Photo: With the abrupt and premature close of our 2020 season our Guide Team chose to express themselves! Like the photo? Check out the video: https://youtu.be/nK7-KOPtFG0
After months of intensive preparation and so much anticipation, we managed to open the lodge to commence our 30th season on Friday July 10th. For 3 wonderful weeks we hosted hundreds of guests from BC and Canada who came and enjoyed the QCL Experience here in remote Naden Harbour. They caught lots of fish, were held in awe of the beautiful environment and its wildlife and were treated to the wonderful hospitality of our staff. The detailed protocols that we developed to protect everyone from Covid-19 proved effective and there were zero signs or incidents of any infection. With five more weeks to go, our program was running perfectly and everyone was supercharged to deliver an amazing experience to new guests arriving by helicopter directly from Prince Rupert Airport on Digby Island via our Vancouver-chartered 737. And then… it was over.
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We would greatly appreciate your support! Thank you!
For a lot of salmon anglers, the month of July is their favourite time of year. Here in the north it’s when we see the full menu; all 5 species of salmon are in our waters, in all shapes and sizes! In one morning you could run into a bunch of those perfect 22 pound Springs hanging around the kelp beds, a big school of migrating Coho offshore and down deep or, somewhere in the mix, a bright silver Chum, 15 or 16 pounds in its prime, homing in on one of our local streams. And, of course, it’s when you may have a chance at that fish of a lifetime… the giant Tyee Chinook in the range of 40, 50 or 60 or more pounds! They’re all here.
QCL anglers are out there giving it their best shot! And having so much fun doing it! The fishery so far this season has been great and fair weather has provided full access to the whole grounds. This past week we’ve seen several Tyees and many of them have been released. Cape Edenshaw provided a good share of them last week along with the Mazzaredos, Cape Naden, Parker Point and all the way around to Green Pt.. Daffyd C became the newest member of the 50-Pounder Club, releasing a beautiful Chinook that taped out to 51-pounds with QCL guide Derek P. Geoff N turned back big Chinooks that scored 45 and 34 pounds and Adam S released a nice 41-pounder! Our teenage anglers are doing a great job too with Thomas A releasing a 37 on the first day and Callan N sending back a 32-pounder. Those are awesome fish guys and it’s always nice to see them get another chance to find their way back to the river!
Sometimes C&R isn’t possible and we saw some of those too. Tim K had quite a battle with a big Chinook that tipped the scale at 49 pounds on Thursday right after Ryan T weighed in a stunning 39-pound Tyee. Matthew H had an amazing week fishing with his Grandpa and they shared one of those epic moments on Wednesday when Matthew landed a handsome 40-pound Tyee with veteran QCL guide Jeff S. Congratulations!
While these big fish are on the bucket list of many anglers, it’s the catch of all those “average” fish that are shared at dinner with friends and family and create the moments when stories are told of experiences shared. Telling the tales of how they happened is more than half the fun!
Getting in a boat and spending time out on the water is just the best medicine. It’s so easy to lose track of whatever was on your mind – whether you want to or not! Surrounded by all the natural wonders that we find here, you can’t avoid the purity of it. Soak it up whenever you can!
QCL guests were definitely enjoying all of that this week with some great fishing, pretty nice weather and lots of nature. A nice pair of Sitka Blacktails waded / swam their way over to big rock on Cape Naden for a little outing which we seldom see. Several feeding Humpbacks and a travelling pod of resident Orcas added plenty of distraction to the collection of boats fishing off the top side on Sunday.
Fishing has been solid – most everyone is getting their share of salmon and halibut over the course of the trip and there are enough big fish out there to keep an angler on edge; you never know when one will show up! Reg L. likes to celebrate his birthday with us every year and this time around he received an especially nice present – a 37 lb. Tyee! Congrats Reg! Joel A. released a 30-pound beauty on Sunday but the big fish of the trip, despite efforts to release him, had to come to the scale, where Jeff L. weighed him in at 48 pounds! A wonderful fish Jeff! Sometimes it just goes that way. Lots of medium-sized Coho around now, ranging 5 to 8 pounds but we’re starting to see 9’s and 10’s as well. They’re all exciting to catch and they’re amazing on the plate!
Weather this week is all westerlies and we’re seeing the sun for the first time in a while! Big tides dictate the fishing schedule this week with last night’s new moon producing a 17.4 foot high tonight and a 0.7 foot low tomorrow morning!
QCL guests have been enjoying the full fishing grounds this week with just light west and southerly winds most days. As a result, the fishing effort is well distributed and they’re finding fish everywhere. Everyone has their favourite spots but Parker Pt., Bird 2 and Klashwun Pt are the faves for Chinook hunting this week.
While there are lots of nice Springs in the mid to high teens, most anglers are getting to tangle with some in the twenties and of course, the Tyee Bell gets noisy every night for those over-30’s. The big salmon of the trip was a fine 42-pounder landed off Green Point by Andrew K, returning for his 32nd visit to QCL in the past 30 years! Congrats Andrew!
Moving offshore the Coho numbers are strong over the Pinnacles and, as usual, picking up a couple of nice halibut is an easy way to enjoy this delicious fish in the coming months.
Our guests are sure enjoying the terrific new boats we’ve added and when they arrive back to the lodge at the end of a beautiful day on the water our culinary team is waiting to wow them with goodness!
Looking ahead to next week we’re going to finally see a little dry spell and some sunshine! We may even break the 20-degree mark! Wow!
We’re just nicely into our second trip of the season and are happy to report that everything is coming together quite well. Our staff are settling into their positions and really enjoying having guests around to look after. The Chef’s pantry is full and the wine list is looking good!
We are working hard to provide a quality QCL Experience during your stay at the Lodge. At the same time, we are trying our very best to ensure the health and safety of our guests and our staff. We want you to relax and enjoy all the wonderful things you come here for, but we ask that you remember, this is not 2019. This is different, and we need to do some things differently.
At the lodge we have adopted, by necessity, a number of measures that you will be very familiar with by now. Physical distancing, wearing face masks and using hand sanitizer frequently are all part of everyday life here; much like you experience at home. Everyone will appreciate that you continue to be vigilant in protecting yourself and others against this coronavirus. That said, we have created spaces for you to safely enjoy dining and partying and fishing and telling stories. We want you to have fun! But we need everybody to pull together and take care of one another.
Now let’s talk about fishing… with less boats on the water there are even more opportunities to find your own favourite spot! We’ve had a lot of southerly wind systems in the past week and it looks like that will continue for at least another week. Light to moderate winds swinging between southeast and southwest find us in sheltered water most of the time. As a result, we’re fishing the full grounds from Green Point all the way over to Cape Edenshaw. Chinook action inshore has been pretty steady with lots of feeder Springs in the mid-teens mixed with enough of those twenty-somethings to keep you holding out for something bigger. There are some Tyees in the mix as well; we released a couple of 40-pounders in training week and on opening weekend the biggest Chinook was a beautiful 39-pounder for Gary W. On Tuesday we saw a pair of 30-pounders come to the scale, one for Cecil D, celebrating his first ever Tyee, and one for Sean B. who’s enjoyed catching several big fish in recent years. Congratulations Guys!
We’re seeing Cohos (6-8 pounds) and Pinks in solid numbers, mostly offshore, over the Pinnacles in 150-200 feet of water. The halibut fishing is always reliable and several anglers have been rewarded with some very nice fish! Last week the bar was set pretty high when Dr. James C. ventured out with veteran QCL guide Derek “Demo” P. and promptly hauled up a giant that they taped out to 76 inches (235 pounds) before releasing it. Great work! What a way to kick off a fishing season! On the weekend Bob M was trolling for salmon inshore between Parker Pt and Cape Naden with guide Jordan F. – they brought a perfect 30-pound halibut to the boat – but that was after catching and releasing two much larger halibut that measured 96 and 104 pounds! You just never know what you’ll catch out there! Great work guys. The Tyee bell has rung for several other chunky halibut weighing between 30 and 50 pounds this week as well.
Wildlife has been abundant out there too. Besides the usual collection of feeding Humpback whales and giant black bears foraging on the beaches, we’ve had several transient Orca cruising inshore – maybe they’re hanging around because we’ve also seen a few more sea lions than normal so far this summer.
Stay tuned – right here – for more updates as the 2020 season rolls on!
It’s been a long time coming but we’re finally ready to open the door for the 2020 season! We’re so excited about the excellent crew that we’ve assembled this summer. Training week has been a breeze with so many talented and enthusiastic young people looking forward to welcoming our guests. Last night our culinary team presented a delicious and varied new menu for the dining room that we’re sure will have you asking for some recipes!
Waterside, the action has been hot and heavy on the fishing grounds with plenty of bright chrome Chinook and Coho salmon in all the usual places… and yes, the Tyee bell has been ringing! Continuing our fleet replenishment, we have five brand new boats this year including the first three 21-footers which, I gotta say, are really sweet units!
All of our transportation this summer will be via direct fights between Prince Rupert and Naden Harbour. We have taken this extreme measure to ensure the safety and security of all the citizens of Haida Gwaii. In compliance with provincial regulations we’ve implemented protocols throughout the property to ensure everyone’s health and safety this summer.
The weekend weather is for light to moderate winds swinging between SE and SW with typical island weather… “a mix of sun and cloud with 40 percent chance of showers. High 15.” No matter how much things change, some things never do!
Like many of you, we at QCL have been closely monitoring the global health concerns related to COVID-19, and we appreciate this is a very dynamic situation. The management team at QCL has been and will continue to closely monitor the status of the outbreak and its potential to impact the QCL experience for our guests and staff alike.
The QCL team recognizes that challenges exist that are to the largest extent beyond our control. For those things that are within our control we are going to take our responsibility to be prepared as top priority.
Preparedness needs to be the byword from this point forward. Given that our opening day is May 29th we are grateful that we have time to undertake steps necessary to ensure your safety. Even before you arrive you can be assured that we have screened all staff prior to heading up to the resort. Once there, and before opening day, we will prepare and deliver training of new standards of care in our handling of all aspects of service delivery. Enhanced food preparation procedures, staff cleanliness protocol, increased sanitizing stations and education will all be completed before the first guest arrives. We are working with our air carriers to make sure that they are an integral part of the team as they also add enhanced procedures and protocol.
Of utmost importance is the placement of trained emergency doctors on site every day of the season. They have their own clinic and equipment on site and are our best source of accurate up to date information. We’re grateful to have such an experienced team behind us. Now, more than ever, we are excited to be leading the industry with this type of service.
At Queen Charlotte Lodge we intend to operate “business as usual” for our 2020 season, adding the highest level of diligence to ensure the safety and comfort of our guests. We know we can’t control what may come in the next few months from a global point of view. However, we also know that we can provide the safest environment while you enjoy one of the most pristine, remote and simply amazing parts of the world. Thank you for choosing QCL as your remote 2020 fishing and adventure destination.
We will continue to keep you informed on this site as the summer approaches.
Our current e-newsletter is out this week with the latest updates on the goings on at QCL. With only 85 days to go before opening day (Wow!) everybody’s in high gear around here in preparation for our 30th season! If you don’t currently receive our e-news you can easily sign up from our website… there’s a little Newsletter form at the bottom of almost every page!
The QCL Kingfisher Derby has been annual tradition for many years. In fact, many of the participants have been fishing this derby for more than a decade! The Kingfisher is a Catch & Release salmon derby that happens in mid-June – so that means Chinook salmon. Fish guided or self-guided, weighted rods or downriggers; Go with what you know! All entered fish are measured, scored, revived and carefully released by derby marshals. Guides may not touch the rod. It’s 3 exciting days of intense fishing effort, right down to the wire on the last day. More than once the winner was netted in the final hours of the derby! To spice up the competition a bit, there is one prize for largest killed salmon; often a strategic decision! With an entry fee of $2000 per angler the top prize has ranged from $40K to over $60K.
This year’s event, our 18th Annual, is our biggest yet, with the richest prize pool ever! It’s a highlight of the summer with over $100,000 up for grabs for anglers pursuing the largest Catch & Release salmon. Top prize for the largest salmon released will be minimum $50,000 and there are prizes for runners up as well as daily catch. It’s a party all weekend with special treatment from the food & beverage department as well! Tons of fun! At this time there are still a few spaces left so if you enjoy a little competition in your fishin’ you should give us a call today!