It’s February 1, and I’m sure I’m not the only one sitting here wondering when the first of the low-elevation lakes will begin to lose the ice that has kept us off of them all winter. I know it won’t be for at least 45 days, so for the time being all we can do is dream. Here are a few of my favourite things about our interior stillwater fishery.
1) Triploid Rainbow Trout – Triploids are a sterile fish that do not have the ability to spawn and reproduce. Thanks to our Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC’s excellent stocking program, we have a great number of lakes that are full of triploids. The advantage to these fish not being able to spawn is that all of their energy will go into two things: feeding and growing. The reason we have fish that go up and over ten pounds in lakes that may only be five hectares is a combination of a great food source, carefully managed regulations and a good triploid stocking program
2) It’s a Puzzle – I think this is why I do not get bored of stillwater fishing. Changes are ever-present, which forces anglers to be very adaptive. What was working great last week, or even yesterday, might be old news as the fish can key in on something new in a heartbeat. It can be frustrating and rewarding all the same. It can be very technical and even the smallest adjustments can make or break your day.
3) Team Sport – I am lucky to have a great group of friends that I fish with on a regular basis. It’s fun to anchor up fairly close to each other and try to figure it out. There’s never any competition and having good people to share days on the water with is what makes it so special.
4) Diversity – FFSBC stocks over 800 lakes in the province, which provides a great balance in fishing opportunities. While one lake can put out consistent action and numbers of fish in the one to four pound range, another lake just down the road can provide a greater challenge with rewards of fish over ten pounds.
5) It’s Relaxing – I love the punishment of getting beat up by winter steelhead fishing all winter, only to turn around and be able to put my boat in the water and spend my days sitting in a comfortable seat for a few months. No, you’re not going to burn as many calories as you would descending canyon walls and hiking ten kilometers a day but it is a nice change of pace.
6) Family Friendly – Stillwater fly fishing is an excellent activity for kids. It is a very safe fishery, there is nothing that will get them into a whole lot of trouble and it beats sitting on the couch watching TV. Seeing kids get into the sport is great, and our interior fishery is a great place for them to start.
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