Fishing The Okanagan Valley

When you move to a new country and there is an over abundence of lakes, the fishing you hope is good but, where do you start?

 The Lake At Peace

Finding myself in this situation some 5 years ago, I faced the problem with the usual approach. Purchases of maps, studies of all available material in books, magazines, local anglers and tackle shops.  Consumption of information is great but, for a dedicated and habitual angler, a bit depressing.  You have the detail, but a rationale behind tactics, tackle, etc, was often lacking. In the early days I enjoyed some success, but the learning curve was steep, with the ever present feeling that my fishing had returned to those tentative steps as a juvenille angler.  Half a century of experience and no knowledge.  In the Okanagan valley the opportunities seemed endless, but the local anglers I met didn’t seem to be enjoying the consistent success I would have expected.  All those years as a seeker of specimen fish in the UK had led me to a point where I needed more than just a day on the water, trolling some sort of lure behind the boat.  I had questions about the lures used, line strength, light, depth and all the minutai that had driven my angling career.  A selection of answers did come my way, but the jigsaw was not bonding to give me satisfaction. Being a long time carp angler, I didn’t target the trout and salmon, but slipped back to British style carp fishing.  An easy solution to a problem, but not ideal.  Large carp came my way, with some trout to the fly rod.  My particular angling approach could not let me continue in this fashion; there had to be a way out.  I knew there were big fish in the Okanagan Lake, and the valley generally, as anglers occasionally caught them. I needed an approach that would help me to move forward.  My wife often says ‘don’t search too hard and the solution will appear’.   In this case it turned out to be a true statement.  As the queue moved to the cash desk at my local tackle store I noticed a card for a fishing guide on the Okanagan Lake.  Salvation at last ?  When I got home I called Rod Hennig of Rodney’s Reel Outdoors http://www.kelownafishing.com/ We probably spent an hour or more discussing as many aspects of fish and fishing that our imagination could throw at us.  We agreed a date and price for my first guided trip on Okanagan Lake.

 21' Thunder Jet

My son and I arrived at the dock at 7am on the day that moved my local fishing forward immeasureably.  We were met with a friendly welcome from a man who jumped off the gleaming Red Thunder Jet 21′ fishing machine.  If you have never used a guide then this is a moment of apprehension.  My earlier conversation had removed most of this preliminary nervousness.  So time to climb aboard and get fishing ! Slowly leaving the dock, Rod checked our licences and showed us his licence to guide.  Then we went over the safety features, life jackets and rules of the boat.  This is always essential.  If the guide does not do any of this then be very suspicious.  Everything checked, it was time to travel, with the 175hp engine pushing us forward, as we raced to the first fishing spot. Naturally the discussion moved on to the fish and where we were going.  I found it extremely encouraging that Rod was taking us to one of the spots I had identified, but now my knowledge was going to be enhanced with when, why and how to fish these spots.  No longer the random attack employed by myself and many of the anglers who had given me information in the past.

 Rod At Work

Rod deployed himself with great professionalism as he arranged downriggers, extention arms, trolling boards, tackle, etc.

 Trolling Board At Work

 After the first introduction to the tackle and approach, I wanted to get down to fishing which Rod immediately encouraged.  I caught fish throughout the day, with Rod offering advice and information filling in the gaps in my knowledge and correcting any little points or errors as they arose.

 Equipment Working The Waiting Rod

 In the UK it was common, among many of the anglers I knew, to examine the tackle boxes of fellow anglers.  It was interesting to see how others approached their fishing.  As confidence grew in Rod he extended to me this courtesy and I observed and talked about many of the lures in his box. My son and I caught fish and had a great day.  He caught Kokanee to 4lb and I had Kokanee and a lake trout of 2lb, which turned out to be one of the first authenticated lake trout in the Okanagan.  Samples of this fish, its length, weight and a photograph, were sent to the Ministry registering the unusual event.

 Lake Trout

 It was a great day which led me to book Rod for other excursions at a later date. http://www.kelownafishing.com/ Have a look at the link and see some of the trips that can be arranged in the Okanagan valley. You won’t be disappointed.

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An Ambitious Duck

Note And Photo From :- Kelowna Trout Angler.

An Ambitious Duck.

It was a reasonably early start and the weather was slightly overcast with a promise of rain. I’d set up the trolling gear and was calmly motoring along at about 2 mph. From out of nowhere a duck dropped onto the water. She was intent on following us. I thought at one point she was going to leap on to the side, but she seemed happier to swim along just below the rod holder. Every so often she would drop back 50m and then fly back to her postion beside the boat. As she paddled closer I thought she might be in danger from the prop, but no, she had measured the distance accurately and stayed safe.

Ambitious Duck

The duck stayed with me for about 30mins before she spotted something out on the lake and left.

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Invaders From The Lake

Note And Photo From:- Kelowna Trout Angler.

Invaders From The Lake.

The mooring bouys have disappeared and these "House Boats"  seem to be heading "ownerless" toward the shore. It was an eirie sight to see first the tops of the boats appearing and gradually the whole boat came into view like something from a horror movie. At any moment you might expect some ghostly pirate to leap from the vessel and on to shore to claim the "booty". Not long after this, the boats disappeared again, as the mist rose to join the cloud above.

Invaders From The Lake

Last night we heard of the disappearance of one of these boats. The wind had risen putting an excessive chop onto the water. The unfortunate vessel slipped it’s mooring rope and drifted out on to the lake. Without power or control the boat sunk. Not far from the shore the depth drops down to about 40m. So I suppose that’s the end of the boat. I wonder if it will make a suitable habitat for the big trout and sturgeon in the lake?.

Clouds Forming

Note And Photo From:- Kelowna Trout Angler.

Clouds Forming.

At last the snow has come to the valley. An optimistic 10 cm became more like 20 cm and the temperature fell through the floor to -26C! Now that’s enough to freeze a lot of " brass monkies " in the nether regions.

Because the lake is warm, relatively speaking, we are treated each year to the spectacle of "cloud formation". You can see the vapour rise to the cloud above and, as the cloud gains height, the wisps take on a column like appearance. This extends from the water up to the cloud. It’s an amazing thing to watch but, eventually, that vapour comes up from the lake and "dumps’ in your yard as snow.

Clouds Forming

How different the Okanagan seemed today to those balmy days of summer. We all ran around in shorts and "soaked" up the sun or went sailing. Still, the birds in the foreground have to endure the water and the very cold air temperature. For them the water surface is probably the best place to be.

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Hot Feet

Note And Photo From:- Kelowna Trout Angler, Canada.

Hot Feet.

"It’s always the same, they build these stages far to long. We have to walk  from the shallow end just to get in the water. However, on warm sunny days the surface gets hot and it burns your feet. So you have to hop and keep changing feet. Now it  may be ok for humans wearing those plastic beach shoes but we need decent carpet."

"Ah well I suppose we’re nearly there and then we can jump in the water to cool off. I hope that water isn’t to cold."

Apr06074115

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Big Fly

Note And Photo From:- Kelowna Trout Angler, Canada.

Big Fly.

Early one morning, whilst walking along the shore of the Okanagan lake, fish spotting.

I saw this bug on the beach  and I hope the fish don’t start taking them or I’m going to need bigger hooks and a bigger rod.

 Aug1407F0914

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Baldy And His Fish

Note And Photo From:- Kelowna Trout Angler, Canada.

 Baldy And His Fish.

 It had been a glorious sunny day, just right for a trip out with the kayak on the Okanagan Lake. We paddled  along the side of the lake before the holiday makers came out with their speed boats.

There had been several Ospreys diving for fish and the geese were on the water in great numbers. As we passed a dense clump of trees at a point on the shore, we saw a couple of Bald Eagles perched in the trees. These are not an uncommon site and often they will fly above our house. The most we have seen was a group of 7 birds soaring into the sky.

Returning along the same route we noticed that one eagle was missing, perhaps it was fishing. Well the surprise came when this fellow plunged into the water about 60m away. It came off the water with great difficulty carrying a fish, a bit larger than it could deal with. The bird landed on a stage near us until it could get a good grip of it’s prey and then took off.

May18074841

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Okanagan

Taken by Mark Evans, BC, Canada

A cold winter morning, taken looking south east across Lake Okanagan, from the Gellatly Nut Farm, in Westbank.

Gellatly Nut Farm

We are going to be stocking a number of Mark’s photographs for sale soon, as signed prints in various sizes, as calenders and as a book. More news when we have a date.

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Welcome To The Beach Party

Note And Photo From:- The Kelowna Trout Angler, Canada.

Welcome to the Beach Party.

Come on guys the beach is empty. the tourists have all gone and the Canadian Geese have moved so there’s no goose droppings. Messy creatures.

That water looks good but it sure is cold on the "bum",  we can sit on the warm sand.

Jan07070588

Right whose got the food and beers.

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An Unexpected Landing

Note And Photo From:- Kelowna Trout Angler, Canada.

Carp fishing in the Okanagan.

The lilies in the background had been a magnet for the Carp and I had taken full advantage of the opportunity. Sitting on the shingle had been a pleasure as the evening sun went down.

Each tree had been used as a vantage point for an Osprey as it systematically checked every spot for an easy meal. Coots and various ducks had fought their  way across the weed beds in attempts to gain the best places to rest up and sample the free offerings from the weed.

A Coyote could be seen up in the vineyards and occasionally a Muskrat would raise it’s head to surprise the ducks.

But the surprised widlife was nothing compared to mine, when in the early morning I returned to find this strange bird of prey sitting in the very swim I had vacated only a few hours earlier.

Jun28074912

It seems the propeller had snapped and the plane came down. Everyone was ok.

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