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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 15, 2021 Duane Foerter0

QCL anglers have enjoyed the best of both worlds recently with a return to our traditional summer westerlies but avoiding those big water days that can restrict access to the fishing grounds.  The salmon action has been quite consistent with anglers fishing all their favourite spots from Green Point all the way back to the Mazzaredos.  Bigger tides over the past week have helped to turn on “the bite” at various times of day and our guests are having good success with Chinook catches inshore.  While we’re still seeing lots of teen-sized feeders there have definitely been more twenty-somethings and Tyee-class fish in the mix. The stretch of awesome Virago Sound shoreline from “the Mazz” around to Bird 2 has turned out a lot of good fish this season, especially over the past 10 days.  Tim C, with his QCL guide Shawn Breau, did the dance with a powerful big Chinook at the Mazz last night before Shawn was able to get the net under it and finally have a good look.  Tim knew this fish had to get to the river and easily decided to let him go.  A couple of quick pics and Shawn soon had this beauty back on its way.  Great work guys – Congratulations Tim!

The Tyee bell has certainly been noisy this week with quite a few big fish being celebrated, some released and some coming back to the dock.  Reports of huge halibut catches are down recently with the bigger tides being a factor, but everyone is getting out to pick up some nice keepers to take home. The average is still around 15 pounds but we’re seeing several chunky ‘buts between 30 and 60 pounds on the scale every trip.  Coho fishing has come on strong in the offshore waters and it doesn’t take long to pick up a few nice ones.  We’re finding them from the 100 foot line all the way out to the Pinnacles and 250+ feet of water, fishing down 40-60 feet seems most consistent.  Coho in the double-digits are becoming more common now and Scott N boated a beautiful 14-pounder last week, so those amazing & feisty Northerns are starting to show up.  They have a huge fan club and we can’t wait to see more!


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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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July 31, 2021 Duane Foerter0

As we flip the page on July, we’re well into a typical midsummer fishery with the bulk of our Chinook salmon found in closer to shore and feeding schools of Coho ranging throughout the offshore grounds in water depths of 120-250 feet.  Depending on the day and the light, we’re finding the Coho anywhere from the surface down 100 feet or so.  While the typical Coho is still in the 7-9 pound class we’re starting to get some over 10 and that will continue to increase through September.

Our Chinook fishery in July was dominated by large numbers of feeder Springs feeding in close along with the other 4 species of salmon.  It was a total jackpot, and you never knew what was going to hit your gear.  But with no significant winds in the area for about 10 days now, the fish and bait have dispersed widely throughout the grounds.  The flat calm seas have enabled anglers to venture out to find the fish and they’ve been quite successful.

Tides have also played a significant role and guides are religious about picking their favourite points and fishing them hard through the slack.  And the rewards have been significant!  Cape Naden turned out the top fish this week with a stunning big Chinook caught by Nicole C that taped out to 50 pounds before being carefully released by her guide Len!  Nice work you two!  Tuesday was a big day with a pair of 41 pounders arriving in the Bell Ringer.  One was boated at first light by veteran angler Mike C, fishing with QCL guide Ken Lepage.  The other big beauty was landed by Frances D at Cape Naden at the end of the day with his senior QCL guide Ryan Kelly.  “Just one more pass” does it again!  Congratulations!

The big halibut keep on coming each trip and this week was no exception.  Dominique P hauled up a nice chunky fish that scored 116 pounds and Mark L had a good closeup look at a 180-pounder.  Driftwood anglers David L and partner Ken K did their best to measure an absolute giant that David successfully hauled to the surface.  At 200 cm in length their proverbial “barn door” scored 263 pounds!  Now that’s a workout!  Great fishing guys!

We’re ready for the return of some steady northwesterly weather that tends to push the bait, and the fish, back onshore.  But there’s none in the forecast for the coming week – a little light westerlies and then some southeast.  Fortunately, we’re still finding pockets of bait out there and QCL anglers are having a great time tracking down some awesome fish to take home.  Stay tuned!  August is almost here!


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July 19, 2021 Duane Foerter0

After an opening week with classic summer northwesterlies, QCL guests have enjoyed the last 10 days with mostly light winds from all around the compass.  That’s given us full opportunities to explore the fishing grounds and our guests have certainly taken advantage of that!

Salmon hunters have been really spoiled – they never have to wander more than a few metres from the beach!  Through all of July we’ve seen huge volumes of feeding Coho and Chinooks inshore, from the eastern boundary to the west.  Many QCL guests have their own favourite spots to fish and these days they’re happily hanging out, being productive, in their favourite waters.  With so many salmon in the area, there is a healthy mix of teen-sized feeder Chinooks swimming with the more mature, migratory stocks on their journey towards the river. Anglers are pleased to land those 16-20-pounders that provide the ultimate filet for the dinner table. And there are enough of the beautiful big Tyees in the area to get a serious chance at one of those.  The big fish this weekend was a gorgeous Chinook that taped out to 47 pounds for veteran QCL angler Roy J, fishing with his guide Clint, over at Cape Edenshaw.  Our guides are making an extra effort to handle the fish as little as possible if their guest wants to release it.  Guest Kyle B chose to release his big Chinook that was taped out to 37 lb by his guide Tegan and self-guided anglers Jordan and Tara elected to release their chrome silver Tyee that scored 34 pounds at the Mazzaredo Islands.  It’s great to see some of these awesome fish get a second chance.  On the Coho front, the numbers in the area are substantial with the average size currently around 6-8 pounds.  We’re seeing some 9’s and 10’s so that number will climb quickly in the coming weeks.

Of course, these light variable winds give perfect opportunities for bottom bouncing and everyone is getting out there to jig up some tasty lingcod and halibut.  While most anglers are picking up a pair of “unders” 12-19 lb, (do-able in one day, this season) there are always some who find those big “turkeys” in the 30-50 pound class.  This weekend Paul T hauled up a 59-pounder, Roger R a 45, Derek S a 45 and Neil S released one that scored 48.  Last week we got into some big ones with 5 halibut taping out to more than 140 pounds each… lots of excitement in those boats!  The great mystery of bottom fishing is so appealing because you just never know what you’re going to pull up from the deep!  But we do know that getting out on the ocean to enjoy the marine world and seeing all that it has to offer is something very special.  And when we can get some tasty fish to bring home and share with family and friends, it’s an adventure that just can’t be beat!  Thanks for coming up!  We totally know where you’re coming from!


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July 17, 2021 Duane Foerter0

It’s hard to believe, but we’re already into the second half of July!  Our 5th group of guests arrived today, keen and excited to get out on the water.  A significant change in our arrival program this summer is being very well received. Arriving guests enjoy their brunch in the Bell Ringer café, after having met their guide and getting a brief orientation. Once they’re off the helicopter, the top priority for most guests is to get in a boat!  So, our new program is a huge step in the right direction.  Plus, our departing guests can enjoy a nice, relaxed breakfast in the lodge without the inflow of new guests arriving.  It’s a real win/win for everyone.

Out on the water, an excellent fishing season continues.  Coho and Chinook salmon are feeding heavily on both herring and needlefish in Virago Sound.  We’re also finding pinks, chum and even the odd sockeye in the mix.  Humpback whales have been feeding continuously in the area and anglers are loving the occasional acrobatics as they lunge feed, tail slap and sometimes, explode from the depths in a full breach.  Northern resident orcas have been in the area quite a bit as well this month, taking advantage of the concentration of bait and salmon.  Experiencing the presence of these whales while we’re out on the water is really the definition of “awesome.”  It truly leaves visitors feeling a special appreciation for the natural world around us.


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July 28, 2020 Duane Foerter0

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!


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July 21, 2020 Duane Foerter0

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!


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July 19, 2020 Duane Foerter0

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!

 


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July 15, 2020 Duane Foerter0

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!