Special Time At Sportsman’s Club
The rig-up crew from a few years back after a successful morning of "boat testing".
Special Time At The Sportsman’s Club
We get asked all the time what makes a trip to the Sportsman’s Club so "special". There are a few things that define the experience with us. The world class salmon & halibut fishing puts us on the map for sure. The pristine wilderness setting with snowcapped mountains that meet the sea is definitely the perfect backdrop. Throw in the whales, eagles, seabirds, seals, as an additional attraction & you start to get the picture. However, the "icing on the cake" is the intimacy, isolation & time that you get to spend with family, friends & business associates. Fresh from some wonderful family time over the Father’s Day weekend this is likely at the forefront of your mind. Below, we have a testimonial from the son whose father has been bringing him to the Sportsman’s Club every summer for over 20 years!
Rig Up Report
Simon & the rig-up crew are heading north to officially start setting up the lodge so it is exciting times. Here is how it goes: We fly from Vancouver to Port Hardy where we spend the night. The highlights there include a BIG shop at the grocery store where the boys get to buy anything (almost) that they want. The days are long & the work is hard so they need to be motivated by fabulous food! Our 6 bigger guide boats spend the winter stored on Vancouver Island & are trailered to Port Hardy where they are launched. We then run them 80 miles across the open waters on Queen Charlotte Sound to Rivers Inlet. This journey can take up to 5 hours with a few stops along the way. Hopefully on arrival, Director of Operations “Uncle Johnny” Salo already will have the camp towed out of Sunshine Bay where we store it in winter & in place at our summer moorage in Sportsman’s Bay with the power on & the water running. This is always a pleasing sight.
Moving the entire lodge across the Rivers Inlet is an arduous (& expensive) task, & many ask why we do this. The reason is location, location, location! Sportsman’s Bay is a few minutes from one of our prime fishing spots, Kevin’s Corner, the world famous Wall, the Dome & Cranstown Point. This close proximity to the lodge affords our guests more fishing & less travel time. Guests have the ability to come back to the lodge for meals, re-provision, or simply to take a break from the fishing action. Also, guests get to fish after dinner until dusk for the “night bite”.
The other main rig-up tasks are to fire up the water & sewage treatment plants, fridges & freezers, hot water heaters & various appliances. The other big job is to launch the fleet of boats from where they are stored on the dock in Sunshine Bay. We tow them across the Inlet, have the certified Yamaha mechanic (we fly one in) install all the motors & electronics & finally the downriggers & fishing gear. The fun part is that we have to take them out fishing to “test” them over a few days, and that usually results in catching the first tyees (really big trophy salmon) of the season. Other main projects of note are the extension of our pier, re-decking of Simon’s house float, installation of a new walk-in blast freezer & the re-doing of the gutters around most of the lodge. It is busy times ahead but rig-up is always fun. We will be ready to go to welcome our first guests July 14th. It is going to be another epic season on the water! If you haven’t already done so book your trip today & enjoy a fabulous Rivers Inlet fishing adventure this summer.
In the springtime salmon return to in-shore waters as they start their migration back to the river of their birth. These returning runs hit Alaska & Northern BC inshore waters first. We have been getting reports from these northern fishing grounds over the last few weeks & as fisheries biologists predicted, there are incredible amounts of fish being encountered. In some areas it is the best salmon run they have seen in over 30 years! This is exciting news for us at the Sportsman’s Club as we are perfectly situated at the mouth of Rivers Inlet on the “salmon highway”. We are able to take advantage of salmon returning to almost every river system south of us. This means literally thousands of salmon returning to hundreds of rivers. There is still time to be part of the historic “run of the century” so contact us today & book your fishing adventure of a lifetime!
We are not sure exactly where the salmon go in the winter but we have a rough idea based on studies that have involved tracking salmon migration by tagging fish. Salmon are pelagic which means they “don’t typically reside close to the bottom or near the shore”. They in fact go far offshore, very far. This is in contrast with demersal fish which inhabit the structure of coral reefs. The oceanic distribution of the salmon is dependent upon the species & point of origin. Chum, sockeye & chinook salmon from BC are known to migrate the farthest. They travel thousands of miles eastward into the Northeastern Pacific, Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea & the Aleutian Islands. Some have even been tracked all the way to Kamchatka Russia! Pink & coho salmon don’t travel quite so far out but still do lots of swimming. Here is a chart of the range of where they typically go.
My dad and I have been fishing at Sportsman’s Club for almost as long as I can remember, at least 25 years. The experience is always remarkable. I caught my first Tyee just minutes from the dock and I’ve lost track of the number of whales we’ve encountered. It’s a place of many cherished memories and we’re always excited to go back. We can’t wait for our 2016 trip.
D. Jones, Cranbrook BC.
Recipe – Salmon with Broccoli, Capers & Chiles
1 bunch broccoli (about 1 1/2 lb.), cut into florets
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
4 6-oz. skinless salmon fillets
1 red Fresno chile or jalapeño, thinly sliced into rings, seeds removed if desired
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons drained capers
ACTIVE: 40 MIN TOTAL: 45 MIN
Preheat oven to 400°. Toss broccoli and 2 Tbsp. oil on a large rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until browned and crisp-tender, 12–15 minutes.
Remove baking sheet from oven and rub salmon with 1 Tbsp. oil; season with salt and pepper. Push broccoli to edges of baking sheet and place salmon in the center. Roast until salmon is opaque throughout, 10–15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine chile, vinegar, and a pinch of salt in small bowl and let sit until chiles are slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Mix in capers and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil; season with salt and pepper.
Serve salmon and broccoli drizzled with chile vinaigrette.
Having the best boat house around makes hanging motors a breeze.