The Drought

written by Guest & Friend of the Lodge, Mark Mandell

In 2016 my friend Joe and I finally decided it was time to find some place other than Puget Sound to fish and with that in mind began sampling lodges in BC and SE Alaska. 

It didn’t take long to figure out our requirements. 

  1. A self-guided skiff without (bullet?) holes in the gunwales.
  2. Areas to fish that weren’t an hour (or more) run from the lodge.
  3. An absence of sea lions, gill netters, and tugs hauling barges, but lots of breaching-in-your-face humpbacks and killer whales.
  4. A professional and helpful staff.
  5. Lodge owners committed to the quality of their guests’ experience.
  6. Top notch fish-processing and vacuum-packaging on-site.
  7. Beautiful, airy rooms.
  8. Cuisine so excellent that you can’t stop thinking about it, even when the fishing is hot.
  9. Fellow guests in numbers that allow us all to share the same table, and who appreciate the same things we do: exquisite natural beauty, serenity, a sense of boundless abundance, and a Patsy Cline wake-up call. 

In our search Joe and I weren’t looking to turn back the clock to what fishing the Sound used to be. Even 40 years ago it was never like Haa-Nee-Naa. 

Due to factors beyond our control, for the past two seasons we’ve missed that escape and refuge—the thing in the back of our minds as we motor out to Midchannel Bank and jig for salmon amid 200 ball-draggers and boat wake chop like Victory at Sea. The thing that restores us. 

Here’s hoping the drought is over for everyone.


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