Fishing and Relaxing at Dent Island Lodge
Well, Bob wanted to go salmon fishing, and Dent Island Lodge is the place to do it. So we had Henry (the manager) arrange for us to go out with Scott Anderson from 7-11am and find those fishies.
We awoke to thick, dense fog. It was really hard to see in front of your face, but we did find Scott and his 17’ fishing boat. We took off through those canoe rapids (it was high tide and not roaring too much) and didn’t get too far in the fog before we were navigating by GPS, trust, and prayer.
After a couple of hours, the fog starts to lift and we can see the other boats fishing near us.
About 10:30 and the fog rolls back. A beautiful day with lots of fellow salmon hunters.
Salmon fishing is done in these boats by trolling. You set the line down about 130 feet and wait for something to nibble. Then you grab the fishing pole, hike it up high while you’re reeling like mad to ‘set the hook’ and then you keep reeling and reeling till you find out if you got a fish or a shoe or what.
Karen fights another Coho.
We had two poles going at all times. The one nearest Bob used large anchovies for bait and the one nearest me used a “hootchie”. Funny word for a green squidy looking thing. Anyway, Scott was a terrific guide and we had lots of action in no time at all. There are 5 kinds of Pacific Salmon: Chinook (a.k.a. King or Spring Salmon); Sockeye; Pink; Coho and Chum. We were on the hunt for Chinook, as you could keep those if they were large enough.
Karen with a "Pink". We'll get to eat this one.
The Coho, if wild (you could tell by one of their fins) had to be released, but if you caught a hatchery Coho (had that one fin cut off when small so it would be easy to tell), you could keep them. Sockeye weren’t really running, and most folk talk about pinks with a distinct lack of respect. Chum would be ok, but I didn’t have a lot of heart for catching a fish that shares a name with fish guts.
Releasing one of the many wild Cohos.
So…Bob’s new name is Chinook Bob. He hooked two nice Chinooks, one 12 pounds and one nearly 18.
This one did not get away.
Now the goal is to hook a Tyee, which is a Chinook that weighs 30 pounds or more, but we left that one there just in case someone else needed it (ha ha). Between us, we also caught one pink and 8 wild Coho(that had to be released). It was a blast reeling those fish in. The Coho put on a show and flop and jump as they near the boat. Despite the fact that they must realize we have to let them go, they have fear in their eyes as you reel them near enough to the boat to cut the hook and set them free.
Bob and fishing guide "Scotty" pose with a 12lb Chinook.
I was sad when it was time to come back in, I wanted more fish. But, after the 2 Chinook were filleted and vacuum packed, we had 12 huge servings of fresh salmon and who could want more? We gave the pink to Scott, by the way.
A great morning of fishing.
By the time the salmon was back in our fridge and freezer, we realized that we were knee deep in salmon and that 2 people weren’t going to be able to do them justice. Our first attempt at sharing was with two nice folks aboard the sailing vessel Coyote Blue. We had met them the day before and had been their accomplices at dinner as they fed the cats tasty tidbits from dinner. They received the salmon with joy, but gave us a bottle of wine in return. Hmmm…this trading stuff works well.
My second attempt at trading or even giving away fresh yummy salmon taught me a lesson in British Columbian reality. I was walking the docks and admiring a boat that was a 65’ Pacific Mariner. Bob and I had seen a similar boat last year at Princess Louisa, and thought they were really nice. So I walked down the dock to where the owner was washing his boat and asked if it was indeed a Pacific Mariner. In return, I was invited aboard for a grand snoop. This boat was pristine. Remember, you’re traveling in salt water (think water spots) and the fresh water you can access is too precious to clean a boat. Anyway, this boat had white carpet throughout. It was spotless. Immaculate. And the owner told me they had 4 dogs aboard! Yikes. My house is nowhere near this clean. I was impressed…and impressed by the boat and layout as well. It was lovely. I even got a tour of the standing room engine room. I think I surprised the owner by asking him if he had an engine room where he could actually stand up. As a thank you for the tour, I asked him (proudly) if he’d like some fresh salmon. He smiled weakly and then explained that he had a freezer full left to eat from his summer in Alaska. I started to realize that offering many folks fresh salmon is like offering sand to someone who lives on the beach. Still, it was worth it, because when I returned to Best of Times, Bob was jealous that I got the tour.
And then…our friends Ann and Doug showed up in Mokoro, the same folks we met at Blind Channel a few nights before.
Mokoro at Dent Island dock.
We had dinner together…but first….when last we left the kayak, it was in the back bay, having been portaged over there from our boat by the chef and the dock guy. Well, it was time to think about getting it back to the mother ship. The problem is, no one was going to portage it back for us. So we had to wait for slack water in those darned canoe rapids and then bring it back ourselves. I had lobbied to do that early the next morning, but Bob wanted to get it home and not worry about it. So, with less than one hour till dinner, we ran over, got the kayak, went through the nearly slack rapids with no problem, got an ovation from those watching on the deck, and made it to dinner with Ann and Doug on time. We had another great meal, made even better by the company. They are special folk, no doubt about it. Tried to convince them to come over for some more wine, but they had a date with the salmon in the early morning and decided turning in early was the better part of valor.