Eagle Nook Resort

As the days get ever longer, and signs of spring are all around us (the sun has even made a few brief appearances in Victoria over the last week), we’ve officially started the countdown until our 2017 season gets underway.

In just over 8 weeks we’ll start our annual migration back to Barkley Sound in preparation for a summer that’s sure to be full of great fishing, beautiful weather and ample time to relax by the water (for our guests at least!). Between now and then we’ve got several shorter trips out to the resort planned to work on various projects and make sure everything is running smoothly before the doors officially open to our guests.

The crew(s) that head up on those maintenance trips will most definitely get out fishing at least a handful of times while they’re up, and those of us who stay behind will be looking forward to our first Barkley Sound fishing report of the year. We did already catch word that the Sproat  Lake Loggers’ Derby, which took place the first weekend of March, had another successful year in Barkley Sound. We’re excited to get out and test the waters ourselves, especially during the two derbies being hosted at Eagle Nook Resort this spring.

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A few of last year’s derby contenders with their catch – June 2016

While a small team of staff will be on site for those pre-season salmon derbies, happening the first two weekends in June, the remainder of the group will join us just 4 days before our regular season opening on June 15th. We recently welcomed Ashley, who will round out our 2017 guest services crew, and our team is now close to being fully hired and looking forward to spending their summers on the West coast.

We have a couple spaces still available for our opening weekend, June 15th – 18th, and early season fishing promises to be good so get in touch with us soon if you’re thinking about a fishing trip to kick off your summer!

March on the West Coast means spring is on it’s way, and it’s been a cold, wet and sometimes snowy winter on Vancouver Island so we’re definitely looking forward to warmer weather and longer days.

One major indication that spring is just around the corner is the herring spawn which has started all along the South coast of Vancouver Island. If you’ve been near the water at all in the last couple of weeks you may have noticed the turquoise blue colour that indicates where the fish are laying their eggs.

In the Pacific Ocean herring travel and spawn in schools along the coast of Baja California all the way up to Alaska. Warming water temperatures trigger herring to spawn hence why every year around Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia spawning occurs in early to mid March; schools further South can spawn much earlier in the year while schools further North spawn later.

The herring spawn is an important event on the West coast for multiple reasons, one of those being that herring and their roe are a major food source for seabirds, seals, sea lions, whales and other fish, including Chinook salmon. Like many other fish species, where herring spawn is often not where they live year round so at a time of year when other food sources can be scarce, returning herring provide a welcome relief for predatory species on the West coast.

One of those predatory species are Humpback whales who start their annual migration North to coincide with the herring spawn, traveling from the coasts of Mexico and Hawaii Northbound to British Columbia and Alaska. They often feed close to the shore, and a ring of bubbles on the surface of the water is a telltale giveaway that a Humpback is circling below, trapping herring and other bait fish within a ‘bubble net’ before it lunges through them with it’s mouth gaping open for a quick meal.

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Humpback diving just after feeding in Barkley Sound

Humpbacks can consume up to 1500 kilograms of food in a day so it goes without saying that where there are whales there are herring, and where there are herring there are also salmon. Off the coast of Vancouver Island and British Columbia mature Chinook feed predominantly on bait fish and returns of herring this year are predicted to be great, so although the DFO hasn’t released any official outlook for 2017, we’re sure the salmon will come with them.

The 2017 season at Eagle Nook will open June 15th and we’ve still got a couple early and mid season dates left but they’re booking quickly and in most spots we’ve only got one boat open so get in touch with us soon if you want to have an unforgettable fishing trip on the West coast this summer!

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Derby winner – this 26lb Chinook was caught the first week of June 2016

The Victoria Boat & Fishing Show took place this past weekend and Eagle Nook Resort & Lucky Sportfishing had a booth set up for our second year at the show. Although it’s a smaller event than some of the other shows we attend in the pre-season, it’s an awesome opportunity for us to meet local fishermen (and women) and stay involved with the Victoria fishing community.

Another great event that takes place the same weekend every year is the Pacific Salmon Foundation Dinner & Gala, hosted at The Fairmont Empress in downtown Victoria. The dinner and auction support salmon conservation and rehabilitation projects throughout British Columbia and the Yukon, and it’s a guaranteed good time for all who attend. At last year’s dinner Eagle Nook picked up an inflatable paddleboard from the auction which was put to good use by our guests at the resort last summer.

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We had a large group of past and present members of our team join us at the dinner and it was great not only to catch up with old friends, but also to see so many people out in support of the Foundation and their many projects on the west coast. We’re already looking forward to 2018!

 

 

 

 

 

In west coast fishing news, the Department of Fisheries announced a coast wide halibut fishery opening effective as of February 1st after the International Pacific Halibut Commission meetings in January.

Initially it was proposed that Canada’s halibut catch limits in 2017 be reduced around 25% from last year, however that outlook changed after reps from the West Coast Fishing Guide Association argued a strong case for how well the fishery in British Columbia is managed in comparison to other regions.

In British Columbia catch is closely monitored and recorded, with size limits being strictly adhered to. It’s assumed that extremely large halibut make up the breeding stock so in order to ensure the health and abundance of this stock, no fish over 133 centimetres (about 52 inches) can be retained in Canadian waters. A 133 centimetre halibut weighs between 65 and 70 pounds which is still a large fish by any standard, and the quality of the fillets are exponentially better than what would come from anything bigger.

The regulations that we adhere to in British Columbia have resulted in an increase in both the size and numbers of halibut in Canadian waters over the last several years – a clear indication of a well-managed fishery and a guarantee of great fishing for years to come.

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The outlook for the Chinook and Coho fisheries in British Columbia for 2017 is similar to last year, with catch limits likely remaining the same. Daily limits are two of each species per license, with four of each in possession at the end of your trip, which translates to a full box of fish to take home!

Fishing in Barkley Sound was great all round last year and although the Department of Fisheries hasn’t released any official forecasts for the 2017 season yet we’re anticipating another great summer on the west coast!

 

 

 

Even in the “off-season,” when the days are colder and the salmon are a little smaller, our staff and guides can’t help but get out on the water and do what they do best, fish.

This past weekend a couple of our longtime guides Matt and Kylan, as well as Alli, who just signed on for the 2017 season with us, were out near Sidney and the Gulf Islands hoping to get into a couple winter springs – which they did.

Here’s Alli with a Chinook they landed; winter fishing around Southern Vancouver Island has been great this year, with some fish as big as 15 or 16 pounds being caught off the Victoria waterfront.

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A couple of weeks ago Trotac, a local marine supply company and one of our partners, hosted their annual winter fishing derby. Some of the Lucky Sportfishing team took part, limited out and got to enjoy a flat calm and sunny day on the water – the best way to spend a Sunday!

We also donated an all-inclusive Eagle Nook Resort derby package to Trotac for one of their prizes – the lucky winner will be enjoying 3 nights accommodation, all their meals, guided fishing and the chance to take home yet another derby prize this June!

In other Vancouver Island fishing news, The Department of Fisheries announced yesterday that halibut fishing is open as of February 1st, so next time we head out we might just switch it up and drop the anchor for halibut instead.

Eagle Nook’s doors will open for 2017 in 120 days (not that we’re counting down or anything…) and we can’t wait to get back up to Barkley Sound for the summer runs of bigger salmon, longer sunnier days, and of course another great season spent with new and old friends on the west coast of Vancouver Island. We’re booking new trips in everyday so let us know soon if you want to join in on an unforgettable summer in Barkley Sound!

Fish Onnnn!

 

Guests from Seattle and beyond can take full advantage of the strong US Dollar this summer with a Premium Fishing Package including round trip floatplane transfers right from Seattle with Kenmore Air. Let Eagle Nook Resort and Lucky Sportfishing create an unforgettable west coast getaway for you this summer.

Our exclusive package features…

  • return flights with Kenmore Air
  • ocean-view resort accommodations
  • all meals, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks
  • full access to resort amenities including kayaks, paddleboards, 17 miles of hiking trails, disc golf course, games room & hot tub
  • private, professionally guided charters on one of our fully-equipped 27 ft boats
  • filleting, vacuum-packing and flash freezing of your catch done on site
  • airline approved travel coolers for your trip home

Prime summer dates are already booking quickly so let us know soon if you’d like to experience world class fishing and adventure while staying at one of the most beautiful resorts on the west coast, just steps beyond your own backyard.

Contact us today at 1 (800) 760 2777 or info@eaglenook.com.

While all across the nation Canada is abound with natural beauty and wildlife, the rugged Pacific Rim is considered by many to be the ultimate destination. Every summer thousands of visitors from around the world flock to the west coast of Vancouver Island to experience untouched coastline, close encounters with wildlife and world class fishing, and while most make it as far as the coastal towns of Tofino and Ucluelet, some venture even further to more remote destinations like Barkley Sound.

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Eagle Nook Resort

Home to Humpback and Gray whales, Orcas, bald eagles, black bears and coastal wolves just to name a few, Barkley Sound is one of the best places in Canada to witness wildlife in their natural element. It’s not uncommon to spot black bears scavenging along the shoreline at low tide, or have a Humpback whale surface alongside your boat while you’re out fishing – in fact for locals and summer residents it’s considered the norm.

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Barkley Sound is also where you’ll find the Broken Group Islands, a remote archipelago of islands that are world renowned for their kayaking and wildlife viewing opportunities. National Geographic has even listed kayaking in the Islands as one of their ‘Must Do Trips,’ calling the experience a “kayaker’s dream,” and one afternoon spent gliding through sheltered coves within an arm’s reach of colourful starfish, anemones and urchins is a clear indication of why.

And all this is without mentioning the world class salmon and halibut fishing that brings fishermen (and women) from across Canada, the United States and Europe to Barkley Sound every summer. From May until mid September, alarm clocks up and down the west coast are set bright and early for 5:00am to be out on the water for the morning bite. The thrill of landing your first Chinook salmon is second to none, and it’s what brings so many people back to the Sound year after year.

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Salmon fishing in Barkley Sound at Eagle Nook Resort

There’s no better way to experience the west coast of Vancouver Island than from the water, and there’s no better hosts to experience it with than Eagle Nook Resort. Nestled deep in Barkley Sound within the shelter of Vernon Bay, Eagle Nook is where wilderness meets luxury, and it’s the ultimate place to make your home base while you spend your days exploring the rugged BC coast.

Offering fully customizable accommodation and activity packages, Eagle Nook has something for everyone, whether that be seeing wildlife up close and personal, experiencing the coast from the low profile of a kayak, landing a trophy salmon, or all three. With drive and fly in options available, it’s easier to get to than you’d think, and with all the comforts of home and more in one of the most remote and beautiful locales on the west coast, you’ll be glad you made the trip.

Whether it’s an annual retreat or a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience with Eagle Nook Resort in Barkley Sound.

 

 

 

 

Eagle Nook Resort is one of few resorts on the west coast with an Artist-in-Residence, and probably the only one whose Artist specializes in fish rubbing, or Gyotaku as it’s traditionally called.

Mya Deryan has spent her last four summers at Eagle Nook creating custom artwork for guests and staff alike. Her unique art form involves covering a fish in specialized black ink, and carefully placing a cloth or parchment over it to take a precise impression of her subject. The resulting impression is extremely detailed, showing every inch of the fish, down to the eyes, individual scales and even teeth.

While some guests prefer to leave their rubbings in black and white, Mya can also bring pieces to life with colour and even create three dimensional reliefs of rubbings. Part of what makes fish rubbing souvenirs so popular among our guests is that the fish is still perfectly edible once the impression is done. Not only do you go home with a one-of-a-kind piece of art, but your fish can still be filleted, vacuum-packed and sent with you!

 

Hiring for a resort that’s only open three months of the year is no easy task, so every year we start early, posting ads and recruiting people that we think will be the perfect fit for our unique lifestyle.

This season we’ll have a few returning faces, James and Ben, who whip up the gourmet meals that guests and staff get to enjoy everyday; Dennis, who keeps the resort up and running smoothly 24/7; Nadia, who goes back and forth from trip coordination, to dock handing, to guiding adventure tours, and of course our fearless leader Bossman Dan.

At the end of last year we said goodbye to Martha, who was our amazing housekeeper and knower of all things. After 17 years with Eagle Nook Martha made the decision to start a new chapter and while we couldn’t be happier for her moving forward, we were definitely sad to see her go. She certainly left big shoes to fill but we’re confident the perfect person is out there!

We’re also excited to be welcoming some new faces to the roster for 2017, Alli, who has a season in Bamfield under her belt and is looking forward to completing her business practicum with Eagle Nook, and Alyssa, who’s bringing her skills as bartender and server extraordinaire all the way from Edmonton. Alli, Alyssa, Nadia and two more yet-to-be-announced team members will round out our guest services team for 2017, and they can’t wait to get the season started.

If you’ve fished on the West Coast of British Columbia chances are you’ve probably heard the term “Tyee” a couple of times, maybe you’ve even been lucky enough to catch one of these huge fish yourself.

The name Tyee carries a certain reverence about it; even if you’re not entirely sure what it means, you know it’s something significant. The word actually comes from the language of the Nuu-chah-nulth people, the original human inhabitants of coastal Vancouver Island. It means king, chief or champion. Makes sense.

To fishermen on the West Coast, Tyee means Chinook salmon weighing over 30 lbs. They’re considered a trophy fish and a pretty big deal to land. Tyee are definitely the king of Salmon so it makes sense to want to keep some sort of souvenir of your catch. Luckily for guests at Eagle Nook instead of just taking a couple photos, our artist-in-residence, Mya Deryan, can create a life-sized rubbing of their fish and it can still be filleted and taken home for dinner. And really, it doesn’t matter what sized fish you catch, time spent fishing is time spent well.