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  Category   Sportfishing - Chilcotin, British Columbia, Canada
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Angling is one of the most popular activities in Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park. Pink, Chinook, and Coho salmon, as well as char, trout and white fish are caught in the Bella Coola and Atnarko Rivers. The Dean River is renowned for its fly fishing. The backcountry lakes and rivers provide some excellent sport fishing for coastal cutthroat along the Turner Lake Canoe Circuit. The lakes of the area can be fished for Dolly Varden, cutthroat trout, and rainbow trout, depending on location. Favoured fishing gear ranges from flies (representing insect patterns) to tackle like spinners and spoons. Popular fishing gear for salmon include flies, artificial wool, spoons and bait (where regulations permit). There are single-wide car-top boat launches at Fisheries Pool campground and Belarko boat launch along Highway 20. There is limited space available for parking at both boat launches.

Charlotte Lake, situated in the foothills of the Coast Mountains, between the southern part of Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park and Hwy 20 to the east, has trophy-size rainbow trout. The turnoff from Hwy 20 is 40 miles (66 km) west of Tatla Lake. Follow Charlotte Lake Road about 9 miles (15 km) southwest of Hwy 20.

Approximately 37 miles (60 km) northwest of Tatla Lake on Hwy 20 lies Nimpo Lake, known as the floatplane capital of BC. It's a major centre for air charters flying guests to remote fishing locations. In recognition of its reputation for rainbow trout fishing, Nimpo Lake was chosen as the location for the 1993 Commonwealth Fly-Fishing Championships.

Kleena Kleene, almost 20 miles (30 km) west of Tatla Lake, is the departure point for flights to remote lakes such as One Eye, and rivers such as the Klinaklini. Charter flights are also available at Tatla Lake to nearby fishing lakes.


Chilko Lake, Chilcotin

Fifty miles (80 km) long and glacier-fed, Chilko Lake is the largest natural, high-elevation freshwater lake in North America, and plays host to the third-largest chinook/sockeye salmon run, from August through October. The salmon eggs are a major food source for rainbow trout and dolly varden. There is true trophy fishing here, with rainbow trout as big as 22 pounds (10 kg) and dolly varden as large as 24 pounds (11 kg). Whitefish and bull trout also inhabit Chilko Lake.

Bull trout, a blue-listed species, is late-maturing and doesn't spawn until after its sixth year. As an aggressive feeder, the species is also fairly easy to catch. These two traits, combined with the difficulty in accurately determining stocks, make the bull trout susceptible to over harvesting. The slow growth rate and late maturity could result in a recovery period as long as 20 years, so respect gear restrictions and lowered catch limits on bull trout.

Chilko Lake is situated within the new Ts'yl-os Provincial Park. There is a natural boat launch in the midlake area and a concrete ramp for powerboats at the lake's north end. Beware the strong winds that sweep down off the glaciated peaks surrounding the park. These winds make for treacherous boating conditions.

The Chilko River is one of the leading wilderness trout rivers in the west Chilcotin, supporting spawning and rearing habitat for resident rainbow trout, bull trout, Rocky Mountain whitefish, and steelhead trout. The Chilko River is a classified water, so a Classified Waters licence must be purchased before fishing in the Chilko River. Current regulations on the river include single barbless hooks, flyfishing only, a bait ban, and a catch-and-release policy.

You can fish for trout and kokanee at Puntzi Lake, which features a fishing derby on the last weekend in June. Puntzi Lake is about 4 miles (7 km) north of Hwy 20, about 35 miles (60 km) west of Alexis Creek. The ice fishing is also good, particularly for whitefish in January.

The Chilcotin River is a good spot for steelhead and sockeye. South of Lee's Corner (Hanceville) are numerous Chilcotin lakes, some with rough recreation sites (picnic table, pit toilet). Obtain a map from the Williams Lake Visitor Centre.

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