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Great Fishing-Cariboo InterlakesBy Ray Bone,
Looking for great fishing action, spectacular scenery, and choices, choices, choices? Then head for the Caribou interlakes. Located along Hwy. 24, between Little Fort and 100 Mile House, is one of British Columbia´s most concentrated groupings of trophy fishing lakes, over 125 in all.
One of the most popular of these is Bridge Lake. Boasting depths of 200 feet and covering 35,000 hectares, it is home to both wild and hatchery stocked Rainbows, Lake Trout, and Kokanee. The Kokanee, a recent successful introduction, were added in hopes of reducing the angling pressure on the natural char population. Primarily spring fed, Bridge Lake provides an excellent habitat for Lake Trout, which was proven by a 28 pounder having been weighed in a few years back. This trophy lake is also a great fishery for the other species of trout found here. Kokanee trout reach weights of up to 5 pounds, while the Rainbow Trout often reach weights of up to 7 pounds.
Fawn Lake, just east of the Cariboo Hwy., has been stocked over the years with large Gerrard Trout. This specials strain of Rainbow Trout, is well noted for producing trophy sized Rainbows provided that they are stocked in rich lake habitats. Fawn lake provides an excellent habitat for rainbows with highly productive shoals, and a healthy population of sticklebacks. The result has been a dream come true for the ardent angler, with rainbows reaching weights of up to 12 pounds! Fawn Lake is a model environment for the Rainbows, which have the highest trout survival rate in all of the Cariboo and a growth rate of over a pound a year for most fish.
The healthy insect rich shoals of Fawn Lake is a fly-fishermans´ fantasy. The Lake is noted for excellent chironomid hatches soon after ice-off ( around May and June), and provides great sport due to the exceptional shape in which these fish are in. It is not uncommon for these chrome fish to average a size of around 4 pounds. Fish populations are numerous, and fish per day counts are very respectable. One creel count recorded some 4000 fish caught, of which, 42% percent were released to be caught another day. Great work from catch and release anglers! Popular patterns for fishing Fawn Lake are chironomid patterns in the spring (usually black), leech imitations, and nymphs. Minnow patterns are also effective due to the stickleback population. The lake is also noted for exceptional evening fishing as fish work the large shallow shoals.
Lac Des Roche sits at an elevation of 3700 feet, and is comprised of two bodies of water. The larger, 12 kilometers in length is connected by a shallow channel at its western end to the smaller 21/2 kilometer section. Named for its rocky islets by the French Voyageurs who trekked its shores, is abundant with resident Rainbow which have been infused with Blackwater River and Gerrard stock to produce hardy fish averaging 2 two 3 pounds. Lac Des Roche is a famed angling lake which has proven itself year after year as a highly productive lake, often offering steadfast action. Burbot and Freshwater Ling to 18 pounds also inhabit these waters, and can be found on the rocky bottoms.
Sheridan Lake, is yet another of the many famous lakes in this region. With 160 kilometers of shoreline, exdending for 13 kilometers, this large lake provides an excellent habitat for Rainbow Trout. This large lake is dotted with islands, shoals, and shallow reed beds, providing a great habitat for the insects from which the Rainbows feed aggressively upon. Huge populations of freshwater shrimp exist in Sheridan Lake, shrimp being the main diet of the trout in this lake. The Rainbows here are noted for growing to exceptional sizes in Sheridan Lake ( up to 17 pounds), which would explain why so many anglers regard the fishing as "incredible". Representative of the healthy Rainbow Trout populations are the exceptional creel counts from this lake which account for roughly 5% of the total angler effort in the Cariboos, or 12,000 fish in a season. Also exceptional is the average size of 3.7 pounds noted in these creel counts. Sheridan Lake is also known for its healthy population of Brook Trout.
Resorts of all description are plentiful throughout the area, with accommodations and prices to suit any budget. From R.V. campsites to full service Hotels, they offer a wide range of services, including boat rentals, licenses, tackle, hiking/walking/biking trails, horseback riding, restaurants, and shops, just to name a few. The interlakes fishing season extends from ice-off in late April right into October. The summer months produce well with trophy fish found in the coolwater deep holes scattered about the lake in July and August. Your best bet is the shoulder months when these lakes provide prime angling opportunities.
Vancouver to 100 Mile House is a 457 kilometer drive via the Fraser Canyon on Highway #1, by travelling north from Cache Creek on Highway #97.
An alternate route is to take the Coquihalla Toll Highway to Merritt, then Highway 5A to Ashcroft which joins Highway #1 and 97. The southwest portion of the Caribou region is accessible via Highway 99, through Whistler to Pemberton and Lillooet.