[Thanks to the folks at the Queen Charlotte Lodge for a very exciting visit in August. Here’s an article from the Saturday, September 18 issue of the Toronto Star headlined “Chasing the Chief”.]
HAIDA GWAII, B.C.—The Haida are a matriarchal society, so it seems fitting that Jessica Eussen and the other women who journey to fish these waters would outperform the men. In one of those momentous, tell-it-to-your-grandkids, I-can’t-believe-what-I-just-pulled-off highlights of life, Jessica, a tiny 18-year-old from Vancouver, Washington, reeled in a 43-pound Chinook salmon while on a fishing trip with her father.
The thing was about half the size of her and coaxed a smile just as wide.
“I’ll never forget it,” she said a few minutes after being congratulated by other anglers in awe of the feat as well as the dockhands at the Queen Charlotte Lodge, which has built a reputation as a world-class fishing destination during its nearly two decades of operation.
It attracts avid sports fishermen who come to chase the tyee, or “chief”, a Chinook salmon that weighs at least 30 pounds. But the lodge has succeeded in guiding novices to trophy catches too, as Jessica’s tyee last month proved, and that’s helped it become a choice spot for families and couples.
Jessica’s father, Remy, chose fishing as the activity to spend time with his daughter before she leaves for university because “there are no electronics. It’s quiet, you can really bond.”