The 2017 Season is a Wrap!
WOW is all we can say … what a summer it was! 2017 will go down as the legendary season of all seasons with mostly sunny weather & record catches. The season’s fishing report will follow soon so please stay tuned for that. In the meantime, we are asking all our guests from this summer to send us your best pictures from your trip. There will 1st, 2nd & 3rd place prizes for the coolest pictures & please include a story or testimonial about your adventures with us. The images don’t necessarily have to be of the biggest fish but something that captures your “experience” with us. Prizes include a hoodie, vest, hats, & of course being featured in our next Newsletter which is “priceless”. As for the season, it was SOLD-OUT which is the hardest part of any business. Hats off to our sales team for their hard work, & to all our loyal return guests, many of whom brought their friends to see the “magic” of the Sportsman’s Club first hand. On arrival by floatplane at the lodge, guests were greeted by our staff & the enthusiastic departing group of anglers who, for the most part, had caught their limit of fish & released many more & maybe lost a few. The fish tally board was right there for the incoming guests to confirm these catch numbers. With such great fishing & good times, many guests have already re-booked their trips for 2018. So please don’t delay in making your fishing plans for next season to have the best choice of available dates.
Contact us today 1-800-663-2644
Rig Down – What Happens (part 1)
At the end of the season after the last guests leave is when the really hard work of “rigging down” the lodge begins. The main event is the arrival of our professional Yamaha outboard mechanic, Alex, (who comes from Port Boat House in Port Alberni) on one of the empty seaplanes that takes out the last guests. We have had excellent service from this dealership for 34 seasons (since 1984). Also, Simon graduated with the owner Mike Hudson in Port Alberni back in 1982 so we have a long history. Once Alex arrives, the crew immediately starts running the boats to the back of the lodge to the boathouse where the motors are taken off the fleet of lodge boats with our hoist. Alex checks all the motors for performance, does any repairs he can do on the spot & then winterizes them. Once this is done, the motors are placed on the racks in the boathouse where they are stored for the winter. There are 21 boats in our fleet of Stingers plus a few work boats, so there are a lot of motors to deal with! After the engines are off the boats, the crew pulls out all of the fishing/boating gear & electronics. Then everything is cleaned & detailed & coated in Armor All & Vaseline to avoid the metal being damaged in the marine air over the winter. In the past, we have run the fleet of bigger guide Whalers out to Port Hardy soon after we shut down. However, this year for the first time we decided to keep them in Rivers Inlet for the winter & store them in the net loft of the nearby former Goose Bay Cannery. This will save us lots of time, & there will be less wear & tear on the boats & motors. However, this move has created more work for mechanic Alex while at rig-down as the bigger boat motors now have to be winterized in Rivers Inlet rather than at Port Boat House. The final rig down jobs involve dismantling & winterizing all of our systems from the fresh water purification plant, the salt water pumps, the sewage treatment plant, the power plants, incinerator & satellite dishes & wiring for the Internet connections, routers & sat phone.
A fishing trip to the Sportsman’s Club is a special time to relax & enjoy a unique holiday in the pristine remote wilderness of coastal British Columbia. What some guests often do is promise fish for their friends & family back home & we advise against this. It takes away your experience, as your mind is too much on your fish count & not in the moment. For most, the fishing is the fun part & the catching is a “bonus”. This is especially true for our many returning long time guests. For these yearly regulars, it’s more about being “off the grid’ in a place where you are dwarfed by mountains that reach down to the sea, where you see whales, seals, otters, seabirds & breathtaking sunrises & sunsets. The experience at the lodge is amazing as well. You will be pampered by our energetic staff, enjoy great food & heartfelt hospitality & service. The surprise is often the interesting characters from all around the world that you that you meet on the trip & develop new friendships with.
Your precious catch is only part of the adventure. It all starts when you get your calendar sorted, chose a date & commit to the trip with a deposit. Then you arrange transportation to Vancouver & an overnight hotel & you are set. The excitement really begins the morning of your journey to the lodge when you board your Seair seaplane.
for your direct 90-minute trip to Rivers Inlet. The flight to the Lodge over the seemingly endless rows of snow capped mountains, inlets & islands that make up the BC coastline is nothing short of spectacular. On arrival at our docks you are greeted by the staff, get checked in & without delay you are straight into our fishing & boating safety seminar. Learning the “technique”, getting out there on the ocean, & actually “doing it” & being successful (& sometimes not) are really the challenging & fun parts of the “experience”. In the end you, will return home refreshed & relaxed, full of new memories & stories & accompanying you will be a box of yummy fish that you “earned”.
If you have just returned home from a fishing trip with us, make sure that the ones you are sharing your fish with know how much effort went into your ‘precious catch’. If you haven’t already done so, have some BBQs (see recipe) with close friends & family & tell them that they should bring expensive wine (or other refreshments) to drink with you as you recount your stories about your fishing adventures in Rivers Inlet. Maybe even convince them to join you on your next fishing adventure with us!
As for the precious fish itself, double check the vacuum bags as they can break in transit. If they are unsealed or damaged, re-package them with another Ziplock bag or Saran Wrap. For longevity of storage & to further prevent freezer burn, & maximize freshness in your freezer, we would suggest taking all the small fish packages & further wrapping them in another layer of plastic & even taping on an outer layer of newspaper. As for the portion sizes, we do our best to make the portions as small as legally allowed by the Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO). If you want to make them smaller you can slightly thaw them & cut to size with a sharp sturdy knife, maybe serrated or even a hacksaw & re-package. Your catch is best consumed within the first 3 months – 6 months to ensure maximum freshness & quality.
Simon, Stephanie & Everyone at RISC,
It is almost a month later & we are still talking about our trip to your Lodge. I wanted to take some time to let you know that our family has memories for a lifetime!
We are a ‘city’ family who don’t get a lot of quality time together. Our Mom/Aunt passed away last August after a 14 year battle with Cancer – needless to say – some time away was necessary. Surprisingly everyone was up for fishing so we decided to try the Rivers Inlet Sportsman’s Club.
Upon initial contact with your Company – Cathy Drew was wonderful! She answered all our dumb questions & assisted us in booking our trip. Beginning with our flight out of Richmond with Seair to our return. I can tell you that you fulfilled several of our collective “Bucket-List” wishes. To be honest, we were a little intimidated by our lack of ‘fishing’ experience but our fears were alleviated the minute we arrived at your Lodge. The strength of the Rivers Inlet Sportsman’s Club is your staff. They are the happiest group of people we have ever had the pleasure to spend time with!
We appreciated the hospitality & kindness of the both of you, the ‘front’ of the house & especially the ‘back’ of the house!
We are always going to remember:
* Chester the old man (camp dog)!
* A once in a life-time bald eagle experience! Whales, Dolphin, Otter, & Porpoise!
* Two ‘miracle’ Chinook salmon!
* “Pee” advice for girls!
* A beautiful evening Inlet Cruise to Draney Inlet!
* Learning to tie knots in pristine wilderness.
* Birthday Cake!
* The best crab ever…
* New music for our play-list :0
* Dad’s new friend – Mr. Roberts & his son David from Texas. Having dinner with both of them in Vancouver & talking all night about his ‘almost’ Tyee!
* Learning how to fish with guides: Chris, Colm, Jaymes, Ryan, Scott, & Sean.
* Boating 101, Lure 101 et al from dock hosts: Conner, Jeremy, & Landon. Hence – Two miracle Chinook!
* Jacqui & Jakob patiently explaining to Dad that brunch was not for the next group. 🙂
* Meeting Neal’s sister’s classmate Magda & her family!
In this crazy world that we live in it was a pleasure to spend some time with genuinely nice people in a very special place!
Thomas, Neal, Tessa, Gillian, Cynthia, & Jo-Anne – Vancouver BC.
Fresh salmon is very delicate & has such a wonderful taste unto itself so be subtle & minimalist in your preparation to allow the natural fish flavour to shine through. Every time I ask a chef if they had only one thing in the kitchen to cook with the answer is always the same … salt. We tried this recipe last night & it was delicious! However, others in the kitchen kept trying to add more things to it & I had to almost elbow them away from the marinating fish.
–4 lbs. salmon filets
–2 TBSP any oil &/or butter
–2 Lemons – (1 juiced/1 thinly sliced)
–Salt & pepper (to taste)
–Rinse Fish with water & pat dry
–Chop into serving sized pieces
–Option – trim off belly bones unless the piece is very small
–Leave skin on & lay skin side down in a shallow dish or oven tray
–Squeeze juice of 1 lemon onto the fish
–Drizzle with oil and/or smear with butter
–Sprinkle with salt & pepper
–Place slices of lemon individually on each piece of fish
–Let marinate for at least 20 minute but no more than 2 hours as the fish will “cook” from the lemon juice
–Barbeque – Heat BBQ to 600 degrees … or as hot as you can get it!
–Cook skin side down with lid closed for 2 minutes then flip it over & repeat for 2 more minutes
– Remove from BBQ & cover & let it “rest” & finish cooking as it cools down a bit.
–For thicker pieces of larger Chinook/king you will need to cook slightly longer Typical cooking time is 4 minutes/inch of fish (2 min per side), until it appears half cooked & still pink or even red in the middle. Only flip it once & if the fish is thicker you do the math
–Squeeze on any remaining pieces of lemon & serve
Salmon flesh is very delicate and even with my years of experience, the past 2 times I barbequed salmon (before last night where I “nailed it”), I overcooked it & it was dry. I was distracted by the guests & the other side dishes I was preparing, SO PAY ATTENTION TO NOT OVER COOK IT!
You can always put it back on the BBQ if it is too rare. Salmon does half of its cooking as it cools before serving. Also, tastes can vary. Some people like it cooked all the way through, some (like me) prefer it medium still pink in the middle & some like it red in the middle, almost “sushi style”. If the skin falls off during cooking just put it aside on the BBQ, cook it until it is crispy & serve as an accompaniment. Many people love BBQ salmon skin. I don’t, it is too rich for my palate. At the very least feed it to you cat or dog as it will make their fur shine or you can even make BBQ salmon skin sushi rolls. Keep the lemon slices from the BBQ aside to use as a garnish. I also like a small dab of wasabi on the side of my plate to spice it up. We typically serve this on a bed of basmati rice & one simple complimentary vegetable. Our latest favourite is baby bok choy. You lightly braise in a combination of oil, butter, garlic, ginger & a splash of white wine. It is also very delicate so heat the chopped garlic & ginger in the oil & butter until it gets slightly cooked & then add the bok choy & a few splashes of wine. Stir together for 1 minute (or less) on medium heat and serve. This dish is great paired with a sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio/gris or any dry white wine. I would avoid heavily oaked chardonnay as it covers up the subtle flavours of this dish, but any wine is better than no wine!