Langara Fishing Adventures

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Fish Tales Blog

2015 Season Wrap-up

Posted on: Nov 1st, 2015
2015 Haida Gwaii salmon fishing season report

Another 5-star season in 2015!

Our 2015 season at Langara Fishing Lodge and Langara Island Lodge wrapped up in September.

Thanks to everyone who followed the action here on the Fish Tales Blog or on our social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.

Of course, if you just want to look at the pretty pictures, you can jump over to our 2015 Photo Gallery on Flickr, where all of the images shown below, and hundreds more, can be viewed in full-screen resolution.

A special thank you to everyone who shared their photos and memories with us — contributing your brush strokes to a beautiful painting of the 2015 season.

Here’s a look back at another unbelievable year of fishing adventures at Langara Island, with some help from Bill Gibson, Langara Fishing Lodge manager, who provides our fishing reports throughout the season.

Better than our best?

In a nutshell, this past season improved upon a memorable 2014 — a year that we were very comfortable proclaiming one of the best in our 30 years at Langara.

2015 was another season of consistently strong fishing from our first afternoon in May to our last morning in September. Another season of very favourable weather conditions. Another season of increasing whale activity. And, as a result, another season that gave every one of our guests the opportunity to experience everything that makes Langara so special — which, to us, is the true measure of a great season.

Strong Chinook salmon abundance

The biggest headline of 2015 was the phenomenal abundance of Chinook salmon in our waters, building on what has been a multi-year run of increasingly strong abundance for this species.

Evidence for this stellar season started piling up prior to opening day, with our staff finding the salmon ready and waiting when they tested the waters during their spare hours from readying the lodges.

One lucky group of guests kicked things off early at Langara Island Lodge, opening the Raven Cottage four days before our official first trip of the season.

They had the pleasure of enjoying Langara Island all to the themselves for a few days of productive fishing, and bagged our first Tyee of the season — a 31.5-pound Chinook caught on May 23.

From there, the fishing rarely dipped below excellent for the rest of the season.

Huge Chinook returns, destined for the many rivers of origin we encounter at Langara, gave us lots of big days.

The average size of Chinook were similar to last season — in the mid-teens to low-20s, and a bit lighter than the longer-term average — but the overall numbers more than made up for it.

A lot of the smaller Chinook we encounter are early 3-year old fish that follow the mature salmon in to feed and migrate, so their presence bodes well for next season.

And there were plenty of Tyees throughout the season to grab everyone’s attention, including numerous fish in the 50+ pound range along with a couple of 60+ pounders.

The majority of these larger fish were released, and we’re delighted to see our guests derive as much, or more, pleasure from seeing them swim away strongly than tipping the scales back at the dock.

The runs stayed strong and consistent throughout the season and gave, literally, all guests on all trips the opportunity for limits of Chinook.

Other species

Coho salmon numbers dipped slightly compared to 2014, which was an unbelievable year for that species. But their numbers picked up towards the end of the season, in both quantity and average weight. Late August featured many 15+ pounders, and the largest this season was a 19-pound Coho.

It was an exceptional year for bottom fishing, greatly assisted by the favourable weather and water conditions. All of the usual Halibut spots were yielding large quantities of fish.

The current size limits result in a maximum retained weight of around 65-70 pounds, and we saw plenty of flat fish tip the scales in that range. A giant that was estimated to be over 300-pounds was also released.

Speaking of giants, the latter half of our season was full of sightings of huge Ocean Sunfish (or Mola Mola). These exotic fish can reach sizes of up to 10’ and over 2,000 pounds.

Whale of a show

And speaking of even bigger giants, 2015 was another banner year for whale sightings with more Humpback whales than we’ve ever seen. Several Humpbacks seemed to be constantly present in each of those key baitfish spots and large groups were frequently seen in areas all around the island.

These creatures took full advantage of the all-you-can-eat buffet in our waters, actively feeding all season long and putting on countless displays of bubble-net feeding and breaching for our guests to enjoy.

Killer whales were also frequent visitors, particularly Resident whales which usually arrived in very large pods to chase salmon.

Transients, the mammal-feeding eco-type, put on several demonstrations of their incredible hunting skills, as some lucky guests witnessed them attacking sea lions and seals. Another sighting featured several Transients attempting to corner a small Humpback whale near Bruin Bay that narrowly escaped.

Feeding the food chain

Of course, the essential ingredient to this spectacular variety and abundance of life around Langara Island is the baitfish. Herring and needlefish were cooperative again this year, with huge schools filling our waters all season long and fuelling the Langara food chain.

The needlefish (candlefish, sand lance) population this year may have been the largest I have witnessed in 22 years here.

These particular schools concentrated into a few areas this year, making places like Boulder Point, Egeria Bay, Cohoe and Andrews Points consistently strong spots all season long for finding hungry salmon.

Note that all of these areas are just minutes from the lodge and in our lee side waters — key advantages that make fishing at Langara Island such a comfortable experience.

‘Hawaii Gwaii’ weather

The icing on the cake of this great season was the great weather. Beginning in mid-May during set-up, we enjoyed a solid month of dry skies to kick off the season.

A week or two of no rain is usually cause for celebration up here at any time, but to enjoy a run that long in the spring was unprecedented for us.

The rest of the season featured long spells of warm and dry weather, along with a fair mix of typical Haida Gwaii conditions, but absent any storms that slowed down the fishing for more than a day.

The only extreme conditions this year were of the tropical variety, with numerous ’Hawaii Gwaii’ days that some guests took full advantage of.

 

 

Looking ahead to 2016

Our 2016 season is already well over half sold-out (as of early November, 2015), so contact us today to start planning your Langara adventure.

Give us a call at 1.800.668.7544 or send us an email.

And until next season, tight lines and happy landings from all of us at Langara Fishing Adventures!

 

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