Fly-Ins, Part 3
By Dr.Martin Lamont
From Fly Fishing Canada From Coast to Coast, Published
by Johnson Gorman Publishers. We appreciate use permission.
Coastal Inlets and Heli-Fishing Day Trips
I am not good at waiting when I want to go fishing. On
this gray spring dawn, standing in an empty municipal while
waiting for my three tardy fishing buddies, I was restless
and impatient. The lights of the little Cassna finally
appeared on the horizon, and as it descended my spirits
rose. Our party now complete, fly-fishing gear was transferred
into a Bell Jet Ranger and the day's adventure began.
A chopper is quite a contrast to a fixed-wing aircraft, and my
Cessna pilot friend was thrilled at the verticle lift-off
and maneuverability. In no time we were heading east toward
the sunrise still beyond the Coast Mountains, which were
blanketed with fresh snow. The flight was spectacular. Under
an hour's flying time took us over glaciers and snow pinnacles,
past white mountain sheep high on patches of alpine pasture, and
then a rapid, slightly scary descent down a U-shaped valley to
where the Homathko and Southgate rivers flow into Bute Inlet.
The green river water was low, clear and very cold - as was the
early morning air. It is surprising how quickly enthusiastic
anglers can prepare their equipment - rods with sinking lines
and fly patterns resembling emerging salmon fry still with
their yellow-pink yolk sacs. We knew there were big sea-run
cutthroat trout and Dolly Varden targeting chum fry on their
outward migration to the ocean.
All rods were soon bent into strong, fighting cutts and
Dollies to 5 lb (2 kg), beautifully colored with pale silver
tones of fish fresh from the sea. After fishing through one
section of accessible pools, it was easy to board the chopper
and quickly relocate further downstream. We covered a lot of
water that day without any need for strenuous hiking through
rough coutry - lazy fishing at its finest.
As the day progressed, the sun warmed the snowfields higher
up. As snowmelt increased the volume of flow, the water lost
its clarity, clouding slightly with glacial silt. By early
afternoon the bite slowed; then with cold downdrafts off the
mountaintops, the fishing abruptly stopped. Nobody cared.
The day was already complete and our homeward helicoper flight
The Chilcotin Fly-In and Rainbow Paradise
The Chilcotin, a vast plateau surrounded by the lofty
Coast Mountains, has Nimpo and Anahim lakes at its center.
They are 250 air miles (400 km) north of Vancouver, and
over 180 miles (300 km) by road from the city of Williams
Lake. Nimpo Lake is an active aviation center, servicing the
local area and points north. It is home base to many lodges
that provide good local fishing and daily fly-ins to remote
outpost camps, some with cabins that have full-service, boats
and motors. There are several charter services and all resorts
operate their own floatplans. In the northeast arm of the lake,
those with private floatplanes will find moorage facilities and
aircraft services including fuel, oil and servicing. Anahim
Lake, just 10 miles (16 km) away, has a 3,000' (900 m) airstrip
for wheeled planes.
This area offers exceptional wilderness fishing for rainbow
trout in lakes and rivers. The Dean River is world renowned
for summer steelhead, as are the Atnarko and Chilcotin rivers,
and the Blackwater River for its wild rainbow trout. Lakes
like Eliguk, Kappan, Hotnarko, Crazy Bear amd Gatcho are all
rainbow trout paradises, and Knot Lake yields Dolly Varden to
10 lb (4.5 kg), as well as coastal cutthroat trout.
Fly fishing is best in spring and fall, but some big trout
are regularly caught during the summer by fishing deep with
black Doc Spratley or Olive Scud patterns. When colorful
rainbow trout that average 2-3 lb (1-1.5 kg) catapult high
into the air, you understand why this is considered a
Continued Next Time
Credits: Excerpt from Fly Fishing
Canada written by Outdoor Writers of Canada,
edited by Robert H. Jones, Published by Johnson
Gorman Publishers. Used with permission.
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