Monday, 26 December 2011

Sport Fishing on Haida Gwaii

The waters surrounding Haida Gwaii are well known for excellent salt water and fresh water fishing. Salmon and Halibut provide for exciting fishing adventures!
Crabbing and catching prawns is part of the experience too. Throw some traps over the side of your boat or place them on North Beach on Graham Island, and simply wait for the tide to roll in and out!

The most popular salmon species for recreational fishing are Chinook and Coho. Chinook salmon are the largest salmon and can be caught from spring to early fall. The 'smaller' Coho salmon can be caught in the summer and early fall.

Groundfish such as Halibut and Ling Cod are delicious! Halibut, the largest flatfish in BC waters can weigh over 200 kg!

The following is a general guide to salt water sport fishing schedules on Haida Gwaii:

Spring (Chinook) Salmon          April to September
Sockeye Salmon                      May to July
Coho Salmon                           July to September
Chum Salmon                          July to September
Halibut                                     March to September  

Spend a day on the water with a local guide. You can have your catch cleaned and packaged at a local fish processing facility in Masset or Queen Charlotte or ‘do it yourself’ and enjoy a feast of fresh caught fish.

Visit for a list of local charter

The best known areas for ocean fishing include the west coast (via
Skidegate Narrows) and north coast (via Masset). 

Freshwater fishing is also popular. Salmon are abundant in local rivers in the fall while Cutthroat Trout
and Dolly Varden are readily available year round.

Throughout the winter, there are excellent Steelhead runs on Haida Gwaii. The Tlell, Yakoun and 
Copper Rivers are great for Steelhead fishing. 

Come visit us - supper's waiting!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Local Food on Haida Gwaii – An Amazingly Fresh Experience!

By Lorette Smillie

My Husband and I came to Haida Gwaii and fell in love with the Islands many years ago. We found a perfect home in Port Clements on Masset Inlet. Thinking of retirement, we decided to open Smillie's Bed &  Breakfast in 2007 to share what we love – the ocean, the islands and fresh locally grown and wild harvested food (

We are blessed to have access to such an abundance of local food on Haida Gwaii. Fresh produce and locally raised meat can be found with ease on Haida Gwaii – I understand there is even a directory being published to make ‘shopping’ easier than ever.

Island farmers and producers bring their wares to weekly Farmers Markets in each of the island communities. Spend the morning at the markets - they are also a social event! Fresh greens, local produce and an abundance of wild fruit in the summer are excellent and well worth waiting for. 

Our family buys locally grown food to share with our guests. We buy our bacon at Island Meats across the street where it is freshly processed and packaged – now that’s convenience! I buy real free range eggs for my Bed and Breakfast as opposed to those from the stores that have been imported from many miles away. We have received numerous compliments on the ‘locally grown’ breakfasts that we serve. What a difference fresh can make!

I recently went to an island-wide food event in Port Clements (the Future of Food on Haida Gwaii) at which participants discussed various means to increase local food production on Haida Gwaii. We do appreciate having access to fresh healthy food on Haida Gwaii!

A visitor to Haida Gwaii may notice a significant number of backyard gardens throughout the islands… The local Farmers Institute and Islands Food organizations are proactive in organizing workshops to support food production on Haida Gwaii, from beginners to farmers.

Experience Haida Gwaii – our fresh healthy food will invigorate you while you tour the islands, walk the beaches and forests and kayak or sail around Haida Gwaii. Come visit!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Experience Haida Gwaii in 2012!

When you have reached the edge of your world, ours begins…

Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) is Canada’s most remote archipelago and is located approximately 90 nautical miles west of Prince Rupert, BC. Access to our islands is made by boat (BC Ferries) or air (Air Canada and Pacific Coastal).

Our climate is mild even in the winter and allows for outdoor recreation activities year round.  The summer months are busy ones for accommodation and service providers as it is our primary season for visitors. Life slows down for islanders from October through May. 

Photo Credit for Hot Spring Island: Gwaii Haanas Park

Fall and spring are ideal times to book a vacation – our numerous accommodation providers will have more time to spend talking with you and helping you identify attractions and activities that you may not have been aware of.

Activities on Haida Gwaii include sport fishing, surfing, crabbing, clam digging, beachcombing, wildlife watching, charters to Gwaii Haanas and other remote areas, kayak and boat rentals, museums, heritage sites, the Art Route Tour, and much more!

 Photo Credit: Anvil Cove Charters

Wildlife you may see when visiting on Haida Gwaii includes Sitka black-tailed deer, black bears, bald eagles,  ravens (they are BIG and very crafty!), Orca and Grey whales, sea lions and seals.

Photo Credit for Sitka Deer and Eagle: Anvil Cove Charters

 Photo Credit for Black Bear: Gwaii Haanas Park

The whales can most often be seen in the spring – something to consider when planning your vacation.

Surfing – one of the better kept secrets on Haida Gwaii, is becoming increasingly popular. The Annual Surfing Expression Session is held in November each year – come on over and experience the pristine Haida Gwaii surf! Lessons and equipment rentals are available any time at North Beach Surf Shop

 Photo Credit: Surf Haida Gwaii

Be your own guide or let one of our many knowledgeable tour operators serve you.

Accommodations are available in each community as well as ‘floating hotels’ on the water (fishing lodges) – check for more details. The Queen Charlotte Visitor Centre will also assist you to plan your vacation and have a reservation service

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Monday, 5 December 2011

Take the Art Route Tour

Haida Gwaii is home to many talented artists using a variety of mediums to produce art ranging from the traditional to contemporary forms.  

The Art Route program connects artists with visitors by maintaining a list of artists who open their studios to the public.

The Haida Gwaii Art Route program was developed through the volunteer efforts of the Queen Charlotte Island Arts Council ( in 2003. Haida Gwaii Tourism ( assumed responsibility for the program in 2008.

      · The brochure provides addresses, maps and information on each studio so that visitors can take a self-guided tour through the art community of the islands.

      · The islands are well known for the strong artistic tradition of the Haida people, and several well-known Haida artists are featured in the brochure. As well, these islands have attracted and nourished the artistic talent from other people.

      · The work of many local artists draw inspiration from the rich natural environment of the islands. Many incorporate local materials into their works.

Suggested Itinerary: Plan a route that takes you to several studios in each community. Plan ahead and make appointments with the artists you wish to visit since many do not have a set schedule.
Explore the connection of art to the land, for example: ask to accompany artists as they gather materials such as cedar bark for weaving or wood for carving, or visit sites that artists mention as inspirational to their art.

More Information: 

Download the Art Route brochure at or pick up a copy at a local Visitor Centre or participating studios.

For historical photos of traditional art and Haida villages, try Haida Monumental Art by George F. MacDonald (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1983) available at most local bookstores.