In the latest feature from Fishing BC, we got the chance to catch up with Tatum Monod about her trip to Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Tatum fished out of Dundas Island, which is located on the west side of the Chatham Sound to the northwest of Prince Rupert along the Northern Coast of British Columbia. The whole Prince Rupert area on the Northern Coast of BC is rich in biodiversity with many different species of fish, the most popular to target on the fly being the different salmon species. Read on below to learn about Tatum’s incredible trip to Prince Rupert, where she landed her first-ever Chinook Salmon as well as Coho (Silver) Salmon on the fly.
Flylords: What region of Canada were you in for this project? Had you been there before?
Tatum: For my trip to Dundas Island, I was on the north coast of British Columbia. It was my first time there, and I had never deep sea fished before. Being out on the open water was such an incredible and different experience and I absolutely loved it. Targeting coho and chinook salmon was also new to me, and it was crazy! British Columbia is awesome, there is so much to do and so much beauty. It was so fun to venture into a new part of my home.
Flylords: What was your favorite part of the trip?
Tatum: It is so hard to pick just one favorite part of this trip. The overall experience was so insane and I was so grateful to be on Dundas Island. Just absorbing it all was amazing, from catching my first silver on the fly to deep-sea fishing I had a blast. I also felt like I learned so much from everyone, they were all so informed about what was happening with the fish and the tide, it was so cool. Being so remote was an experience in itself, it felt great to be away from everything in such a beautiful place.
Flylords: What was your favorite part of the Haa Nee Naa Lodge?
Tatum: I had never stayed at a floating lodge before, and it was totally rad. Because the lodge is completely floating, it moves with the tide and it feels odd but so cool. It was so calming to wake up in the morning and look out the window to see the deep blue sea. Just being out there was incredible. The fishing was insane, but I would have been almost just as happy to hang out at the Haa Nee Naa Lodge. The lodge food was also delicious, we had fresh sushi and it tasted so good. I would 11/10 recommend coming to Dundas Island and experiencing the beauty of British Columbia first hand.
Flylords: Would you recommend others to come up and take a trip like this?
Tatum: Yes!! It was the trip of a lifetime, and I hope to come back someday. The beauty of this part of British Columbia was astounding and the lodge itself was equally amazing. Haa Nee Naa lodge is unique because you can do guided or unguided fishing trips. There were some people at the lodge who had been there in years past and would just go out fishing on their own. If it is your first trip I definitely would recommend having a guide for a few days before going out by yourself. The guides are so nice and knowledgeable, it was so awesome to have them around.
Flylords: How is saltwater fishing different from small stream fishing? Did you enjoy it more or less than small stream fishing?
Tatum: Saltwater fishing was entirely different from small stream fishing. I grew up fishing small streams for trout but never had the opportunity to do deep-sea fishing until this trip. Although it was super different, it was so so fun! I did get to cast for coho salmon on my fly rod, which felt somewhat similar to small stream fishing, but still pretty different. Salmon fight insanely hard and I was getting an arm workout in!
It was such a new experience to jig with herring and catch halibut and other deep-sea dwellers. Ocean fishing has a science to it and the guides at Dundas Island had that science down. We would go to a certain spot and it would be super slow until the tide shifted. Then salmon came in like crazy and I had one on after another, which was an absolute blast! The ocean really is a different world and as much as I love small stream fishing, I also really enjoyed being on the saltwater.
Flylords: How did you feel about catching your first ever coho and chinook salmon?
Tatum: It was wild, I definitely see the allure of salmon fishing after going on this trip. When I got my first chinook on I didn’t know if I could even reel it in because it was so huge! I was amped up and so excited to catch that fish, I was freaking out a little bit. It was super hectic and I was so glad the guide and crew were there to help me out! Salmon is a whole new element for me and I was so stoked to experience salmon fishing in such an incredible place. I love the idea of having a personal cache of fresh salmon and it was so delicious to eat the salmon I caught.
Catching my first coho on a fly rod was a dream come true. It ran with my line and put up such a good fight. There’s just something about fighting such a strong fish on a fly rod. I went on this trip with hopes of catching a silver on the fly and I was lucky enough to do just that!
Flylords: What makes fishing in British Columbia so special?
Tatum: I am never bored in British Columbia, from skiing to fishing there is never a dull moment. Regarding fishing, in particular, I think the variety is incredibly special. We have oceans, trout, salmon, lakes, rivers, mountains, and you can change it up all the time. The combination of all these features makes for a fantastic fishing adventure in British Columbia.
Since I grew up in British Columbia, I think I will always find fishing here special. When I was little my dad would sit me in a Tupperware container at the front of his drift boat. I had the best time catching trout and just enjoying the ride. When you are in a place as pretty as British Columbia, catching fish can feel like a bonus!
Flylords: How do you feel skiing and fly fishing relate to one another?
Tatum: Fly fishing I can do until the day I die, but skiing will be temporary. There will become a point where my body just won’t be able to do it. Both fishing and skiing are two of my favorite activities, I don’t know where I’d be in life without them. I ski hard all winter and fishing during the summer gives me a chance to chill and relax. Fly fishing also gets me hyped up though, I’ll be hooting and hollering on the river when I’m having a good day!
Flylords: Is there a part of this trip that you will always remember?
Tatum: Catching salmon was such a new and amazing experience that I will always remember. It was unlike any other fishing I had ever done before. The bite was crazy and the feeling of such a large fish on the end of my line was unreal. Catching a coho on my fly rod was so cool, definitely won’t ever forget about that. It also felt awesome to just be on the water in such an incredible place. I got to go out paddleboarding and we saw so much wildlife, including a whale, which was an experience I’ll never forget! It’s hard to pick just one part of my trip, I think I’ll remember the whole thing forever!!
If you love skiing and fishing content, follow Tatum on Instagram @tatummonod.
Pictures courtesy of Jeremy Koreski @jeremykoreski.