Nice Night for a Bite

Painter's Lodge and April Point Resort & Spa - July 26, 2014


It’s no surprise that our guides are fairly busy guys these days, so I was ecstatic when I had the opportunity to go out for the “night bite” last night with one of our awesome guides, Conor Stookes.   No pressure taking the marketing gal out, hey? “You better make the fishing look good!” I joked. He was up for the challenge. When we first left it was looking like the sky might open up, but luckily the hump (one of the more popular fishing spots) is in a rain shadow, so it’s as if the clouds actually veer around your boat. The rain gods truly are on an angler’s side in Campbell River.

Things started off a little quiet on the rods, which meant a good opportunity to soak up some knowledge from my expert guide. Conor talked about when to use a hootchie versus a plug, how to fish Sockeye compared to Chinook, how a flasher can help you in more ways than one, and much more. And shortly after when we got our first strike, it was time for him to help me with my reeling technique (still a beginner, I’ll admit). We thought this one might be a big one, but you know what they say: Never judge a fish by its fight. I maintained the reel and run pattern— which is a great workout by the way—when BAM! The second rod got a hit. And seriously, who doesn’t love a double header? We worked both fish towards the boat, with Conor’s netted first. His was a nice 9 pounds— the perfect size to barbeque. And well mine, it started to show its size as it came closer to the boat. It was a beautiful 21.5 pounds. We were pretty satisfied after only being out on the water for about half an hour. Anything else would be a bonus.

After another hour or so we had another bite. Conor started out with the rod, and way off in the distance we could see a big Chinook, or a “hog,” as Conor calls it, jumping repeatedly into the air. He could tell after a minute that something was a bit strange with this one, and as he passed me the rod, we could see that it was indeed foul-hooked, or hooked in its side instead of the mouth. This would make for a tough fight. We decided it would be a joint effort, and we also knew that with a mere layer of salmon skin keeping it on the hook, we would likely lose it at any moment. But didn’t I tell you we had luck on our side that day? After a few close calls, Conor managed to net it and get it into the boat. This one looked close to the same size as the first, and ended up a healthy 18.3 pounds. Not a bad haul, for just over an hour!

After a couple of releases, including a grey cod and a dogfish, we decided to call it a night. After all, we probably had more salmon than I could even eat in a year. Though with this job I’ll probably have to step it up.

I look forward to sharing my next fishing experience with you!

Until next time,


Dwayne Mustard's Tyee Report (July 25th)

Painter's Lodge and April Point Resort & Spa - July 25, 2014

The 2014 Tyee Season is officially open! Once upon a time there were plenty of Tyee hooked in July but these days most rowers don’t start to get serious until they turn the page to August—which is just next week in case you forgot. But we can’t forget about 2005 when Paul Breukers caught the biggest fish of the season on July 29th. But many of the rowers like to go out and work the bugs out before August rolls around so if you enjoy watching the rowboats glide back and forth you will probably seen a few of them on most July evenings.

Meanwhile, weighmaster Bob Goodwin doesn’t have too much to do this time of year outside of chatting with the occasional guide or answering questions for the parade of visitors that wander into the clubhouse.

But once the big fish start getting hooked, Bob’s life switches into high gear and his day runs from first light to last. Every rower wants to have a close encounter with Bob because he is the one who determines whether your fish becomes a registered Tyee or not. When you bring your catch to the beach he is the one the puts the loop around its tail and weighs it, and even if it is over thirty pounds you aren’t in the clear yet. He then measures your rod to make sure that it is between 6 and 9 feet long. If you pass that test, you next must have your line tested. He wraps it around an ancient old pulley contraption and then ties the end to the official weight. He turns the handle and if your line doesn’t snap before the weight comes off the ground, you fail and your fish is disqualified.

If you pass all of these tests you get to ring the bell, once for each ten pounds of fish and Bob puts your official weight up on the big board, usually to a round of applause from those gathered around. Then people buy you a whole bunch of shooters and you have a story for the rest of your life.

Until tomorrow, keep on rowing


Another Successful Fishing Trip at Painter's Lodge

Painter's Lodge and April Point Resort & Spa - July 21, 2014

Do you remember Travis Fleming’s last fishing trip? Well, Travis had so much fun fishing at Painter’s Lodge back in June he decided to head out again to see what else he could reel in. Keep reading to find out how he did!

I was in Campbell River this weekend visiting my parents, as well as my cousin and his fiancée who also happened to be in town. My cousin’s fiancée had never been salmon fishing before, so my brother and I decided to take her and my cousin out so she’d have a chance to get her first salmon.

The four of us hopped on a cruiser (1 of 4 Painter’s Lodge has available) early Saturday morning with our guide Keith and took off towards the Green Can, where most of the action has been taking place. We got our lines in the water and then waited patiently for the first bite. Keith watched the rods like a hawk while we talked amongst ourselves. It’s amazing how he can keep one eye on you and one eye on the rods at the same time. It wasn’t long before he leapt out of his chair, grabbed one of the rods and set the hook.

We gave Carine the first crack at reeling in a fish, as we really wanted her to get her first salmon. She did a great job of getting it to the boat but unfortunately it was a little undersized.

“Not up to our standards,” Keith said as he tossed the young Chinook back into the water.

Our next bite was also an undersized Chinook. Then suddenly Keith leapt out of chair again and grabbed the rod. It was my cousin’s turn this time and you could tell the way this fish was fighting that it was a keeper. My brother went about reeling in the other line to make sure the lines didn’t get tangled. Then all of a sudden he felt a tug on his line as well.

“I think there’s something on this line too!” he exclaimed. He’d hooked a fish on the way up and all of a sudden we had double header!

Keith did a great job of making sure the lines didn’t get crossed and helped us get both fish to the boat. The first was beautiful Chinook salmon, then my brother got his fish to the boat which turned out to be a pretty good sized wild Coho. After a few high fives we got our lines back in the water and waited for the next bite.

When we got another fish on the line we handed the rod to Carine again to give her another shot at reeling in a salmon. Once again she got the fish to the boat, and this time it was a nice Coho. Definitely a keeper!

We caught yet another Coho before the day was done, bringing our total to four. We celebrated our successful day of fishing by cooking a couple of our Coho on the BBQ that night. Few things taste better than fresh salmon right off the grill. For those of you who will be staying at the resort and want to eat your fish the day you catch it, our amazing chefs will be happy to cook it for you in Legends Dining Room. Just ask our Marine Centre staff about our “Cook Your Own Catch” program after your fishing trip!

The fishing continues to be awesome in Campbell River this year, so make sure to get out on the water before it’s too late. Maybe I’ll see you out there during my next trip!