Fishing With My Dad – The Legend of Rivers Inlet

Long time father and son guests Scottye & Si with a hard fighting wide-eyed chum salmon with classic green colouring & tiger strip markings.

The Rivers Inlet Sportsman’s Club, on the rugged and remote central coast of British Columbia, has always had a special place in my mind as a mythical trophy salmon destination. Rivers Inlet, BC is world famous for the unique gene pool of above average “super-sized” BC salmon that return each summer to spawn in their birth rivers. It is a pristine place where dense treelined snow-capped mountains reach down to the sea, whales breach & eagles soar. A place in my mind that for my entire childhood I imagined giant world record-breaking salmon lurked around every tree-lined rocky point just ripe for the picking! The largest King/Chinook salmon ever recorded anywhere in world, including Alaska, was caught a few years back in Rivers Inlet British Columbia and tipped the scales at 126 lbs. Every summer Chinook/King salmon in excess 30 lbs, known as “tyees”, are boated by the few anglers lucky enough to make it to remote Rivers Inlet BC. Rivers Inlet is a “mecca” for anglers looking for a BC fishing lodge to catch big salmon of all species and especially King/Chinook salmon reaching over 60 lbs. Rivers Inlet’s reputation as a world class trophy salmon fishing destination is real and justified, and so are the legends made there! Every summer my dad would go on a salmon fishing trip to this fishing lodge in Rivers Inlet BC on their annual corporate retreat. I remembered the name so clearly, the Rivers Inlet Sportsman’s Club. It had a cool ring to it and I wanted to be part the “Club”. Well, in fact as it turns out, despite having guest that are yearly regulars at the lodge for the past 30 + years, it really isn’t a “Club” after all. It is just a catchy name for a BC fishing lodge with the best salmon fishing in BC! Anyone can book a BC salmon fishing trip to this all-inclusive fishing lodge and be part of the “Sportsman’s Club” that has been around now for 38 years! I remember the stories of the legendary salmon fishing lodge from a very young age as there was a giant Rivers Inlet King/Chinook salmon hanging on the wall in our den. I would stare at it for hours in awe of the massive length and girth and feel the luster of its scales. I would visualize the power this mass of muscle must have had in the water and imagine what it would be like to have one of these giant King/Chinook salmon on the end of my line!

My Dad was not an avid fisherman as such, but we typically went fishing a few times a year for local bass & trout in California. I knew enough about salmon fishing to appreciate the skills involved in catching one of these wily British Columbia salmon. I would make up my own fishing stories in my mind of what it must be like to travel all the way to this far off mystical place and land one of the magnificent beasts! The way my father revered Rivers Inlet BC, I knew it was a special place. My Dad went on a few annual fishing trips to different fishing lodges and rarely talked much about those fishing trips. The stories of his Rivers Inlet adventures and the best salmon fishing in BC, or possibly best salmon fishing in Canada, never tired me. There were usually enough stories that it would take until the next year to tell them all, and enough fish to last until his next British Columbia fishing trip! Dad finally retired and so went the company fishing trip to Rivers Inlet BC. On his bucket list was to one day take me on a British Columbia salmon fishing trip to this amazing fishing lodge and to feel the magic of Rivers Inlet. Then it finally happened, he booked this BC fishing trip to the Sportsman’s Club as a college graduation present. We had to book well in advance to get a spot and the months of anticipation and expectation was all part of the pre-fishing trip experience.

From the get-go, it was the best all-inclusive fishing vacation ever. The short flight from L.A. to Vancouver BC, the night in that picturesque city, my first float plane trip, it was all spectacular. However, it wasn’t until we circled the lodge and I saw that my new home for few days was a floating fishing lodge literally in the middle of nowhere, that I was literally speechless. I finally felt what my dad must feel about this BC salmon fishing trip to this special place. No roads, no cars, no people in sight. All you can see for miles is endless mountains, trees & ocean and you really feel like you are in the middle of wilderness because you are!  It was already pure exhilaration, and we hadn’t even landed at the fishing lodge yet or even wet a line! When we finally arrived at the docks, for four days I had the most amazing BC salmon fishing trip of my life. Great food and service, amazing camaraderie & the best British Columbia salmon fishing I could have ever imagined. Morning & evenings chasing the big King/Chinook salmon near the shore, silver/coho salmon when the big salmon bite is off, and fishing for halibut and lingcod on the tide change. If the weather was sunny or rainy it didn’t matter, the scenery was ever changing and always breathtaking! Besides all the tackle and fishing equipment, the fishing lodge has all the raingear and gum boots to keep you warm and dry and out on the water all day chasing those BC salmon from dawn until dusk. More incredible than the scenery, wildlife and the best salmon fishing in BC was the priceless time with my dad just mucking around in the boat and hanging out like we have never done before or since. After all those years of hearing my dad’s stories, eating all that delicious fresh British Columbia salmon, halibut and lingcod, and countless hours of staring down that big fish in the den, I finally got to experience it.  Dad is too old now but still tells the BC fishing lodge stories to anyone who will listen. I can hardly wait to bring my young son up there in a few years so that we can carry on the family tradition of the “bucket list” BC salmon fishing trip to the best fishing lodge in BC, in fact the best fishing lodge in Canada! All I need to do now is work on the same level of anticipation that I enjoyed for all those years as it made the trip just that much better! I can’t wait to get back to legendary Rivers Inlet BC to go on the best all-inclusive salmon fishing vacation of a lifetime!

T Green/Santa Monica CA