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57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was noticing the Black Gold post below and was wondering how many other fly-in lodge junkies like me there are out there. So let's go, what's your favorite lodge and why?

(I've been to Dolphins North, Ole's and Joe's): My vote is Ole's in the Hakai Pass for proximity to great fishing holes, exceptional service and great food (boats are awesome even though they are tillers, and equipment is average).

(must be the off-season - I am getting desperate for fishing talk...might be a long winter - harharhar)

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347 Posts
Picking up on above request please. Wife and I have fished B.C. many times would enjoy experiences on the fly out lodges here, you all have helped so much in B.C., Agassiz , Fraser River, your input on the above post would be much appreciated. Thanks. Salt.

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52 Posts
I'll go back to Salmon King Lodge any time . Everything was over the top. Service, food ,scenery, equipment, and of course .....fishing. You really can't beat playing a really nice coho. Best times I had this year. :D

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116 Posts
IMO Queen Charlotte Lodge is awesome. One of the best fishing grounds foresure and excellent staff and Great food but the overall price might hold you back. Also Big Spring lodge is and alternative to the fishing ground has great staff and awesome food, and it won't leave you broke!


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What are some of the prices? I've brought my boat up in the past mostly because of the money I save,"for more fishing gear", and for the freedom to go where ever when ever. But it would be nice to go worry free and fly in once in a while. :beerchug:

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57 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just about every lodge has a website, so you can search each for details... General rule of thumb, QCI lodges are around $3800-4500 and for the Hakai Pass and Rivers Inlet they are $2500-3200... the closer you get to Vancouver the cheaper it becomes :peace:

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189 Posts
eric77 said:
hello new to the forum but was wondering if anybody had any info on the sevice and fishing at st johns lodge
Well since you asked here's my report from last year.Originally posted on Sportfishing BC this report drew a lot of attention and I even got a call from the lodge Manager-he promised to get back to me in a week-that was 7 months ago-he never called again! :confused:
This is a 2 part report on fishing up @ Milbanke Sound @ area as well as my stay @ St John's Lodge Aug 28-September 1st 2006.

Salmon fishing
Started off slow and more or less stayed that way the whole trip with a few flurries toward the end.
A push of mid sized Spring Salmon hit Cheney Point on the 30th but by the next day only one was hooked-out of my boat.

Cape Mark
A few short bites but stayed quiet for the most part.

Conspicuous by their absence, a fact the lodge refuses to address.
As per another post on this site something very unusual has happened to Coho stocks this year numbers are way down.
Past years a person could count on a Coho every 5 minutes if they targeted them no such luck this year.
Again a push of Coho the last 2 days salvaged the trip for many but action was thin compared to years past.
A person wonders why there are so many 2 year old squibs biting but no mature fish.

Strong action for the well equipped and knowledgeable.
I love to wrestle Lings off the bottom with my light muskie rod, Rockfish and even a couple Cabezon all came from Rempstone Rocks south of Cape Mark.

As is often the case in this area very slow one 50# fish and few under 15# were all that came in.

Man Alive some mornings you never saw so many Jellies there were everywhere an absolute mess and stingers thrown in for good measure made fishing Cheney a misery until the tides pushed them out.

St John's Lodge
You've no doubt heard about this place the converted BC Ferry that's heavily promoted on the radio and elsewhere.I've been to a number of all-inclusive lodges on the coast over the years so was quite keen to see how they measured up.

Fishing operation
Well setup and smooth running on the surface at least.
Electric downriggers make all the difference especially for us 'older folks'.I used my own gear as I don't trust lodge gear especially late in the season.
The GPS/Depthsounder units were a bit of a joke but as with all cheap electronics if you turned it off/on they started back up.
Very little support offered for anyone who fished unguided-questions about technique/depths/etc. to the Fishmaster were met with non committal grunts or offers of guides for hire, a poor showing overall.

The rooms were built a decade ago and look much like any $40/night hotel room anywhere in the province, very poor value.

Quite poor overall, so many items seemed to have been sourced from Costco it was laughable.
The cook did no baking at all all bread/pastries were all frozen and the same food appeared meal after meal.Many of the guests did enjoy their meals(helped along by the barman who loved to free pour) but overall compared to other lodges coast wide St John's again offers poor value.
The greatest disappointment for me personally was to see the pre frozen Costco Seafood, much of it farmed, that they offered.The toughest Crab Claws I ever tried to eat, watery farmed Prawns, I could go on & on but you get the picture.

The Lounge-St John's dining room/lounge has a million dollar view of the Harbour and the Islands to the west and since it's quite separate from the rooms people can party late without disturbing the other guests.The room could use a reno as it's looking a bit tired around the edges.
Sad to see non-smoking rules flouted openly by the Owner, his friends and even the Manager.They don't notice the stink but non smokers sure do. :wallbash:

Fish Care
This is where this place fell down hard for me personally.
I was stunned when I got home and opened my fish box-the Coho I asked to be left whole had been filleted so that I can't take them to the smokehouse.
Each and every time I brought in a Coho I specifically asked the cutter for 'head off/guts out' and told then I was taking the fish to Bruce's Market in Albion.It seems my requests were routinely ignored, this after I gave the cutter Jamie, a new filleting knife as a tip!
He mentioned a couple times how much easier it made his job, maybe too easy.
On one of my Bottomfish trips I killed a 30# Lingcod which caused a stir on the dock.Now normally I wouldn't kill a Ling that big but I'd gone through a lot of gear and she had my last jig deep in her throat and so I bonked the fish.
Now since I'm a single guy I expected to be eating those fillets for some time to come-many fine meals.
Imagine my surprise when I found that instead of cutting the filets into portion sized chunks I was left with 2 whole sides vacuum packed!
That's 10 pounds of Lingcod in one package!
How in the name of all that's holy am I going to eat all that?
The answer is of course is that most of it will now go to waste.[:(]
There were a number of other screwup with my fish as well I won't go into detail-enough is enough.

I did talk to someone in the Office as soon as I discovered the missing fish/screwups and they promised to get back to me but I have no great hopes of an even settlement.

Talking to a friend who Guides there off and on through the season he told me the place is notorious and this was confirmed by a customer @ work who's familiar with the operation.

So if you're thinking of a trip to St John's best think carefully, there are a number of places I could name that offer better value. St John's does have some excellent people working there but the system they operate under seems to undermine their efforts.The high return rate of 80% means a touch of arrogance permeates the place, IMO a bad sign.

Dogbreath-aka Carl Z

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78 Posts
That's why it's silly to go to the big lodges...you aren't treated with quite the amount of care as you would be if you went to a smaller lodge or private charter. My father and I run our fishing charter company (Serengeti Fishing Charters, www.serengetifishingcharters.com) out of Port Hardy on Vancouver Island..fishing along the coastline of the mainland. You won't find better fishing but more importantly there aren't going to be hundreds upon hundreds of people along with you..it makes it a more personal experience. I never could figure out why people go to the big lodges...maybe just reputation and they have the money to. Last year 90% of our clients limited out on salmon...and 100% caught a Tyee. This is much better than the 70% a large named lodge flaunts.

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280 Posts
Well,Bro has been back to North King twice since i last posted about this lodge.
Had two great trips with plenty of fish.
Not a fancy lodge but very accomodating with a personal touch.
Nice looking boats and good equipment.
Bro is going back in Sept for there Coho derby so will get another report in a month or so.

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90 Posts
I've fished Milbanke twice, once out of Shearwater and once out of Westcoast Resorts.

Caught lots of fish both times. Disappointing to hear that last year was slow for Coho. From what I hear, this year isn't much better.
It was a long run to Cheny from Shearwater (45 minutes each way) but was well worth it. The guide showed us a Hali spot that produces the big ones. You may only get one bite each time but chances are it will be a slab.

I fished Hakai twice. Both times with Hakai Beach. Nice lodge and accomodations but did not have any good times there. The first time, our group went unguided. Big learning curve at Hakai and needless to say we did not do well. All the other guides tubbed out on slabs while we could only get coho. I caught the only chinook on that trip which won our group derby. We received very little in the way of instruction and were given the worst gear. Decided to give the lodge another chance and booked a guided trip for our group. We specifically booked two of their best guides and was assured a few days before the trip that we would get them. When we showed up we were given a couple of freelancers as guides one of which had not fished Hakai before. Needless to say we did not do very well.

I fished the Charlottes out of Englefield through West Coast Resorts. It was an extremely well run lodge and I had a great time. The food was awesome and the accomodations were very comfortable. All the staff were very friendly and attended to your needs. The boats were filled with fuel and cleaned everytime you came in, even when you came in for lunch. The thing that impressed me the most was the care and attention that they gave to your catch. When your boat comes in, the fish are immediately placed in a tote and shovelfulls of shave ice poured on top. The tote is then carried to the fish cleaning dock where the fish are placed in a much larger tote along with the other fish (they tag all the fish of course to identify who's it is) to await the cleaning. The larger tote is filled with ice slush/water. The fish are then gutted and filleted and the fillets are rinsed off in another tote with a cleaner ice slush mix. The fillets are then vac packed and flash frozen.

Oh yeah the fishing was great too!

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219 Posts
Well, it sucked at Black Gold. The accomadations, staff and boats/tackle were great but...no fish. OVer 4 days our group of 8 got 2 Springs(both 37lb), 9 'Hos and 3 Pinks. The two Springs in our group were the only two taken over the 4 days. Fishing was so slow. I was wondering if maybe the big push of fish has come through already and it was too late in the year? Of course you're not going to get any straight answers from the lodge staff. We're talking about going someplace else next year, seems the fishing in River's Inlet is dying.
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