I’ve always thought a Pacific salmon fishing trip would be something to experience at least once…lucky for me I got an opportunity to take part in the first annual Trout Unlimited Canada derby with Nootka Marine Adventures. After carefully packing the trophy, a beautiful hand blown glass salmon from Bavin Glassworks, we boarded the plane in Calgary with our precious cargo. Arriving in Comox we met most of the other derby participants and headed to Moutcha Bay Resort on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Nookta Marine Adventures operates three resorts, including Moutcha Bay, Nootka Sound, and Newton Cove. At Moutcha Bay we were met by our friendly guides who took us by boat to Newton Cove Resort, a floating resort nestled in a secluded cove. It didn’t take long to settle in to the quiet beauty of this place.
For the next three days, we got up early to enjoy a delicious breakfast and coffee, pack a sandwich and snacks then board Nookie Time with our guide, Cooter. This prairie girl isn’t used to the rolling waves and swells of the ocean but I persevered!
I’m also used to fly fishing for small trout in small streams in Alberta…so reeling in an 18 pound Chinook Salmon was an exhilarating experience not to forget! It wasn’t big enough to win the derby but I was thrilled nonetheless.
On the last day, after catching our limit of salmon, Cooter took us to a spot to try for halibut. After a few hours, we had a bite! When I took the rod I had no idea what I was in for, or that landing this fish would take some muscle. When we laid eyes on the fish I understood why it felt so heavy…it was huge! Thankfully, it was within the allowable size so in dramatic fashion, Cooter got the 50 pound beast in the boat.
After each day of fishing, we enjoyed “happy hour” on the dock and watched the other boats come back with their catches. Guests caught Chinook and Coho Salmon, Lingcod, Rockfish, and Halibut. The folks at Newton Cove expertly cleaned our fish, cut them into portions, vacuum sealed it, froze it, and packed it for transport home.
Newton Cove was a great place to spend a few days. Besides the fishing, we also took advantage of gear available to borrow and took the stand up paddleboards out for a little paddle around the cove. After each day on the water, we were treated to a gourmet meal prepared which included fresh fish and veggies from resort’s garden. This trip was certainly a highlight of the summer!
Many thanks to Lesley for joining me on the trip and writing this amazing guest post!