Tofino and Ucluelet B.C. Sportfishing
Vessels and Gear for Salmon Halibut and Steelhead
For our focus of guided Freshwater and Saltwater Sport fishing opportunities on the west coast of Vancouver Island, the Clayoquot Ventures Guide Team is equipped with the right gear to do the best job possible of hosting clients for safe and successful excursions. The following outlines should help you become familiar with the fleet of vessels that we strive to maintain beyond industry standards and certification, showing our pride and commitment to top quality service for our guests.
“The Right Hook”- a 25.5’ Sea Pro Walk Around model. She can accommodate private groups up to 5 with her extra length and rear seating. Powered by a Mercury Optimax 225 HP main engine, and a Yamaha 9.9 Trolling engine, The Right Hook has a comfortable forward cuddy, with an open back deck perfectly suited to fight and land large Halibut and Salmon. The Right Hook is also one of our “go to” vessels in the event that Albacore Tuna come within 40 miles of the Vancouver Island coastline. Stability, Comfort and Class, are all considerable assets for this great charter vessel. Along with all of Clayoquot Ventures other offshore vessels, The Right Hook is outfitted with Radar, Lowrance Colour GPS Mapping and Sonar system, VHF Radio and all transport Canada regulated safety equipment, registration and certification.
"Overtime" - The latest addition to the Clayoquot Ventures fleet, the “Overtime” is a sister ship to the “Right Hook”. Built in 2003, “Overtime” is a 25.5 ft Sea Pro Walk-Around model, powered with twin 135 HP Mercury Opti-max outboards. Safety, Sonar and Navigation components are made by Lowrance and Furuno, with a Long Range VHF radio and ample fuel capacity in the event of Albacore Tuna fishing options. Overtime’s sister ship “Right Hook” has been so popular for our Tofino Salmon and Halibut fishing over recent seasons, we felt it was in Clayoquot Ventures’ best interest to expand this same opportunity to more of our guests.
With the Clayoquot Ventures staff team devout Hockey fans, we felt it was suiting to name this new vessel after the most exciting part of the game….
Join us for our kind of excitement on the “Overtime” this season.
“Sarita” The sister ship to Relentless, is a 23ft Seasport custom designed for West Coast Charter Fishing for Salmon, Halibut and Bottom fish. Boasting an excellent cabin for client comfort, and an open back deck that has proven capable of handling Halibut to 170 lbs, the Sarita has been a top producing vessel in the Tofino area since 1996. Powered by a 225 HP Mercury Four Stroke and 9.9 HP Yamaha trolling motor, the Sarita has the means to fish all waters of the Tofino area.
“Relentless” The sister ship to Sarita, is identical in many ways, with the same client friendly seating, open deck with large fish/deck lockers, and cushioned bow in the event of a well needed rest. Powered by a 225 HP Mercury Optimax and Yamaha 9.9 HP Trolling motor, the Relentless is a great vessel for group sizes up to 4. Whether you want to fish the Coastline for feeding Salmon, or venture offshore for Halibut and Bottom fish, the Relentless and Sarita are designed for a quality guided fishing experience.
“Power Play” -named after two of our favourite pastimes, fighting fish and playing Hockey, this 22ft Center Console Wellcraft is an inshore Salmon catching machine, suitable for groups up to three. Powered by a 200 HP Mercury Optimax and 9.9 HP Trolling motor, the Power Play is consistently a top producer among the many islands and reefs of outer Clayoquot Sound. The Tofino area waters are considered some of the most prime Salmon habitat on the Vancouver Island coastline, and Power Play is the perfect vessel to Fly fish or Troll these coastal Hot Spots for aggressive Chinook and Coho Salmon. The Power Play, as well as Clayoquot Ventures other inshore charter vessels are equipped with Lowrance Colour GPS Mapping and Sonar system, VHF Radio and all transport Canada regulated safety equipment.
“Remote Raft”- a 13.5 ft NRS Expedition Series inflatable, this raft has seen more time inside a DeHavilland Beaver Float plane than you might imagine. With an inflatable Self Bailing Floor and 19 inch tubes, this white-water rated raft can handle moving waters 20X worse than we ever put it through. An adjustable rowing frame, rear anchor pulpit seat, and stable bow storage seat, this craft is perfectly set up and safe for single and multi day excursions on the remote rivers of Vancouver Island. One thing you won’t see on this boat is a fish locker, as all of our remote freshwater excursions are 100% catch and release. Fly fishing, light artificial tackle and photography are all common approaches while we drift downstream. Comfortable and lightweight inflatable collars are supplied as a safety precaution on all freshwater fishing excursions.
“Personal Pontoon Boats”- We’ve been fortunate to share a memorable “first experience” with many of our guests using personal Pontoon boats on our Fly in mountain lake excursions. Propelled by Oars and Fins on your feet, these lightweight, safe and stable still water vessels are an excellent way to move around a small to medium sized lake, while fly fishing or gear fishing for Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout. Storage compartments keep your camera and snacks dry, while waders and boots keep your feet and legs dry. Rated for up to 350 lbs, but weighing approximately 46lbs dry weight, our personal pontoon boats are a very versatile option to fish various Fly in locations on Vancouver Island.
There is no doubt that the Clayoquot Ventures Guide Team is equipped with all the proper gear to get the job done right. Having a fully stocked company Fly & Tackle store with the Sport fishing industry’s premier products, our vessels and guides are more than prepared for all types of coastal B.C. fisheries. Not only are our guides equipped with the best Rods, Reels and Gear, but they are also prepared for all outdoor elements with company apparel by Cloudveil and Patagonia, helping them stay focused on their job instead of the weather.
We are always eager to help answer specific questions about the equipment that you will be using on our guided fishing excursions, but the following outlines should provide a good understanding of what you can expect to be an integral part of your quality fishing experience.
Saltwater Salmon Fishing - Trolling for Salmon is the most common approach in the Tofino-Ucluelet area. We use Scotty Downriggers to get our gear down to the right depth, rigged with a release clip mechanism to fight the fish on the rod and reel, completely free of the Downrigger.
Most often, we troll for Salmon with a 10.5 ft rod made by G.Loomis or Shimano, and single action-direct drive reels made by Islander Reels right here on Vancouver Island. These smooth reels are normally loaded with 30 lb. test main line in the early part of the season, and uploaded to 40 lb. test main line for the largest Salmon of the year in August and early September. We will occasionally troll some extra gear in the right conditions, and sometimes utilize similar single action reels made by Shimano as well. Flashers are common as an attractor, with Spoons, Plugs and Hoochies common imitators. Baits such as Anchovy, Herring and Sardines are used as often as any type of lure for our Salmon Fishing. A similar approach is used for Salmon fishing on Offshore as well as Inshore waters of the Tofino/Clayoquot Sound area, with the main difference is that Offshore we will fish as deep as 200 feet for salmon, while inshore Salmon fishing often sees a maximum depth of 70 feet. We do have high quality Penn International and Abu level wind reels ready to go for those of you that are “all thumbs” and prefer to not fish Salmon with single action style reels. Upon your request, we are also able to jig fish for Salmon with fair to good success, so if this is your preferred approach, we can plan for this type of salmon fishery as well.
Saltwater Halibut Fishing - With an average size of 18-45 lbs. and many fish larger, we approach our Halibut fishery with gear that is light enough for a great experience, but strong enough to ensure that you are on the winning end of the battle. We use one piece rods made by Shimano, and level wind reels made by either Penn or Shimano. These reels are loaded with 80-100 lb test Tuff Line, a thin braided Dacron line that does not allow any stretch, especially when setting the hook on a Halibut that is almost 200 ft. under the boat. Monofilament leaders in the 100-180 lb. range rigged with tandem 8/0 Octopus style hooks are common to fish fresh baits for Halibut. Fighting belts are always ready for those that need the extra support, especially when involved in lengthy battles with a “Barn door” like the 170 lb. Halibut that took Jay and guests over 2 hours. Our vessels are equipped to deal with all sizes of Halibut, with necessary gaff hooks, Harpoons and Ropes.
Inshore Saltwater Fly fishing - For this exciting fishery that has helped label our home waters of Tofino/Clayoquot Sound the premier area on the B.C. Coast, we fly fish by either casting sink tips or Buck tailing with a skip fly on the surface. Using top quality Fly Reels such as the LX 3.8 by Islander, and fast action 8 wt. rods by Sage and G.Loomis, our guests’ experience is enhanced by using only the best.
For our guests that choose to bring their own Fly fishing equipment, we suggest a good quality 7 to 9 weight fly rod with reel capable of holding at least 100 yards of 30 lb. backing for the great variety of powerful fish that we encounter. Fly lines ranging from 200 to 450 grains will cover most situations. Recommended #4-1/0 flies include baitfish streamers and clousers, as well as shrimp imitations to tempt Coho and Chinook Salmon, Rockfish and Ling Cod. Our Fly and Tackle shop boasts a great selection of the area’s most productive patterns for casting and Bucktailing as well as a good stock of the high quality rods and reels that we use when outfitting clients.
Fly in Lake Fishing - From May through late October, the small mountain lakes that we fish primarily have a healthy population of Rainbow Trout in the 1-6 lb. range, and Cutthroat Trout normally 12-20 inches. We are keen to host anglers who prefer either Fly fishing or light tackle, and therefore are prepared to outfit you with either type of gear. As these fisheries are 100 % catch and release, we do not fish any bait, and carefully release all fish, allowing for a quick photo to retain the memory forever. Most often on these small sized lakes, we’ll fish a 5 wt. Sage or G.Loomis medium action rod and disc drag reel loaded with type 3 and 6 sink tips and full sink lines. It is not overly common to get dry fly action during the day, unless we are on an overnight excursion where we will get surface activity late in the evening and early in the morning. Damsel Flies, Leeches and Chironomids are all stand-by sub surface flies in the #10-4 sizes. Floating lines and indicators are productive for mid day hatches as well.
For gear anglers, we often use a light or ultra light spinning combo by Shimano loaded with 6 lb main line and 3 or 4 lb. test leader material. Small spoons work well, but small green or black spinners seem to produce the best for terminal tackle.
Steelhead and Fall Salmon Fishing - Our remote river trips for Fall, Winter and Spring Steelhead, as well as returning Fall Salmon are often approached with the same fly rods that we use for our Saltwater Fly fishing for Coho Salmon and Bottom fish species. G.Loomis and Sage 8 wt. Rods are common for the Fly fishing enthusiasts with some water allowing for larger two handed fly rods in the 7/8 and 8/9 class. The same, or similar fly lines as our Saltwater fishery apply to the Steelhead and river Salmon fishing as well, but we also often go with a multi tip fly line system to cover various types of water by changing a sink tip, and not the whole spool. We normally use a 4-6 foot leader tipped with 8 lb test, with Flies that range from big and buggy to big and flashy. This fishery doesn’t have a very subtle approach with small flies, in fact, we want to attract as much attention as possible. Rabbit Strip leeches, Prawns and similar marabou attractors fill most of our fly boxes, with more patterns utilizing tinsel for the Fall Salmon fishing. An exception to the big fly approach is when we approach water that is common to hold good numbers of trout, then we will have you cast a small streamer on a 5 weight sink tip line. Certain streamers like the Kiwi Muddler has been known to tempt a number of Steelhead to test the 5 wt. rod and 4 lb. test tippet. We do fish terminal tackle if you choose, but like our lake fishing excursions, these trips are 100 % catch and release, so we do not fish any bait and release all fish as carefully as possible. For Steelhead and Fall Salmon tackle, we use 10-10.5 ft medium/light rods by G.Loomis and Shimano, loaded with 10 lb test spinning reels or level wind reels if you choose. The Gibbs #35 Koho Spoon is one of our standby pieces, as well as a custom tied Rabbit Strip or Marabou jigs under a float. With all of these flies and lures, it is mandatory that we fish a single, barbless hook outlined in the freshwater regulations.