This article has several sections so scan the photos and captions to pick out what is of interest. You will see our adventure as we filled our freezers with fishes from the edge of the Pacific Ocean.
Please leave comments (if you can figure it out) at the bottom. What was of interest?, any fun photos?, are you planning on trying this?
As the author, I have no idea why I am posting this except to review in my dotage, assuming the web stays up and running. Submitted by Count Enrico Alfredo Ferrari.
Here is a synopsis of our fishing by Chris at this resort:
(Keep in mind this is memory based on digital photo dating)
The year, the two others besides Chris and the Count, and the guide in parenthesis.
Video Link of the reel deal:
Here is a link to a video that seems to play just fine. It is Matt catching a 29lb Chinook salmon on a single action reel with Captain Mike doing the netting.
Click here for watching Matt catch a fish.
Note the Trailhead boats on either side of dock.
The Numbers as we saw it:
Full limits on Chinook Salmon daily.
Full limits on Halibut daily.
A couple of coho salmon, cod, rockfish.
2 hours from Victoria by car.
180 liters of fuel burned in the boat daily.
Immeasurable amounts of food supplied, both for lunch on the boat and for dinner.
$1.50 a pound fish processing for vacuum packed, flash frozen, in 2 person dinner sizes.
$38 for a two day fishing license in BC.
2 wood nymphs spotted in the wilds of Victoria.
30 lb test line used by the guides.
29 lb = biggest Chinook salmon this year for us.
40 lb = biggest halibut this year for us.
0 = geo caches found but we looked for at least 2.
Total costs with tips, transport, fish processing, package deal = ~$2000 US
Total fish each @ $15/lb = $1375 CDN each. Not too bad!
Would we do it again? We are!!!
Here is a bit about the 2012 expedition worth noting. (The adventure continues)
Again it was a 4 person fish crew with Chris, Mike, Bart and the Count. We were assigned cabin 5 this time and we were fortunate enough to fish with Mike Hovey again aboard the 30' Hovinator. The boat was repowered late in last season with two 300 hp Yamahas (replacing the twin 250 hp that made it 7 years of reliable service).
Bart and the Count were on the ferry in Bart's Land Cruiser from Anacortes when it stopped in Friday Harbor enroute to Sidney BC. We saw Chris and Mike board there, in their truck so we had two rigs out in Port Renfrew. That was not really an advantage out there but the two rigs allowed for us in the Land Cruiser to catch the return boat at noon out of Sidney, getting us to Anacortes around 3:00 pm instead of catching the 6 PM boat that is the only one stopping at Friday Harbor. That is much better as there are only so many things to do in Victoria for a half day. Been there, done that.
|Captain Mike with Chris rolling in a chinook salmon.|
Note the sea and fog bank that was typical for the two days.
The day before we fished the swell was a bit rough with 15' swells on the fish grounds coming from every angle. One of the fellows out that day had to go home a day early and was ill, even after a night's rest. Unfortunate for him. We had great flat fishing conditions for both days.
|Mike being happy after catching his first salmon!|
On our first day out on July16 we had the odd swell going maybe 2 meters but mostly it was flat and 4 knots of wind. There were banks of fog around us all of both days and the run out (26 miles) was a bit slower with some lumps. The fishing was good with chinook salmon limits by 9:30 AM and on to the halibut program ending with limits of both for the boat on the first day.
|The Count with his 24 lb Chinook finally coming to meet Mike with his net! A good battle.|
The second day took till 10 AM to limit (2 fish each, 4 in possession) the four of us in Chinook salmon and we had two nice ones. The Count hooked into a battle with a feisty 24lb fish and Bart took in a 27 lbs monster we were hoping would tip the scales to 32lbs and get our captain the season high topping out Josh who had a 31 lb. Tyee chinook.
|Bart, battling the 27 lb biggest salmon of the trip. It was his first experience with single action reels.|
They are called 'knuckle busters' for a reason!
The last fish in was a 52lb halibut (by Chris) taken with bait and anchor technique. If you have never tried to anchor in 225" of depth there is a technique to it. We hauled in a lot of bottom fishes, Quill back rockfish and Yellow Eye rock fish, known as Red Snapper (3@ 10 lbs and a bunch of smaller ones. We did end UP two halibut short on our personal two day limit (one fish a day with some sort of over/under 85 cm thing in the mix) but the rock fish made a dent in our processing fee.
Human Food: (the new chef, Gareth)
I have to say that while I had great regard for Clint the Chef, his replacement, Gareth, from New Zealand, is an improvement! Gareth is a youngster ( ~ 26) with a passion for cooking and presenting upscale dining. He spent his last winter at Revelstoke ski resort cooking and now is doing this fishing resort gig.
|Gareth adding touches to mango salad with server Michelle watching.|
His four course meals were boiled crab (lots of it) or some other yummy treat, followed by some amazing salad (one of them had 3 kinds of smoked fish sliced on top of it). Very yummy on each course leaving one wanting more but enough to add 3.0 lbs. to my frame after 2 days of feeding.
The entree was, as usual, halibut one day followed by salmon the next. The difference was these were plate served as opposed to buffet presentation. I think these might be the best dishes of these two fish I have ever had.
The dessert was the 4th course and he served two WONDERFUL dishes. One was a white custard thing with fresh strawberries and blueberries and was covered with pepper. Who knew! This was the BEST dessert I have had in LONG time.
This Trailhead Lodge experience may be worth doing the trip just to eat Gareth's food!
The 2012 Catch:
Here are the photos for the two days....
|Fish in the hold on Day 1|
|Day one, with boat limit of halibut and chinook, including a lot of lemon sole and yellow eye rockfish.|
Trophy photo and artistic presentation.
|Day two fish tank, remember it is 48" across and about 18" deep.|
|Chinook limit day two, a very nice 52 lb halibut with bottom fish thrown in.|
Largest salmon on gaff hook weighed in at 27 lbs.