Go North, Young Man

By on February 24, 2019

With the uncertainty of the salmon and halibut seasons established by WDFW, more anglers are looking north to British Columbia and Alaska. The recent sports shows had record reservations being made at lodges in B.C. and Alaska. This is the first of a series of articles highlighting some of the best areas for the traveling angler who are looking for guided trips or bringing their own boats.

The first area we will report about is Barkley Sound, located on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. This is a fairly easy trip for anglers.

The area has long been popular and angling opportunities in 2019 appear to be excellent. The Chinook return is forecast to match or better the returns of 2017 and 2018. Coho fishing is forecast on the upswing and should be even better in both size and numbers. The sockeye forecast will not be made until April, but approximately 200,000 are expected to return to the Somass River.

The best lodge on Barkley Sound, and perhaps the West Coast – as well as my personal favorite – is Eagle Nook Lodge managed by Lucky Sportfishing. Eagle Nook Lodge is located in Barkley Sound and is accessible only by boat or plane. It has 17 deluxe rooms in the lodge, and additional cabins, all with an ocean view.

All meals are furnished and the evening dinner is always a gourmet delight. When you come in from a day of fishing, a lunch is served on the dock while your catch is filleted, packaged, and flash frozen for your trip home.

Eagle Nook will pick you up in the early afternoon of your arrival at China Creek Campground (250-723-9812) on Alberni Inlet. China Creek is about six miles outside of Port Alberni on a gravel road. The driving is often dusty, so just slow down and enjoy the scenery, elk, deer, and occasional bear.

If you are traveling to Eagle Nook in your own boat, you could launch at China Creek, but I recommend you launch at Clutesi Haven Marina (778-421-8415) in Port Alberni. This marina is located at 5104 River Road in downtown Port Alberni and has a four lane launch, ample parking, 24-hour security, and is located directly on the freshwater Somass River. The trip down the river is in deep water, so just follow the buoys out. I would recommend that you mark the entrance of the Somass River on your GPS as when you return it’s not easy to see.

Depending on this year’s regulations you could start fishing in Alberni Inlet. China Creek is about six miles out by water and, depending on how fast you are traveling, Eagle Nook is about an hour away.

Guided trip? Eagle Nook has great guides operating 27-foot boats who are very knowledgeable fishermen, with first-class tackle. Bringing your own boat? Eagle Nook has nice docks and the guides are more than glad to tell you where and how they are fishing. Flying from Vancouver is also possible.

For more information click here, email info@eaglenook.com, or call Jeff (250-661-2572) or Dan (250-880-0636).

Eagle Nook / Lucky Sportfishing is a Salmon University sponsor


Tom Nelson
Tom Nelson is the publisher of salmonuniversity.com. Known throughout the Pacific Northwest as the “Dean of Saltwater Fishing,” he has helped develop and test tackle and gear for Scotty, Pro-Troll and Silver Horde, is a regular speaker at area sports shows, has taught more than 5,000 students how to fish during his classes at western Washington community colleges, and is the co-founder of the Puget Sound Anglers.