on the moose on the left for complete BC travel information.
Travel east from Kamloops approximately 43 miles (69km) on the
Trans-Canada Hwy to Balmoral (located 15 miles/24 km north of
Salmon Arm). Turn north (left) onto White Lake Road. White Lake
is located just a few short miles up this well marked paved road
Lake has crystal clear water, large areas of marl shoals and Rainbow
Trout known to exceed ten pounds. The combination of those
attributes will often inspire a fly fisher to dreams. Dreams of
fishing that ideal lake thought to only exist in mythology. White
isn't that perfect lake but it comes pretty close and is an excellent
choice for a weekend of fly-fishing.
White is fairly large for a good trout lake. It's about three
miles long by two-thirds of a mile across. It probably derived
its name from the quantity of large white shoals. Just a few paved
miles off the Trans-Canada
Highway, White Lake is east of Kamloops
and north of Salmon Arm. It
sits between two arms of giant Shuswap Lake.
shoal area on this lake is more than the entire surface area of
many trout lakes in the southern interior of British Columbia.
There are more than 100 acres of shoal. These marl shoals follow
the entire circumference of the lake and in places are more than
a two hundred feet across. That means lots of habitat for the
aquatic bugs and
more important, lots of food for trout to quickly grow to trophy
size. As nature intended, portions of the shoals
are slowly converting to a weedy bottom but that simply adds to
the lake productivity and offers variety for the fly fisher.
At an elevation of 1542 feet, White is about the first interior
fly fishing lake to be free of ice in the spring. The ice comes
off about the last week of March. Icing over for winter usually
occurs in late December but a lot depends on the weather conditions.
This gives the lake a long season for growth and productivity.
For those willing to brave the elements it also provides some
early spring and late season fishing opportunities not normally
available on most lakes.
fishing can be a hit-and-miss proposition. Because of its low
elevation, size and clarity the process of the lake 'turn-over'
can be a long drawn out affair. Often that keeps the fish stressed,
off feed and lethargic for most of April. However, a warm spring
can speed up this process.
best time for fly fishing White is during May and June. Turn-over
is finished, feed is abundant and the fish will readily move into
the shallows of the shoals to gorge themselves. With the clear
water and the bright sunny conditions of July and August the trout
will normally move into deep water and be tougher for the fly
fisher to reach. Trollers often do well in mid-summer. September
to ice-over is highly variable. Gammarus
Shrimp and Waterboatmen
are the most abundant food source but these don't tend to draw
the fish into the shallows. After the first heavy frosts, however,
will leave their mud tubes and the migrations of dragonflies
will be happening. These events can entice the trout into the
shallows and provide the fly fisher an excellent day of fall fishing.
though the rewards of fishing White Lake can be stupendous, it
isn't an easy lake for fly-fishing. Someone new to the lake will
find a likely looking piece of water, usually along a drop off,
and drop anchor. Not used to the clarity of the water they will
be surprised to find themselves in 30 feet of water but still
on the edge of the shoal. And yes, that is usually the primary
feeding zone. Proper presentation of a fly to fish cruising at
a depth of 25 to 35 feet can even challenge the best of fly fishers.
Patience while waiting for the fly to get down into the feeding
zone is one of the keys.
time you can find the fish feeding or even cruising in water less
than 15 feet deep on White Lake you can almost be assured of a
good day of fishing. A special feeding event has to be happening
or is being anticipated by the trout to entice them into the shallows
of these clear waters. At this point the formula for a successful
day and a chance at one of those trophy trout is simple. Determine
what food is causing them to brave the shallows, offer a good
imitation and don't spook the fish. Taking care not to frighten
the fish is another one of those problems you will have to overcome
in these crystal clear waters.
fly fishers tend to fish the west-end of White Lake. Two sunken
islands and some nice shoals are a part of the attraction but
being the closest point to the Trans-Canada Highway and having
a public access with a boat launch for day use probably helps.
A commercial campground is also located at the west-end for those
intending to stay more than a day and wanting the convenience
of running water and electricity.
dirt road runs the length of the lake along the north side. About
half way down the lake is White Lake Provincial Park. This is
a good place for those overnight campers who are self-contained
and don't need electricity or running water. The park has an undeveloped
boat launch suitable for small car-top boats and charges a fee
for overnight use during the summer season. At the east-end of
the lake there is also a small parking area from which canoes,
belly-boats and some smaller boats can be launched.
finally, let's talk about the fish in White Lake. About 60,000
Rainbow Trout are stocked in the lake each year. That provides
each new fish about 93 square meters in which to feed and grow.
That is two to three times the area normally available for stocked
fish. This lower stocking rate is part of the reason the fish
can grow to more than ten pounds and why the daily catch limit
is restricted to two fish on a single barbless hook.
nice rainbow from White Lake.
Length = 30 inches. Weight = 7 Lbs. 10 oz.
The Fly Fisher is T. Campbell
the waters remain cool, a Rainbow from White Lake will be very active
and fight extremely hard even during the hot spells of summer. These
fish are likely to be very aerial and acrobatic. They will also
take you into a good portion of your backing with long continuous
runs. Don't be surprised to loose some of these fish because of
their fighting ability. I had one fish run me out of 150 yards of
backing and I finally lost it when I had to palm the reel. Another
fish made 14 leaps into the air with most of those leaps exceeding
four feet in height (no exaggeration). A passing troller had time
to video these acrobatics before I finally landed the fish. It was
a four and a half pounder and was quickly rewarded for its performance
by being released. It was my small gift back to the lake that has
given me so many fond memories.
White Lake and remember to never put anything foreign into these
waters except your anchor and your fly.
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Always check your current BC Fishing regulations before you start
fishing a new lake.