I’ll start this off by getting the crappy stuff out of the way: The day I left Denver on my way to British Columbia I felt a tickle in my throat and I was sneezing. Long story short, I caught a cold that kicked my ass during the entire vacation. As a result, I had little motivation to get out my camera and therefore have very few photos worthy of the photoblog. That isn’t to say I didn’t shoot at all; I just have very few images worth sharing. I’m disappointed that I got to my favorite place on the planet and didn’t have the energy to do some really good photography. Nevertheless, the fishing was fun and I enjoyed myself.
Now for the good stuff.
The first day, we fished with Mark Grant, a well-known outfitter in the Sooke area. I met Mark on the trip two years ago. He’s a swell guy and he knows the waters around Sooke probably better than anyone. We were on the ocean for just about three hours before we caught our limit of spring salmon and called it a day. Time flies when you have fish on your line the entire time. The hightlight of morning was Ted’s 32-pound spring. A 32-pound salmon huge, if you’re wondering.
Days two and three of our trip coincided with the 2007 Sooke Fishing Derby. On these days a good friend of uncle Ted, Mark Tolliaffero, took us out on his boat. Just as we began to fish a pod of whales surfaced right in front of the boat then swam right beneath us. It was an awesome sight, for sure. But, salmon have an understandable tendency to avoid predators and we hardly saw any fish the rest of the day. It turned out to be 12+ hours of sitting in an uncomfortable seat of a gently rocking boat in complete silence. Add a gentle breeze and some warm sunshine and top that off with a healthy dose of cold medicine and you the makings for a great nap. We eventually caught a couple springs near the end of the day, one of which qualified for the derby. That fish was mine, and it finished dead last in the competition.
The third day was much like the first, but add some fog. We bagged our catch just a few hours into the day. This time Harold caught the big fish – a 28.6-pound spring that qualified for the tournament. Harold and his fish ended up taking eight place in the tournament. I’m sure it will be delicious when we get it back from the smoker.
This visit wasn’t all fishing. Diane, being the big supported of the arts in Sooke, scored admission for everyone to the Purchaser’s Preview event of the 2007 Sooke Fine Arts Show. After the show we had dinner at this swank joint, the name of which I cannot remember right now. I made it over to 17-Mile House for a burger with their kick ass garlic mayo. I had another burger at another pub, whose name I also can’t remember. I did make it down to French Beach one evening just for an hour or so before I ran out of energy.
As usual, Vancouver Island was beautiful. The Sooke area is growing though, and it scares me to think what it’s going to be like in 5+ years. It’s not going to be the same small town we know today.
OK… now run over to my photoblog and check out some photos of Canada. I have about 15 that I’ll be posting, one per day or so, over the next two or three weeks.