| Fishing is great
in the Cariboo; there are literally thousands of lakes, ponds, and
rivers in this region. Among the best of them are Loon
Lake, a long, narrow, well-stocked rainbow trout lake that also
contains kokanee and steelhead; Big
Bar Lake, which has rainbow trout, too; and Bonaparte Lake and
Provincial Park), the dominant lake and river system in the south
There are two approaches to Bonaparte: either head west of Hwy 5 from
Barriere or head east from
Hwy 97 at 70 Mile House. In the Interlakes District, Sheridan
and Bridge Lakes are the largest of hundreds dotted along
Highway 24 the Fishing Highway,
which runs about 60 miles (97 km) east to the North Thompson River
and the town of Little Fort on Hwy 5. Sheridan Lake holds spectacular-sized
rainbow trout in the 14 to 16 pound range. The best time to try your
luck here is as soon as the ice is off the lakes in May. Mayfly hatch
brings out the fly-fishers for rainbow trout as well as burbot.
Canim Lake, a large lake
27 miles (43 km) northeast of 100
Mile House (on paved backroad), is the angling centre of a region
famed for the size of its char, or laker,' as the fish is referred
to locally. Car-top boat launching is possible from the provincial
park at the south end of the lake.
East of Highway 97, on the road to Canim Lake, you can take your boat
over to Mahood Lake, in Wells
Gray Provincial Park. This is the boat-only access route into
12-mile-long (19-km) Mahood, which offers good rainbow trout fishing.
It's subject to winds, so be prepared (as good fishers always are).
Look for the ancient pictographs on the rock face of both the north
and south sides of the lake near its midpoint.
Lac la Hache, a
beautiful lake in a rolling Fraser Plateau setting, has many fishing
lodges sprinkled along its perimeter. Fishing information is available
at the 100 Mile House Visitor Info Centre, on Highway 97. Both Horsefly
and Quesnel Lakes are good fishing spots for rainbow trout,
and nearby Williams Lake, which has a boat launch at Scout
Island Nature Centre, has the added attraction of easy paddling around
the island and marsh areas, which feature sublime scenery.
The best place to begin fishing around Horsefly is Horsefly
Lake Provincial Park. There are healthy wild stocks of rainbow
trout at Dragon Lake, just south of Quesnel on Highway 97.
A loop road runs around Dragon Lake. Finally, if you just want to
drive a short way north out of Quesnel
on Hwy 97 (about 15 miles/24 km), you'll find a boat launch at Hush
Lake Rest Area.
The handiest guides to fishing in the region are the Forest Service
recreation maps to the Cariboo, Quesnel, Williams Lake, Horsefly,
100 Mile House, and Chilcotin Forest Districts. For complimentary
copies, stop by any Visitor Info Centre.