Famous British Columbia
By Art Lingren
The Bill Nation Kamloops Area Lakes, Part 4
Inspired by masters like Jack Shaw, Heber
Smith, Barney Rushton and others and through
an inquisitive scientific mind, Brian Chan
honed his skills as a stillwater fly-fisher
over three decades and is now synonymous with
Kamloops' lake fly-fishing. Chan, a fishery
biologist by profession working for provincial
fisheries, transferred to Kamloops in the early
1970s. Over the years since he moved to what he
claims is trout-fishing paradise, he has become
the undisputed master of stillwater, fly-fishing
techniques, with a specific interest in Chironomid
fishing, his fly-fishing love.
Chan makes fishing Chironomids sound easy and
claims that it is once you understand the life
cycle of the Chironomid. Chan's book, Flyfishing
Strategies for Stillwaters, published in
1991 provides some insight into that subject. In
his book, Chan details the entomology of most trout
foods available in British Columbia's still-water
fisheries, plus much more on how to catch stillwater
trout. He recommends two Chironomid fishing techniques.
The floating line with varying lengths of leader from
12 to 24 feet depending on the depth of water to be
fished. The pupae should be fished close to the
bottom with a dead-slow retrieve or wind drift.
However, in the deeper water, often a full-sinking
line is effective when it is permitted to sink to
the vertical and slowly retrieved.
In 1999, Morris & Chan on Fly Fishing Trout Lakes
co-authored by Brian Chan and Skip Morris was released.
Brian also teaches fly-fishing and entomology through
fishing schools and stars in his videos Flyfishing
Strategies for Stillwaters, Vol. I and II.
With its myriad lakes, in addition to those lakes
highlighted in this chapter, the Kamloops area
lures many fly-fishers to its productive waters.
About the Bill Nation lakes, Chan sums up their
current status and writes:
"The current fishery is made up of about 60% wild
recruitment and 40% annual stocking. We are
releasing yearling Pennask strain rainbows and
Blackwater strains. The Blackwaters are definitely
feeding on the shiners, to what extent they will
impact the shiner population is not known. Suffice
to say this strain of rainbows are getting well
conditioned when on the forage fish. Expect rainbows
to 2 kg with an average size of 0.75 kg. Still
excellent Chironomid and callibaetis mayfly hatches.
Shrimp, dragon/lies and damselfies still prominent.
Best flies: Pheasant Tail mayfly nymphs, bead head
Hares Ear, Adams, Chironomid pupae in a variety of
colours, shrimp patterns, damselfly nymphs and
lille-bulidae and darner dragonfly nymphs. Also
Similar stocks as Paul Lake, Light Pennask and
Blackwater stockings with about 25% of fishery
composed of wild fish. Good population of shiners.
Overall, an abundant population of trout with max.
size of 1 kg and average of 0.5 kg.
Shiner patterns effective as well as more attractor
style patterns, leeches, Woolly Buggers, some
Chironomids and dragon/lies but invertebrate
populations not as prolific as Paul Lake.
Currently a good fishery with annual stockings
of Pennask strain of rainbow trout. Pure culture
and abundant populations of shrimp and Chironomids.
Still has traveler caddis hatch. Fish to 2.5 kg
with average of 0.75 kg.
Closed to fishing in the winter months. Best fly
patterns, bloodworms, Chironomid pupae of various
colours, Hyalella shrimp, caddis larval and pupal
patterns, leeches, damselfly nymphs, and water
boatman in the fall.
This pure culture lake continues to support a
quality fishery. It is stocked with Pennask
rainbow trout on an annual basis. Water quality
remains good and invertebrate life is abundant.
Shrimp, Chironomid, caddis and leeches are the
trouts' staple food items. Traveler sedge hatch
still present. Fish to 2 kg. with an average of
Stocked on an annual basis with all female rainbow
trout stocks. Limited natural recruitment. Caddis
hatches still occurring and definite following of
anglers who enjoy this famous hatch. Good Chironomid
and callibaetis emergences. Water quality still good,
clear water, white marl shoals. Fish to 3 kg.
Regulations: 2 fish/day and single hook restriction.
Very popular fishery particularly with fly anglers.
Patterns to consider: mayfly nymphs, Adams, Chironomid
pupae, particular small green patterns, caddis pupa,
Mikaluk sedges, damselfly nymphs, Hyalella shrimp and
Still an excellent fishery although fish are
quite spooky when on the shoals. Water quality
still good. Callibaetis and Chironomid hatches
still prominent as well as good caddis hatches.
Also, small damselfly emergences. Good
populations of Hyalella shrimp.
Very popular fishery with large provincial park and
many permanent homes on both south and north shores
of lake, Lac Lejeune resort still operating. Fish
to 1.75 kg with average of 0.75 kg.
Best patterns, callibaetis mayfly nymph imitations (
Skip Nymphs, bead-head Hare's Ear, Pheasant Tail),
dun imitations (parachute Adams, Chopaka May),
Chironomid pupae of various colours, and shrimp
Still an excellent fishery, stocked with Pennask
yearlings each spring. Limited natural recruitment.
Quality regulations: 2 fish limit, single barbless
hook, bait ban and winter closure. Forest Service
recreation site plus newly redeveloped lodge. Fish
to 4 kg. with average of 0.75 kg. Recent conversion
of irrigation licenses to conservation will maintain
stable water levels in the lake ensuring shoal areas
remain productive and habitable by fish. Excellent
Chironomid, some mayfly and caddis emergences. Fish
often feeding on Hyalella shrimp and small Chironomid
pupae. Nocturnal fishing with leeches and dragonflies
can be productive."
~ Art Lingren
Credits: From Famous British Columbia
Fly-Fishing Waters, published by Frank Amato Publications.
We appreciate use permission.
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