|Shayna (at 9 years old) after her solo battle
with a trophy 36 lbs. chinook/king salmon.
With arrival of our Chief of Lodge Maintenance John Salo (& wife Jenny) in Rivers Inlet last week & the first delivery from the freight barge, rig-up for the season has officially begun. This week, our new section of dock to extend the pier is being towed to Rivers Inlet from Vancouver Island where it was constructed. Timing is crucial for this tow as it has to cross the open water of Queen Charlotte Sound. The journey has to be made when the ground swell is not too big or the float would be ripped apart! In fact, the float can’t even have the decking planks put on it until it arrives in Rivers Inlet or the boards would be ripped out by all the bobbing & twisting during the crossing.
In late June, all the individual floats that make up the lodge will be towed 2 at a time across Rivers Inlet from our winter moorage in Sunshine Bay to our summer moorage in secluded Sportsman’s Bay. This process can take a few days & is also dependent on the weather & the ground swell not being too large.
The first wave of staff will arrive in early July when they make the crossing from Port Hardy with our five bigger Whaler guide boats. As soon we are settled in our summer moorage, & have power, water & satellite communications in place, we have a whole crew of construction & maintenance professionals scheduled to arrive. These include a team to redo all the gutters throughout the lodge. This is not an easy task as the machinery & materials need to be barged into the lodge & the craftsmen flown in on a chartered floatplane. Others who will be coming in for rig-up are our painting crew, potable water specialists, electrical contractor, carpenter, gas & refrigeration guy, & engine mechanic to professionally install all our outboard motors & electronics.
The good news is that almost all of our 2015 staff are able to return for another season.
Many of them have spent the winter months in college & are looking forward to getting back to the lodge to look after our guests & enjoy the splendor of a summer in Rivers Inlet. Now for the fishing, forecast from the Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO) are for record runs of returning salmon so anticipation is high for another amazing season!
Guests often ask why we go through the costly & time-consuming process of towing the lodge across the inlet? It is all about location. Sportsman’s Bay is situated right on the fishing grounds only minutes from the “hot spots”. One of these is lodge owner Barbara’s favorite spot “Jackson Hole” at “the Wall”. The Wall is a world famous spot to target trophy king/chinook salmon that rest & feed in the shallows. The technique for catching this big lazy salmon that lurk in the kelp beds close to the shore is known as “mooching”. You drift with the current using light weights & a cut-plug herring which slowly spins. Barbara is already sharpening her hooks & preparing her mooching gear to ensure that everything is ready to haul in another ‘big one’ as she has done many times over the past 30 plus years. One of her favorite memories is when she took granddaughter Shayna to the Wall (who was only 9 at the time) & Shayna brought in a 36 pounder unaided in her hour-long battle. This was no surprise as Shayna had been fishing at the lodge every summer since she was born. How time flies & Shayna is now almost 18, is graduating from high school as her class valedictorian & heading off to university. If you are looking to create your own life-long memories with your kids & grandkids maybe a trip to celebrate their graduation is in order for this summer?
Contact us today about our last remaining available dates for the fishing adventure of a lifetime!
Over 30 years ago the lodges in our area formed an association. It was a unique concept to get would-be competitors to band together for a common cause. The main purpose of the Rivers Inlet North Coast Salmon Enhancement Association (RINCSEA) was, as the name suggests, to start a privately funded wild salmon hatchery to help re-stock the runs of fish in our river system. The program has been a great success & we have seen record returns of salmon these past few years. One of the main sources of funding has been a season long fishing derby among the lodges. After a couple of years hiatus, our association decided at our recent annual meeting that we would host the derby again for summer 2016. Make sure that you purchase your ticket upon arrival at the lodge!
My family have been coming to Rivers Inlet Sportsman Club for years. The overall experience is nothing but spectacular. From the floatplane ride in, to the service provided by the wonderful staff, it’s truly an ultimate fishing experience. The fishing grounds are very close & the calm waters are appreciated by my 80 year old Dad. The beauty & remoteness is amazing. We have been here 8 times & everyone has brought home their limits 7 out of the 8 times. One year, I caught a 44lb. tyee! I have countless stories that I will never forget & I hope to bring my kids here for the same experience once they get older. If you are thinking about going on a fishing experience, go here because you will not regret it.
Simon is quite the hoot as well!
Andrew M, Livermore CA
Recipe – Halibut Stuffed With Kale and Feta Pesto
-1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
-6 skinless halibut fillets, about 6 oz (185 g) each
-Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
-2 scallions, white and pale green parts, each cut crosswise into 4 equal pieces
-2 cups (4 1/2 oz / 140 g) coarsely chopped stemmed kale
-1 rib celery, coarsely chopped
-1/4 cup (1 1/4 oz / 40 g) crumbled feta cheese
-1–2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Using the grapeseed oil, lightly grease a rectangular baking dish large enough to accommodate the fillets in a single layer.
-Place the halibut fillets in the prepared baking dish and season lightly with salt and pepper. Use a sharp knife to slash several deep cuts in the top of each fillet, being careful not to cut all the way through the fish.
-In a mini food processor, combine the scallions, kale, celery, and cheese and process until the ingredients are crumb-sized.
-Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and pulse until a paste forms, adding more oil as needed to achieve a good consistency.
-Season with salt and pepper.
-Use a small spoon or your finger to stuff the pesto into the slits in each fillet, filling them with as much pesto as will fit and allowing it to overflow.
-Roast until the fish is opaque at the center when tested with the tip of a knife, about 15 minutes.
-Let cool for 3 minutes before serving.
Or you can just come fishing with your buddies.