At the head of Virago Sound, off Dixon Entrance on the northern coast of Haida Gwaii, formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands, is pristine Naden Harbour, the remote location favoured by fishing lodges that attract sports anglers to the world-class salmon fishing offered by the islands.
This location on the northeast coast of Haida Gwaii is ideal to intercept all runs of Pacific Salmon southbound for the rivers of British Columbia to the south. Besides the five species of salmon, halibut and other bottom fish are also in abundance throughout the fishing season (June through mid-September), as well as crabs and prawns.
In addition to some of the finest fishing in the world, visitors to this remote wilderness, anglers and non-anglers alike, enjoy an unparalleled sense of peace and tranquility, and develop a strong appreciation for the beautiful surroundings.
Naden Harbour was the location of the Consolidated Whaling Company’s operation at Naden Harbour Whaling Station. The whaling station operated between 1911 and 1943, with three whalers hunting mainly finback and sperm whales, and was one of four whaling stations serving a fleet of whalers on the British Columbia coast before the first world war.
The whaling station hit the headlines in 1937 when a strange unidentified marine animal was discovered in the stomach of a sperm whale being harvested. The creature, which many believe was a cadborosaurus, was ten feet long, with a long elongated body, curiously shaped fins and tail, and a head resembling a horse.
Location: The 8-mile (13-km) long Naden Harbour is located 17 miles (27 km) west of Masset on the northern shore of Graham Island, approximately is 550 miles (880 km) northwest of Vancouver. The Haida Gwaii islands are accessed by ferry from Prince Rupert to the Skidegate Landing Ferry Terminal on Graham Island, by air from Vancouver to Sandspit on Moresby Island (770 km), and by air from Prince Rupert to Sandspit. Other commercial air services (including float planes and helicopters) are available at Sandspit, Queen Charlotte City and Masset. A 20-minute ferry ride connects Graham and Moresby Islands.
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The ancient Haida village of Kung, a once thriving community of fifteen houses and 280 inhabitants in 1840, is located on the west shore of Alexander Narrows at the entrance to Naden Harbour from Virago Sound. Kung was vacated as a permanent village by 1884, with the survivors moving to the Haida settlement in Masset, leaving behind a rare triple totem pole, which is now in quite an advanced state of decay.
Eden Lake, located 8 miles (13 km) south of the southern end of Naden Harbour (50 km southwest of Masset), is reached from Naden Harbour by a gravel logging road leading through the Naden River Valley to the westernmost logging camp in Canada, located on the shores of Eden Lake. Eden Lake fills a glacially-carved depression in the Skidegate Plateau, in the lee of the Queen Charlotte Mountains. The Naden River, an important sockeye salmon producing stream, feeds Eden Lake at the south inlet, and drains the lake to Naden Harbour from the north outlet.
A unique column of rock called Pillar Rock rises 30 metres from a tidal ledge on the northwest coast of Graham Island. Measuring 8 metres in diameter, the top of this amazing sea stack supports growth of bushes and small trees.
Fish Hatcheries: Two coho fish hatcheries are operated in the area, one at Eden Lake logging camp and the other at a fishing lodge on Naden Harbour, servicing Torney Creek, Naden River, Davidson River.
Wildlife: Wiah Point and Virago Sound are important areas for marbled murrelets, and offshore, Learmonth Bank is a key feeding and breeding area for migrant seabirds.
To the northwest of Naden Harbour is Langara Island, the northernmost of the islands that make up the mythical Haida Gwaii island archipelago. Langara Island is one of the three premier fly-in saltwater fishing locations in British Columbia.
To the east of Naden harbour is the small village of Masset, the largest town on Haida Gwaii, formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, and the northern gateway to Naikoon Provincial Park.
Circle Tours: See the best of Northern BC and Haida Gwaii on one of the Circle Tours that capture the wonders of the north. The Inside Passage Circle Tour and the Native Heritage Circle Tour include Haida Gwaii by catching a ferry from Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands).
Circle Tours in British Columbia.