Fishing at Cluxewe Resort

Back at camp with the catch of the day

There are two types of saltwater fishing you can enjoy at Cluxewe Resort.

Fishing From Your Boat. You can launch a small vessel from our boat ramp or - if you require moorage - keep your boat at the Port McNeill Harbour, just minutes away. Either way, you are entering world class fishing grounds for salmon, halibut, ground fish, and crab. You can also arrange for guided fishing trips from knowledgeable local guides. Contact the Port McNeill Chamber of Commerce for more information on saltwater guides.

Salt Water Beach Fishing. This is something truly unique to Cluxewe Resort. In August, pink salmon congregate near the beach and pool at the river mouth prior to their journey to fresh water. Fly fishermen come from all over the Pacific Northwest (and beyond) to cast from the beach. Some venture into the sea with hip waders or fishing tubes. Though pink salmon return to the river each year, these runs are generally stronger in even-numbered years. In September, coho also return to the estuary and can be caught by either fly fishing or spin casting.

Newcomers to salt water fly fishing are especially encouraged to come to Cluxewe. There will be plenty of veterans to give you tips (and perhaps share fly tying information). This passage from the well-known book The Gilly will give you an idea of this fascinating form of angling:

For the novice at open water fly casting, the ideal classrooms lie at the mouths of the various North Island rivers - the Adam-Eve, the Cluxewe, or the Keough. Here, beginning late in July, small schools of pinks begin to arrive at the mouths of their home rivers. Fly fishing can be from a boat or wading from the shore and if pink salmon are showing, success is virtually certain.

The fish are easy to locate, often leaping as they cruise along the shallow beaches or porpoising with just their backs showing as they surface. All rivers have what can best be termed a "pink" pool; a tidal pool where pinks hold for a short time when they first enter the river. Such pools, when located, provide a true bonanza for the casting fly fisher.

Casting for pinks has the added bonus of hooking the occasional coho, and on rare occasion, a spring [chinook] salmon which might be cruising the estuary at the same time. [Note: it is not unusual at all to catch coho at the Cluxewe beach, particularly in September.]

For pinks, I use a silver-bodied fly with red tail and red streamer, which I have dubbed the Pink Eve because of the success I have had at the mouth of the Adam-Eve river. It remains my favourite for all seasons. Another good pattern is similar to the blueback retrieve and their take is like the coho, a sudden halt. However, pinks, like whitefish and grayling, have a soft mouth and care must be taken when the hook is set and during the fight.

Quotes taken by permission of the author from The Gilly - A Flyfishing Guide, written by Alf Davy, pages 130-131. This book can be purchased from the author by contacting him at 2781 Lakeridge Road, Kelowna, BC V1Z 1Y1. It costs $21.95 which includes shipping.

For information about guided fly fishing, read the next section.

Freshwater Fishing. There are countless lakes, rivers, and streams in Northern Vancouver Island, and Cluxewe Resort can easily be your base of operations to fish and explore them. Guided fly fishing is a great way to learn the ropes. We recommend two guiding services: Northland Fly Specialty (which also sells tackle and offers flyfishing lessons) and Flyrod Outfitters.

Fishing Regulations and Licenses. We strongly encourage our guests to familiarize themselves with salt and freshwater fishing rules by picking up a copy of current regulations at sporting goods stores. Fisheries and Oceans Canada also posts them on its website. [Note: Cluxewe Resort is located in Management Area 12.]

Guests should also purchase their fishing licenses prior to arrival. Contact the Port McNeill Chamber of Commerce or the Port Hardy & District Chamber of Commerce to find out the closest place to purchase a license.



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