Gosh it seems that the the summer has just flown by. I arrived for good on the 24th of June and it’s the 31st of August and things will be all wrapped up within the next two weeks. The good news is that there will be some fabulous fishing to be had as we close the 2020 season.
For those of you that have followed my blog over the last few years, you might recall a tale told of a group that comes annually towards the end of August. DJ, Brian, Bill and Steven (and Roxy, can’t forget about her…). All great guys! A total blast to fish with and enjoy a great meal with a glass of vino or two. But Steven is special. And that’s not taking anything away from DJ, Bill or Brian. Steven is blind and Roxy is his guide dog. She is amazing. Both of them spent 10 hours a day out on the boat with us. We would share with Steven what was happening on the water, what wildlife was passing by and such. Each morning Steve would be down at the dock waiting for me and wanting to know what he could do to help out. Roxy was on duty until Steve let her off leash in the boat and then… she was just a dog. So eager to see the fish when we had one on the line. Roxy got very involved when a fish came on board. Sniffing, licking, and attempting a retrieve of a flapping spring salmon. It was all so perfect in a way. Kind of ordinary really. And that is why Steven is so special – 10 minutes after you meet him he is just that, an ordinary guy. You completely forget he’s completely blind. It’s not an excuse for him, it’s not a handicap, it just doesn’t get in the way of him living. And that my friends is very cool. That’s what makes Steven (and Roxy ) special. Kudos to DJ, Brian and Bill too. They also treat Steve just like he’s just one of them. Good friends all spending great times on the water. I am thankful just to be a part…
Ok now to fishing…
We are now in the peak of the Barkley Sound run of spring salmon and we are hoping that the bulk of our coho are not far behind. Fishing has been steady and productive for those willing to put in the time and fish through the tides. There have certainly been some spots that are producing better numbers than others but all the usual places that typically hold fish will eventually produce. Some, however, seem better than others.
The Lodge just finished up with the Pace Processing group. Many thanks to Sean Darrah and family for all the great food and great times Pace brings to the lodge each year.
We had 6 boats out each day. We all went out and about in the Sound searching for hungry springs. Keeping in contact with each boat gave us the opportunity to hone in on productive spots. Over the course of the four days between Friday August 28 through to Monday the 31st, Little Beale turned out to be the hot spot. I fished there with Jason Darrah and his wife Michelle. We fished black uv flashers with anchovies in bloody nose chrome teaser heads six and a half feet back at 30′ to 34′ on the down riggers. This set up definitely was the most productive for us. We were 2 for 6 on our first afternoon out, 3 for 8 on Saturday and three for 8 again on Sunday to punch their possession tags. Unfortunately we did not touch a coho. One of our Guides, Joe was out fishing over in the Broken Group at Harbour Entrance and he managed to boat 3 or more coho each trip he was over there. He found the coho somewhat deeper than the springs at 45 to 55 ‘. Kirby and Swale have been unusually quiet for this time of year. They could both turn on in the course of one tide however so they shouldn’t be overlooked. The Wall all the way down to Danvers has also been quite productive. This is a great alternative in nasty weather or for those with smaller boats. You gotta love Bamfield, it may be the only place on the west side of the Island where Grandpa can putz around in his 14 foot car topper and his 9.9 hp engine and stand as good a chance to catch a Tyee as anyone of us in our Gradys!
As we wind up the summer and move into the Labour Day weekend the Port Alberni Salmon Festival looms. It won’t be quite the same with covid protocols. The weigh in area and sights and sounds of the Derby site will be much more subdued. The derby, however, will go on. Get your tickets at Gone Fishin and Breakers in Port Alberni. That said, I’ve decided it’s my turn so I’m gonna win the whole thing this weekend. Just sayin….
We only have a couple more weeks of the season at Harbourside. Here’s hoping the runs stays strong through the middle of September. Contact Aussie John at requests@harboursidelodge.
com for bookings re: accommodations, moorage and charters.
Until then…Be kind, be safe, be calm and go catch a fish!