A Family’s Journey Through a Unusual Year: The Story of King Pacific Lodge
Wishing you and your Family a Merry Christmas
The season is upon us when we find ourselves reflecting over times past and focussing on our family and friends. It’s also a time for us to look forward optimistically to a New Year. It is our sincere hope that this message finds you and your family and friends well and in good health and spirits.
As you may be aware, Lisa and I chose not to open King Pacific Lodge this year. Given the public health information, restrictions and community concerns we felt this was the responsible thing to do. We appreciate the support of so many of our valued guests and we thank you for your understanding.
On a personal note, this was the first season since 1987 I haven’t spent time on the water while working at a fishing lodge. I missed the assembly and camaraderie of the seasonal crew, the excitement of eager fishing guests and all the amazing wildlife.
Earlier this summer my father, Jim Cuthbert, affectionately known as Papa Jim or Aqua Chief, passed away on the very day we would have opened the 2020 season. Many of our regular guests will remember him helping out at KPL over the years and we will all miss him. Jim’s engineering background and love for the fishing lodge experience made him the perfect handyman. He was influential in my early fishing interests, and we fished together on our family boat for many years while I grew up on Vancouver Island. In early September of 1982 Jim took me to my very first fishing lodge experience at Ucluelet, BC. We fished using jigs from ‘Party Boats’ along with 20 other anglers. While the fishing was good, for me it was incredible, and I couldn’t keep the big ones off my line! This past summer I finally found an old newspaper article containing a photograph of me with the largest fish of that trip, a 37 pounder. I remember the day and the fish vividly as it was the very day that I decided I wanted to be a fishing guide! I wanted to share this photo with you because it was the pivoting moment that resulted in my enthusiasm for fishing which I still feel today.
With the suspension of the 2020 operating season, we were able to re-purpose some of our floating accommodations to essential service operations on the BC Coast. As luck would have it, provisioning remote workplace equipment for forestry and log salvage was an opportunity for our son, Fisher and I to get out on the water together. Generally, the fishing was very good on the mid and central coast of BC and Fisher landed his largest salmon ever; a 55 pound Tyee caught on his grandfathers fishing rod. Our Daughter, Hunter and I did a little beach fishing for fall Coho salmon on southern Vancouver Island. This, along with rowing for large Chinook in the world famous Tyee Pool in Campbell River were all rejuvenating. The opportunity to have these experiences was extremely valuable. I have a greater appreciation for the reasons our guests love to come fishing and a desire to ensure these trips are the very best they can be.
Our business started in 2013 and we haven’t looked back. The summer of 2020 gave us a fantastic opportunity to look after so many small details within almost every aspect of our operation. Lisa’s passion for hospitality and customer service led her to work on refining the delivery of our guest experience and I worked on literally every single loose nut, bolt and squeaky hinge on the lodge! Our eldest daughter Chloe, who is a familiar face and valued employee at KPL, spent her summer working on her university projects and I have no doubt she may be well on her way to owning her own lodge one day!
We are anxious to open King Pacific Lodge again and get back out on the water. The lodge is nearly fully provisioned, ready to go and the fleet of boats couldn’t be in better shape to start fishing!
Wising you the very best for 2021 and a Merry Christmas