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Celebrating another successful season, birthdays, and a life

Today marks the end our 2017 fishing season.
Another great year, with friends coming back to fish with us week after week.
On one of our last days, we celebrated the birthdays of Gene and Connor, as well as the life of a guest and friend who has been coming to Bear Claw since we began, Alfred Bond.
Alf had a passion for Steelhead fishing, and on his bucket list, was to land a 40″ Steelhead on the fly. A few years ago, we were all fortunate enough to help check the 40″er off of Alf’s bucket list.
He toasted the table that night, with us thinking he was getting sentimental as he paused for over a minute during his toast about this accolade, we all got a little choked up as well. In true Alf form, he raised his head, blinked, and said “I’ve forgotten what I was going to say”. Alf always brought laughs to the lodge, his presence was always delightful, and that character will be dearly missed.
We feel fortunate to have guests that continue to come back until they are 90 years of age, we are fortunate to have known such an incredible man as Alf, and we feel fortunate, toasting the end of our season with a nice whiskey in our glass around the fire to Alfred Bond.

Here’s to you Alf!

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Frizzy Fndtn Sponsors Eco-Camps!

Bear Claw Lodge would like to thank the Frizzy Foundation  who continue to sponsor First Nations youth to come to our Summer Conservation Camps for kids. We are very grateful that they continue to sponsor the program and provide the opportunity for a local youth that wouldn’t normally be able to come to camp. The kids have the opportunity to learn about and partake in different outdoor recreation, being responsible and smart in the outdoors, and learning how to take care of our pristine wilderness.

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Conservation Camps for Kids 2017

Now is the time to think about how you want your kids to spend the summer!  Why not try out our Conservation Camps for Kids at Bear Claw Lodge? Our focus is for the kids to have fun while learning life skills, being safe in the wilderness, teaching an appreciation for our watershed and a respect for the outdoors. Some of the activities we do are: Trail Riding, Horsemanship, Swift Water Safety, River Rafting, Kayaking, Picking Wild Berries & Making Jam, GPS & Mapping, Knot Tying, Campfire Cooking & Camping, Archery, Fishing, Swimming, Snorkeling with Salmon, Making Bread, Bear Aware, Saving Salmon Fry and Food Facts. Guest instructors include Raven Rescue, Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition, Fishing Guides, Fisheries and local conservation and wildlife authorities.

We have developed our own version of ‘The Amazing Race’ and Mantracker that has proved to be a favourite with the kids.

Other than the school based camps we host in June and late August, there are three main camps. July 10-17, July 20-27 & August 7-14. If your child is from the Pacific North West, they qualify for a much reduced fee of $749 thanks to some generous kids’ camp sponsors.

All councilors working with kids on the water are Swiftwater Rescue Technicians and all councilors have First Aid, up to and including Level 3. They carry SAT phones and/or walky talkies, first aid kits, allergy supplies and survival equipment on all excursions.

To register, or if you have inquiries, please contact Joy: joy@kispioxriver.com

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Goodbye to a Legend

George McLeod, an icon in the fly fishing world recently passed away. George and his Dad, Ken McLeod came fishing on the Kispiox River for several years and spent many wonderful days with our families each fall. George and Marty Allen would sit around the table, with Dorothy’s wood stove warming the kitchen, and share war stories, both having served in WW2. George and Ken taught us kids to tie flies, and we still have some of the flies that they tied for us back in the early 60’s, Skykomish Sunrise, Purple Peril and the McLeod Ugly were their favourites. George held the world record 29lb, 2oz steelhead from October 1955 – 1962 caught on a single hand fly rod here in the Kispiox. Their stories, sense of humour, kindness to us kids and their passion for steel heading will always hold a special place in our hearts.

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It’s the family!

Sadly, another season has come and gone as quickly as the ice has left the Kispiox River.

What do we miss most when a season ends? Returning guests that have become family, new guests that have become friends, good times and good chats, and our TEAM.

The team at Bear Claw Lodge and Skeena Heliskiing is a family. The family that you’re proud of, that you can always count on, and that you wish you had more than just a 3 month heli-ski season with.

When new guests want to book, they ask, “What makes your place different?”…Well, we have a beautiful lodge, a beautiful tenure, many different activities, but it is our team that really makes us stand out and brings our guests back year after year.

Whether it’s the specialty coffees brought to our guests’ bed side tables, dancing around the wood stove at Bear Tail, axe throwing, bannock over the fire with mulled wine after an epic day of skiing, horse drawn sleigh rides, slip and slides, and so on, we do our best to make our guests feel at home and to give them the best experience we possibly can. The biggest part of that is having great guests, making it easy to adopt them into our big crazy Bear Claw/Skeena family!

The camaraderie and love that is found in the kitchen, out at the fire, in the office, out at the dinner table, in the mountains, or even in the helicopter is seldom found in the work place and we are so lucky to have so much of it.

Thank you to our guests for being week after week incredible and our massive team for being the awesome and unique people that you are.

Looking forward to an epic summer, fall and heli-ski season 2017!

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Summer Camp for ADULTS!

It’s great to be able to send your kids to camp for a week. They come home with amazing stories, new friends, and hopefully a few new skills.

Have you ever thought, “I wish I could do something like that”? Bear Claw Lodge is giving adults the opportunity to revisit their childhood. The 3 night 4 day camp will submerge you in the outdoors, challenge you, and give a whole lot of fun and laughter!

What is in store?

Guests will arrive at the lodge on July 15th at 12pm or be picked up by our shuttle service at the Smithers airport on the  Air Canada 9:40am flight.
Guests will enjoy 2 evenings camping outside and the last evening will be spent in the lodge where guests can enjoy all lodge amenities and a 3 course gourmet meal before retiring in luxurious beds with down duvets.

Day 1: Guests will learn Swift Water Rescue basics and become familiar with the Inflatable Kayaks and Rafts. Nature Hike where we will talk about plant identification and usage, wilderness first aid and local history.

Day 2: Campfire cooking, horsemanship and horseback riding, GPS & Mapping, Knot Tying, and the beginning of an overnight river rafting adventure.

Day 3: Second day of river rafting, snorkelling with salmon, fishing (if you have bought a license), more horse back riding, GPS & Mapping, Knot Tying, and a 2 hour game of MANTRACKER!
Guests will move into the lodge after the exciting game…

Day 4: Good morning wake-up calls brought to the guests’ bed side table and brunch at 10am. Guests depart at 12pm. Those guests going to the airport should be on the afternoon flight (on July 18th) at 1:35pm, which means they will be leaving at 9:30am and breakfast will be served earlier.

Yes, there will be s’mores, banana boats and popcorn over the fire.
Camp isn’t camp without campfire sing alongs, campfire games,  and maybe even a bottle of wine?

Other activities will be available throughout the 4 days (bread making, berry picking/jam making, slip and slide, capture the flag, zip lining, and so much more) as well as guests speakers.

The package includes accommodations, airport shuttles, all meals, all non alcoholic beverages, and all activities!

The adult summer camp weekend is $900/person
Please inquire for details!

 

 

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Fine Wines from British Columbia!

We are so excited to be teaming up with Winemates & More Inc. from Kelowna, BC.
Representing several incredible British Columbian vineyards, Bear Claw will be upping its local wine “game”.
After visiting the Gebert family today at their St. Hubertus vineyard, we are more than ecstatic to have teamed up with a company representing such fabulous owned vineyards. Andy (co-owner of St.Hubertus) took Bear Claw’s own Danielle Bradford and Kaleigh Allen for a tour of the vineyard. Nothing is more enjoyable than a wine tasting; however, to see the hospitality, joy, and passion Andy showed throughout the tour was tasted in every glass!
Looking forward to be carrying some incredible wineries for our upcoming 2016 winter season.

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Eco Wild Summer Camps!

Here at Bear Claw lodge, we like to offer a unique experience. This rings true with our Summer Eco Wild Camps for kids. We don’t just teach them about surviving in the wilderness, we immerse them in it, so they get to learn things first-hand.

How our rivers provide us with freshwater to drink, and fish to eat. How the surrounding land provides us with flora and fauna to feed and heal us. And especially how important it is to cultivate your connection with nature and your surrounding environment.

Our goal is for kids to go home feeling more confident in nature and all that it offers us. We want them to take home the knowledge of how to integrate the things they learned into their daily lives.

A 3 day trip down the river was a part of our last camp July 9th-16th.

 

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Snorkelling with Salmon!

Maybe you have done a lot of snorkelling in tropical places. It is definitely amazing to see so many different colours and different kinds of fish; but, there’s really something special about the Kispiox River.
It’s a whole new world when you put on the goggles, snorkel and flippers and submerge yourself into the salmon world of a moving river.
The way the water has shaped the rocks over hundreds of years is incredible.
The other amazing part is that you are in a river, you are literally “going with the flow”, which is something you don’t have in the ocean. The feeling is altogether special.
We would describe it as the closest you can get to flying without actually being in the air.
Now, imagine soaring down the river, and seeing massive schools of spawning salmon swimming up river or a school of trout stationed under a giant rock.
The feeling is like no other, and we invite you to experience it with us at Bear Claw Lodge.
We provide all of the gear as well as wet suits if needed.
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Garden Season!

It’s that time. Green houses are in full grow and the gardens are seeded!
Another hot spring in Northern British Columbia.
We are looking forward to pea shucking, pulling carrots and eating them, home-made jam, and the endless supply of delicious salads that all come from the garden.

There is nothing better than home-made, and nothing beats home-grown.

Hooray for summer and garden season!