Fish Wells and Fish Tales

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Jacques Cousteau was once quoted as saying,  “The Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”  This sentiment holds true, with sunny days and warm weather upon us and the ocean lapping the shores of Peregrine Lodge never more inviting.

With us on our forth trip were newcomers to Peregrine Lodge, with the other half seasoned veterans, here to take in celebrations of the 30th year and to reintroduce themselves to the wonders of the seas around Haida Gwaii.

Our guests spent each day fishing and feasting on the gourmet food cheffed up by our talented kitchen staff. Meals fit for kings and queens are a staple at Peregrine Lodge and our guests undoubtedly needed the fuel to keep them energised for long days on the water in which they were soon to partake.

Day 1 started off with unusually flat, calm seas coupled with a predominant westerly wind. As the fleet made its way to the fishing grounds of Parker Point and Bird Rock the morning flood tide was ripping along the coast. Our guide Mike dropped his gear and immediately the father-son duo, Donald and Ben, hooked onto two Chinook. They netted them and claimed them for themselves.

As the high tide arrived our guides knew where to go to continue the day’s action. A flotilla headed offshore and our boats’ fish holds began to fill up. After noon the wind increased and the familiar rolling seas of the Dixon Entrance roiled our guests.

Our guides Max, Ryan, Greg, Cody, Mike, Johnny, and Quinten all had multiple catches of Chinook and Coho. Both guides, Dave and Johnny, moved along to Halibut Hill and preceded to bring in big Hali from the bottom. Johnny’s guests, Chad and Gary, had a double header and Dave’s guests steadily boated the Halibut – a special prize to bring home to Minnesota.
After guests had their fair share of the rolling seas, many of the crew came back to protected areas along the shore. After marking a few Coho, Cody drifted with the current and guided his guests to the last Coho Salmon caught on Day 1.
The weigh in, back at the lodge, was all hustle and bustle, with Salmon, Halibut, and Cod being weighed and recorded before being cleaned and packed for our guests to enjoy in the style they desired. As the fish piled up both July and Greg recalled how they thought they would be bad at fishing, “I thought I would suck”, July said, “I did too”, said Greg.
After today the pair are going to be confident in their angling abilities thanks to our experienced and friendly guides who are used to breaking through these types of barriers for our first time guests. To top it off, our guests were treated to a veritable cornicopia of breathtaking wildlife  – orca whales, dolphins and bald eagles – which made for an all around great day.

Day 2 was full of excitement ​with our ​guests eager to fill their fish-license retention limits. On the water ​by​ 7am​, father and son duo Donald and Ben, were guided by Mike and he made the ​smart​decision to stop at cape Naden and drop the group​’​s tackle. Within the hour they had boated ​two​ Chinooks. As the peregrine fleet fished the coast the wildlife provided an amazing display​ and backdrop​. Humpback and O​rca whales fed nearby and migrated east against the westerly wind and ebb tide.

Cody guided his guests Chad and Brett from Bird Rock to Snake Rock and quickly reeled in a Chinook which they admired, photographed, and released back into the wild. Later Brett was co-awarded the largest Salmon catch ​of the trip with Kevin who retained his to take home.

Julia, Chad, Kue, Michael, and Dan opted to send their Salmon, Halibut, and Cod to the St. Jeans Cannery to be processed into smoked and ​l​ox Salmon. The​se​
 keen fishermen and woman greatly appreciated the experience and were thankful to have partaken in the adventure from Naden Harbour to the best fishing grounds 

​all of us​ have ever seen. The father son duo came out on top of the list as they tied for the biggest fish caught of day 2.

Day 3’s weather was a repeat of day one​ with calm flat seas and unlimited visibility. Our guides Trevor, Greg, and Dave headed for Halibut Hill to jig in the depths of the Dixon Entrance. They pulled Halibut into their fish wells until their guests ​were well ​worked from the rigorous fights the Halibut are known for.

The rest of the day was busy trolling offshore during the slack tide ebbing to low tide with ​multiple boats getting hits simultaneously. Guides Craig and Cody had Coho doubleheaders. Chad and Kevin maxed out on their retention limits and spent the afternoon releasing the fish they were able to net.

​Eight year old, Carson, had the catch of the day as he gleaned the most out of his guide Steve. I am sure Steve’s guidance will serve him well in the future as he will definitely be
​up for the challenge of future fishing adventures at Peregrine Lodge.

This mixed group of newcomers and veterans enjoyed all that Peregrine Lodge had to offer. The amazing cuisine and treats prepared for them will nearly outshine the fun they had on the water with their guides. Our guides showed off their fish filleting skills while prepping our guests fish for take home in true Peregrine Lodge style. Guests observed the skilful knife work while enjoying the ​ambiance of the dock bar. The staff was happy to please such a friendly group of great people.

​F​rom all of Peregrine Lodge staff we thank you and ​we’ll be ​ready for your eventually return​!​
​Fertile fishing grounds of northern Ha​ida​ Gwaii ​will continue to bless us and we continue to share in the bounty.

The first full trip of the summer has been one to remember​!​

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