Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Swimming with the Real Sharks: Corporate Retreats at Escott

The mere mention of a corporate retreat can be enough to make employees groan. But it doesn’t have to. Instead of bringing the office together in a sterile, forced-feeling retreat environment, there’s opportunity to make it a retreat in the true sense of the word—and still get all the necessary business accomplished.

Haida Gwaii Sport fishing lodge - Escott Lodge
Photo By Seann Einerssen
 Our fishing lodge is located only a two-hour flight from Vancouver, but feels days away mentally. Removed far from the hustle and bustle of the workaday life, Escott offers an environment that’s completely free of the usual distractions. Instead of sitting around the boardroom table, staff gathers on one of our top-of-the-line Grady White boats—a prospect that is sure to quell the “corporate retreat groans.”

Being out on the water, fishing pole in hand—and far from constant emails and ringing phones—allows for a corporate retreat that is as relaxed as it is effective. Company retreats are of course all about taking the time to work on a problem or accomplish a task that needs more focus than the office can provide. Fishing, as humankind has known for centuries, is an activity that rolls all of this—relaxation, focus, and bond-building—into one.

As much fun as it is to be out on the waters of Haida Gwaii, trying to reel the biggest salmon of the bunch, there still needs to be the chance to really get down to business (and open the yearly report, without it falling to the bottom of the ocean). That’s why Escott Lodge has plenty of space for your team to spread out, whether in the vaulted-ceiling sitting lounge or in one of our spacious suites.

Whether you’re company is convening for a problem-solving session or to launch into its Annual General Meeting, a retreat to Escott Sportfishing and the pristine environment of Haida Gwaii is guaranteed to get the think-tank into high gear.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Sport Fishing and the Art of Relaxation

Sport Fishing and the Art of Relaxation
Photo by Guy  Kimola
Every angler has their own reason for loving fishing, whether it’s the thrill of the chase, getting to be outdoors all day, or frying up the catch at home. But there’s another big reason that people head out onto the water: fishing is relaxing.

Although the word “relaxing” may seem at odds with the image of a fisherman fighting a massive Chinook salmon for an hour or two before getting it onto the boat, that is only one aspect of the sport. Because sportfishing takes you out on the water for hours at a time—often the whole day—there’s a lot of downtime between such battles.

These moments between tugs on the line are also what fishing is known for. In fact, the most common reason people fish is to relax, according to the American Sportfishing Association. 

Escott Sportfishing : SportFishing and the Art of Relaxation
Photo by Owen Perry
While waiting for the next battle, an angler can allow their mind to wander—but not too much, because you need to be able to react when the bite does come. This makes fishing an activity similar to mowing the lawn or painting a wall. That is, it engages part of your brain, but it doesn’t always engage all of it. You need to pay attention, but you don’t need to pay it all of your attention.

This makes fishing the perfect set up for letting your mind wander—and often the type of situation that gives rise to Eureka moments. 

Not only does fishing give you time with your own thoughts, but the constant casting and reeling means it’s a repetitive activity. Repetitive activities are stress busting. And diverting attention to repetition is not only mentally soothing, but actually releases physical tension too. 

Haida Gwaii sunset. Photo by Guy Kimola
Photo by Guy Kimola
Whether you're out with Escott Sportfishing trolling, mooching, or even saltwater fly fishing, you can expect the perfect mixture of excitement and relaxation—while soaking up the scenery of Haida Gwaii, which is always a relaxing thing.

Monday, 23 November 2015

The Fishing Seasons of Haida Gwaii

Beautiful Haida Gwaii is known for many things.

The undeniably stunning scenery, a decidedly relaxed way of life, the distinctive art of the Haida people, and its varied and lush wildlife. We’ve got humpback whales, bald eagles, harbour seals, and even spirit bears. But of most interest to Escott Sportfishing and our guests is—of course—the innumerable fish that populate its waters.

Haida Gwaii, formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, is considered to have some of the best salmon fishing grounds in the world. Made up of over 150 islands and classed as a temperate rainforest zone, the Haida Gwaii, with its many protected bays and kelp beds, couldn’t be more welcoming to salmon, halibut, and other game fish that end up on the business end of our fishing poles.

Escott sportfishing
Millions of Chinook and Coho swim through the island chain on runs that take them south from Alaska to their home waters to breed. Masset, where Escott’s Haida Gwaii fishing lodge is located, essentially sits in the middle of this fish superhighway. Different species of salmon run at different times of year, with the Haida Gwaii salmon season spanning all the way from May until September.

But Tyees aren’t the only giants that swim these waters. Halibut hang about Haida Gwaii all year long, usually choosing to stay in waters much deeper than the salmon. Still, Escott’s hali fishing grounds are located only a half-hour boat ride from the Lodge, where depths plunge as deep as 275 feet.

If you book your Haida Gwaii sportfishing trip for September, there’s also opportunity to catch yet another of the prized fish that call these waters home—steelhead, otherwise known as rainbow trout.

With different species of quality sport fish swimming these waters all year round, there is no question why Haida Gwaii is known as a fisherman’s paradise.

Haida Gwaii Sportfishing

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Something Fishy: Bachelor Parties in the Great Outdoors

Escott Sportfishing: Something Fishy: Bachelor Parties in the Great Outdoors
Make Escott Lodge your next stag destination!  

One of the more fun parts about getting married is having an excuse to get all your friends together to blow off steam before the stress of the big day.

Back in 2009, when The Hangover came out, Vegas seemed like the place to head for a bachelor party. But by the time Bridesmaids was released, only two years later, director Paul Feig said he didn’t want the cast to end up there for the bachelorette—because it was already tired.

Now, with 2016 weddings being planned, real-life wedding parties are taking a different approach to the bachelor/bachelorette party. Instead of brash and loud Las Vegas, many best men and maids of honour are taking wedding parties on more adventurous getaways, far from the beaten path. Whether escaping to a vineyard, renting a cabin in the middle of woods, or heading to a yoga retreat, pre-wedding celebrations are increasingly heading to the great outdoors.

Not surprisingly, a getaway to a sports fishing lodge also lands on the list of unique bachelor and bachelorette parties: it’s got everything you need for a special and memorable time—without all the slot machines.

Whether you’ve got a group of seasoned anglers or it’s everyone’s first time out in the boat, at Escott Sportfishing we’ll have each and every bridesmaid reeling in salmon. And as fathers and sons have known for centuries, there’s nothing like being out on the open waters to get everyone bonding.

Not only do our experienced guides take you out on the water each day of your trip, but every evening your party finds itself back in our first-class accommodations at Escott Lodge—included as part of your fishing trip package. Decked out with flat screen TVs, a pool table, a poker table, and a hot tub, our Haida Gwaii fishing lodge provides all the luxury a groom-to-be deserves before he takes the plunge. On top of it all, every meal at Escott is prepared by Executive Chef Mike Redinger, whose take on West Coast cuisine completes the experience. As does our fully stocked bar.

Taking a stagette party to beautiful Haida Gwaii is already enough to make it more memorable than most, but add in the days spent on the fishing boat with a group of your best friends and family, and it will become unforgettable.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

From Coho to Chinook: The Many Salmon of Haida Gwaii

From Coho to Chinook: The Many Salmon of Haida Gwaii
Photo By Owen Perry
Located on the West Coast of Canada, the Haida Gwaii of British Columbia have some of the best salmon fishing in the entire world. The reason the fishing is so good is because the island chain comes early on in the fish’s migration from the Arctic southward. Escott Lodge, which sits on the northern tip of Graham Island, is in the middle of all this frantic salmon activity, with the sportfishing season running from early May until the end of September.

Though they all pass along the BC coast, there are five different Pacific salmon species that inhabit the waters Escott trawls, and each salmon has its own season, behaviour, and appeal.

The main salmon people come to come to Masset to land is the Chinook. Also known as the King salmon, the Chinook grows to the largest size of all the species—hence its royal nickname. These fish live the longest (up to 9 years) and can weigh in at over 100 lbs, although most average closer to the 20 lb mark. Anything over 30 lbs is classed as a “Tyee”—the ultimate trophy for any fishing trip. Chinooks start appearing around Haida Gwaii in early May and stick around until mid-August.

Another fish that lures anglers to the BC coast is the equally mighty Coho. It doesn’t match the Chinook in size, coming in at an average 10 to 15 lbs, but many prefer the more mild taste of Coho (a.k.a. Silver salmon) for eating fresh. Easy to identify by their hooked upper jaw, the acrobatic Coho are in season from early July until the end of September.

Chum, Sockeye, and Pink
Though Chinook and Coho are what many sport fishermen are after, the most abundant salmon in the Pacific are Pink, Chum, and Sockeye. Pink salmon are the smallest of the bunch (4 to 6 lbs) because they have the shortest lifespan, living 3 years maximum. Chum and Sockeye share the same long and thin profile, but while Sockeye average 7 lbs, Chum grow to up to 25 lbs.

No matter what salmon ends up on the end of your line, Escott Sportfishing will make sure it’s properly prepared for your table or released back into the ocean to continue on its way south.

From Coho to Chinook: The Many Salmon of Haida Gwaii