What Our Guests Say about Pacific Tugboat Adventures
Thanks for continuing a great tradition
I wanted to write you about our past trip. This trip was great. We had a combination of “perfect” conditions. The new captain, Arron, was a delight. He seemed very competent and self-assured. He worked very hard and got along well with the rest of the crew, but was obviously in charge. His concern for safety and the comforts of the passengers and crew was perfect. What a surprise to have prawns, crabs, and clams on board when we arrived, a perfect way to start. The hostess and chef were a delight. The food was out of sight and Carly and Greg were hospitable and professional. The service could not have been better. Both guides were talented and had a love for fishing. Both Jerry and Doug were very helpful, especially with the new couple. They had a great time. The fishing and scenery along with the whale shows made it special. Special thanks for the boat for helping Tom and Jo in their need to bail out early. Thankfully the grandson seems to be recovering from his open heart surgery at this time. Carly and the rest stepped up to the plate to make emergency arrangements that worked perfectly. Thanks for continuing a great tradition. As you know we have been coming every other year for 20+ years. Everyone on board is ready to head back. We would like to do the trip from Prince Rupert to Bella Bella again if it is available either this year or the next.
The fishing was fantastic and the service and ambiance of the Parry are next to none
I wanted to thank you for such a wonderful trip last week. Our group had an amazing time. The fishing was fantastic and the service and ambiance of the Parry are next to none. But at the heart of it all is the crew you have working that ship. What an amazing group of people. They blew me away with their attention to detail, great attitudes, welcoming nature and all in first class attitudes. Such a wonderful group. A few thoughts on each:
– Blackfish: Captain – A true pro. He was so personable and welcoming and I noticed that he was always the first one to jump in when one of the crew needed an extra hand. He seemed like such a hard worker and I felt like we were in great hands the entire time. Whatever glitches may have happened, went unnoticed by all of us guest. Just an all-around great guy and pro.
– Silver-lining: Hostess – What a gem. Carly’s personality is perfect for her role the ship. She was so thoughtful and without fail if I was thinking of something I may have wanted, she would beat me to it and ask me before I even said anything. She has a gift. Keep her around.
– Dogfish: Chef – His food was unreal. I love good food and his food was some of the best I have ever had. He showed me around the kitchen and I saw he tools and oven he was working with and was amazed he could produce the food that he did. Above all of that, he was so kind and easy going. So many great chefs can be a touch on the ego centric side about their food and manner in which you have to eat it and he was nothing like that. So calm and understated. It really made the dining a great experience.
– Flipper: Guide – Love this guy. He is one of the hardest working people I have met. He was always the first one up and the last one to bed moving a mile a minute to make sure all the hard work got done and he always did it with a smile and a great story or joke. And then, to boot, he was so fun on the water and really helped us catch fish. He is one of a kind and I think has a knack for this kind of work. Great find and great member of the crew.
– Bear: Guide- I think Carly said it best when I met him the first day – tough outside, but a teddy bear on the inside. She couldn’t have pegged it better. He is one of a kind. I laughed so hard with him and really enjoyed being around him. At one point he had my Dad laughing so hard I thought he was going to have a heart attack – it was priceless – I haven’t seen him laugh that hard, ever – and it just kept going. He is also a great on the water and helped teach me the tricks of the trade. Great member of the team.
Thank you again for a wonderful experience. Although my current life demands probably won’t permit me to make this an annual trip, I assure you I will be back soon.
All the best,
“B.C.’s Inside Passage” by Scott Haugen
One man’s story says it all!
Firing up the engines on a half dozen skiffs, the deck hands un-tethered their lines from the tugboat, which had delivered them to this point? Minutes later, my partner and I were mooching for feisty silver salmon on the fringe of a kelp bed. Before I could get my line to the desired depth, his rod doubled over. Bringing in what line I had out, the rod was nearly ripped from my hands by another Coho.
Within 30 minutes we had landed a limit of silvers, lost nearly twice that, then opted to move to deeper waters. Less than 100 yards from where our arms tired of fighting silvers, we increased our depth for Chinook. Before we knew it , we were back on the tug with the rest of the group., reliving the adventure that moments earlier saw us battling 40 pound kings; all this before lunch.
We were aboard a 90-foot tugboat dubbed the Parry, operated by Westwind Tugboat Adventures out of Vancouver, British Columbia. This immaculately refurbished tug tows several 18′ skiffs for guests to use fishing and sightseeing. Maneuvering at the foot of vertical cliffs, watching mountain goats feed directly overhead was only the beginning of this up close experience with nature.
Dolphins frequently rode our wake, wolves prowled the shoreline and both grizzly and black bears could often be seen by anglers. Passing near breathtaking waterfalls, into a land seen by few is what this type of fishing adventure is all about.
As part of an 8 day tugboat cruise, five crew members, 12 guests and myself made our way down British Columbia’s Inside Passage. Covering 250 miles by sea, the journey surpassed our wildest dreams, as did the fishin
The most appealing aspect of this fishing trip was that, for the most part, we were on our own to fish. Each day began with the two guides- yes two guides per tug to oversee the fishing aspects of the journey- delivering a crash course on what was to be expected. Details were covered on what species of fish were to be found, at what depth we should fish and how we might want to go about: mooching, trolling or jigging.
The lesson delivered, two to three anglers teamed up per skiff. The skiffs were sturdy, safe and a cinch to operate. Each is equipped with CB radios to keep in contact with one another and the mother ship. With so many fish so near, rarely are you out of sight of party members.
The beauty of fishing from a tug is twofold: You are captive the entire time to think about nothing but fishing, and you travel to where the fish are. When compared to being stuck in a lodge, hoping early season fish migrations come your way, operating from a tug allows you to find the fish. With an expert captain in constant communication with resident anglers up and down the coast, catching fish is a given on this trip.
In fact the day we launched, we were scheduled to head south. But minute’s prior to departure, the captain received word of big Chinook being taken to the north. North it was, and for the next two days we battled several kings in the 30-40 pound class, with a whopping 60 pounder being the biggest of the trip
That done, we spent the following day covering water, nestled in a warm cabin eating exquisite cuisine. A master chef on board each tug keeps you well fed, and the crew goes out of their way top ensure your comfort.
We were into coho and kings every day we fished, but that’s another wonderful thing about fishing off a tug. Rather than limit our fishing time to these two magnificent salmon, we were free to explore mouths of rivers in search of pink and chum salmon, or hit offshore shelves where bottom fish abound.
Fly gear is a must for mid to late season anglers, as this is when the salmon begin clogging the tributaries to the many bays. If you’re into fly fishing, that’s all the tackle you will need to bring as the tug supplies the rest. Westwind can advise you on specific gear recommendations when you choose which portion of the BC coast you want to fish.
Bottom fishing opportunities also abound, with halibut, lingcod and snapper being just a few of the species taken from the deep. A personal highlight was hoisting a monster yelloweye from his home of over 80 years. The giant fish graces the wall of my den today, a vivid reminder of one of my most enjoyed fishing adventures.
For a change of pace, pursuing shellfish is another option. Setting crab pots where the tug anchored for the night, then pulling them at first light, provided the best-eating Dungeness crab imaginable. Clams were also easy to dig, worked into a gourmet meal, and kept many anglers wishing we had more time to explore the beaches
But it is meat in the freezer that excited my wife. Cooking some of the best bottom fish known to the sea, in addition to rich salmon steaks, is a passion, and brining home enough meat to last the two of several months was a big payoff.
Well taken care of Upon returning to the tug with your catch, crewmembers clean, wrap and freeze your fish. Your possession limit is monitored and approximate poundage tracked. You can either take the fish home with you frozen, as I did, or have Westwind deliver for processing upon docking. The finished product, be it smoked or canned, is shipped to your doorstep.
The beauty of this trip is that you can travel light. I carried a small duffel bag and a fly rod that’s it. Boots, raingear and all the food you can eat are provided by Westwind. Save for fly gear, they also provide all salmon and halibut gear you’ll need, including jigs, bait and quality rods and reels.
The reels used fore salmon fishing are single action, something foreign to many west coast salmon and steelheaders. These reels take some getting used to, but you’ll learn fast. They are comparable to a fly reel, and with their 1:1 ratio are optimal for fighting the powerful salmon in these conditions.
For me one of the most surprising features of this trip was not how many fish were caught, nor their size, but how a warmhearted crew brought 13 strangers together. We came from several states and three different countries, met for the first time on the tug, and departed as friends. Many of us still keep in touch, hoping to cross paths again one day. That’s what a trip like this is all about?
Being forced to take time to do nothing but fish is what may anglers are searching for. If there’s a computer to hide behind, a cell phone tower in range or a lodge with separate cabins, the tranquility of such a getaway id lost. If you choose to nuzzle into your own cabin below deck, reading or catching up on sleep, the tugboat offers this privacy as well.
The eight-day trip seemed longer, not because of time passing slowly, but due to all that was squeezed into each day. Exploring turn of the century, abandoned canneries and cabins studding the coastline, taking me back in time. Feeling a brief connectedness with the culture that shaped the vast BC coast is an experience I won’t soon forget.
This semi-self guided fishing trip provided great thrills, top-notch fishing and nonstop adventure. Up at the crack of dawn we’d fish until brunch, return to the tug for a gourmet meal and then fish until dark. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or enthusiastic novice wanting to learn more how its done, this trip is for you. It’s also a great getaway opportunity for husbands and wives, grandparents and older children.
The safety and security afforded by a sturdy tug will put even the weak-stomached sea goers at ease. Traveling through protected fjords, hugging shorelines and islands means the seas are calm. This being the west coast, however , don’t expect sunshine and blue skies everyday. Rain may be an integral part of the trip, but when you are into numerous fish day after day, the elements will be the farthest thing from your mind.
Follow us on Facebook
OUR MAILING ADDRESS:
1410A Gordon Dr.