Author: douganddeb

Always an inspiration!

What can we say about Ron and Judy. Perhaps we should say your age is just a number, one that shouldn’t get in the way with a good adventure. Joined with friends Randy and May we embarked on another adventure. Weather forced the group to leave their Gold Wing motor bikes at home but that didn’t get int he way of their trip from Edmonton, to Prince Rupert and then on to Alaska for a drive around the top of the world highway. Barely enough time on a 4 day trip to get updated on all the travels of this group but needless to say we live vicariously through their travels. Although a Chinook ban was in place the trip was awesome with summer weather, great halibut fishing, and some outstanding eagle shows in our picturesque and quite anchorages. A 42 pound halibut on a spinning rod in the anchorage added a little excitement as well. Always happy to see you Ron and Judy, safe travels with Randy and May and we hope to catch up on your new travel adventures soon.

In the Blink of an Eye

Twelve years ago we were joined by Emmett and his two sons Sean and Max. The boys were 16 and 14 years old and full of infectious enthusiasm for their first ocean fishing experience. It was a great trip and we parted with hope that we would see them again soon.  Well soon turned into 12 years and Emmett returned without the boys, instead he brought two young men Sean and Max as well as his son in law Andrew. The boys had gone to university, graduated, (started shaving) all in what seemed the blink of an eye. What didn’t change was their enthusiasm and once again we had a great trip. A run of hard fighting spring salmon some great halibut and good weather all contributed for another memorable trip. On parting we made Emmett promise that another 12 years can’t go by before we see them again, he promised!

Before!

After

Chinook Conservation Measures for the North Coast

There has been lots of headlines of late regarding salmon fishing closures in various areas of the BC coast. I would like to take a minute to clear the air regarding some of the misleading information and how it impacts the areas fished by the Thunder 1. First of all the main headlines are mostly centered around the southern resident killer whales ( SRKW) and the need to protect their primary food source (Chinook Salmon). This is a concern as their population is dwindling however this is not related to the measures implemented on the North Coast as our Chinook are headed for the watersheds of the Nass and Skeena Rivers and not part of their foraging area. Our Chinook stocks have been decreasing and this has been known for many years by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). The unfortunate part in my view is that action should have been implemented several years back and those actions could have prevented the complete closures that we now face as recreational anglers.

Here is how the measures affect the areas fished by the Thunder 1.

Chinook salmon limits have been reduced from 2 a day and 4 in possession, to, 1 a day and 2 in possession effective June 1 to 15th.

On June 16th to July 9th we will not be able to keep a Chinook and any caught must be released.

On July 10th we will once again return to 1 a day and 2 in possession for Chinook and this will stay in place until the end of August.

Coho, Pinks, and Chum have not been affected. We will still be able to retain these species with limits of 4 a day and 8 in possession.

For our guests booked during the closure of Chinook there is some disappointment however the good part is Coho are usually present during this closure period and all our guests should be able to take home some wonderful north coast salmon. Our guests must realize they can still hook and fight the Chinook Salmon and we will take the best care to release these fish so that they survive. Catch and release an important part of angling that will hopefully return our Chinook to their former levels.

Halibut limits are still 1 per day and 2 in possession and we have had great success in catching some wonderful eating hali’s to take home. Don’t forget a trip aboard the Thunder 1 almost always involves some fresh dungeness crab and some mouth watering spotted prawns.

Please keep in mind a trip aboard the Thunder 1 has always been more than just the fishing. You get to board an iconic wood Whal trawler that is meticulously maintained and wonderfully appointed inside. You enjoy awesome scenery, fine food, wildlife encounters with whales and eagles and quiet anchorages in our northern wilderness. The fishing may vary from year to year but we will strive to make your experience positive and memorable. Come and join us for a once in a lifetime experience with Thunder 1 Adventures.

Inside Passage Trip Voyage in 2018

With the Thunder 1 looking good after her major refit we were joined by our friends and guests Phil and Deb for an 8 day cruise to Prince Rupert. What an awesome trip we had, sunny skies and a Cape Caution crossing that was as calm as any we have ever had. Stops in Fury Cove, Hakai Beach, Ocean Falls, Green Inlet, Swanson Bay , Khutz inlet, and Lowe Inlet. All beautiful spots that gave us the opportunity to walk the beaches, catch some fresh prawns and crabs and enjoy the whales in the Great Bear Rainforest. If you have never done this trip consider joining us one year for a truly awesome experience. Thanks to Deb and Phil for sharing the journey this year and we wish them many adventures on their new boat.

 

 

Ocean Falls

Winter 2017-18 Wahl Boat Major Cabin Rebuild on the Thunder 1

Summer 2017 was a great year for Thunder 1 Adventures, great guests and a busy year found us headed south for Vancouver Island late September. Sunny weather greeted us on the south coast and we had a few weeks before slipping into the boat shed in Maple Bay at Cove yachts. It was time for a major overhaul on the cabin top of the Thunder 1 and it would prove to be a big project. Under the watchful eye and skill on our friend and shipwright Gord Nelson we dug into our project. Removing the old cabin top as well as the port cabin side was the first step. Once we had assessed the scope of the work we started the rebuild process. 4 months later the Thunder was back together, lots of new fiberglass, insulation, new wiring lights and a host of other upgrades involved in the rebuild. The final product was outstanding, many thanks to Gord and the skilled workers involved. The project secured the life of our vessel for many years to come. Time now to refocus on our upcoming season and more adventures on the north coast of British Columbia.

Southbound

 

 

After a great season it was time to point the bow south and head for our winter home on Vancouver Island. Always a beautiful trip we left Rupert on Sept 14th. for Comox. Accompanied by some beautiful fall weather we motored towards our first stop in Lowe Inlet. The trip south winds its way through the Great Bear Rain-forest and the protected inlets and Fjords of our spectacular coast. Although we have done the trip over 30 times we never cease to be amazed at how much we have not seen. Humpback whales, dolphins, bears, sea lions, and hundreds of different sea birds accompany our journey. Always time for a little fishing it seems we can catch our dinner at every stop. The highlight of this years passage was our sighting of the Spirit Bear while cruising down Princes Royal Reach. We were fortunate to be able to view this rare and awesome bear for over 30 minutes by ourselves while we floated just off shore. An unforgettable day!! With a good forecast we crossed the open water by Cape Caution and with the tides on our side we glided into Comox Harbour 8 days after our departure. Time to catch up with family, see the grand kids and get our land legs back. To all our guests who joined us this year, thank you. We hope we provided you with an awesome fishing adventure and that we can host you again in the near future. 

Finished, Not Quite

As much as we enjoy guiding our guests Deb and I do enjoy some fishing time to ourselves at the end of the year. With fly rods in hand so graciously built for us by our client and friend Larry we geared up the islander reels and set up for some fun for the crew. Wish we could have saved this weather for our guests as we enjoyed sunny hot clear skies and no wind. As usual Deb the halibut slayer could not be denied and even when we anchored in shallow water to enjoy the sunset she hooked up a beauty halibut who put on a wild fight. Some great double header action on the fly rods which is always a event when you have only two anglers. Even with the guides on the rods the fish still win a few but we got our share of action and relished the warm sun and calm seas. Sadly we put away the gear and made preparations to take our vessel south for the winter. A big project awaits us as we plan a new roof but first a little down time, visits with family and friends and reflections on another great season.

Last but not least

With some last minute planning we were able to board Nathan his son Brody, Jeff and his son Tyler. Great timing as out season was coming to an end and we were able to showcase some awesome fall Coho and halibut fishing as well as some great whale watching. With the boys quick on the rods and the Dad’s happy to watch the action we were on to some nice Coho and some great halibut fishing. While the salmon slowed slightly the halibut did not and we had a full compliment

of tasty flat ones in not time. Angling hard right to the last minute we finished with a flurry and added 4 nice Coho and a Chinook on the last morning. A great group here’s hoping with your busy work schedules we can squeeze you back in again next year!!

Welcome Back Norm and Arlene

The clear winner as a repeat customer for Thunder 1 is Norm. Not always accompanied by his lovely wife Arlene but often, Norm has fished the Thunder with us and the previous owner for over 20 years. After a nasty fall last year just days before their trip Arlene broke her ankle and they had to scrub the trip. As always we did our best and were able to accommodate them this year in almost the same time spot. Accompanied by their sons Brad and Stephan we headed out just one year late. The weather was not that memorable but the fishing certainly was. No strangers to the odd windy wet day our crew was undaunted and fought fish after fish until we couldn’t take another. With the wind limiting our halibut opportunities we still managed to pick off some nice ones in spots sheltered from the wind. A great trip and with Arlene back to her fighting strength we look forward to having our friends and guests back still one more time. Thanks.

The Fish Dude

For the crew of the Thunder 1 it is a long season. It is wonderful towards the end of our year to be rejuvenated by the enthusiasm  of our guests. Thanks to Jeremy for provided that spark by bringing his family, Shelly, Cydney, Ethen and Caylem aka the Fish Dude. A chance for a family to vacation together before Cydney heads off to Ottawa for University (good luck ) and Ethen and Caylem head back to school. It was a great trip. A first for the younger spirits the Coho did not disappoint the only problem was the Humpback Whales were so distracting it was hard to watch the rod tips. Not a bad problem to have. All family members were full on for the fishing but our hat goes off to the youngest of the group Caylem who’s passion for fishing we have not seen equaled in our 13 years. From dawn to dusk it was hard to find him without a rod in his hand, Big fish little fish no problem long as he was fishing. Hard not to use his nickname Fish Dude for he earned it. For that infusion of energy Caylem we thank you! Heres hoping we will get to see all the family again in the future and use their enthusiasm to inspire the crew!

 

Aggravation

Not what you might think when you read the caption. Our group was aggravating but only because of the game they bring and we play in the evening while reliving our fishing stories. The game of course is called aggravation, built in a beautiful wood case by Larry. The trip was anything but and although a review finds a lack of pics it was only because the weather and a wee but of rain prevented us from pulling out the camera gear. Fishing with our friends and return guests, Murray and Noranda, Larry and Vicki is always fun and we enjoyed a great trip while the group fought the Coho on their custom made fly rods. Add some whales, some halibut and some very aggravating games of Aggravation and you have a great trip. As always safe travels and we hope to see these couples again soon.

The Thunder and the Down Under

When joined by our guest from England we thought that might be the farthest traveled guest for our season but we had forgotten that Ross and Trish would start in Melbourne Australia and after  13,000 km would end up aboard the Thunder 1 for their fishing adventure. Hoping that we could showcase our awesome scenery with some sun we were not disappointed. Crazy Coho fishing again kept the reels spinning, with no chance to take a break. Stopping for lunch among the islands Bob grabbed a jigging rod and no sooner hit the bottom at 50 ft when his rod bent to the water and the line peeled off with the drag set hard. No chance on this one as it didn’t stop until it broke the line. quickly tying another jig Bob had another big fish and this one ended up aboard, a beauty 30 lb ling. While the guests took a rest I kept busy cleaning up the catch. Wondering what had peeled off and broken the line earlier I put a halibut hook over the side and stuck the rod in the holder while I cleaned the mornings fish. Bang the rod bent again and Deb picked it up and was in for a wild fight. After a great battle we landed a 70 lb halibut. All three fish were hooked at lunch in 50 ft of water. You never know what you will catch when you put a hook in the water. Perhaps just the icing on the cake while we lay on the hook in a quiet bay two wolves appeared on the beach and wandered in search of food while we watched on. Awesome!! Thanks again Bob and Rose, Ross and Trish for joining us we hope to entice you back again some day.  

Holy Halibut

Finally getting the chance to catch up and blog about great finish to our season. August proved to be excellent again for some great Coho fishing and some even better halibut battles. Welcome Tom and Christine, Robert and Terry. New guests all the way from Ontario we welcomed our new guests and headed out with some sunny days in the forecast. No stranger to the fishing this group was on the gear right away and the fish were in for a fight. The Coho were thick and double headers were the word of the day. We still managed one nice 15 lb spring to add to the catch but the highlight had to be hooking up a monster halibut. When the rod stops dead and with your arms and back into it you only succeed in bending the rod and not moving the fish you know you have a good one. With the maximum size of 133 cm or about 70 lbs we knew this one was going to be well over. Hoping to get some pictures and then release her we worked the behemoth to the surface. When she finally appeared there was a collective gasp as the size of the fish glistening in the clear water was truly amazing. She lay quiet while we got some photos and then we released her know a big breeding female was back in the mix to ensure future halibut fishing. A great trip with some great highlights!! 

Busy as a one arm charter guide

Sorry folks for not up dating my blog recently. I will try and catch up when the dust settles a bit as we close in on the end of another awesome season.

Fishing has been awesome with the Coho swarming the boat, double and triple headers not uncommon. To top it off some big hali’s including a 180 lb brute that we released. Pictures and stories to follow stay tuned.

Summer, better late than never

Welcome, Mike, Barry, Steve, Ross and Bill. Not sure if you brought it but thanks for the heat. As we moved into mid July the salmon fishing continued to be solid mixed with a few nice Springs as well. This group new to us worked hard and their diligence paid off with some awesome fish. Ready to go at all times and working the jigging rods well into the evening they maximized their time on the water and on the rods. Many thanks to their helping hands as a mechanical issue held us up a bit one morning but with all the spares aboard and great help from the crew we were rods back in the water in no time. A close encounter with the Orcas, some great shows from the Humpbacks and once again the Rupert area provided some great  wildlife viewing. Thanks again guys, hope you enjoy your fish!!

There ought to be a law!

Well there was a law or lawyers and there was no legal wrangling just good fishing and good fun. Welcome back Doug and for bringing his colleagues Matt, Steve, Ken and Murray. Yes we had a little rain but the summer gathered steam and provided us with some awesome weather. A magical start as we encountered a super pod of Orcas on our way out. Spread out over 2 km we counted as many as 30 whales and their course took them right across the bow. Amazing!! A morning pull of prawns had our mouths watering for dinner and we set out for some salmon fishing. Wow, holy Coho, Fish On and On , hard fighting Coho, Springs and some sunny weather a great formula for a fishing trip.  A group with a sharp sense of humor

the laughter hung in the air throughout the day.  We hoped this group enjoyed their trip as much as we enjoyed them, thanks Doug, we are glad our daughters brought us together and we hope that we remain in contact for years to come.