Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Perfect Lake

We are presently camped at a beautiful little lake, the name of which must remain unwritten, as Rob is certain that if I mention it on my blog, hoards of people will suddenly descend on this remote location in the West Chilcotin area of British Columbia. We are staying at a BC Recreation Site. There are four campsites at this rec site, and each one is large, open, private, and with easy access to the lake. Each one has a picnic table and a fire pit, and there is a relatively clean pit toilet. 

We discovered "Nameless Lake" on our way to Bella Coola. We arrived in mid-afternoon and found that we were the only ones at the rec site. The lake was glassy calm, and there were fish rising and jumping in every direction. We quickly set up the camper, and then got ready for fishing: sunscreen, bug dope, hats, inner layer, waders, fishing rods and flies, fins, and belly boats. Soon we were out in the lake fishing and it was lovely. There is an island about three hundred meters out across from the rec site, and another smaller island to the east. 

At first we both fished just offshore in front of the rec site. I was fly fishing with a sinking tip with a timberline emerger, and casting, trolling a bit, and then casting again. As I gained confidence with the boat, I began to make my way towards a narrows between a point and the western tip of the island. I was drawn to that location because I could see a lot of fish rising there. Sure enough, I began getting bites. I hooked an 8-9 inch (est.) but lost it. Then I caught a bigger one, and played it up to the side of the belly boat. It was big enough to keep, and I suddenly realized that I didn't know how to land it in the belly boat, and also I had nothing to bonk it with. As I messed around with my rod and the line, the fish managed to shake itself off. 

While all this was going on, some big clouds were forming in the west. I noticed them, and started to slowly fish my way back across the lake toward the rec site. All of a sudden, a brisk wind came up, blowing from west to east. Waves were slapping against the boat. I quickly reeled in and began to kick my way across the lake as fast as I could. I hadn't realized how far I had gone. Belly boats do not move very fast, and I got a real workout trying to cut diagonally across the wind. I was worried that I would be blown onto the island and not be able to get back across the lake. I was also worried that the wind would blow up into a thunder and lightening storm, in which case it would be very dangerous to be out on the water. 

Sensible Rob was fishing near shore, just west of the rec site. He called to me to come back across, not able to see by my slow progress that I was giving it all my effort. I did manage to make it across the lake to shore. By the time we beached our boats, there were whitecaps on the crests of the waves, and the waves were pounding on the shore. We tied our belly boats to a tree so they wouldn't blow away. Later during dinner, we saw lightening strikes in the distance, and in the night there was a huge thunder and lightening storm. It was still raining in the morning, so we moved on. 

We are now on the return trip from Bella Coola, and have come back to Nameless Lake. A couple from Courtenay that we had met at another campsite a few nights ago is camped at the site one over from us. A young couple with a van and a blue tarp stretched out over their table is camped on a huge grassy spot beside the lake. They have set up a camera on a tripod to take pictures of the meteor showers that are supposed to happen tonight. And a person with a BC government truck is camped in the fourth site. 

Fish Tales

We fished in the belly boats when we arrived yesterday evening, and again this morning. Today was a gloriously sunny day. The fish were biting this morning. I had many strikes, and reeled in three. One I released, and the other two shook themselves off as I brought them up to the boat. I am still not sure how to actually land one. 

This afternoon, I set up my easel and painted a small plein air scene of trees with long shadows and the little rutted track winding down to the rec site. Meanwhile, Rob chopped some firewood and then went out fishing again, but it was quite windy and not very pleasant. We had a bonfire this evening and roasted weiners. Also, I made potato salad. A fine evening, which concluded with a hair wash and shower. Oh, the luxury of the camper. If Rob had his druthers, we would stay here for weeks!


  1. I am enjoying this trip immensely! Thanks for taking us along, I look forward to reading more.


  2. Thanks Donna. We are really enjoying our travels, and I am feeling the stress just melting away!


  3. Were you lucky enough to see any meteors? We looked on three separate nights this year and only saw a few dim ones. Last summer we had quite a show! Your story about trying to get the belly boat across the lake was a bit scary! Glad you were OK!

  4. Good for you for out-paddling the storm! I was beginning to feel soreness in my limbs just reading about it. Have you had any time to kick back and just THINK, or is your brain feeling pretty empty which is just the way you like it?

  5. Vicki, yes we did see meteors. One clear night we went out after dark. I laid on the picnic table bench looking up. Because we were so far away from any cities, we could see so many stars and the Milky Way. And many meteorites streaking across the sky as well. It reminded me of one August when I was 13 and at a summer camp. We all slept on the wharf one night under the night sky, and watched the meteor shower.

  6. Kathleen, over the past months, I have been feeling so much anxiety about decision making regarding these big life changes that my mind has been running in circles. Also, I think that my gruelling job brought me to a stage of true burnout. So on this holiday, I have been trying to just let all the thinking and worrying go, live in the moment, and clear my mind. After a time, I know I will get to a point of being ready to think again.