We are looking forward to another great fishing season, the 35th since the Kelly Family established the Rivers Inlet Sportsman’s Club. Our Team is very busy at this time of year when we wind up the winter sales & marketing season, & get going with the fishing season’s operations. John is at the lodge now working on the usual repairs to the floats & buildings as well as an addition to our tackle storage & maintenance building. We are ordering supplies & building materials to be shipped in by barge for rig-up, & scheduling all the remaining crew to come to the lodge two weeks before we open for guests. These include painters, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, the fridge/freezer/gas guy, & of course our Yamaha outboard mechanic who makes sure that all our motors are working perfectly for the summer. Our employees - dock hosts, guides, housekeepers, chefs, maintenance personnel & customer service personnel - are eager to get up to the lodge to make everything perfect for our first guests of the fishing season to arrive.
There are so many moving parts to the Sportsman’s Club at Rivers Inlet that it is hard for one person to remember every little detail so we have list upon list. Recently, Barbara, Stephanie & Simon met in Vancouver & went over the A-Z of everything from new appliances to zincs (to prevent galvanic corrosion). This meeting took us several hours because we had about 10 pages of one-word topics to go over in detail!
We are almost sold out of available trips & guiding for this season, so if you haven’t arranged your 2017 fishing dates, please call (800) 663 2644, text (604) 938 3677, or email us at email@example.com right now, & we will do our best to fit you in to fishing dates that suit your schedule. Remember, we have no shoulder season, we open only for the peak of the salmon runs in our area in July & August, so this is the “best time” to fish Rivers Inlet!
The trip from you home destination to & from the Sportsman’s Club is all part of the adventure. Many guests arrange to come into Vancouver a day before the trip & leave the day after to avoid missing our chartered flights, & for a more relaxed pace of travel. Vancouver is bursting at the seams these days with record room rates & occupancy at the hotels, so if you have not done so, make your hotel booking today to get our special discounted rates!
Our new website explains almost everything you need to know about a trip to our fishing lodge, however, feel free to contact us directly at anytime with your questions or to get our updated availability.
For guests with salmon still in the freezer from last season the time now is to eat up the last remaining pieces before filling your freezer up again on your next trip with us. With the nicer weather why not have a gathering of friends & family and try this all-time classic cedar plank salmon recipe for the BBQ in this Newsletter …
Simon & the rig-up crew are heading north to officially start setting up the lodge in a few weeks so it is exciting times. Here are the travel logistics, we take a 1 hour flight from Vancouver to Port Hardy where we spend the night. The highlights there include a big grocery shop where the boys get to buy almost anything that they want. The rig-up workdays are long & hard so the crew needs to be motivated by fabulous food! Our 6 bigger guide boats spend the winter stored in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island & are trailered to Port Hardy where they are launched, fueled, checked over, & packed full of all our gear, groceries & freight. After a big breakfast at first light the next AM, we run the boats 80 miles across the open waters of Queen Charlotte Sound to Rivers Inlet. This journey can take up to 5 hours with a few stops along the way, depending on the wind, tide, current & ground swell. Hopefully on arrival John Salo who does our operations will already have the camp towed out of Sunshine Bay where we store it in winter & in position at our summer moorage in Sportsman’s Bay with the power on & the water up & running. Coming around the corner into our Bay this is always a pleasing sight & extra important this year with Stephanie Simon’s Wife) running in with the boats & Barbara & head housekeeper Jasmine (& Barbara’s Niece) flying in a few days later to be part of the 2017 rig-up crew!
Rig Up Report - 2017
Moving the entire lodge across the Rivers Inlet is a complicated, arduous & expensive task, & many ask why we do this? The reason is location, location, location! Sportsman’s Bay is a few minutes from some of the prime Rivers Inlet fishing spots like Kevin’s Corner, the world famous Wall, the Dome & Cranstown Point. This close proximity to the lodge affords our guests more fishing & less travel time. Guests have the ability to come back to the lodge for meals, re-provision, or simply to take a break from the fishing action. Also, our guests get to fish after dinner until dusk for the “night bite” which is always special as even if the fish aren’t biting it can be a spectacular sunset. And more hours on the water simply means more fish in the boat! The other main rig-up tasks are to fire up the generators, water & sewage treatment plants, fridges & freezers, hot water heaters, pumps, power-washers & various other tools, equipment & appliances. That way we can see what is working, what is not & what parts & new equipment need to be ordered to get everything up & running. The other big job is to launch the fleet of boats from where they are stored for the winter on our docks in Sunshine Bay. We tow them across the Inlet, have a certified Yamaha mechanic install all the motors & electronics. Then the boats are scrubbed & shined & finally the downriggers & fishing gear installed & the fleet is ready to fish. The fun part is that we have to take all the boats out fishing to “test” them over a few days. That usually results in catching the first big trophy Chinook/King salmon of the season as the fishing is typically red-hot on our arrival. Other main projects of note this rig-up are a renovation in Simon & Stephanie’s House, re-doing some staff bathrooms & building a new dedicated downrigger repair shop. It is busy times ahead but rig-up is always fun as everyone is excited about the summer on the water. We will be ready to go to welcome our first guest in early July. It is going to be another epic season of fun & fishing! If you haven’t already done so book your trip today & enjoy a fabulous Rivers Inlet fishing adventure this summer.
Just a quick note to thanks to you & the entire crew at Sportsman’s Club. Despite having organized many client events, this was my first time hosting clients for a fishing trip & it was a huge success! Your staff was warm, friendly & helpful, & the lodge struck just the right balance between “pampering” & “roughing it”. The food was great & just kept coming – I miss the late night fresh cookies!
The time at Sportsman’s was a phenomenal way to spend time with clients; beautiful setting, good food, good fishing, lots of
laughs & lots of competition trying to land the big lunkers.
Recipe - Cedar Planked Salmon
Some say this is the best way to prepare salmon and yields the best fish they've ever eaten.
Pairs well with an Asian-inspired rice and roasted asparagus.
3 (12 inch) untreated cedar planks
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 (2 pound) salmon fillets, skin removed
- Soak the cedar planks for at least 1 hour in warm water. Soak longer if you have time.
- In a shallow dish, stir together the vegetable oil, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, green onions, ginger, and garlic. Place the salmon fillets in the marinade and turn to coat. Cover and marinate for at least 15 minutes, or up to one hour.
- Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat. Place the planks on the grate. The boards are ready when they start to smoke and crackle just a little.
- Place the salmon fillets onto the planks and discard the marinade. Cover, and grill for about 20 minutes. Fish is done when you can flake it with a fork. It will continue to cook after you remove it from the grill.