Salmon Fishing in Haida Gwaii by Larry Lowman

Larry Lowman's Tyee Chinook Salmon Salmon fishing from the lodge at Queen Charlotte Safaris is special.  The first and utmost in importance is there are always salmon in the area during the lodge season.  The lodge season can be from late May to early September.  The big King or Chinook salmon are at the islands from April to early September.  There are Coho or Silver salmon from the middle of July to November, and some years there are big schools of Pink and Chum salmon also. On the lodge boats, normally there are 4 anglers and a guide/captain.  It is beat to let the guide select the type of gear.  There are too many choices for terminal tackle when fishing for salmon.  So it is much better and productive to let the guide pick the gear.  The guides are there every day and know what was hot and what was not.  Trolling is the method used, with flashers and depending on conditions and the preference of the fish as to what type of lures are used.  Some is cut bait placed in a plastic holder and some are artificial spoons and plugs.  The technical part of this operation is length of the leader from the flasher to the bait or plug and the depth to place the lures.  This is where having a guide that knows the preference of the schools in the area currently is very valuable.   It is interesting that not all schools of fish are interested in the same type of bait and lures.  It usually depends on what they are currently feeding on in the area. This is pretty comfortable fishing.  The guide puts out the line and sets it where it should be and the angler waits for the rod to start bouncing. The angler then sets the hook and starts reeling.  In that area of Canada all salmon fishing hooks are required to be barbless.  So keeping the line tight at all time is very important.  The ratio of fish hooked to fish caught and in the boat is about 50%.  A lot of fish get away.  But not to worry; You will get enough bites to make sure you get fish in your take home box. We have had anglers that hooked and had to voluntarily release 30 or more fish in a day.  The reason:  Limits!  You are allowed four salmon a day, two of which can be King salmon.  Also you want to let the smaller ones go and keep the larger ones.  This becomes a challenge at the end of the day when you have let a lot of 15 to 20 pound king salmon go and you have yet to keep one or two for that days fishing.  Now it is called wishing and fishing. You also have to manage the amount of all the fish you catch because they all have daily and possession limits for your trip home.   The limits in Canada are more liberal than many locations in Alaska and the Northwestern US.  The limits change yearly. Your guides will help you keep track of your inventory on a daily and possession basis. A lot of our experience anglers that have fished all over Canada and Alaska tell us the salmon fishing in the islands of Haida Gwaii is better than any other place they have fished.  It is not uncommon to have a 20 to 30 fish caught and released in one day by one angler when fishing from one of the QCS boats.

Halibut Fishing in Haida Gwaii by Larry Lowman

Larry Lowman-2 When fishing for Halibut out of Queen Charlotte Safaris, the process is similar to hunting.  There are many pinnacles with sandy flat surfaces which are target areas for this bottom feeder.  There are also many coves areas where the fatties come in to feed.  Going from area to area to find where they are feeding is the process.  Usually the guides know where they were feeding recently and set up drifts over those areas first. The process of Halibut fishing is to bounce large lures off or close to the bottom while the boat slowly drifts over the area.  The slower the boat drifts the better.  This is why bottom fishing is done when conditions are right, which is very little wind and tide movement.  Salmon fishing dominates until the conditions are good (this is not a bad thing).  Salmon fishing is done in a weather protected area and is very productive in any weather.  In my 16 years of fishing Haida Gwaii, no fishing days have been lost to weather.  QCS is proud to say the same.  The lodge has never lost a day of fishing to bad weather.  On the flip side of that is there are days when it is too windy with high seas to get to the areas to fish for Halibut.  However, those conditions do not last many days in a row and bottom fishing is accomplished during every customer’s stay at the lodge. Bottom fishing is more strenuous than Salmon fishing.  The angler handles the letting of the line down to the bottom and bouncing the lure close to the bottom.  These depths are anywhere from 150 feet down to 400 feet down.  While keeping the lure moving up and down close to the bottom, you will feel the strike when they take the lure.  It is not easy to lift the rod at that point.  Now the reeling begins and bringing a big fish up from those depths take time and a lot of effort.  But the reward is the big flatly on the boat and in the vacuum sealed and frozen packages you take home.  

The Women of the West- This Weekend!


Pacific Coast Sportfishing Magazine has featured an article, “Women of the West-These Gals Can Out-Fish You.”  QCS ambassador and lady angler, Bev Seltzer aka “Baja Bev,” and QCS Lodge owner, Valerie Hoperich, received a great write up about their fishing careers.  Go check out their article: “Women of the West”.  Baja Bev will be working the QCS Booth #314 this weekend at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa.  Come check us out, it’s going to be all about fishing!

BevValerie's Chinnok

This lodge is a family-owned and operated business.   As a daughter, I am very proud of my Mom’s hard work and determination.  It is an honor to be a part of our family business that she has built up over the years and it has inspired me to become a lady angler myself :)).  I’m excited to learn as much as I possibly can from her, the marketing and the sportfishing industry.

Through thick and thin, my Mom never stops working hard, and accepts every challenge that comes her direction.   Thank you PCS Magazine for taking the time to post this article about my hardworking Mom and our friend Bev.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

–Jaime Hanssen


“It takes a special woman to be all of the things it takes to own/run a fishing resort in a wild destination and Valerie is all of that … hardcore fisherwoman, no-nonsense business person, gracious host, facilities and maintenance expert and, of course, a great salesperson.

Her secret weapon is a smile that disarms her clients and makes them smile right back.  Valerie owns and runs Queen Charlotte Safaris Lodge in the Charlottes/Haida Gwaii in British Columbia for 14 years and has built it into a premier lodge, smack in the midst of truly fabulous fishing grounds.

Her standout operation is a testimony to her influence and devotion in the fishing community and clear evidence she stands among the most important women in West Coast Sportfishing.”


Queen Charlotte Safaris on Fox Sports West this Valentine’s Day!

“Queen Charlotte’s Web” (Telly Award Winner!)

The Haida Gwaii – Queen Charlotte Islands of Beautiful British Columbia are unquestionably the King Salmon capital or the world. Join Sergio and the Angler Chronicles crew this week as we target these hard fighting and great tasting Chinook or “King” Salmon while fishing out of Queen Charlotte Safaris Lodge, Sandspit, British Columbia.

Sergio and Friends do a number on the huge Kings and great bottom fishing. Also fishing with Sergio today and catching lots of big salmon are Danny Jackson, producer of Angler Chronicles and his wife, Kathy.

You do not want to miss this exciting episode of Angler Chronicles, “Queen Charlotte’s Web.” Great family entertainment.

Sunday, February 14 – 8:30 A.M. FOX Sports West Monday, February 15 – 10:00 A.M. FOX Sports Prime Ticket Tuesday, February 16 – 2:00 P.M. FOX Sports West

Also via satellite on DishNetwork and DirecTV

If you are unable to see us on TV, please Enjoy our Telly Award Winning Promo Video on Fox Sports West with Angler Chronicles!

Danny Jackson Tyee

Come Visit our Booth at the National Finals Rodeo

It’s that time of year Anglers and Cowboys! Queen Charlotte Safaris will be at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, NV all week long.  Please stop by our booth located at Sands Convention Center & the Stetson Country Christmas Booth 767. Book your 2016 fishing adventure of a lifetime in beautiful  Haida Gwaii, British Columbia.  Holiday Gift Certificates are available  for the entire family.  What is a better way to say “Merry Christmas” than a fishing trip at QCS?  Kelsey and Valerie look forward to meeting you.


Come for the Fishing, Come Back for the Memories

Did you know British Columbia allows you to take more fish home and catch more fish per person than any area on the West Coast? (Including Alaska).  No one does it better than Queen Charlotte Safaris! Come experience world class fishing like you’ve never seen before. You will come for the fishing…you will come back for the memories!   We encourage anglers and customers to like our Facebook page and join our E-mail list for updates and promotions.


Emily & Neesha enjoyed our QCS Office!


  It was a great pleasure to have both Emily and Neesha from ‪Denmark‬ working in our office located in ‪downtown Santa Ynez, California. Thank you girls for all your hard work and for creating this post to share with Denmark and other countries in Europe. We encourage anglers and nature lovers to experience Haida Gwaii, a hidden gem in the Pacific ocean, British Columbia, Canada.  

We were on Fox Sports West this last Spring.

Queen Charlotte Safaris Highlighted on Fox Sports

The crew of Fox Sports’ Angler Chronicles paid us a visit recently here at Queen Charlotte Safaris and documented their fishing experience. In the video, you get a firsthand look at our comfortable lodge, our excellent service, and—most importantly—our fantastic salmon fishing. When visitors want a British Columbia fishing trip, there’s no better place to go. Sergio and the Angler Chronicles crew show off the size and fighting ability of our salmon; being migratory fish, they are healthier than the salmon you’ll find along the west coast of the U.S. Not only do we offer the best salmon fishing in the world, we also have great combination fishing. It’s not uncommon, as the Fox crew proves, to experience “the daily double” where two people hook their own fish at the same time on the same boat. While your time on the water is important to your British Columbia fishing trip, what sets Queen Charlotte Safaris apart is our hospitality and service. That’s why the Angler Chronicles crew keeps coming back year after year. Valerie Hoperich, owner and operator of Queen Charlotte Safaris, says it best in the video: “When I book you, you’re a guest. When you leave, you’re a friend.” We treat all of our guests like family with homemade meals and personal service. After you finish the Fox Sports highlight video, we know you’ll want to book your very own British Columbia fishing trip. You might not be on TV, but we can promise you the same quality salmon and combination fishing experience shown on the Angler Chronicles. Don’t settle for anything less than the best. Give us a call today.

What to Bring On Your Salmon Fishing Trip to Canada

Preparing for your Salmon Fishing Trip in Canada

You’ve been planning this vacation for years, and now fishing season is finally here. You’ve saved your money, chosen the location, and researched the fish. All that’s left to do is pack. Our team at Queen Charlotte Safaris has prepared a list of everything you’ll need; and remember to pack light so you’ll be able to return home with a big haul of fish.


If you’re coming from out of the country like many of our guests, you’ll need your passport. One way to enjoy your Canada salmon fishing trip is to be able to travel there in the first place.


Keep in mind that you’ll be out on the boat reeling in king salmon every day—so pack accordingly. We recommend clothes that are easy to layer for fluctuating temperatures. Layering allows you to stay comfortable during every part of the day so you can focus on the fish. A windbreaker and a tight-fitting cap are musts.

Sun Protection

Salmon fishing in Canada is no tropical vacation, but you’ll want to pack your sunglasses and sunscreen anyway. The sun’s UV rays come through the atmosphere above (even on forecast days) and bounce back off of the water below. Always bring polarized sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays and a sunscreen of at least SPF 30.

Personal Items

There are a few more items you’ll want to bring to make your Canada salmon fishing trip flawless. First, bring your camera to capture those big-fish stories in action. Just make sure it stays with you on the boat and not in the water. On a medical note, please bring any personal medications in the quantities you will need for your stay; there is no pharmacy in our town of Sandspit. If you are prone to seasickness (or if you’d rather not find out that you are the hard way), consider bringing motion sickness medicine. Some guests become sick while bottom fishing. Finally, remember your basic toiletries. However, in case you forget anything, there is a general store nearby where you can replace that toothbrush you left sitting on the counter at home.

What We Provide

At Queen Charlotte Safaris, we want your stay in Canada to be all about the salmon fishing; we eliminate any unnecessary stress by taking care of a few things for you. When you arrive, we will have your fishing license ready and waiting, as well as all the gear you need to get out on the Haida Gwaii waters as soon as possible. For you convenience, we provide food, shampoo and conditioner, linens, blow dryers, and a washer and dryer. We even have Internet access at the lodge in case you want to stay connected. You won’t find a more comfortable lodge or a more welcoming team than that of Queen Charlotte Safaris. So pack your bags and meet us out on the water!

The King of all Fishing Trips

If you think of a fishing trip and baiting a hook for trout is what comes to your mind, you are missing out. You deserve a fishing trip that will satisfy the thrill of a catch and give you a memory worth thinking about. Book your next excursion with Queen Charlotte Safaris for a King Salmon Fishing Trip to remember. Why use Queen Charlotte Safaris? Here are 6 reasons why a King Salmon Fishing Trip is right for you.

1. We cover everything.

You don’t need to worry about forgetting a lure or running out of the right bait. When you go with us, we take care of everything. From roundtrip plane tickets and a fishing license, to poles and rain gear, we have everything to make your fishing trip perfect.

2. Your Professional Fishing Guide is waiting.

Ever went on a fishing trip and went home empty handed? With our King Salmon Fishing Trip, you are provided with a professional guide that knows the waterway. You will bring in more fish than you can believe.

3. Enjoy the Pristine.

From towering mountains and dark green forests to the pristine water, Haida Gwaii is the perfect location for your King Salmon Fishing Trip. The views might be spectacular, yet all those islands offer the best fishing around. The islands provide food for a lot of herring and that brings the Salmon.

4. Rest and Relaxation.

No trip should be without a little R and R. We go all out to make certain you are comfortable. Our lodge is your home away from home. Each room is clean, comfortable and comes equipped with a private washroom. After fishing, you will come back to clean room with beds that are made. Included in your trip is food. Our chef will provide you with three delicious meals each day. You can even get custom lunches to take on the boat. We take away all of the stressors, so you can focus on the wonders of your trip.

5. No Crowds.

You would think that such an amazing place would have droves of people clamoring to hit the seas. Haida Gwaii is one of the fishing world’s best kept secrets. Out here, you won’t have to worry about crowds.

6. The Best Time for fishing is right now.

You can book your King Salmon Fishing Trip anytime. The nutrient rich waters around the Islands of Haida Gwaii keep the salmon active year round. With Queen Charlotte Safaris, it is always the ideal time to go fishing. Escape from the ordinary. If you want a King Salmon Fishing Trip that will have you ready to schedule the next, book your next outing through Queen Charlotte Safaris. We take the ordinary sport of fishing and turn it into a fabulous experience that will bring a smile to your face for years to come. That is why our customers keep coming back. When you are ready to take your next amazing trip, give us a call.


  • P.O. Box 899
    Buellton, CA 93427
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  • June 1st - Sept. 1st
  • Box 160, 535 Beach Rd
    Sandspit, B.C  V0T 1T0
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It's that time of the year again folks! Queen Charlotte Safaris invites you to stop by our booth's at the NFR in Las Vegas. We will be at two locations:

Las Vegas Roper Cowboy Marketplace 🤠
Dec 7-16 at Mandalay Bay
Booth #344

Stetson Country Christmas🎄
Dec 7-17 at Sands Convention Center Booth #767

We look forward to catching up and sharing our unique fishing opportunities in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. Come stop by and say hello, see ya there #nfrexperience #countrychristmas #qcsafaris #rodeo #fishing #lasvegas

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Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in the path of Ventura and Los Angeles County's wildfires. Thank you to all First Responders for all your dedication and incredible work❤Be safe #prayforcalifornia #ventura #thomasfire #losangeles #creekfire #skirballfire #santaclarita #ryefire #qcsafaris ...

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#FBF 😎😜 Wow!! Nice #yelloweyes caught by Dave & Kathleen Crumbaugh from Missouri & Wayne Janeene Campbell from CA🎣☀️👍🏻😎 another great day of #bottomfishing at #qcsafaris

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Wishing you a Happy #Thanksgiving from #qcsafaris 🦃💛 #thankful #family ...

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It's an experience @queencharlottesafaris 🐋#HaidaGwaii #tbt #qcsafaris

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