It’s early morning in Sandspit, Haida Gwaii, and Neil Goodwin is slowly guiding us away from the dock. The bow of his 25 foot whaler is pointed towards the labyrinth of mossy trees that give shape to the mesmeric rain forests of the Queen Charlotte Islands, where Neil lives year round.
He rears back and laughs at superstition as he eats a banana for breakfast on the boat which is known to bring very bad luck to fishing guides. Then he guns the engine. As the boat planes quickly and easily, Neil’s turns back revealing a wide smile. “Do you feel that?” he yells to me over the engine’s whine. “We’re free.”
We were heading to the narrows for the west cost which is an incredibly scenic 45 minute ride.
Neil was concerned with the tide as this route is impassable at low tides. The mountainous views were sensational as we passed through channels that were barely 2 boats wide and could clearly see the bottom the entire time.
It seemed we may do better with a florida keys Hells bay skiff as we ran some serious shallow water, but this was Neil’s daily commute to work and he could make the trip in the dark (and has).
His clients have become his closest friends. “When you’re in a small boat together for ten to twelve hours a day, you quickly get past the small talk,” Neil says.
Saltwater fishing the west coast for salmon is unique because the islands drop off to over 100 feet of water immediately. That means at times you may be fishing just 20 yards off shore in a secluded bay, just off a sharp rock wall, and it is much more interesting than out in open water.
With whales breaching, eagles soaring, and fishing so fast and furious you barely have time to eat a sandwich, this is a saltwater adventure you will never forget.
At Copper Bay Lodge you feel at home, and with only 4 guests a week we have all the flexibility in the world to personalize your trip.
Neil will ensure everything is done to perfection on the water and the staff at the lodge provide a cozy, comfortable environment to come home to on our private secluded beach front property away from town. Our guests are our friends, and join us year after year for many more reasons than the best saltwater salmon fishing fishing in the world.
We are taking bookings now for 2012 so give us call. See you on the water!