The North Thompson/Yellowhead Highway
Lake, stocked with two species of rainbow trout, is easily accessed
with a car-top boat. Farther north, Heffley Lake is a great
location for rainbow trout. Ice fishing is also possible here. Heffley
Lake Fishing Resort rents boats. Heffley Lake is located east of Heffley
Creek and 19 miles (31 km) northeast of Kamloops
off Yellowhead Hwy 5 on the road to Sun Peaks Resort.
The Barriere Lakes (North, South, and East) are all located
about 60 miles (100 km) north of Kamloops and 10 miles (16 km) west
of Hwy 5 on Barriere Lake Road. Some of the best trout fishing in
this region renowned for its fine fishing lakes can be found here.
You can fish at Rearguard Falls Provincial
Park, approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) of east of Tete Jaune Cache
on Hwy 16. The park is on the Upper Fraser River, and the falls are
the final barrier to salmon migrating from the Fraser's mouth, some
744 miles (120 km) southeast at the Pacific Ocean. Salmon season begins
in August and continues through September.
Fly-in fishing lodges are located on some of the 700 lakes in the
area; flights depart and return to the Kamloops Airport. For a list
of lodges, contact the Kamloops Visitor Info Centre.
A lake a day
as long as you stay is no idle boast for the Nicola
Valley. Close to 50 percent of the province's total freshwater
sportfishing occurs in the Thompson-Nicola region. Relative to its
size, this region is unsurpassed in British Columbia for its sports
fishery. The Thompson and Nicola Rivers are historic salmon-spawning
tributaries of the Fraser River, and the smaller tributary streams
are where rainbow trout, dolly varden, and kokanee lay their eggs.
It's the lakes, however, that are the main attraction for anglers.
There are few fishing runs as legendary - or as threatened
- as the steelhead run on the Thompson River and one of its
main tributaries, the Nicola River. Steelhead are an oceangoing
species of trout (or salmon, depending on whom you consult) famous
for their size, speed, stamina, and tremendous strength. In order
to surmount obstacles in the Fraser Canyon before entering the Thompson
near Lytton, steelhead must possess all these characteristics.
Chapperon, Douglas, and Nicola Lakes have long
been noted for their ample fish stocks. Nicola Lake, renowned for
its depth, is said to harbour 26 varieties of fish, some weighing
up to 20 pounds (9 kg). Nicola Lake is the easiest to reach and
is located about 4 miles (7 km) east of Merritt on Hwy 5A. Use the
boat launch at Monck Provincial Park
for access to the big lake. Douglas and Chapperon Lakes are located
about 12 miles (20 km) and 18.5 miles (30 km), respectively, east
of Hwy 5A on the Douglas Lake Road. Angling is the most popular
form of sportfishing in the Nicola area lakes, but ice fishing,
spear fishing, and set-lines methods are also used.
In fall, anglers head for two places in particular: Goldpan
Provincial Park, located on the Thompson River, and Spences
Bridge, located on Hwy 8, about 0.6 mile (1 km) west of Hwy
1, 23 miles (37 km) north of Lytton. Anglers can readily access
both the Thompson and the Nicola Rivers from Spences Bridge. For
information on steelhead fishing regulations, contact the Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Officer in Kamloops, (250) 374-9117.
Good river access for fishing makes the Coquihalla
River Provincial Park a popular spot. However, there are spawning
channels alongside the Coquihalla River in
the vicinity of this park, so be sure to get the newest fishing
regulations. This recreation area, located 15.5 miles (25 km) northeast
of Hope on Hwy 5, was
closed to private vehicles in early 1998, but fishers can reach
it by parking nearby and walking in. Southbound highway traffic
will find it easy to reach the park (via the Carolin Mines exit).
Northbound traffic should take Othello Road from Hope to the Dewdney
Creek intersection, then a sharp right turn onto the park access
road. Leave your vehicle here.
River Provincial Park, just north of the summit on the Coquihalla
Highway, offers great steelhead fishing. Nearby are the Coquihalla
Lakes, where both the Coquihalla and Coldwater Rivers have their
sources. The Coldwater River runs north alongside the highway. It
is shallow and gravel-bottomed, a good steelhead spawning area.
There is a small Forest Service campsite at Zum Peak beside the
river. Follow Zum Peak Forest Road for 5 miles (8 km) west from
the park to reach the Zum Peak campsite. Coldwater River Provincial
Park is located 31 miles (50 km) south of Merritt on Coquihalla
Highway 5, with north and south access ramps.
of Lac Le Jeune in Lac Le Juene
Provincial Park are famous for producing fighting rainbow trout.
Fly-fishing is also possible in the Stake-McConnell Lakes
Provincial Recreation Area - McConnell
Lake Provincial Park.