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For several months we’ve been hearing rumors of a new luxury resort on Vancouver Island. Writer Michael Pearce recently toured the establishment, and the news he brings back could be of interest to some Angling Report subscribers.
It’s called Eagle Nook Oceanside Wilderness Resort (*), and 15 miles from the nearest road it certainly has wilderness, located on a narrow isthmus of land within casting distance of two secluded bays off Barkley Sound it certainly is oceanside. Simply put, if you’re looking for a hard-core fly-fish-till-you-drop spot, this isn’t it. But if you’re interested in luxurious accommodations, phenomenal food and beautiful place to take a spouse or business associates for some productive, yet uncomplicated angling, read on.
Access to the lodge is either by two hour water taxi ride from one of several island ports or float plane directly from Seattle. (We opted for the latter, and enjoyed an incredibly scenic 90 minute flight along the island’s western coast.) It would be impossible not to be impressed by the huge, 23 bedroom lodge and the incredible wilderness surroundings. With one of western Canada’s finest chef’s on staff, the gourmet meals were incredible!
The fishing is very good, though maybe not up to some purist standards. Salmon are the main course, with consistent action available for king, coho and/or sockeyes. Most fishing is done from 20-plus foot private guide boats with downriggers and trolling. Headed by well-known local guide Darren Deluca the charters offer a comfortable, laid-back outing anyone can enjoy. (My twelve-year-old daughter landed 16 kings to 20 pounds before breakfast the last morning of our stay!) Other big-water trips include jigging for halibut or a wide assortment of deep-water species.
There is, however, one option for those who prefer light tackle and solitude. Eagle Nook can arrange for heli-fishing trips well up into the mountains on the island’s interior. Picked up right on the front lawn, within ten minutes we were deposited at an alpine setting that would do Colorado or Alberta proud. Fishing one of a five pristine lakes that would be a strenuous dawn to dusk hike from the nearest road, we saw now signs or other people. Though not over 16 inches, the several dozen wild rainbows we caught and released obviously had seen little pressure and struck small spinners and flies like only wild, unpressured fish can do.
It’s worth mentioning that Eagle Nook offers a variety of activities for non-angling guests, including whale watching, wilderness hiking, sea kayaking around nearby islands, beach combing, diving and so on.
Basic rates for 1997 are a very reasonable $200 Canadian (about $150 US) per day, per person, meals included. Prices for heli-fishing or salmon charters are fair, but widely varied. Writers for The Robb Report, The Wall Street Journal and several travel magazines are planning articles in the coming months, so it would be wise gather information as soon as possible.