North Thompson and Yellowhead Highway 5
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 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 (96 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) 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 mouth of the Fraser
River, 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 Kamloops Airport.
and Coquihalla Highway 5
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
River near Lytton, steelhead must possess all of these characteristics.
Chapperon Lake, Douglas Lake, and Nicola Lake
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 Lake and Chapperon Lake 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, just 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.
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 consult the current fishing regulations. There
are no day-use facilities in the park due to past flooding events
of the Coquihalla River. Located 15.5 miles (25 km) northeast of
Hope on Hwy 5, the park
is closed to private vehicles, but anglers 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
River Provincial Park, just north of the summit on the Coquihalla
Highway, offers great steelhead fishing. The Coldwater River is
shallow and gravel bottomed, providing good steelhead spawning habitat.
Nearby are the Coquihalla Lakes, where both the Coquihalla River
and Coldwater River have their sources. The Coldwater River runs
north alongside the highway. 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
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.