At a Glance
A remote and extremely private family-run adventure lodge with just nine elegantly appointed cabins and some of the best heli-fishing anywhere.
Tucked on the shores of a secluded bay off the coast of British Columbia, Nimmo Bay is an intimate wilderness lodge that has been family run for more than three decades. While some guests come for such outdoor adventures as hiking in the Great Bear Rainforest, kayaking through the Broughton archipelago, or cruising around in a boat to observe the abundant wildlife, the lodge’s real specialty is its highly regarded heli-fishing program. Guests can opt to have a dedicated helicopter pilot for anything from a full day to an entire stay, at a cost starting at 2500 CAD per person per day, to take them to a different fishing spot each day.
For those doing a helicopter program, the day begins as you lift off the resort’s helipad with your dedicated pilot guide and head towards the horizon. You might start by flying over misted spruce tops and the inland passages of the mainland coast as you head towards a remote, salmon-filled glacial river. Then it’s a morning of fishing or exploring until lunch, which may be on a coastal stream or atop a 10,000-year-old glacier. The advantage of the helicopter is in the amount of ground you can cover and the variety of experience this opens up. You might choose to spend a morning on a pristine, white sandy beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island, soaking your feet in the Pacific Ocean, and then head up to mountain summit in the afternoon to admire the view from 7,000 feet atop a diamond-blue glacier.
Nimmo has just nine cabins. It’s worth splurging for the Oceanfront cabins, which are gorgeous and spacious, with hardwood floors and a bedroom and seating area with a double-story wall of plate glass windows overlooking the water and mountains. Outside, a private terrace has two rocking chairs for taking in the view. The beautifully appointed bathroom has a big soaking tub and shower. Upstairs is a second loft bedroom. Set near a waterfall, the Riverside cabins are built with families in mind and have a shared living room area, but the views and layouts are not as memorable.
Food is served in the main lodge. There isn’t a menu to choose from; the chef simply prepares meals, keeping in mind any preferences you have stated prior to arrival. The food is creative, hearty and delicious, focusing on fresh local ingredients with an Asian twist. Amenities at the lodge include two hot tubs, a yoga studio with excellent daily classes, and a fully-stocked gear room with everything you might need for your adventures: waders, hiking boots, water shoes, serious foul weather gear, rain pants and light raincoats. You can also have a massage outside.
In many ways, Nimmo feels more like a visit with friends than a stay at a hotel. Every detail reflects the passion of its owners, the Murray family, who have devoted three decades to building it bit by bit from a humble cabin to a five-star lodge. They are all still very involved, and you may well be treated to Craig Murray playing guitar by the campfire in the evening, or his son Fraser taking you out to scout for wildlife in a boat. This gives the place a real authenticity. While certain parts of the experience are luxurious and others are quite rustic, overall it is a peaceful, soulful and beautiful escape.
Who It’s Right For
Nimmo is best suited to guests who are looking for an intimate hideaway to use as a launch pad to explore the surrounding wilderness. The resort itself is quite small, with a casual living room and dining room, a dock (to sit around the campfire after dinner) and a handful of cabins, so would not be a good fit for someone looking for a big, full-service resort.
When To Go
Nimmo Bay is open from May 1 to October 31. Trout can be caught during the full season, while salmon fishing starts in late July. As for wildlife, black bears and sea lions can be spotted throughout the season, while grizzly bears, orcas, and humpback whale sightings are more likely starting in July.
Guests fly from Vancouver to Port Hardy (one-hour commercial flight), then take a sea plane or helicopter to the resort (half-hour charter flight).
Written by Eliza Harris