SUMMER UPDATE – AUGUST 2020
I think that we can all agree that it has been an unprecedented summer! This is especially true if you are used to travelling to magical Rivers Inlet for a world class fishing trip. Hopefully, many of you are getting out & enjoying your “local” opportunities for adventures that you have not fully taken advantage of in the past.
For the Rivers Inlet Sportsman’s Crew, who are used to spending the summer at the lodge, it has been particularly unsettling. We have missed the excitement of guests’ visits – catching up with your news & welcoming new guests to our little piece of paradise.
In case you are new to our lodge for your 2021 fishing trip, here is a brief run-down of what to expect. To begin your fishing adventure with us, most guests travel on Seair Seaplanes & enjoy the breath-taking flight which takes guests over the rugged & remote Coastal B.C. Mountain range where the snow-capped peaks tower from the sea to the sky!
On arrival at the lodge after your first class 90-minutes direct seaplane flight, guests get checked-in, have lunch & then it is time for Simon’s first fishing seminar. About the fishing seminars, strange things have been happening in the past few weeks as I sleep. According to Stephanie, I am doing fishing seminars…The fishing seminar must be so deeply imbedded in my psyche that my subconscious mind just kicks into gear at this time of year. As many of you know, I give the fishing seminars soon after guests arrive, & throughout the fishing trip, to ensure that all are prepared to take advantage of the opportunity to catch salmon, halibut & lingcod.
For those of you who have experienced “Simon’s Salmon Seminar” upon arrival at the fishing lodge, you know what I mean. I have fine-tuned this first fishing seminar over countless seasons (more than 30 years). In one quick burst, I present all the tools our guests need to be safe & successful out on the water. With excitement & anticipation running high, & everyone eager to get out to fish, I keep this first seminar short & sweet.
Being off the grid in the middle of the beautiful central coast of BC, we get delivery flights twice each week. Our cargo arrives on the incoming Seair Seaplanes & Wilderness Seaplanes. This precious cargo contains our fresh food supplies as well as fishing gear etc. The guides like to see what “special” shiny things (AKA new tackle) has arrived on the planes, & the new tackle always gets them stoked about their next fishing session.
Once incoming guests have reached the dock, the four Cessna Caravans refuel & take out the departing guests who have had a thoroughly marvelous fishing adventure.
FISHING REPORT – SUMMER 2020
“How is the fishing” is the question we most often get during the summer as our incoming guests anxiously anticipate & prepare for their trip. Usually we can just refer our eager customers to our monthly newsletters & recent social media posts etc. However, this COVID 19 summer is unique. For the first time in 35+ years, with our lodge & many others not opening, we have had to get our information “second hand” from a variety of sources. So…remembering that most fishermen like ‘tall tales’ here we go!
According to our sources, there was a strong early run of the famous Rivers Inlet Chinook/King salmon that are specifically returning to our numerous river systems. These are mixed in with the runs of salmon that funnel through our rich feeding grounds but are destined to a variety of river systems in southern BC, WA, OR & as far away as California.
The coho/silvers were a bit late to show up, or they were there but the independent anglers who gave us the fishing reports just couldn’t get through the massive school of pink salmon. It is a pink year in the Northern waters of B.C., so it has certainty been a banner summer for that species. Barbecued teriyaki pink salmon in a marinade of teriyaki sauce is a big favourite as an appetizer or as candied salmon.
Once the pink salmon run subsided, it was reported that more coho were prevalent, but smaller in size that usual. The run might be just a bit late as we have one of the driest springs on record followed by a wet June. When the rivers are overflowing their banks & spawning conditions are less than favourable, the school of salmon often holds offshore.
Rivers Inlet is world famous for big Chinook &, aided by efforts of the Percy Walkus Hatchery to enhance stocks on the Wannock River at the head of Rivers Inlet, the summer of 2020 has already seen some remarkable salmon fishing by independent anglers in the Rivers Inlet area. There was a report of a Chinook over 70lbs & large Chinook being hooked. One was estimated at 95 lbs. & an even larger Chinook estimated to have been around 105 lbs! We are excited to get back to the Sportsman’s Club & fish for these monster salmon in 2021.
Our crew is looking forward to the end of the COVID summer, & we are optimistic things will be back to “normal” for the 2021 fishing season. Many guests are booked in for the 2021 trips, & we look forward to seeing your smiling faces on our docks at the Rivers Inlet Sportsman’s Club (RISC). If you have not already done, please contact us today to book your summer 2021 fishing adventure & get the fishing trip dates that fit your schedule – we are open only in the high season of fishing for salmon, halibut & lingcod at Rivers Inlet.
RECIPE – SUMMER CORN, TOMATO & SALMON SALAD
When corn and tomatoes are ripe, let them shine in simple preparations like this refreshing, time-saving dinner, in which the salmon is poached in the same thyme- and garlic-infused water that the corn is boiled in.
-3 garlic cloves, crushed
-3 sprigs thyme
-3 bay leaves, preferably fresh
-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-4 teaspoons za’atar, plus more for serving
-5 ears corn on the cob, husked
-4 (5–6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
-2 medium heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges (about 1 1/2 pounds)
-1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
-Baby arugula or other baby greens (for serving)
-Generously salt a large pot of water (it should taste like the ocean). Thinly slice half of 1 lemon and add to water along with garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then let boil at least 3 minutes and up to 10 to infuse water.
-Meanwhile, whisk oil, 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, 4 tsp. za’atar, and 1 tsp. salt in a small bowl.
-Add corn to boiling water and cook until bright yellow and tender, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
-Reduce heat to low, gently add salmon, and poach just until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board with a slotted spoon or spatula and flake into chunks.
-Meanwhile, slice corn off cob into a large bowl. Add tomatoes and onion, then toss with 1/2 cup dressing.
-Add flaked salmon to corn mixture and toss very gently just to coat with dressing. Transfer to a serving platter or divide among plates. Top with arugula, then drizzle with remaining dressing. Serve with additional za’atar alongside.
We went to Rivers Inlet Sportsman’s Club the first week of July 2019. It was perfect. We had a different guide each day and each guide provided a new experience & a bonus was to help us land fish. We caught coho, spring, halibut & ling cod. When we weren’t catching fish we were happy to watch the humpback whales at close proximity & bald eagles everywhere.