Disembarking from the floatplane onto the dock at Noyes Island, a serene stillness hangs in the early morning air. A pair of bald eagles soars overhead, their plaintive cries echoing against the surrounding mountains.
Like an apparition, the lodge appears through the fog in shades of brown and green, and within minutes we’re inside getting suited up in slick, jet-black pants and jackets. We are introduced to our boat’s captain, Everett, a Haida tribe member and lifelong resident of the area.
Heading out into open water in our 27-ft. cruiser, the Club retreats from view in its protected spot at the back of the bay. Our first stop is “Rockpile,” which doesn’t fail to deliver.
After a couple of hours spent gently bobbing, we motor to another popular spot. “Pineapple” (so named for a rock that juts out of the water) affords us the opportunity to witness several humpback whales grazing lazily between the shoreline and our boat.
I feel a sharp tug on my line and turn to Captain Everett with an expectant look. It takes him a split second to make the call. “You’ve got a king,” he says, and maneuvers himself next to me.
I have no idea what to do, but with his strong knowledge of a Chinook salmon’s body language, he helps me read what the fish is going to do and how I should react. After what feels like an hour later (but in reality is probably closer to 10 minutes), I’ve caught my king: a 26-pounder. Everett gives me a wide grin and a high five, and I feel elated at landing what will end up being the day’s biggest catch.
That night, our group of 16 has freshened up and gathered in the lodge’s Great Room, where guests enjoy a hosted bar and a gourmet, sit-down dinner. Prominently displayed within the room are several hand-carved works of art. Rendered in wood, they’re an artist’s inspired take on traditional totem pole carvings. We learn they’ve all been created by Everett.