At half past nine, out on the west coast of Langara at Lacy Island, after two-and-a-half hours on the water I got my first strike of the day.
And while I was playing that one, on the other side of the boat chef Phil Scarfone got another hit – and we were into a double header. Five minutes later that translated into 26-pounder for me, and a 24 for him. The fishing might be slow, but the results were fine by me.
Back at the Clubhouse, meanwhile, chef Normand Laprise was demonstrating how to prepare a perennial summertime favourite from his bistro, Brasserie T!: confit of salmon with fennel salad. The low-temperature slow cooking method applies perfectly to the lean, fighting-trim flesh of chinook and coho alike – you should try it (click here for the recipe).
A few hours fishing later and it was time for the last supper – well, until next year anyway. Event headliner David Hawksworth got us going with a refreshing summer salad of compressed watermelon and feta, paired winningly with a tip top blanc de blancs (José Dhondt, NV).
Next, succulent roast sablefish in a delicate nage of mint-accented English pea that sommelier Mark Davidson paired to a banner year of his vanity project – a personally selected single barrel bottling of Puilly-Fuissé (2014 Harvey-Davidson Pouily Fuissé “Les Murgers”).
We then veered to wintry fare with a beef cheek bourguignon (albeit paired not with a Burgundy but a Bordeaux, Chateaux Lafon-Rochet 2010).
After a light dessert of summer fruits with meringue and mint, and a nightcap with our able guides, it was time to pack up for the next day’s flights home – and a dinner of our hard-won fresh fish. The first of many, actually – three chinook and a couple of halibut go a long way.
For more information on The West Coast Fishing Club, click here.
Photos: Jeff Vinnick