Spectacularly rugged, natural and breathtakingly beautiful, Nootka Marine Adventures’ three resorts are a trifecta of world-class fishing, luxury accommodations and fresh air—perfect for family fun, corporate or group retreats, or guys’ weekends.—By Lise Boullard Managing Editor, Living magazine
Stay: While the bountiful fishing on the calm waters of Nootka Sound and the thrill of the open ocean are normally what attract guests to Nootka Marine Adventures, it’s the wild and rare beauty of the Tlupana, Tahsis, and Esperanza Inlets that keeps them coming back to the West Coast of Vancouver Island. And come back they do: what started in 2008 as a quaint fish camp in protected Galiano Bay has now expanded to include three renown fishing resorts within a 25 kilometer radius in this aquatic and mountainous paradise where the scent of sea air intoxicates.
Of the three resorts, families and couples will be most at home at the land-based Moutcha Bay Resort, built in 2011 with its oceanside chalets, RV and camping sites, lodge and poll pine waterfront luxury yurts (with fully equipped kitchens and soaker tubs). Here, you can wonder at the 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains and sparkling emerald waters of Nootka Sound. Just a boat ride away, both the floating Nootka Sound Resort, in Galiano Bay—and floating Newton Cove Resort, in pristine Esperanza Inlet—are ideal for a fishing getaway for small or large groups, including corporate retreats.
Do: Fishers, prepare your rods, because the nutrient-rich waters of Nootka Sound and Esperanza Inlet are home to hundreds of thousands of migratory and homebound fish. Whether you have your own boat, want to rent one or are looking for a fully guided experience, the three resorts offer opportunities for novices and experts alike in waters packed with Chinook, Coho, Halibut, Lingcod, Rockfish and later in the season, Albacore Tuna. (Be sure to bring your catch to the on-site government-certified processing facilities to have fish portioned and flash-packed for your trip home.)
Angling not your thing? From Moutcha Bay Resort you can easily access hiking, caving (at the nearby Upana Caves) or try paddle boarding, kayaking, and the increasingly popular sport of kayak fishing. Wildlife aficionados should keep their eyes peeled for black bears, sea otters, eagles, seals and humpback whales.
Savour: Whether you want to grill up the fish you just caught, or sit back and be spoiled by the resorts' chefs, there are no shortage of dining options at Nootka Marine Adventures. Guests at the two all-inclusives are treated to three gourmet meals daily, starting with made-to-order hot breakfasts and artisanal lunches to take on the boat, and ending with dinner, often made using ingredients sourced from nearby Seaview Farms in Black Creek.
Getting There: Moutcha Bay’s yurt and chalet patrons get to cook up their catch in their own fully equipped kitchens or shared barbeques, or dine on comfort food at the licensed Conuma Grill (think locally sourced seafood specialties like Calamari Fritti, Ling Cod Fish and Chips and Tuna Tataki with Albacore Tuna).
After dinner, all-inclusive guests at the floating retreats can partake in a little fireside stargazing and Moutcha Bay residents can take in the evening entertainment that is sometimes on offer.
When to Go: While Moutcha Bay Resort’s full facilities are available May 14 to the end of September, the retreat is open year-round with limited facilities throughout the winter.
All-inclusive Nootka Sound and Newton Cove resorts are open June to September.
Don’t Miss the chance to show off your angling skills at one of Nootka Marine Adventures’ five popular fishing derbies (all proceeds support the fish hatchery at the Nootka Sound Watershed Society):
· Salmon Enhancement Derby, Moutcha Bay Resort, June 24 to 25
· Bonnie & Clyde Derby, Moutcha Bay Resort, July 1 to July 2
· Tuna Derby, Newton Cove Resort, August 25 to 28
· Kayak Derby, Moutcha Bay Resort, September 2 to 3
· Coho Enhancement Derby, Newton Cove Resort, September 9 to 10
Air: Air Canada, Pacific Coastal Airlines and Westjet all fly to Comox or Campbell River from which you can take a shuttle to the three resorts. Or take a seaplane directly from Vancouver to Nootka Marine Adventures’ dock.
Land: Jump in your car, then on a ferry with BC Ferries to bring you to Nanaimo or Victoria, then drive north to the resort via Gold River.