Where to Fish at Rivers Inlet
One of the many great things about Rivers Inlet Sportsman’s Club is the extremely close proximity to several excellent fishing spots. The lodge is literally minutes away from some of the best fishing on the Canadian West Coast. My family & I have been coming to Rivers Inlet for many years now & have gotten to know the area quite well on our numerous trips. Although there are really no bad fishing spots in the area, & time on the water is always a pleasure whether the fish are biting or not, here are a few of our favorites.
The Wall & The Dome
Well known up & down the coast & around the world, the Wall & the Dome are classics & a short 5 minute boat ride from the lodge. Always a good bet & a steady producer of trophy Salmon, we & many others have reeled in prized catches at this nearby spot.
A few years ago my partner & I were able to bring her father up for some fun family time together on the water. He had just turned 80 & had never really fished salmon, being primarily a freshwater / lake angler. We were very happy when he landed a 28 pound King/Chinook between the Wall & the Dome. It wasn’t quite a Tyee, as those are over 30 pounds, but it was the biggest fish he had ever boated so we considered it a huge win & he could not have been more pleased. It’s still a topic of conversation every time we meet up.
I had always wanted to bring my own father up to the Sportsman’s Club as he was also an avid fisherman. Unfortunately he passed away unexpectedly before he was able to make the trip. Seeing my partner’s father catching the biggest fish of his life was as gratifying as if it had been my own father, & a moment none of us will soon forget!
Also no more than a 5 minute boat ride from the lodge is the lesser known, but just as productive in our experience, Kevin’s Corner. More sheltered with calmer waters, it is a great area for windier days or evenings when anglers are looking for a bit more of a mellow experience. Another treat at Rivers Inlet Sportsman’s Club is the ability to fish after dinner due to the close proximity to the fishing grounds. Calm water & stunning sunsets will make for some amazing memories & landing a few salmon only sweetens the deal.
Some of our best “couple time” has been spent here, & even when we were looking for quiet away from other boats, we still had plenty of action. A double header at Kevin’s Corner (two fish on at once) at sunset is a fond memory we both still laugh about. With only the two of us in the boat, getting both fish in the net & onto the boat while still driving etc was quite a challenge. We pulled it off & were rewarded with a couple very nice (16 & 18 pound) Coho & plenty of laughter as a bonus!
Rough’s Bluff & Draney Inlet
A little further up the inlet lies Rough’s Bluff, & even further still Draney Inlet. In the last couple years Rough’s has been a steady producer & as such a somewhat more popular destination. A few years ago we landed a bunch of Pink Salmon between Rough’s & Draney. The Pinks are not always in the area, & although smaller in size, they are very tasty & are excellent fish to send to the cannery. Canned Pink Salmon… YUM!
We have always liked this particular area as, if nothing else, trolling from Rough’s up to Draney is very scenic & wild life abounds. You are likely to see multiple types of whales, eagles, porpoises, seals & more. We have even seen a juvenile Grizzly on the shoreline near Draney. The mouth of Draney Inlet itself is an interesting spot. It is the entrance to another long inlet leading off of Rivers Inlet & there is a large vortex / whirlpool there where huge amounts of water rush through with the tides. Best to keep your distance, but a stunningly beautiful reminder of the power of nature for sure!
A little further away across the inlet lies the windswept & rugged Calvert Island. Best to get a guide for the day, or go as part of the group of boats with guides, that will generally do the crossing at least once during your stay. The crossing is a good 25 minutes across fairly open water. Well worth the effort though as this is the last piece of land on the West Coast in the area – next stop past Calvert, Japan. The fishing on the west side of the island is generally very good & although the crossing can be a bit of an effort it is sheltered & fairly calm once over there. There are King & Chinook to be had, but we have also landed a decent Halibut & some Ling Cod on the salmon gear, so you never quite know what you will end up with. Look for Canoe Cove on your GPS, which is about 1/3 of the way up the island, & is a reliable producer. There is also an old lighthouse near the Southern tip of the island which is not only scenic but a good spot to try your luck.
The Halibut Holes
Rivers Inlet Sportsman’s Club is known for its excellent Salmon fishing, but the Halibut in the area are also plentiful & can be very large. There are several “Halibut Holes” a short distance from the lodge & there are always Halibut on the dock at the Sportsman’s Club. The Halibut makes for delicious eating. Classic fish & chips made with Halibut you caught yourself is a real treat & conversation starter! We love the white fish & always try to make an effort to spend some time jigging for it when at the Sportsman’s Club. It’s also a great thing to do if you limit out on salmon, which happens more often than not!
We are just finishing the last of the 45 pounder we caught last year, so you really can be rewarded with a full freezer by going out for Halibut. It’s different gear so ask the dock boys to set you up, or better yet get a guide to show you the tricks. The spots are marked on the GPS units in the boats so it is possible to do it on your own if you desire.
No matter where you choose to go, at Rivers Inlet Sportsman’s Club you really can’t go wrong. With or without a guide there’s so much to explore & having your own boat, always at your disposal, fueled & ready to go makes it easy. This part of the world is so unique & beautiful. Cruising these pristine waters on a small boat is nothing but a joy. The fishing is just excellent beyond words & the catching is not bad either. See you there!
Sean B – Whistler BC
Planning Your Trip
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Travel to Canada & Passport Information
Mini Salmon/Halibut Cakes
-4 slices bacon, diced
-1 cup fresh or frozen corn
-½ cup finely diced onion
-½ cup finely diced red bell pepper
-â…“ cup finely diced celery
-1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
-2 ½ cup peeled and diced potato
-¾ lb(s) cooked fish, such as salmon
-salt and pepper
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-1 cup dry breadcrumbs
1. In a sauté pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon, reserving, and drain off all but 2 Tbsp of the fat. Add the corn, onion, pepper, celery and thyme to the pan, cooking until the onions are translucent.
2. While cooking the vegetables, boil the potatoes in salted water until tender and drain. Let potatoes cool for 10 minutes and mash roughly. Add the cooked vegetables to the cooled potatoes and flake in the salmon. Stir in the reserved bacon and season to taste. Break one egg into a small dish, whisk with a fork and stir into potato mixture.
3. Shape this mixture into little balls (an ice cream scoop makes this easier) and press to flatten. To cook, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Whisk the remaining 2 eggs in one bowl and place breadcrumbs in a separate bowl. Dip each chowder cake in egg to coat completely, then dip into breadcrumbs. Place the cakes in pan and cook about 4 minutes on each side, turning carefully.
4. The chowder cakes should be served warm, with a little lemon or other creamy sauce. The cakes can be precooked, chilled and reheated for 12 minutes in a 325 F oven.