Blackwater Lake – May 21-22, 2006

23 05 2006

What a beautiful lake! There is lots of wildlife around. We saw a yearling black bear about .5km from the site, and 3 deer along the road in. Very nice. (made a mental note about the bear and fishing…)

There are only about 4 spaces at the forest service site, but upon our arrival at 1030 on Sunday we were able to scoop one. Since we were sleeping in the truck, there wasn’t exactly a huge need for space, and it was just a good fit for us. We got the new FishHunter out, and inflated its myriad of valves, and had 12 feet of inflated luxury ready to launch.

We walked the boat over to the little floating dock, and proceeded to an area approximately 30 ft off the shoreline where the water went from about 10 ft to 30 feet. Perfect. We dropped anchor, and started casting. Red Docs and Carey specials to start. This was Mrs D’s second time out flycasting, so for about the first hour we dealt with the basics again, and hence probably didn’t have the fly in the water as often as I would have liked. We could see 14-16″ fish jumping about 1′ out of the water. I kid you not. These suckers were like little orcas! Variously there would be sploosh! (Not splash, like a little fish makes, but “SPLOOSH!”) We were having no real success there, so we decided to troll. We dragged the Carey Special and the Doc Spratley (red) around on the VI and III lines in a nice circular pattern around the lake, looking like a weird caravan with the other 3 boats and U tubes on the water.

Nobody was having any luck. We all changed various flies, and sink tip/float cast/troll. Nothing. Around 1400 we decided to anchor, and took advantage of the warm day with light breeze to catch a few z’s (having woken up at 0530 to get here). What a great way to sleep. 30 odd feet off the shore, the sound of loons calling, and a light breeze and warm sun. We woke up after a refreshing 30 minute nap, and kept at it until about 1630. Nada. At least we weren’t the only ones skunked. Misery loves company πŸ™‚

We landed the boat and went back to the truck. We set up the sleeping bags, and hung out a bit away from the mosquitos. Dinner was a nice Lipton pasta, alas without the fresh rainbow trout for a compliment, so we had to live with canned mushrooms. After dinner we went for a walk down the main road to have a look around and to show Mrs D where the Scout Cabin is which is nearby. We walked over to the cabin and to our surprise one of my scouting colleagues and his family were staying there for the weekend for a family outing. Great place to stay! We hung out and had some “grape juice” and generally were happy to get away from the bugs by being inside πŸ™‚ 2030 came quickly and we had to get off to sleep so we could get out on the lake in the morning to hit it again. We were tucked in to sleep around 2115 and sleep came quickly after a long day of fresh air and activity.

There had been some ligth rain over night, but everything was pretty dry when the alarm beeped at 0530. It was tough getting up, but we after a short wrestle with the idea of sleeping the day away, we were up and having breakfast of eggs and tuna fish. We headed out to launch bright and early. We were on the lake by 0645. There was a light mist rising from the lake, and a pair of loons was around. The male was out fishing, and the female appeared to be sitting on a nest. She let us get up to around 15 feet away. We got a few good pictures, and then left her to the eggs. We flogged the lake for about 4 hours that morning, but were only rewarded by the views of mountains, osprey, woodpeckers, and jumping fish. Nothing on the line for us.

Β 

We packed up, and headed out at 1130. We talked to someone who had come down from Birkenhead lake, and they had seen someone with a 5lb ‘bow out of the lake. Wow! Nice that SOMEBODY caught fish πŸ™‚ It was a bit of a wagon train heading out from the lake, since all the Birkenhead campers were also leaving. The 7km took longer than it should have. Once we started down the winding scenic part of “99” things looked up, and we even got a glimpse of a mother bear and her cub hightailing it across the road. Nature! (Which also reminds me. We saw a red headed woodpecker that must have been about 1kg…the thing was huge, and sounded like a raven when flying. My best observation from the ‘Net appears to be “pileated” )

We stopped at the good ole Pemberton hotel for some down home hospitality (one poor waitress and about 30 odd guests waiting for service). We were happy to get our food, and get moving. The last time I ate there I remembered the burgers to be very good. Not so much anymore. With the deterioration in food quality and the slower service it wasn’t so memorable. In our haste to get moving it appears that Mrs D left her fleece jacket there. Bummer. (We called them later…they are going to send it down! Brownie points for the Pemberton Hotel!)

Thanks to the road improvements, the drive down to Vancouver was fast, and smooth, being able to pass large campers through the 4 lane sections. It will be nice to see the road when it’s completed, despite the fact that it will bring more and more hoardes to the previously untrampled wilderness areas. Gas in Squamish was “Cheap”. $1.14/L at the pump. About $0.03 cheaper than home, so the Tundra happily drank it up. These trips aren’t exactly cheap 😦 From Squamish home it poured on us, and we realised how lucky we were to have had the good weather we did when we were up on the lake.

Funny thing about the fishless trips. They make you want to go right back and try again. I’m looking forward to my next chance to try and capture one of those Blackwater ‘bows.

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