Family Time

Davan & her dad Byron enjoying priceless father/daughter time & the
reward of a 53 lbs. trophy Chinook/king salmon.

We are getting our first real blast of winter weather this week in the Pacific N. W., & the big chill is a wake-up call that the holiday season is fast approaching. With these holiday festivities you are able to have more family time. However, this is not always easy to arrange these days. To all parents & grandparents out there, are you finding it difficult to arrange times to see your adult children & grandchildren & have precious ‘alone’ conversations with them? Today, it seems everything gets in the way including cell phones, electronic gadgets, the job, sports activities, homework etc. & these take priority over quality times together.  The other pressing issue is what gifts to buy? On a recent trip to the "big city" my family was overwhelmed by the consumerism.  We drove home empty handed & were left thinking what can we get the special people in our lives that would be meaningful? Likely you have these same issues. Why not bring the family on a fishing adventure to the Rivers Inlet Sportsman’s Club.  Give everyone that special gift of precious & memorable times together. You’ll see here, some family photos taken at the fishing lodge.  Nothing can replicate these precious moments with family. HAPPY HOLIDAYS! 


Central Coast Tidal Sport Fishing Advisory Committee Meeting Update

It seems that anything that involves the government is a long drawn out process as is evidenced by this committee’s name. This Central Coast Advisory Committee that we are part of met last week in Vancouver with stakeholders (mostly lodges & First Nations), getting together with the Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO) to discuss issues related to the fisheries in our area. Topics are presented & debated, “motions” are drafted & then presented to the main provincial Sport Fishing Advisory Board (SFAB) next week. Actually, this is a rewarding & productive process & the only “real” venue to get our voices heard. Things actually happen, which is not always the case with these governmental processes.

Topics that were on the agenda included everything from the post season salmon catch, escapement highlights & stock assessment, DFO enforcement report, salmon enhancement & Head Recovery Program report, lodge catch reporting, halibut report, rockfish conservation measures & finally the 2017 salmon outlook. It was a great day sitting around the table with colleagues & other lodge owners. The opportunity to have input in the management & conservation of our valuable Canadian fishing resource is priceless. Our common goal is to chart a course of sustainable harvest so that the next generations will be able to enjoy the fabulous fishing opportunities that we have today well into the future.

Some of highlights were: In our local, Area 9, salmon catches were down for Chinook/king salmon but up for coho/silvers. It was reported that in other areas beyond Rivers Inlet & the central coast, fishing was down for both species. In Area 9 there was a huge increase in chum salmon catches, triple normal years. As result, yet again, Rivers Inlet stood out as having some of the most consistent fishing coastwide in the 2016 season.

The numbers of recovered Chinook heads from the hatchery ID program was up, which is helpful for Fisheries (DFO) biologists trying to track salmon migration. What was notable was that yet again salmon from a greater number of coastwide river systems were caught in Rivers Inlet. We are a feeding point for the most variety of fish runs on west coast which is likely why we had the best salmon fishing anywhere again this past summer. The biggest issue with lodge catch reporting was guests confusing coho with chum salmon as there were so many. However, they are interchangeable on your fish tally so it was really a non issue in terms of fishing limits. Halibut catches were up about 30% & there seemed to be no problem with anglers working within the new slot limits for minimum & maximum size. Finally there is more of a push than ever to conserve rockfish due to the slow timing of their lifecycle. They typically don’t reproduce until they are 15-20 years old & live to over 100 years, so they cannot be harvested at the same rates as the fast growing salmon stocks. Besides the establishment of rockfish conservation areas in recent years, the latest conservation methods have to do with revival. When rockfish are brought to the surface you will often see their bloated air bladder sticking out of their mouth which is typically fatal & thus reduces survival when catching & releasing. With some new descending devices you are able to successfully recompress their air bladder & ensure the rockfish survives upon release. Finally, the DFO outlook for salmon returns for 2017 is very optimistic, if you have not already done so, book your trip with us today to take advantage of another year of predicted record returns!


Guest Testimonial

Growing up, it would always be so exciting to hear about my dad’s fishing trips out to Sportsman’s Club. He would show me the pictures of the fish he caught, & the night he came home we would have fish for dinner, telling us about everything that happened. I started coming to Sportsman’s Club about 4 years ago, just as I had entered high school. Back then I was scared to touch the fish & get all slimy, & now I’m right up in the action, grabbing it by its gills & handling it thanks to the staff at the lodge helping me. I have never been disappointed, hungry, or un-entertained while being there; the fishing is absolutely incredible, the food is gourmet, & the staff – as well as other guests are some of the best people I have ever met. I have caught some trophy worthy fish including a 53 lbs. Chinook & a 130 lbs. halibut, with the help of the expert guides that they have at the Sportsman’s Club. I truly have had great adventures on my father-daughter trips out to the Sportsman’s Club. It’s a chance to spend time with my dad away from our busy lives, & we are doing something we both love. Once my dad’s tradition with his father, now our tradition. I hope for it to be a tradition I pass onto my kids & grandkids in the future. Davan F. Calgary AB

Recipe – Sportsman’s Club "Classic" Salmon

This old time favorite recipe seems to have evolved over the years. Every time we make it it’s a bit different.  Don’t be too concerned with exact measurements.  Even adding or substituting ingredients to suit your taste or to adapt to what is available in your fridge & pantry is fine. The most important thing is to take the salmon off the heat when it is half cooked as it continues to “cook” as it “rests” in the brief period between the heat source & the plate.

Combine in a large bowl …
– ¼ cup oil
– ¼ cup soya sauce
– 1 teaspoon sesame oil
– Juice of 1 lemon
– ½ cup of orange juice or pineapple juice (or a combination)
– 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh ginger
– 3 cloves garlic finely minced
– 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Then …
– Stir ingredients & then separate 1/3 of mixture into saucepan as set aside for a serving sauce.
– Cut filet of salmon (approx. 3-4 lbs.) into 2-3 inch pieces.
– Marinate salmon chunks in remaining liquid for at least 20 minutes & up to two hours stirring occasionally. Not too long or the fish will “cook” in the citrus.

Cooking …
BBQ – Skin side down on maximum heat (500 + degrees) for 2 minutes per inch or until salmon is cooked half way through (still red in the middle). Turn the salmon & cook for another 2 minutes to burn fat off the flesh side & to give it those lovely BBQ marks & re-apply any remaining marinade. Cover & let stand for 5 minutes to finish cooking as it cools.
Pan Fry – Fry covered on very hot skillet.  Use a combination of butter & oil to lubricate the pan. 
Grill – Skin side down on high so seal then turn to finish.

The Sauce …
– Reduce remaining marinade that was set-aside in saucepan on medium heat until it comes to a boil & simmering for 5 minutes or so.  If desired, add two more tablespoons of brown sugar to thicken the reduction. Other suggestions are adding two tablespoons of butter &/or a ¼ cup of white wine.  Serve hot as a topping on the cooked salmon moments before serving with a slice of fresh lemon.
If you have any questions about this recipe or would like more recipes contact us.
Enjoy and be careful not to overcook the delicate salmon flesh. You can always put it back on to cook more if it is underdone but you can’t un-cook salmon jerky!

The Salmon Lifecycle

Fall is the time when the salmon which have migrated from the ocean return to the protected waters of the very upper reaches of rivers where they spawn on gravel beds. They are kind of a “super fish” that can live in both fresh & salt water. After spawning, they die & the salmon life cycle starts all over again. Young salmon are hatched from these nursery-like gravel beds & spend their early life (1-2 years) in the river before heading out to the ocean where they live their adult life. When they have matured after 2-4 years in the ocean, they return to the river of their birth to spawn. In their lifetime they can travel thousands of miles & still find the river where they were hatched. They do this with the help of a magnetite crystal in their nose that acts like a compass. Once close to their birth river, they use their sense of smell to home in on their specific stream, sometimes as precisely as the exact same gravel bed! It can be very arduous journey battling the upward current & physical obstacles sometimes having to jump in the air as high as 12 feet. During this homeward migration the salmon stop feeding & their body changes in shape & colour as they proceed inland, in some instances over 1,000 miles & uphill as much as 7,000 feet. It is an amazing journey!
Once the salmon reach their spawning destination,  the female digs a hole in the gravel with her tail & she lays thousand of eggs that are fertilized by the male. The salmon then die & their rotting carcass become a crucial part of the biomass in the river system. After 2-6 months the fertilized eggs emerge as alevins. At first, they live under the rocks feeding on their yolk sac & eventually emerge as fry & live & grow in the current of the river feeding on plankton. After about 1 year, the small fry follow the river back down to the ocean where they smolt. “Smolting” is the chemical & physiological changes that the young salmon undergo as they adjust their bodies to life in salt water, including growing silvery scales which confuse predators. When they are around 6-8 inches, the smolts swim out of the rivers & into the sea. For the first year they live together in tightly knit schools close to shore for safety. After that they venture out into the deep sea feeding grounds for up to 4 years where their life is more solitary. Then the cycle repeats itself when the salmon return from the ocean to the rivers to spawn. The lifecycle of the salmon is truly amazing & is one of the most extreme migrations in the animal kingdom.

The abundance of hard fighting chrome bright chum salmon really added to
the fishing action this summer.