Monday, June 25, 2012

Interior BC fly fishing

Taylor and Colin show off
his catchbefore releasing it
Fly-fish-bc travelled to the Thompson-Okanagan and Cariboo earlier this month to pit our fly fishing skills  against some of the best rainbow trout fisheries in B.C.  
Stormy weather had plagued all of the interior and southern BC putting the trout down and making the fishing unpredictable. The first night we camped at Tunkwa Lake and were told the fishing was not so great, so we put the tinner in Leighton and were rewarded with a couple decent rainbows in the evening. The next morning we tried Tunkwa but were blown off by noon.
With more crappy weather on the way,we decided to travel and hit the road for Big Bar Lake. This beautiful piece of water is surrounded by marl shoals, its turquoise waters, rolling hills, and vibrant bird life make for a stunning setting.

 Jim casts a fly on Big Bar Lake
We camped for two days at Big Bar because it was so nice, but worked hard for few fish. Taylor and Colin picked up a couple surprising rainbows close to shore but attempts at chironomiding or casting sinking line over drop offs proved largely unsuccessful.
We headed for Highway 24 with thoughts of hitting Fawn and maybe Sheridan Lake but a local pointed us toward Valentine Lake, a not too far climb from 100 Mile House.

Colin and Taylor ready
 for fishing in the rain.
After changing a blown trailer tire on the rough road, we eventually made it and set up camp on the water at the far end of the Rec Site. The evening was windy and so like most water craft we trolled a full sink line very slowly. We were met with dozens of hits but few would stick as the rainbows seemed to have evolved into some super-trout species with impenetrable mouths.
Trolling was the most popular method employed by fly fishers, but eventually we tried anchoring and casting a full sink line with a dragon or mayfly nymph and solved a number of nice size rainbows up to 20-inches; and Colin, after countless agonizing misses, stuck and landed a hefty rainbow of about seven pounds. Taylor was not so lucky however. Sorry Taylor, we will get you into fish at some point.
A clear, calm evening on Valentine Lake
The weather was crazy from torrential downpours and hurricane winds, to fine sunny days, back to more rain.
A pair of gentlemen showed up next to our campsite the last night and had some good luck fishing chironomids, which were bombers on this lake.
Colin and his beautiful rainbow from
Valentine Lake
I would definitely go back to each and every one of these lakes, but moving from lake to lake may not be the way to go. Solving a lake usually takes a lot more than one or two days. Sometimes you get lucky and the fishing is incredible, but mostly time, patience, and more time and patience are what fishing success requires. However, deciding which lake to hit is quite possibly the most difficult part of the endeavour, but a nice problem to have indeed.
Had a great time with my fishing companions, Taylor, Colin and his i-phone, and look forward to the next one.