Friday, August 12, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

Carpenter Lake – Fishing in between mountains


After finishing our daily shifts as interns at the Chilcotin Holiday's Ranch, we decided to go fishing and take some beautiful pictures at one of the biggest lake reservoirs in British Columbia, Carpenter Lake. It is the largest of the three reservoirs of the Bridge River Power Project, which is located in the mountains west of Lillooet. In total Carpenter Lake has an area about 50 km² and a length of 50 km. This lake is famous for huge Bull Trout up to 15 pounds, Rainbow Trout and Kokanee are also stocked in the Reservoir. Even though Carpenter Lake has such an enormous length it is possible to reach one of the “Hot Spots” in just 20 minutes from the ranch by car.

Due to the fact that the Chilcotin Holiday's Ranch is surrounded by the wilderness it is necessary to follow the safety procedures before leaving the ranch. You always have to keep in mind that a bear encounter can happen anytime you are leaving the ranch. For your own safety, and also for others safety, you must carry a bear spray and radio. In addition you have to draw a map. If an accident happens the staff members from the ranch are able to find your position and location easily. Further, we have to check the car before leaving. This routine check offers the opportunity to fix something before leaving. It minimizes the risk of having a break down in the middle of nowhere. Being responsible for yourself and others is one of the most important rules of the wilderness.

At a certain time of the year, before the snow is melting up in the mountains, Carpenter Lake has a very low water level. It seems like Carpenter Lake isn't a lake but resembles more of a stream with many branches. Finding catch-able fish in such a scenario demands a lot of experience from a sports fisherman, due to the fact that just a few hot spots are available for fishing.

We parked our car near an old mining base camp. From this parking area, Carpenter Lake is easily accessible without any danger. We put on our waders and fly fishing vests, picked up our fishing equipment as well as our bear spray and radio. Well equipped with a Spinning rod as well as a Fly Fishing rod we arrived after 10 minutes to “Carpenter Lake Stream”. We recognized that the speed of the stream was extremely powerful. With our light equipment it was impossible to fish in the main stream. So we had to look for areas where the stream was not that fast and deep. After a while we found an excellent spot. The water was not too deep, the stream flows were very slow and the spot also offered a back flow. It seemed to be that this spot would be perfect for catching one of the big bull trout. Carefully we stepped a few meters into the water to get a better overview of where the drop of the edge started. We made our first casts and just after 5 minutes we had our first strike. It was a very small rainbow trout with beautiful fins and spots. Gently we released the trout back into the stream. After a while with no fish contact we decided to go upstream. This time we cast our spin lures against the stream so that the lure sank in the direction of the bottom. After five casts with this casting method I hooked a bull trout about 70 cm. They are a completely different fighter than rainbow trout; bull trout are extremely clever. While fighting with a bull trout they always try to escape into the main stream where the speed of the stream is intense. All the equipment, rod, reel and line were put to the test due to the extreme pressure of the fish and the stream. After a hard 15 minutes fight we could land our first impressive bull trout.

Before we left “Carpenter Lake Stream” we stopped and enjoyed the amazing landscape. Surrounded by snow covered mountains and absolute silence this place is definitely unique for fishing. Fishing in between mountains is a special experience which I have never had before and never will forget.

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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