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Are you looking for a British Columbia fishing lodge that offers a remote wilderness location and a variety of terrific fishing opportunities?
I can remember the first time I absolutely fell in love with Canada and knew that it was always going to be a place I wanted to fish. Even though I was fortunate enough to grow up in tropical far North Queensland (literally in the rainforest) I felt that that the Canadian landscape was a site that I had always craved. Maybe I just read too much about Canadian wilderness as a kid…
Getting to Blackfish Lodge is a fun, interesting, and scenic part of your adventure. Floating peacefully in a private inlet on remote Baker Island, Blackfish Lodge is only accessible by floatplane or boat. The lodge is about 35 miles northeast, across Queen Charlotte Strait, from Port McNeill (which is located on the northeastern edge of Vancouver Island). Their genuine, custom-built, BC floating lodge is your comfortable and cosy home base for delightful days of fun and relaxation. You’ll see stunning Canada wilderness scenery, abundant wildlife, and, of course, have great fishing. Combining the best of a British Columbia salmon fishing lodge and freshwater fishing lodge means fishing opportunities for all skill and experience levels.
The Location Species
Cutthroat Trout, Are native to Coldwater tributaries of the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountain. An absolutely fantastic adversary on the fly. They love our crystal clear well oxygenated shallow rivers and creeks.
Rainbow Trout, (Steelhead Trout) Considered by many anglers as the most beautiful in the trout family although many would say otherwise. No one, however, can say that they are not one of the hardest fighting of freshwater native species.
Dolly Varden Trout, A fantastic looking fish that is a genus of Salvelinus or true char which includes 51 recognised species like the brook, lake and bull trout as well as the Arctic char. They are a superb fighting fish and love the well-oxygenated rivers and creeks we have access to.
Pacific Salmon, Of 10 species of Pacific salmon blackfish Lodge is fortunate to have many of them available to visiting anglers. Pink salmon are the smallest of the species and Chinook Salmon the largest which can exceed the 100lb mark.
–> Chinook Salmon, Also known as the king salmon. As mentioned above they are the largest of the Pacific and the waters that we fish if you manage to cook a big one you will definitely be taken for a walk downstream. They are an aggressive fish by nature, therefore, making them a lot of fun to target.
–> Coho Salmon, This fish is a hard runner right from that first moment it feels the weight of your fly rod and loves putting on an acrobatic show. They are deep-bodied with bright silver sides with a darker back perfectly camouflaging them. Also known as the silver salmon.
–> Pink Salmon, I may not be big but I sure am strong and fast. The most abundant of the Salmon family these fish ounce for ounce give as good as they get!
–> Sockeye Salmon, Any fish that travels as part of a Wolf Pack is going to be fun on fly… The wahoo’s speed is incredible – they get up to 76 km/h Wahoo fishing is an incredible experience!
–> Chum Salmon, There is a particular sound your stress drag makes when you hook a chum salmon locally known as dirty dogs. They move so quickly that you need to be alert as the fish may be already on its way to freedom before you realise you have even hooked it. Anyone
Halibut, The world largest flatfish and probably the best eating as well. Just up the road a couple of years ago a 482lb fish was caught. They offer some absolutely sensational Halibut fishing and we know you will love the place.
A visiting fishing writer, describing one of our smaller streams, wrote “…I nearly gasped! There before me was the most picturesque pool one could ever imagine…This spot will be recorded in my memory banks as the single most beautiful pool I have ever had the pleasure to fish.”
Fly fishing in British Columbia is full of variety. Our fishing spots are located within a 10-50 minute boat ride from the lodge. Some of these locations require short to moderate hikes, so guests should have the appropriate physical mobility necessary to reach these locations. Blackfish Lodge is licensed and insured for all freshwater fishing. The local streams, lakes, and rivers are 100% catch-and-release and are, indeed, some of the most beautiful, productive, and unpressured waters you’ve never heard of. Fish small streams or bigger water, dry flies or wet. Depending on the time of year, you’ll find yourself hooking resident and/or searun cutthroat trout, dolly varden char and a few rainbow trout. You’ll also find silver, and pink salmon, small numbers of chinook salmon, and, if you’re really lucky, maybe a steelhead.
Freshwater Fly Fishing
Fly fishing in British Columbia is full of variety. Our fishing spots are located within a 10-50 minute boat ride from the lodge. Some of these locations require short to moderate hikes, so guests should have the appropriate physical mobility necessary to reach these locations. Blackfish Lodge is licensed and insured for all freshwater fishing.
When’s the best time for fly fishing British Columbia at Blackfish Lodge? Click here to see a month-by-month description of our season. There is a huge amount of fishable water.
The local streams, lakes, and rivers are 100% catch-and-release and are, indeed, some of the most beautiful, productive, and unpressured waters you’ve never heard of. Fish small streams or bigger water, dry flies or wet. Depending on the time of year, you’ll find yourself hooking resident and/or searun cutthroat trout, dolly varden char and a few rainbow trout. You’ll also find silver, and pink salmon, small numbers of chinook salmon, and, if you’re really lucky, maybe a steelhead.
They have water and fishing opportunities to satisfy every skill level. Experienced anglers will appreciate the variety and challenges of the different streams and waters that they fish.
They are very pleased to provide fly tying and casting instruction to first-timers or beginning anglers. They have taught many a guest who had never touched a fly rod befoe. They will teach casting basics and have you (if you wish) tie a fly or two. Then you will go out on the water.
More often than not, you’ll land your first fly-caught fish.
Our guides will take you into lovely small streams where the sighting of another angler would be an extraordinary event. Tying into a leaping, twisting, running silver salmon in a stream that you might be able to cross in two jumps is quite an angling thrill. Want a real challenge? Bring your 12-14 weight gear, fast sink tip line, a strong arm, and hook a 20-60 pound early summer chinook salmon in a stream on a stripped fly. Landing that fish, however, is quite another matter.
Gorgeous Wakeman River Float & Fish Trip
Your Wakeman day starts off with a 50-minute boat ride from the lodge to Kingcome Inlet and up into Wakeman Sound. Your float trip starts with a short truck ride up the river to your put-in spot. You and your guide will serenely raft your way down the river, fishing innumerable pools and runs. After hooking your fill of salmon, trout, or dollies (depending on the season), you’ll come back to the lodge for another great dinner.If larger water is on your mind, you’ll want to take our full-day Wakeman River float trip. Designated as Class 2 Classified waters by the BC government, we are one of only two lodges authorized to fish the spectacularly beautiful and legendary Wakeman. Again, rarely will you see other anglers. Clear in the spring and turning to a striking jade green colour in the mid-and late-summer, the Wakeman has very often been noted as the highlight of our guests´ trip.
Blackfish Lodge has been granted the only park use permit for the Hunyadi/Ahnuhati conservancy area. We’re very pleased to have added this to our inventory of exclusive fly-fishing water for 2015 and on. This area is one of the last, pristine, never-been-logged areas on the central BC coast. Full of salmon from mid-July through mid-October and sporting a great estuary fishery for sea-run cutthroat trout, you’ll absolutely love spending a day here—especially with the knowledge that no other lodges are authorized to guide in the conservancy.
Saltwater Fly Fishing
Saltwater fly fishing for searun cutthroats and salmon is becoming a popular part of the fly angler’s repertoire. Fishing the estuaries and rock piles for cutts can stir up some nonstop action. The estuaries can also produce some excellent fishing for silvers and pinks waiting to enter the streams. Furthermore, silvers can be fished in other saltwater areas around kelp beds and tidal rips.
Blackfish Lodge has one 21′Grady-White, and two 19′ open “Boston Whaler” type boats. Each boat is fully equipped with GPS, downrigger gear, depth sounders, and quiet, smokeless 4-cycle trolling motors. Personal floatation devices are provided for all guests. All licenses, use of any tackle, and fuel are included in our rates. They provide rods, reels, flies, waders and boots for those who prefer to use our equipment. However, if you wish to bring your own gear you’re welcome to do so.
The first time I took a helicopter to the backcountry in New Zealand we were taken to a small stream that had not been finished at all that particular season we knew that there would not be a lot of fish but the fish we would find has not been cast that in over 12 months should you want even more variety and excitement fly fishing British Columbia, with advance notice, floatplane and/or helicopter charters can be arranged (significant extra charges apply) that will take you right from the lodge to fish nearby pristine and rarely fished lakes and streams.
Freshwater spin Fishing
British Columbia fishing is noted for its excellent variety. All of the local streams, rivers, and lakes are fishable using conventional gear. Trout fishing, salmon fishing, and dolly varden fishing are all very productive. All fish respond extremely well to a cast lure. Equipped with single, barbless hooks, different varieties of spinners and spoons can provide incredible action. Freshwater fishing spots are located within a 20-50 minute boat ride from the lodge. Some of these spots require short to moderate hikes, so guests should have the appropriate physical mobility necessary to reach these locations. Blackfish Lodge is licensed and insured for all freshwater fishing.
Our region is home to native coastal cutthroat trout and some rainbows. The cutthroat can live as a resident variety in the freshwater or as the searun variety. Trout, salmon, and dollies will take a spinner or spoon aggressively. A #2 or #3 Mepps or Roostertail type spinner or a medium to medium-small spoon will work well.
The silver and pink salmon runs in both the small streams and Wakeman River can provide some of the most exciting, fish-’til-your-arms-fall-off fishing you’ve ever had. In early July, you can also hook chinook salmon in the Wakeman and tributaries on a larger spoon or spinner. These fish can be huge, so you may want to bring a reel filled with a lot of 25- or 30-pound test.
They highly recommend the full day float trip down the Wakeman River. Designated as Class 2 Classified Waters by the BC government, they are one of only two lodges authorized to fish the spectacularly beautiful and legendary Wakeman. Rarely will you see other anglers. Clear in the spring and turning to a striking jade green colour in the mid and late summer, the Wakeman has very often been noted as the highlight of our guests´ trip.
Your Wakeman day starts off with a 50-minute boat ride from the lodge to lovely Kingcome Inlet and then up Wakeman Sound to the mouth of the river. The float trip starts with a short truck ride up the river to your put-in spot. You and your guide will serenely float your way down the river, fishing innumerable pools and runs. After hooking your fill of salmon, trout, or dollies (depending on the season), you’ll come back to the lodge for another great dinner.
Blackfish Lodge has one 21´ Grady-White, and two 19´ open “Boston Whaler” type boats. Each boat is fully equipped with GPS, downrigger gear, depth sounders, and quiet, smokeless 4-cycle trolling motors. Personal floatation devices are provided for all guests.
Saltwater fishing for Fishing & Halibut
Salmon fishing BC is world-class. Blackfish Lodge is in prime position to intercept the millions of migrating salmon that go through the bottleneck of British Columbia’s Inside Passage. Blackfish Lodge is situated to take full advantage of the presence of these fish. Trolling is our method of choice and, year after year, our guests really appreciate how consistent our fishing remains. The area is also home to some excellent BC halibut fishing—some spots are within just a few minutes of the lodge. Our largest halibut, which was landed in the 2005 season, topped out at 200 pounds!
In addition to all types of Pacific salmon (chinook, coho, pink, sockeye, and chum), the area also produces large halibut, ling cod, snapper, and a variety of other saltwater species.
Generally, the salmon fishing BC catch limit has been four salmon per day of which two may be a chinook. They encourage our guests to practice conservation and keep only as many fish as you’ll want to eat. You are allowed to take home a total of eight salmon per person. Of these eight salmon, you can keep a maximum of four chinooks. The other four can be a combination of any other of the species. In order to protect some BC fish stocks, retention of wild coho has been limited, but for several years regulations have allowed for retention of one hatchery coho and one wild coho. Currently, the halibut limit is one fish per guest.
Blackfish Lodge has one 21′ Grady-White and two 19′ open “Boston Whaler” type boats. Each boat is fully equipped with GPS, downrigger gear, depth sounders, and quiet, smokeless 4-cycle trolling motors. Personal floatation devices are provided for all guests.
The lodge has standard BC salmon fishing and halibut gear for all guests. Our typical setup is a 9’ mooching rod with a single action (a.k.a. “knuckle-buster”)
Those amongst us have the skill to build something from scratch using local products are indeed the lucky ones. For me my expertise is limited to rock retaining walls and lick-sheds on the cattle station. What we all have the capacity to do however is appreciate the craftsmanship and the lodge is something to absolutely appreciate. Using red and yellow cedar from the nearby forests, Chris and local craftsmen milled the lumber on site and worked together to build Blackfish Lodge. The lodge is heated by a woodstove and has solar power and a generator to provide electricity (we usually turn the generator off for sleeping). There is no TV, but in-lodge wifi internet access is provided. Each private room has a queen and single bed plus a shower-equipped bathroom. The lodge has a kitchen, dining area, and a great room, all with spectacular views. We’re also pleased to offer our guests the use of our lovely sauna. We have a widely varied collection of CDs, and an upright piano for those who like music during their time at the lodge. You’re also welcome to bring your own music CDs or digital music device to set the mood of your trip. Additionally, the lodge is wheelchair accessible (be sure to coordinate with any air or boat travel).
They believe that providing ample, high quality, and delicious food adds to the overall pleasure of your visit. Meals are served and cooked family-style. Our cooks will delight you with both the quality and quantity of food. Of course, they have famous British Columbia seafood delicacies (as available): fresh crab, prawns, salmon and halibut. Good access to fresh produce ensure both variety and quality of meat and produce. You may find homemade soup, prime rib, lamb, fresh salads, pasta, and vegetables on any given night. They also do much of our own baking, and our greenhouse supplies fresh salad greens and herbs. They also serve award-winning Okanagan Valley and imported wines, beer, and other beverages. If you’re going to be out on an all-day salmon or fly fishing trip, they will make sure that there is a generous supply of food and hot and cold drinks on the boat. You can certainly request any preferred foods in advance of your visit. They will also be able to accommodate most dietary restrictions. Again, just let us know in advance or fill out our guest preferences worksheet.
The Lodges Environment
Located within the southern confines of the new Great Bear Rainforest preserve and framed by the rugged mountains of the Coast Range to the east and beautiful Vancouver Island to the west, the wilderness area that surrounds Blackfish Lodge is spectacular.
Vertical rock walls plunge into the ocean and 5,000+ foot mountains brood over inlets and fjords. Along with fishing in BC, a rich variety of wildlife is experienced each day of your visit. Untouched streams tumble through lovely rich forests to join the saltwater. The scent of cedar is borne on the breezes. Other interesting sights and activities will keep you occupied in your non-fishing hours. Explore pristine saltwater lagoons, or go whale- or bird-watching. Have a long picnic lunch in the Burdwoods—one of the most unique and loveliest spots on the West Coast. Perhaps just enjoy curling up with a good book in front of the lodge’s cosy woodstove. No Canada fishing lodge vacation, salmon fishing trip, or fly fishing trip is complete without many opportunities for various kinds of animal watching experiences. The waters of Blackfish Sound, Queen Charlotte Strait, Johnstone Strait, Knight Inlet, and Kingcome Inlet are home to a large and famous concentration of orca whales. Other marine mammals that frequent the area are harbour porpoises, Dall’s porpoises, Pacific white-sided dolphins, harbour seals, Minke whales, humpback whales, and grey whales. Bald eagles are a very common sight as are ravens, kingfishers, and herons. A large variety of other aquatic birds are also present. As you are fishing or moving from place to place, you may see bears, deer, mink, and river otter.
How to get there?
How many times have you been told that getting there is half the fun? Short of using a space X rocket, this is going to be a very cool journey for you. The team at FishingEarth will work with you to put together the most cost-effective and time-efficient travel plans for you. We will work with you to make sure that your budget and time limitations are taken into account and the best route there and of course the best route home. AtThis FishingEarth we get excited for you when you are going on a FishingEarth Fishing Adventure. But the thing that makes us smile is when you walk in your front door ‘home’ safe and sound.
Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, Steelhead Trout, Dolly Verden Trout, Pacific Salmon (Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Pink Salmon, Sockeye Salmon Chum Salmon) & Halibut.
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In locations like this people often imagine that it is not accessible to them. We work with you to find the best possible package that fits your time budget and indeed dollar budget.
The team at FishingEarth will work with you to put together the most cost-effective and time-efficient travel plans for you. We will work with you to make sure that your budget and time limitations are taken into account and the best route there and of course the best route home. AtThis FishingEarth we get excited for you when you are going on a FishingEarth Fishing Adventure. But the thing that makes us smile is when you walk in your front door ‘home’ safe and sound.
Q. Do I need my own fly fishing gear?
A. Yes you do need to take your own fly fishing gear
Q. What type of fishing is the area famous for?
A. The area is famous for its salmon fishing with many of the locations that you will finish rarely touched by human hand or indeed fly fishing rod.
Q. What is the weather like?
A. Always good to pack with some good cold weather clothes as you just never know. But we will work with you to make sure you have the right gear.
Q. What else is there to do?
A. One of the more remote locations on the British Columbia coastline which does have a couple of non-fishing activities. If you are not fishing, eating, enjoying a relaxing chitchat we recommend that you get a good nights sleep for your adventure the next day.
Q. What does FishingEarth recommend?
A. Apart from making sure you get a good nights sleep we recommend that you do a days Heli fishing.
Q. Passport Information
A. You require a valid passport with at least six months till its expiry when entering Canada.
Q. Can we drink the tap water?
A. Some of the best you will ever drink.
Definitely, a bucket list location we recommend that you take every opportunity to finish fish and more fishing.