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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 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!


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February 24, 2020 Duane Foerter0

QCL Kingfisher DerbyThe 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.

QCL C&R 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!

 


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August 21, 2019 Duane Foerter0

QCL salmon fishing Well just when we were bragging about how great the weather has been this summer, we’ve had a couple of “rock ‘n roll”shows this week!  On the weekend, some good old-fashioned northwesterly winds bumped up the energy level a notch and we discovered that fishing is really good inshore!  From Bird 2 all the way past the Mazzaredo Islands and over towards Inskip Point, QCL guests found loads of terrific salmon action.  Admittedly we didn’t see so many halibut but everybody was busy!

Tyee Chinook salmon C&R

 

One exception on Friday was a stunning big Tyee, hooked up at Eagle Rock by guest Larry C, fishing with guide Nic Rasovic in the 102.  It might have been some good luck that Nic’s Dad was aboard as Larry’s fishing partner, but after an epic battle Nic slipped the net beneath a big chrome beauty that he quickly taped out to 48-pounds before getting it back in the water!  It took Nic a while to revive the huge Chinook but with some assistance from Fishmaster Trevor Harris they were thrilled to see it swim away with nice strong strokes of its tail.  Congratulations Larry!  Well done boys!  Always amazing to see this caliber of fish and thanks for sending her back!

The fishing has been steady through the weekend and into Monday as well.  Here’s a few shots of the kind of action we’re enjoying… No napping in the boat these days!


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August 16, 2019 Duane Foerter0

QCL salmon fishingThe tides of August have been generous so far and QCL anglers have certainly enjoyed the benefits! The salmon action has been outstanding, particularly for beautiful strong Chinooks in the 15-25-pound class. We’re getting them inshore in all the favourite places too. Coho action has been productive but more widespread, with anglers generally targeting waters a little farther offshore in 150-225 feet, fishing from the surface down to around 60-feet. The numbers are there but the bulk of Coho are still averaging under 10-pounds, a little lighter than normal for this time of the season. But no one is complaining with these chrome-silver bullets providing tons of exciting action wherever we find them! Down at the Bell Ringer, the sound of the Tyee Bell is pretty common each evening with a few over-30’s being either reported or weighed-in every trip.

QCL salmon fishingThis week our two largest Chinooks, both scoring out at 42-pounds, were released. Fishing with veteran QCL guide Tegan Baxter, Ray P turned back a stunning fish on Monday and on Thursday an equally impressive Tyee was released by Odon D and his guide Kyle Bell. Great work guys and thanks for choosing to release those amazing fish!

With only 5 trips left to go for the 2019 season we’re super-thrilled to see such consistent fishing and particularly good weather! There’s no space left this year but we’d certainly encourage anyone hoping to come up next summer to make plans now as most everyone is talking about their return trip in 2020!

QCL Haida Gwaii


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August 5, 2019 Duane Foerter0

Here it is…August!  It’s prime time for many fisheries on the coast with all salmon species on the move.  Last week we had a “Salmon Grand Slam”–Audrey C came all the way from Quebec and during her weekend stay she caught all 5 species of Pacific salmon!  Surprisingly we don’t see that very often, mainly because we don’t catch many sockeye.

Catch & Release TyeeOur salmon fishery has been outstanding this summer, with solid salmon populations feeding and moving through Virago Sound. The last 3 weeks of July were dominated by light variable and mainly southerly winds so the days on the water have been especially comfortable!  Those conditions do tend to let the bait drift out into the open water though and our efforts have definitely been rewarded out there.  More than half the salmon catch in July was taken out where we would traditionally fish for halibut.  We’re finding lots of Coho in the top 60 feet as we would expect but Chinook fishing has been especially productive in the same areas, just down deeper at 100 to 140 feet.

Catch & Release TyeeThe classic inshore fishery for Chinooks has really turned on lately.  Anglers working the kelp beds and the rocky points are finding beautiful Tyee-class fish at all the favourite spots.  Cape Naden, Parker Point and Bird 2 have probably been the most consistent spots but we’re also seeing big fish coming from Cape Edenshaw, B1, Yatze, Eagle Rock and Klashwun Point.  No surprises there!  The Tyee Bell has been ringing most every night with a mix of big Chinooks in the 30’s and 40’s recorded.  Each trip we’ve managed to release a number of these big beauties and lots of anglers are discovering how great it feels to watch a huge salmon swim away with strong sweeps of its tail!  This week Mark A. released a 46-pound Tyee at Parker Pt. with guide Jake Harach and Dick R. turned back a stunning big female that taped out to 47-pounds with guide Kylie Tokairin.  Last week John M. released a 40-pounder with guide Tristan O’Brian and Chris P., fishing with Kevin Clough, also released a real nice 40-pounder at Bird Two.  Congratulations All!

So far we’ve seen only a few of those hook-nosed “Northern”Coho come through and as we move into August we’re sure to encounter lots more of them in the coming weeks.  But there’s certainly no shortage of nice fish out there to stock up the freezer with some nice filets and portion-packed chunks!

We’re just coming off a period of huge spring tides with last week’s new moon –18.0 foot high and 0.3 foot low –and we’ve got 6-7 days of moderate northwesterlies going on right now.  So it’s all coming together for some epic salmon action as we head into the second week of August –already!  Stay tuned!QCL salmon fishing

 


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August 4, 2019 Duane Foerter0

The adventures here in the northern waters of the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii) are as boundless as they are memorable this time of year. Each day fishing vessels depart the harbour full of excitement, sharp hooks, and people sure to tQCL salmon fishingake in all that the stunning ocean will provide. Wednesday morning was no different. After carefully selecting a herring lure and tightening our lines into the tranquil waters of Cape Naden, my guest landed a Chinook salmon tipping over the 40 lb. mark!  With the aromas of lunch cooking aboard the MV Driftwood wafting across the fishing hole we decided to stop for lunch. Our appetites were itching for the satisfaction of a hot meal as one might expect. We decided after lunch that we might as well see what other trouble we could get ourselves into for the afternoon, what fish we could find and what sights we could see. QCL salmon fishingOn our way off shore large black dorsal fins gently broke the surface off the starboard bow of vessel 93, creatures of the deep indeed. I slowed the boat and turned off the motor so the orcas had the room and safety to transit the ocean ahead. A baby orca and two adults slipped back under water and then surfaced, looked us square in the eyes and dipped under water again. Cameras were snapping and smiles and grins spread across the boat, we had no choice. The orca parents looked right at us again and there was a space of time where we all shared a moment. Our breath taken and hearts pounding we continued on our way. Another day at Queen Charlotte Lodge on track to be, dare I say, unforgettable.

Logan Allen
Fishing Guide


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July 21, 2019 Duane Foerter0

QCL Tyee SalmonAnother beautiful day in the Gwaii. With light winds forecasted we make our way onto the grounds and fish our favourite spots with ease. Fishing may not always be easy, but when you hear the release measurements of another healthy Tyee, you always get a good feeling. While fishing in shore has been on and off, the ones who “stick n’ stay, make it pay” have been rewarded. The morning bite has been especially productive for the early bird, just as my Papa taught me. QCL salmon fishingFor those that prefer a little more consistent action, off shore fishing has produced a variety of fish coming from all depths. Halibut and other bottom fish have been productive on both the ebb and the flood tides. In the case you decide neither are up to par, the MV Driftwood whips up a mean burger and chowder. Looking forward to seeing you in Area One. Tight lines!

Evan W


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July 19, 2019 Duane Foerter1

QCL salmon fishingWell, as much as we enjoyed (what feels like a record) 8 days of light variable winds and flat, flat water, it’s nice to get a little back to “normal”.  Southerly winds flanked the islands on both east and western shores leaving a giant flat zone on our northern coast.  The fog and glassy water were interesting but we like a little wind to move the bait around and concentrate the salmon.  And that’s what happened this week as the inshore salmon fishing improved steadily every day.  There are some big Chinooks in the water these days and QCL anglers enjoyed tangling with quite a few of them!  ( In the photo above, angler Will K celebrates briefly with QCL guide Nic Rasovic before they release a gorgeous 43-pounder! )  Cape Naden, Bird One, Parker, B2 , Klash…every point has turned out some beautiful Tyee-class fish this week.  Along the kelp we’re finding them fairly shallow at 25-35 feet much of the time, especially on this week’s morning ebb tides.  Offshore the pinnacles are seeing a lot of traffic as big schools of Coho are making their way through the grounds.  Trolling deep between 70 & 120 feet we’re picking up those nice silver bullets, with enough 15-20 pound Chinooks mixed in to  really make things interesting!

Halibut action has been busy but there are so many “chickens” QCL salmon fishingout there it’s taking some effort to weed through them to get those treasured 30-pounders! And of course, in the middle of all that, we find some giants.  Young Jarret C was jigging with his Dad and veteran QCL guide Derek Poitras when they hooked onto a monster that eventually taped out to just over 6-feet long, more than 200 pounds!  That makes quite an impression when you’re 12-years-old!  And for some anglers, winning a tug-o-war with a big ‘but is something of a fixation!  Such was the case for Roxy S this week.  For 17-years she’s been coming up to the Lodge and has certainly caught her share of big fish.  QCL salmon fishingBut the one prize that’s eluded her was the 100-pound halibut.  Well this was the week…on Monday, the eighth glassy calm day, Roxy coaxed her partner Cal out to the halibut grounds to give it another try.  She had to pull quite a few fish up from 200-plus feet but ultimately was rewarded with the one she was looking for.  With some help from the Fishmaster they taped the big fish out to 60-inches, scoring at 109 pounds, and Roxy had finally achieved her goal.  Congratulations Roxy!  That gold pin looks mighty fine on your shawl!