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June 18, 2019 Duane Foerter0

One of the special privileges of being a guide is having the opportunity to be a part of some truly unforgettable moments on the water, creating memories that last a lifetime. Last Sunday morning, Father’s Day, Grady White 107 was cutting its way through the glassy ocean with myself and 3 generations of family, a classic father, son and grandfather fishing team.

Anticipation was high as we dropped in at Klashwun Point, low slack was approaching and there was hardly another boat in sight. As we began working the formidable structure of Big Point, reminiscent of an ancient ruined castle, we were treated to a show of humpbacks breaching and eagles dive bombing boiling balls of needlefish. The only thing missing were the salmon! After hours of fishing with only one feeder sized chinook landed and released, the current soon pushed all the baitfish out past the point. Our high hopes faded and we decided it was time to make a move.

Father's Day Fishing at QCLAfter the boys had a burger break on the MV Driftwood, we decided to roll the dice and cruise across Virago Sound to Cape Edenshaw. We set up in Piggy’s Bay and I only had time to put in one rod when it suddenly lurched violently. Fish On! After boating a beautiful 20 pounder, we set up again and quickly hit a double header. Looks like we found the spot! Pure pandemonium ensued over the next several hours, with beautiful, hard fighting Chinooks refusing to leave us alone. The highlight fish was a serious reel-melter that later weighed in at 29.4 pounds- a true “Tryee”! I for one can’t think of a better way to spend quality time with family and friends than experiencing this one-of-a-kind fishery in such a beautiful and remote corner of the world.  It’s my privilege to be able to introduce people to the amazing migratory salmon of Haida Gwaii every day – it’s a dream come true.

Rockfish Ron


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June 14, 2019 Duane Foerter2

An escape to this remote corner of the world is on the wish list for a lot of people, and for good reason!  It’s definitely an angler’s paradise; those gorgeous chrome-bright salmon sure make an impression on you!  The wilderness seascapes of the fishing grounds are literally overflowing with an abundance of life –both above and below the surface.  Sharing a breath of salt sea air with a feeding humpback whale just a rod’s length off your boat is a sure testament to that – especially while you’re reeling in a nice lingcod off the other side!

Guests staying with us this week got to experience all that and more. Among our guests we were thrilled to host Kevin Costner and his family who were able to enjoy the QCL Experience with us.  We’re so pleased that we were able to show them some beautiful BC wilderness along with some warm QCL hospitality. While they’re returning home with a nice box of fish we hope that their whole family takes along many fond memories of their visit here.

June fishing continues to be very productive with good numbers of Chinook salmon in all weight classes.  Sixteen lucky anglers got to ring the Tyee bell over the past 4 days, celebrating what most would consider the fish of a lifetime. But like we always say, there so much more to it than just fishing!


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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 5, 2019 Duane Foerter0

QCL salmon fishingAfter a crackerjack opening weekend we’re happy to report that the fun just keeps on coming!  QCL guests are enjoying fair weather and exploring the full fishing grounds, finding lots of great rewards!

The salmon fishing continues to be very good, especially in all the usual places.  There is a significant quantity of 20-pound-plus fish in the mix with the usual teen-sized feeders we expect to see at this time.  And we’re seeing a few Tyees every day so it’s pretty exciting to get out there and try your luck.  Hangin’out at the Bell Ringer weigh scale in the evening is a biologist’s candy store; so many variations on a species – different sizes, shapes and colours of Chinook salmon, obviously coming from a range of river systems up and down the coast. QCL salmon fishing

Andre T. and Chad B. each boated 35-pounders on Sunday while Chad’s partner Sonya released a beauty that taped out to 32 pounds. Jordan W released our first 100-pound halibut of the season and we’ve seen others tagged at 70, 78, 80, 82 and 85 pounds.  This week we’re hosting the QCL White Gold Derby, focused on lingcod and halibut so it’ll be interesting to see how the numbers stack up by Friday.

With the largest “keeper”halibut this year –at max. length of 126 cm, scoring in the range of approximately 59 pounds, it’ll be fun to see how close the winner can come!  Stay tuned for the results!QCL salmon fishingQCL salmon fishing


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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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April 17, 2019 Duane Foerter1

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Minister, Jonathan Wilkinson, made his much anticipated 2019 Fisheries Plan public on April 16.

You may see headlines in the media that say that fishing in British Columbia is shut down. To set the record straight, that is not true. The fact of the matter is that our Department of Fisheries and Oceans is very concerned about the low return levels of Chinooks to the Fraser River. Conservation measures are being taken to protect Fraser River Chinooks. These measures include non-retention of Chinooks in certain southern areas of the province.

The fisheries on the north coast and in Haida Gwaii, adjacent to QCL, are not part of the area considered for these restrictions. We will start the season with normal salmon limits for Chinook – 2 Chinooks per day and 4 in possession. Total salmon limits will also be unaffected with 4 salmon permitted per day and 8 salmon in possession. We will also have no Commercial Fishery in our area. That is fantastic news.

Regarding non-salmon species, there are slight changes in the halibut regulations this season, which we think most anglers will see as positive.  This season anglers will have a choice:

Halibut possession limit is either of:

—- one (1) halibut measuring 90 cm to 126 cm in length (head-on), OR

—- two (2) halibut, each measuring under 90 cm in length (head-on)

—- The daily limit for halibut is one (1).

Limits for Lingcod and Rockfish remain unchanged from 2018.


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September 11, 2018 Duane Foerter0

Well here it is, September already, and once again we’re making the annual fall migration south to “the real world.”  Gone are those beautifully casual 5-minute commutes down the beach to the lodge or to the dock.  (You don’t want to hear what the alternative is like!)  The early morning light is now delayed past 7:00 and it’s coming later and later every day.  (Fun fact:  In June we enjoy 17 hours of daylight… in December it’ll be just over 7 hours!)

The Chinook salmon challenge!The 2018 season will be noted for exceptional Coho fishing (offshore), a windy July, smaller Chinooks, Steak & Lobster in the Bell Ringer, friendly medical doctors onsite 24/7, more GPS hotspots on the map, quick & easy halibut, fresh sushi on the deck and a 4th beautiful big red boat on the water!   QCL guests returned home with more varieties of fish in their boxes and many of them opted to add some tasty BC specialties like smoked sablefish and spot prawns.  It seems we saw fewer whales overall this summer and the same 5 sea lions were roaming around the grounds much of the time.

Chinook salmon success!The staff this summer was outstanding.  We had the benefit of several leaders returning in key positions to maintain consistency in training and operations.  And it’s always exciting to watch the stars emerge from the ranks of new staff as the season gets rolling.  Some of the most memorable moments come when we welcome the return of a guest who was here 10 or 20 years ago.  Their impressions of the “new QCL” are pretty wonderful and their recollections of “how it was” are heartwarming.  While we’ve made a lot of changes to the program and marked improvements to the facility, we’ve tried very hard to maintain the quality and the style of service that we built our reputation on.  That will always be priority #1.


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