Tag Archives: Desolation Sound

Inside Passage BC 2018

WcA+8IkeSgeVDOZJ2s6n9A

I missed my annual visit to my family’s home in Bliss Landing, British Columbia last year as my daughter was born in March and I was enthusiastically adjusting to fatherhood. This year I carved out some time and made plans to spend some days up here with my father and two college friends from Portland. While the fishing has been consistent, the size of the fish we’ve been catching has been disappointing with only two keeper Chinook coming home with us in four days of fishing.

I’ve asked my Dad before if he thinks that are luck is a lack of experience or a lack of fish, and in his mind it may be both. Well, I think that we would both agree that our collective experience is no longer a limiting factor. Everything involved, at least on the technical side of things, is dialed in. Downriggers and their attached lines spend more time in water. Our trolling gear is fine-tuned and tackle mostly limited to what we now know works. There’s very little, and I can say at this point that this is true for all of the fisheries I participate in, “riff-raff” or novelty tackle in the tacklebox. We’ve become better and faster at recovering from and avoiding malfunctions that in previous years stymied or ended the day’s angling. With that said, fishing has been slow and this has been stated by others online who see fishing near us and by the staff of the tackle shops I frequent while up here. Knowing that others are in the same boat does help ease the feeling that is is not us, but them.


10lb Chinook near Sarah Point

We have had some success with our two keepers coming aboard and some very nice wild Coho being caught and released. Our two keeper Chinook were caught at around Sarah Point, but we’ve gotten into hot bites of undersize fish at Sutil Point, Grant Reef, Mystery Reef, and off of Kinghorn Island. Almost all of the fish landed have been on the same flasher/spoon combination that was suggested to us by a young buck at Marine Traders in Powell River. Normally and despite purchasing suggestions from tackle shop employees I’ll wave off these acquisitions as novelty or last-ditch, but in this case I owe credit where credit is due.  At least in the case of the spoon he recommended which was a black/green Silver Horde Coho Killer. I used his flasher suggestion as inspiration to choose my own.


Humpback Whales Off Hernando Island

In our run from Sutil Point to Grant Reef on a day before the smoke really came in we spotted some whales approaching us. We were quick to see they were bigger than Orcas and cut the engine as two humpback whales cruised by. The whales circled back to our boat and the following video is the amazing encounter.

Desolation Sound Summer 2014

I spend the bulk of my summers up in British Columbia at my family’s home in Bliss Landing. Bliss is on the inside passage of Vancouver Island, about one mile south of the entrance to Desolation Sound at Sarah Point. We can harvest clams, oysters, trap crab and prawns, and fish for multiple species of rockfish and salmon. During my last trip, from August 1st through the 10th I was loaned a 14 foot tinboat which was outfitted with a downrigger for trolling. When I have others in the boat we normally simply jig for salmon with Pt. Wilson Darts and Buzz Bombs, but when I am alone I troll for salmon. I caught the 13 lb Chinook salmon above with a green flasher and black & white Luhr Jensen “Cop Car” or “Cookies & Cream” spoon. There is an oyster farm in a small bay about one mile north from Bliss that is home to what I have called “Fred’s Hump”. The name comes from the owner of the farm who was once the caretaker at Bliss Landing. The “Hump” comes from an underwater rock formation that juts up from the sea floor on the southern side of the bay. It gets relatively shallow in the bay, ranging from 100 ft to 35 ft, and I have hooked salmon jigging there on multiple occasions. Last Friday I spent some time at the Hump throwing buzz bombs to gauge if there were any salmon lingering in the area. After an hour of casting and catching shaker salmon I hooked into something big which immediately spit the hook out as I was re-calibrating my drag (I was using my Temple Fork steelhead casting rod which only had 10lb test line on it). At about sunset, say maybe 8:30, I dropped the trolling gear in the water to 85 ft and almost immediately had a strike. I played the fish delicately on a new Islander mooching reel and landed the lunker after the second swipe of the net. It wasn’t the only salmon I landed this summer, but it was the first out of a tin boat by myself.