Yos Gladstone, Owner of Chromer Sport Fishing Ltd., recaps an adventuresome year on the water in 2012.
For the past 15 years I’ve guided on the British Columbia coast and for the past six years, I’ve called Langara Island home during the summer months. Located on the very northern tip of the islands known as Haida Gwaii, this remote 8,000-acre island really is at the end of Canada. On one side of it, many miles away, lies Japan, on the other, infinitely closer, is southwest Alaska.
Summer of 2012 started off layering up to fight off the cold with an early June morning when we were scraping frost of the seats of the boats. It looked like it was going to be a long summer, but, as the season progressed, temperatures warmed and the migrating salmon on the Pacific began spilling their way into Langara waters. This tiny island is surrounded by some of the most nutrient rich water anywhere on the north Pacific and it teamed with life all summer long. From massive schools of migrating fish to hoards of frothing bait to countless numbers of summering humpback whales, the waters around Langara came alive this year.
On the fishing front there were some incredible numbers from Langara Island Lodge this year, including three chinook (king) salmon that were caught all measuring out to over 60 pounds. Each one of these fish was released to make their way home to their native rivers. There was also a handful of stunning fish in the 50 pound range, all of which were released as well. Salmon in this pound class are true specimens rarely seen and to have so many in one season really was incredible. Seeing these fish swim away after kelp-dodging, tide-fight battles is due to not only the conservation minded guides I work with and also the wonderful guests who see the value in releasing these big fish to maintain the fishery for the future. It’s a good sign of angler progression when glory shots back at the dock aren’t quite as cool as they used to be.
There were also some insanely large halibut that were caught at Langara this summer, including one that measured out to just shy of 400 pounds, one over 300 pounds and a few in the 200 pound range. These bottom dwellers tear up gear and burn through biceps and to see one of these giants swim gently along the boat is something special. All of these big halis were also released. The tide has been changing over the past few years in terms of thoughts on catch-n-release on BC coastal fisheries and the mentality towards conservation was alive and well this year at Langara Island.
Our season wrapped up in early September, I had spent nearly three full months guiding, having only snuck home for a few days to BC’s south coast to visit family. A spectacular year filled with big bites and bigger fish! Already looking forward to 2013.
A year in pictures from the Canadian Coast: