At Queen Charlotte Lodge we have a saying, “You come as a guest, leave as a friend and return as family!” Two of our longest lasting QCL family members are Cal and Roxy Speckman, who bring their group to QCL on an annual basis. Within the group are many returning family members and with their attendance and others, the lodge feels like old home week!
July 17th marked a special day on the calendar for our owner. Paul Clough, had his first grandchild (Jordan) born on this day 16 years ago. Cal was here to celebrate that occasion with Paul, and Cal bought champagne for the entire resort to enjoy the occasion. As luck would have it this week, Jordan was at the Lodge to see his Grandpa and his Dad, Rob Clough. On Tuesday night, with short speeches from Paul, Cal and Jordan, the lodge enjoyed a nice toast of champagne again…this time Paul returned the favor, a great night!
Most people that read our blog are looking for fishing information, a fishing story or anything to do with what’s going on so let’s not deprive you anymore!
As the week started a light Northwest wind came into the area and we waited for more bait to move in and cover the grounds. Northwest winds are the best for bringing bait and fish into the QCL fishing areas. The only issue is there were some huge tides to finish the weekend and start the week. Huge tides bring bait in and flush it out just as quickly. When tides are large you should organize your fishing days based on the tides and fish them hard, at LEAST one hour before and one hour after. Tides and water movement might come early or late, so be in your favorite spot and be ready to fish the tide.
As a guide for 20 years at QCL, I am often asked where to fish on a particular tide. Although the answer can usually be, wherever you think the “Big One” sits, the reality is every guide has a theory. I have never shared my theory until Ryan Ashton, QCL dock manager (Guy Fieri look alike), suggested people would love to hear it directly from you. Tides, theories and fishing strategies are often a secret but at QCL, we encourage all guides to share their knowledge. The more people that know, the more they will become hooked on fishing, and that’s good for QCL! Anyway, here is my theory.
Before I start you need to know what an Ebb and a Flood is and what I mean by those terms. Masset Inlet gives you a great reference point so you know which way the water should be moving. An Ebb tide is when the water is moving OUT of Masset Inlet and going from a HIGH slack to a LOW slack tide. A Flood tide is the exact opposite. The key is to think about the bays around a point. Klash has a large bay to the east of the point and the 3 large protruding rocks. When the tide swings from an Ebb tide to a Flood tide (slack) the water starts to move out of the bay, along the rocks and pumps everything that was in the bay out. This is the time for the fish to feed, the easiest way possible. It’s like going to a McDonalds’ drive thru for the fish and the Big Mac and Fries, Super-Size are on the way…oh yeah, don’t forget the Hot Apple Pie! As the water flows out of the bay, position the boat right on the edge of a pronounced “ripline”, try to hold the position just outside the last rock as long as you can, eventually something has to show up! Stay patient, often it takes up time for this type of fishing to pay off. Once you drive through the ripline, circle back to the end of it, and drive back up it, all the way back through and repeat until you hit one or two or 10!
There are no guarantees this is going to work, that’s the beauty of fishing. As an example on Monday I was fortunate to have my wife, son and daughter join me at the resort. Monday and Tuesday we went fishing as a family using my “theory” and it worked…um ok that is a fish tale, it didn’t work at all! 2 Coho only and no other bites, zoikes, I suck! We come back to the dock and most of the guides are dragging in nice totes of fish to the Bellringer and now I am second guessing myself. Tuesday night we celebrate Jordan’s 16th birthday and I have a little chat with him about the next day. He wants to go fishing at 5am! Mom and Makenna decide to take a pass for a sleep and a workout. We get up at 4:30am and are on the water as the sun is rising. Scott and Henry guests of the DW are already fishing Bird 2 and have a fish in their net! So we stop and Jordan and I give it a try. The Ebb is just starting at Bird 2 and the water is pushing nicely off the point. Jordan puts on his favorite anchovy teaser head and puts it down. BAM, fish on! 3 passes and 7 Chinook later we are giggling and laughing! More boats are now showing up and Jordan resets his line, 41 feet. As we are still sitting in the rip and his line pounds off the clip and starts peeling. A nice one for sure, a beauty fight, a beauty play and the best morning as a Dad with a son you can imagine. Jordan lands a 32.2 pounder to show Mom and sis! Back to the dock by 11am for lunch with the family and grandparents!
Now Makenna is fired up and wants to go early to catch the early tide the next day with her brother! We decide we better head back to Bird 2 and see if we can find another. We fish the ripline at Bird 2 and pick one up early, then a Coho, then a second smaller Chinook. Not as hot as the morning before. The boats are out way earlier and the fishing seems to die off for about an hour. We continue and are persistent fishing the rip. We fish it hard but nothing is happening so we are sure to scrape the wall at Bird 2. We do this about 10 times and in the back corner of Bird 2, right off the bow of the Driftwood we nail a good one. 20 minutes later, the 13 year old young lady lands an awesome fish measuring 36 pounds! We release the fish back into the wild and the day feels complete. So we troll from Bird 2 back to Naden hitting all the points. We hit Parker and see Hawgfather with Clark, his guest. Trevor and Clark had a beauty morning, 31 and 33! We pick up 5 more fish on the drift out and decide it’s time to go meet Mom again for lunch at the Main Lodge. As a guide, my theory was validated but only 2 of 4 days. As a Dad, the greatest day of my year fishing with my kids! (Love you Tricia, Jordan and Makenna!)
Fishing is currently hot and cold all in the same day and trip. Persistence always wins! Look forward to seeing you at the resort! Until next time…