Rig Down Report
Our 2015 season is now over and it was great. We send a big thank you to all our guests & hope to see all of you again in the near future. The fishing was some of the best we have seen in our 32 years of operation. There will be a full fishing report in our next newsletter, but here is a brief summary: The Chinook/King fishing was incredible with more Tyees (fish over 29 ½ lbs.) than we have seen in the past few years. The coho/silver fishing was solid, however the average size was down a bit. The halibut fishing was just O.K. so angler effort was way down. As a result, many anglers turned their efforts to lingcod fishing with astounding success. Lingcod is arguably one of the tastiest fish in the ocean & definitely my family’s favorite fish to eat.
At the end of the season, & after the last guests flew off home, all the crew stayed on for 4 days and started the process of “rigging down” & winterizing the lodge. When they flew out, we were left with the core rig down crew of 5 guys who continued on with the jobs until they were all done and everything was “put to bed” for the winter.
The first & most important job during rig down was to get all the motors off the boats & the gear & electronics out of them. Alex, our professional Yamaha mechanic from Port Boat House on Vancouver Island, flew in and winterized all the 40 hp 4 stroke engines & stored them on racks in our boathouse. Some of our older motors have been shipped back to Port Boat House & will be replaced by new ones for our 2016 season. All of the fleet of Stinger boats were towed in 2 tows of 12 boats in a line (like little ducks) 7 miles across Rivers Inlet to our winter moorage in protected Sunshine Bay. Here they were pulled up out of the water & stored for the winter on one of our old floats. Five of our Stingers were shipped out by Barge to Campbell River where Mike from Fibre Pro Boats who built them will give them a complete re-fit & paint job so they will look brand new.
Many of our guests ask why we go through the hassle & expense of towing the lodge across the Inlet? The answer is ground swell. If we left the lodge in Sportsman’s Bay during the winter, a big ocean swell in a storm would take the floats & buildings up onto the shore at the back of the Bay!
When most of the crew had left the lodge, we disconnected all the water, sewer, power & Internet lines, & winterized the water plant & sewer system. Once that was done we hoped to start to tow all the floats & buildings two at a time across Rivers Inlet. Unfortunately, just as we were ready to start the tow a winter-like storm blew for three days with 5 meter swells & 40 knot winds. Our Bay is very protected so we were fine, but we certainly couldn’t expose our floats & buildings to the rough water. When we cross Rivers Inlet on our way to Sunshine Bay, there is a point where we are completely exposed to open ocean swell & we cannot risk towing in seas over 2 meters or the floats & buildings could be severely damaged. So, we waited out the storm for a few days & continued polishing & cleaning & putting Armor-All, Vaseline & other protectants on everything that could be damaged by the damp & salty environment during the winter. Once the storm had passed, we are able to get 3 tows out in one day, & most of the floats & buildings across the Inlet soon after. It was such a relief!
Once the lodge was safely nestled in Sunshine Bay, & under the care of our caretakers for the winter, the last of the rig down crew left the lodge for the 50 miles/4 hours run in the bigger Whaler-guide boats to travel across Queen Charlotte Sound down to Port Hardy. This is an exciting journey through incredible open ocean terrain with spectacular scenery. Puttering into Port Hardy Harbour is always a bitter-sweet experience knowing that the wonders of the summer in Rivers Inlet are officially well behind us, & the adventure of adjusting to life back in the “real world” awaits.
Best fishing of my life!
"From the easy flight in, to the friendly happy faces on the dock when I landed I knew I was in for a great time. Simon and his crew quickly get you into the fishing with his seminar on the dock. Lots to learn for a newbie like me! Our guides where A+, Duncan (aka Red Beard) & Matty, (aka #2). I was asked numerous times how the staff can make my stay more special. Wow!! I will definitely be back in years to come."
Recipe – Sportsman’s Club ‘Classic" BBQ Salmon
This old time favorite recipe has seen some modernization in our kitchen 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.
Combine in a large bowl …
– ¼ cup oil
– ¼ cup soya sauce
– 1 teaspoon sesame oil
– Juice of 1 lemon
– ½ cup of pineapple/orange juice (or either on its own)
– 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh ginger
– 3 cloves garlic finely minced
– 2 tablespoons brown sugar
– Stir ingredients and the separate 1/3 of mixture into saucepan
– Cut filet of salmon (approx. 3-4 lbs.) into 2-3 inch chunks
– Marinate salmon chunks in remaining liquid for at least 20 minutes stirring occasionally & up to a maximum of two hours but not too long as the citrus “cooks” the fish.
DON’T OVER COOK … salmon continues to cook as it cools so better to under cook than make it dry.
Even most chefs consistently overcook fish.
BBQ – skin side down on medium heat for 10 minutes per inch or until salmon is cooked almost through
(still a bit pink in the middle). Turn chunks for last minute to burn fat of off flesh side and to give it those lovely BBQ marks and re-apply marinade.
Pan Fry – Remove skin first and fry uncovered on medium hot skillet.
Use a combination of butter and (not olive) oil to lube the pan.
Grill – Skin side down on high so seal then medium to finish. Marinate ½ way through cooking.
The Sauce …
– Bring to a boil and then reduce remaining ingredients in saucepan on medium heat 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 and/or a ¼ cup of white wine.
– Serve hot as a topping on the cooked salmon moments before serving.
If you have any questions or would like more recipes call or text Simon (me) at 604-938-3677.
Enjoy and be careful not to overcook the delicate salmon flesh …
One of the best parts of fishing at the Rivers Inlet Sportsman’s Club is that you actually get to catch and keep fish to take home. Not all fishing lodges have the abundance to support a catch & keep fishery, so we feel very blessed to be able to harvest wild salmon. Hopefully, your box of fish made it home safe and sound and in good condition. This was the first year that we used the insulated liners so we hope that it aided in getting your catch home in tip-top shape.
Frozen salmon is best eaten in the first 3-6 months to enjoy maximum freshness so let the BBQing begin. Please click on this link to see our "secret recipe" that has been in the Kelly family for generations. Remember … salmon flesh is VERY delicate so don’t overcook it!
If you have sent any fish to St. Jean’s Cannery for processing please be patient. As you can imagine, all the fish arrived at the Cannery over a 2 month period in the summer so it can take up to 8 weeks (or more) to get your processed salmon back from St. Jean’s but the wait will be worth it! You can also order products from them or check your order status here.
Linda and Delvin coming in successful from an afternoon fish with two nice halibut & a
colourful yelloweye rockfish!
Tight Lines & Strong Knots! Simon, Barbara and the Sportsman’s Club crew!