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"MacKenzie Brothers" annual Port Renfrew fishing trip.
Brothers from Alberta, Maple Ridge and Victoria, BC.

Port Renfrew boasts one of the few untouched trophy fisheries close to a major metropolitan area with airport-access anywhere in North America. Port Renfrew is the first place where migratory salmon from the open ocean and Swiftsure Bank encounter land on their spawning migrations to rivers in southern British Columbia. Salmon (coho, pink, sockeye and chum) runs move through local waters 12 months of the year.

Home to some of the Continents most spectacular saltwater fishing, Port Renfrew serves up trophy halibut and salmon for anglers of all levels. Quite amazing since it is only 90 minutes from metropolitan Victoria!

The area is also a fly-fishers gem, where northern Coho salmon reaching 25 Lbs congregate by the harbor mouth a short boat ride from town.

Sitting at the delta of two rivers, Port Renfrew also offers great year round fresh water fishing. Nearby Fairy Lake boast Cutthroat Trout and Dolly Varden while Rainbow trout may be caught in Lizard Lake. Gordon River is famous for steelhead fishing.

Fishing Tournaments

Fishing Information:
www.portrenfrewmarina.com
www.bcadventure.com/adventure/angling/protalk/reid/hotspot/renfrew.phtml
www.crd.bc.ca/jdf/tourism/fishing.htm?tn

Charters:
Pacific Sportsfishing Charters: www.pacificsportsfishing.ca 1-866-537- 2838
Hindsight Fishing Charters: www.hindsightfishing.com 1-866-642-7393
Jolly Rogers Fishing Adventures: www.vancouverislandfishing.ca 1-888-534-7422
Ocean Mist Retreat: www.oceanmistretreat.com 1-877-743-2985
Port Renfrew Fishing Adventures: www.fishingportrenfrew.ca 1-250-642-2587
Island Outfitters (fresh & saltwater fishing): www.fishingvictoria.com 1-250-475-4969
Trailhead Resort & Charters: www.trailhead-resort.com 1-250-647-5468
SeaWind Fishing Adventures: www.seawindfishing.com

Fishing Maps:
www.discoverportrenfrew.com/activities-freshwater.htm (see trails, etc. 3-4 great maps)

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Each year the entire North American population of the Pacific Grey Whales migrate along the west coast of Vancouver Island, B.C. An estimated 22,000 grey whales make the journey from Mexican Baja Peninsula along the west coast to their summer feeding grounds in the Bearing and Chukchl Seas near the Arctic. Traveling close to the shoreline, the whales provide excellent viewing opportunities from the rocky headlands along the coast. They join humpbacks, dolphins, orcas, Sea otters in the often crowded waters off Port Renfrew. Few places offer comparable marine wildlife viewing.

Whale Watching Information:
www.portrenfrew.com/graywhales.htm
http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=BHRLtgb2DFM
http://www.vanaqua.org/education/aquafacts/killerwhales.html

Whale Watching Links:
www.portrenfrewwhalewatching.com
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From epic weeklong treks to after-lunch strolls, Port Renfrew has trails for all abilities. The areas plentiful logging roads and abundance of protected eco-systems combine for rare glimpses of intact eco-systems. Hikers in Port Renfrew will enjoy untouched beaches, waterfalls, rainforest summits, and stunning old growth forest - right in their backyards!

There are more then a dozen well marked and maintained hiking trails, ranging from a 45-minute loop leading to the world famous, 1000-year old Red Creek Fir (the largest known Douglas Fir tree in the world, at 41 feet in circumference and 240 feet tall), to the famous 75 km West Coast Trail.

A great day trip, not to be missed is to Botanical Beach (www.portrenfrew.com/botbeach.htm). Visitors will observe rich tidal pools full of hundreds of marine species of plants and animals. Botanical Beach is located only 5 km from Mile Beach Cottages.

Park & Hiking Information:
Red Creek Fir: http://www.portrenfrew.com/redfir.htm
West Coast Trail: http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/bc/pacificrim/index_E.asp
Juan de Fuca Trail: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks
Carmanah Park: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks

Organized Tour Links:
Edge of the World Ecotours: www.edgeoftheworldtours.com
Island Adventure Tours: www.islandadventuretours.com
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Alaskan storms funnel swell into the Straight of Juan de Fuca, creating more than a dozen surf breaks in the fall and winter. The rugged, clean, untouched coastline stretching south from Port Renfrew has been a favorite of local riders for decades. The view is also impressive, with soaring old growth Sitka spruce, Douglas fir, and western cedar enveloping the horizon.

From the beginner breaks south of Jordan River to bigger, more challenging surf in China Beach and further north at Sombrio Beach, the Port Renfrew area boasts impressive wave riding all fall and winter.

At certain tides, you can surf right off Mile Beach (across from the cottage).

Surfing Information:
www.surfingvancouverisland.com

Surf Reports:
Port Renfrew: www.surf-forecast.com/breaks/PortRenfrew.shtml
Sombrio Beach: www.surf-forecast.com/breaks/SombrioBeach.shtml
Jordan River: www.surf-forecast.com/breaks/JordanRiver.shtml

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The west coast of Vancouver Island is a particularly rich area to see birds such as the great blue heron, Canada geese, bald eagles, turkey vultures, humming birds and the local all season Raven. From Sooke to Port Renfrew, one can see more elusive birds such as woodpeckers, quail, owls and other bush birds.

Birding Information:
www.birding.bc.ca
www.crd.bc.ca/jdf/tourism/birds.htm

Organized Tour Links:
www.sookeadventures.com

Testimonial from Mile Beach Cottage Visitors
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The unspoiled isolation of Port Renfrew equals a little disturbed wildlife habitat. On land and in water, Port Renfrew is home to a diverse biosystem. The 200 human residents share the town with bears, eagles and seals, which can be spotted right from your back door. Also calling the forest home is the back-tail deer, Roosevelt Elk, Vancouver Island wolf, black bear, cougar and over a dozen other mammals.

Wildlife Information:
www.alberni-clayoquottourism.ca

Organized Tour* Links:
Edge of the World Tours at 1-250-647-5574 (www.edgeoftheworldtours.com)
Sooke Adventures Tours at 250-646-2823 (www.sookeadventures.com)

* In addition, many fishing charters offer whale watching tours, with boats leaving daily from town. See FISHING section for contact names.
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Oceans West Kayak tour, photographed from the deck of Mile Beach Cottage 1 in 2006.

With the area’s bounty of marine wildlife, there’s no better way to get up close and personal than by guiding your own kayak or canoe. Fairy Lake and the San Juan River estuary and delta offer calm kayaking year round, while the wild Pacific turns calm on most summer days and becomes an open ocean playground for advanced paddlers.

In the fall, taking the water is a venerable wildlife safari, as spawning salmon attract legions of back bear, eagles and seals.

Organized Tour or Boat Rentals:
Ocean West Kayaks at 250-647-5562 (www.oceanswestkayaks.com)
Rush Adventures at 250-642-2159 (www.rush-adventures.com)
Edge of the World Tours at 250-647-5574 (www.edgeoftheworldtours.com)

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Storm watching is a relatively new tourism phenomenon on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, though locals have been watching and surviving winter storms for millennia. Storm watching doesn't really require anything of the observer but stillness and wonder. Storm watching is best advantaged from ocean-front accommodations where a good book, a fireplace and maybe a down duvet across your lap are really all you need to experience the fury and the force of the pounding Pacific Ocean on the other side of your rattling, double paned window. Or for the more adventurous, head out into the storm to experience the power of the wind, to observe the giant waves, and to hear the symphony of the wind and waves.

Both Mile Beach Cottages 1 & 2 provide excellent storm watching opportunities from their ocean-front windows, or from their close proximity to the beach and other hiking trails.

Storm Watching Information:
Weather Report: http://weather.weatherbug.com/Canada/Port%20Renfrew-weather.html?zcode=z6286

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