Fishing Guides: Okanagan Valley

Okanagan Valley

Darke Lake Provincial Park is about 20 miles (35 km) northwest of Penticton off Hwy 97 on Prairie Valley Road (12 miles of gravel road). It has a small campground with good rainbow and brook trout fishing. In winter, the Darke Lake is the site of ice fishing and skating. From Darke Lake, it’s only 2.5 miles (4 km) farther to Eneas Lakes Provincial Park, a lovely undeveloped area consisting of four lakes on a fir- and pine-forested plateau. The area is 13 miles (20 km) west of Peachland; road access is limited and rough, and four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended.

Pennask Lake Provincial Park, 35 miles (56 km) northwest of Peachland off Hwy 97, is a source of much of the province’s rainbow trout eggs, which are used for restocking purposes. Fishing is excellent here, and the park has a boat launch. The road in is not suitable for recreational vehicles (motor homes): it’s rough for 30 miles (50 km) from Peachland and then gravel into the park.

Kekuli Bay Provincial Park on the west side of Kalamalka Lake, 7 miles (11 km) south of Vernon, is located on a lovely bay with a sandy beach that promises to lure visitors to the park. The park offers an access road with parking lot, a campsite, and a boat launch that is deemed to be the best on Kalamalka Lake. The boat launch is located on a rocky point and is open until the first snowfall. The word kekuli refers to the semi-subterranean homes built by the Interior Salish First Nation people.

Wood Lake, between Okanagan Centre and Oyama on Hwy 97, has a solid reputation for its kokanee and rainbow trout fishing. The large lake sits just south of Kalamalka Lake on the east side of Hwy 97 south of Vernon.

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Fishing is also good at Ellison Provincial Park on Okanagan Lake, about 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Vernon. It features a car-top boat launch, about 1 mile (2 km) north of the park, and a full boat-launch facility about 5 miles (8 km) north of park.

Anglers will find a cheery welcome, information on rainbow trout fishing, licence, boat rentals, bait, and tackle in Echo Lake Provincial Park, north of Lumby.

Shuswap and Shuswap Lake

Year-round fishing is possible on Shuswap Lake, which contains 19 species of fish, including Lake trout and Rainbows to 10 kg, Bull trout, Kokanee, Burbot, and Whitefish. Trolling for deep lurkers is the most popular fishing technique.

As well known as steelhead are the Kamloops trout, a unique strain of trout that put on a eye-popping, acrobatic performance for fly-fishers skilled enough to hook one. These wild rainbow trout, native to central and south-central Interior regions of the province, are the prize in Niskonlith Lake Provincial Park and Silver Beach Provincial Park, at Seymour Arm at Shuswap Lake. Due to limited facilities, only small car-top type boats can be launched at Niskonlith Lake Provincial Park. Fishing at Niskonlith Lake for kokanee and rainbow trout is also popular.

The Eagle River system, which begins at Griffin Lake, has a total of five lakes along a 12-mile (20-km) stretch of Hwy 1 between Sicamous and Revelstoke. This system includes Three Valley Lake, Victor Lake, Clanwilliam Lake, and Wetask Lake, all good fishing spots for rainbow trout and easily accessed from Hwy 1.

And in Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park, angling for rainbow trout, dolly varden, and whitefish is popular, with the canyon and the river mouth being among the most productive sites. Single barbless hook catch and release only. Note: The Adams River is closed to salmon fishing year round, and in spring it’s also closed to rainbow trout fishing. Note that there are special fishing regulations for the Adams River.

Similkameen Country and Boundary Country

Fly-fishing for rainbow trout in Lightning Lake and Strike Lake is usually good, although the trout in these cold, nutrient-poor waters rarely exceed 2 pounds (1 kg). The Similkameen River and Sumallo River have dolly varden, and rainbow and cutthroat trout. Watch for good casting spots as Highway 3 runs beside both rivers on its journey through Manning Provincial Park. For the hardy hiker, Poland Lake and Nicomen Lake in Manning Park offer good fishing for rainbow trout. You will need a British Columbia angling licence if you plan to fish in the park.

Conkle Lake in Conkle Lake Provincial Park is a bit of a trek to reach, but once there you’ll find good car-top-boat fishing for rainbow trout in an idyllic setting. It’s so quiet here you’d think you were fishing in a library. Conkle Lake is stocked with rainbow trout fry by the Summerland Trout Hatchery. The 3-km long lake is framed by steep hillsides and fed by East Creek. Conkle Creek drains the lake and eventually joins the Kettle River. Conkle Lake also offers ice fishing in winter. Located about 19 miles (30 km) west of Greenwood, the lake can be reached by three different routes. However, all three are over rough, narrow, winding roads not suitable for motor homes, low-clearance vehicles, or towed trailers. It is reached by travelling about 10 miles (16 km) west of Hwy 33 at Westbridge; 16 miles (26 km) from Hwy 3, about 4 miles (6 km) east of Bridesville; or almost 22 miles (35 km) east from Hwy 97 at Okanagan Falls.

Jewel Lake is an almost 2-mile-long (3-km) lake in the Monashees that is stocked with both brook trout and rainbow trout from the Summerland Trout Hatchery. Rainbow trout can be caught by fly-casting in summer or ice fishing in winter. A car-top boat launch is available and there is a 10-hp maximum boating restriction on Jewel Lake. There are no services or maintenance staff at Jewel Lake Provincial Park , so visitors are asked to keep the area clean for themselves and others. It’s located 6 miles (10 km) north of Greenwood off Crowsnest Hwy 3.