Wild Hippa Island

Outstanding photos highlighting the fish and wildlife of British Columbia from Kyler Vos

March 12, 2012
Kyler Vos
Kyler Vos Courtesy Kyler Vos

Kyler Vos, a 23-year-old photographer lives in Tofino, British Columbia, a scenic coastal port on the Pacific coast of Vancouver Island. He studied photography at the college level in Vancouver but says after three years was ready to forsake the urban environment to return to the island. In the past few years, he’s focused his talents and camera on both surfing and sport fishing. Most recently, Vos has spent the past couple of summers working as the official photographer for West Coast Resorts. Vos says that as a freelance photographer, he often doesn’t know where he’ll be shooting next, but he does know he’ll want that to be on or in the Pacific Ocean. Here, Vos shares some of his outstanding images taken at Hippa Island on the northwestern coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands off the northernmost British Columbia coast, where West Coast Resorts has a luxurious floating lodge. You can see more of Vos’ photography here.

“What are we going to do with it now?” seems to be what this trio of halibut anglers are wondering. In fact, often the monster barn doors hooked off Hippa Island are released (and smaller fish kept for food). Kyler Vos
Risky business bringing 100-plus pounds of angry halibut into a small boat! Typically, big halibut are stuck through with a flying harpoon head and given time to thrash themselves out boatside. Kyler Vos
A tree of eagles — bald eagles are abundant around Hippa Island. Immatures lack the classic white head. Kyler Vos
The end game for Team Sport Fishing as Clint Jones watches Doug Olander work a big chinook salmon to the net. Kyler Vos
It’s always a dramatic sight off Hippa when tons of mass erupts from the surface as a humpback whale breaches. Kyler Vos
One in the net — guide hauls in a nice chinook for three happy anglers. Kyler Vos
High jumper! Pacific white-sided dolphin catches major air off Hippa. Kyler Vos
Prize of the Pacific — When Chinook reach 30 pounds, B.C. anglers call them tyee; at 40 they’re often known simply as “slabs.” Kyler Vos
Easy come, easy go: When salmon are abundant off Hippa Island, salmon sharks — essentially a cold-water mako — may show up and occasionally help themselves to a meal. Kyler Vos
The result: about half a chinook after Mister Shark got his cut. Kyler Vos
Double hookups rule the day when salmon are thick as they are much of the season, chinook often throughout and coho by August. Kyler Vos
Reluctant chinook takes line in this over/under composite image. Kyler Vos
Keeper halibut comes aboard. Many anglers believe fish in the 30- to 80-pound range make the best eating. Kyler Vos
Who is youse lookin’ at? Black bears are a common sight along beaches for anglers traveling out or back in from fishing; boats can often get close enough for photos. Kyler Vos
Typical morning weather and a typical salmon bite West Coast Resorts provides the warm, dry, foul-weather gear evident here, as well as good deck boots. Kyler Vos
Company on the grounds — these anglers are sharing the waters with a couple of pilot whales. Kyler Vos
More predators join the fray; sea lions may be numerous. Kyler Vos
Few fish are more handsome than salmon. Kyler Vos
Unique to British Columbia salmon fishing are single-action “knuckle-buster” reels and extra-long, limber mooching rods. Kyler Vos
Spouting orcas send small mist geysers into the grey morning air. Kyler Vos
A pair of kings make these anglers happy. The south passage that leads back to the resort is evident in the background. Kyler Vos
Not playing games — bald eagle visage has look of deadly seriousness. Kyler Vos

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