third 40+ Chinook while fishing with guide Tristan O’Brian at Yatze, taping the big beauty out to 42 pounds!  Way to go Robert!  Nice to see those amazing big Chinooks swim away from the boat!  Five more Tyees on Saturday included yet another giant released! QCL guide Kylie Tokairin was working the legendary structure of east bay Parker Point when her guest Andrew M set the hook on a solid fish.  Twenty thrill-filled minutes later Kylie was releasing a gorgeous big Chinook that they’d just taped out to 44 pounds!  That makes four over forty in the first eight days of the season!  Sure is nice to see!  Congratulations to all involved and we’ll hope these big spawners find their way safely back to their home streams this summer!

QCL salmon fishing


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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 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 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 1, 2018 Duane Foerter0

Painting the Canvas: a story of relativity

Never a bad day in Haida Gwaii, just some better than others. And while this will always remain true, it is a relative statement. The day and trip is what you make of it, just depends on what your mind set is. I am a firm believer that positive vibes yield positive results, what you define as positive is up to you.

As a guide I have the privilege of meeting and experiencing different people and things, and every trip is different. For some, it is a couple celebrating their anniversary, wanting to experience all the sights and sounds of Virago Sound. There is no need to necessarily target the sizzle of a large migratory Chinook salmon popping off the down rigger clip faster than you can you say “how you doing?”  Often the thrill of seeing a large Orca hunting, maybe the dreary bark of a large bull sea lion, even the aggressive deep water dive of an auklet will leave the most experience outdoorsmen in awe.

That being said, people flock from all corners of the world and country in search of a massive black-gummed salmonid. The feeling of coming around the corner of your favourite point and seeing a nice back eddy, then presenting your cut plug roll in just the right way and watching your rod get buried past the second eyelet will make even the most experienced angler salivate. Potentially forgetting to keep that tip up to let him run, Oh well, it’s all part of the fun when trying to hook and then subsequently land “Walter.”

For some it is hooking the fish of a lifetime; for others it’s taking in the sights and sounds of Haida Gwaii.  For most it is a balance of the two. At the end of the day whatever your muse, our job is to give and do our best to provide our guests with as much colour as possible to paint on the canvas which is their trip to Queen Charlotte Lodge in Haida Gwaii.  I look forward to painting further canvases in the future and trying to fulfill each guests dreams.

Signing out Sean “Mayo”