Lakes

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Lakes, Pacific Northwest

Woss Lake, Vancouver Island, BC Coast, lakes
Woss Lake, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo By Bud Logan

There are many Lakes in the Pacific Northwest – some large, some small; some natural, some man-made.

They are incredibly beautiful! We have a few large ones that have some mighty big lunkers to try your angling skills out on! You will find that many of them have well-maintained camping facilities, that come with boat ramps, bathrooms, & running water.

If you are into mountain hiking, we have many wonderful mountain lakes that are surrounded by old growth forests & mountain peaks. These, more times than not, will take your breath away with their beauty!

Some are located on river systems that are so remote that you may be the only person to hike into them in a given year, the fishing is usually quite good in these locations.

Brewster Lake
Brewster Lake, Photo By Bud Logan
Brewster lake is one of the biggest lakes on the Sayward Valley canoe route. This lake has numerous well-maintained campsites and boat launches for your use, plus many more campsites that are not maintained but are great for more private camping.

Back in the 50s, there was a huge logging camp at the lake, hundreds of people lived here, they had a marriage quarters with beautiful little houses that had flower gardens and vegetable gardens, a lot of the people I grew up with were originally from here. The little houses from the camp were moved into town and most of the homes in Campbellton are these houses, there were many. The camp now is almost completely gone and not much is left to see.

Brewster Lake
Brewster Lake, Photo By Bud Logan
The lake itself is great for fishing and I have caught some pretty big fish here. The lake has stocked rainbow and cut-throat trout that can reach 3 to 3.5 kg in weight. The best way to fish this lake is by trolling but I have just as good luck fishing from the shore or off the bridge that goes over the narrows at the west end.

Brewster lake is part of the watershed that feeds the john hart power station. To ensure that enough water flows all year, a diversion has been installed on the salmon river and a man-made channel has been built to deliver this water to Brewster Lake.

When the water is low in the fall and you can gain access to this flow, just above Brewster lake the diversion runs through a peat bog and even though the stream may only be 10 feet across, it is a good 50 feet deep and holds some great big fish.

You fish this area just above the lake, right above the waterfall.

Cowichan Lake
Cowichan Lake, Photo By Robert Logan
Cowichan lake Is one of the biggest and most popular lakes on Vancouver Island. This lake is 40 km long and has more than 100 km of shoreline. There are numerous campgrounds, resorts and 2 parks on the lake, plenty of beaches and lots of bluffs for diving, all in all, a wonderful lake.

The towns of Youbou and Lake Cowichan are both located on Cowichan Lake. My first visit to this lake was when i was 19, it was 1974 and l had gone with a good friend who had grown up on the lake in Youbou. The mill was still in operation then and the town was busy. The people were quite friendly and how could you not be, the lake has a way of bringing that out in folks.

The lake is full of rainbow, cutthroat, kokanee, dolly varden and brown trout for your angling pleasure. Some of these fish can reach upwards of 3.5 kg and give you a great fight. A few of the brownies can get much bigger. This lake is regulated to ensure there is a viable fishery.

Cowichan Lake
Cowichan Lake, Photo By Robert Logan
You can see so much wildlife around this lake, there are black bears, cougars, wolves, elk, deer and numerous other animals here and a great many birds, along with incredible vistas. Any photographer would be in their glory on this lake.

You can reach the lake from Port Renfrew, Port Alberni or from Duncan, its a paved road from either Port Renfrew or from Duncan, the road is gravel from Port Alberni and is an active logging road. Please drive carefully and always run with your lights on. But no matter which route you take, you will be pleased with the scenery on the way and very impressed with all the lake has to offer once you get here.

Drum Lakes
Drum Lakes, Photo By Bud Logan
The Drum Lakes are accessed from the Highway 28 just east of Gold River. What appears to be one lake is made up of two lakes really. There is parking at the trailhead and you could put in a car top boat there. These are nice little lakes surrounded by mountains and forest. You can view all kinds of wildlife here. Bring your camera. Lots of elk are always in the area.

You can also fish from the shores of these little lovely lakes. Both lakes have fair numbers of small

Rainbow, cutthroat and dolly varden trout that average from 30 to 45 cm in length. Best time to fish is in the evening, just before dark. Fishing by fly from a kayak is the way to go in these lakes. But if you have no boat, just below the bridge on the Campbell River side of these lakes, there is a good shore here for spin casting, bottom or bobber fishing.

The crest mountain trail begins here, you cross the lakes at the narrows on the wooden bridge. The trail is steep but the views of Kings Peak and Elkhorn Mountain along with the other Island mountains seen from the top make up for it.

Drum Lakes
Drum Lakes, Photo By Bud Logan
From bottom to top it will take about 3 to 4 hours ( the return is much faster, 2 hours) with most of that being a steep hike through some old growth rain forest on the lower trail, after about 3 hours of up, you come to a flatter area, here you get some awesome views. If you look to your right, you will see a nice rock bluff. For those who don’t feel like going any further, then this is a great place to enjoy the views and in fact the views are better here than on the peak itself, but if you must set your hiking boots on the peak, just follow the trail to the little mountain lake and head to the left around it keeping to the trail right beside the water. This will take you to the top, then just look for a radio repeater tower to locate it.

Klaklakama Lake
Klaklakama Lake, Photo By Russ Porter
Klaklakama Lake or might I say, klaklakama lakes, there are two of them, are called the highlight of the Nimpkish Valley by some, I do agree. You can access these lakes with a car. There are two recreational sites on the lakes with good boat launches and some great fishing.

The stocked trout can reach 30 to 40 cm in size but the wild dolly varden can get up to 2.5 kg in size and really give you a great fishing experience. Fly fishing, spin casting or trolling in spring or fall is the best way to get these lunkers.

The camping here is great with a well looked after campsite. The Camping is great, the wildlife here is awesome and the birds here are not camera shy, you have a good chance of seeing black bears, cougars, wolves, elk, deer, and other smaller forest animals. So bring your camera.

Klaklakama Lake
Klaklakama Lake, Photo By Russ Porter
There are two rec sites on these lakes, one on the smaller lower Klaklakama lake and one on the larger upper Klaklakama Lake. The lower lake has a small campsite area with room for about 5 groups and a boat launch, the upper lake rec site has a sandy beach, a boat launch and there are some impressive trees growing right in the site, there is room for about 4 groups to camp here.

To reach the lakes, take the inland island highway past the Sayward Valley turn off until you reach the Mount Cain ski hill road. Turn onto Mount Davie Road and then south onto the Duncan Road. Go another 2 km and then turn left on the Nimpkish Main South, another km will get you to the lakes.

The mountain views you get as you drive these roads are incredible, take your time and enjoy them, l am always taken back with the beauty of this area. I am sure you will be too.

Nimpkish Lake
Nimpkish Lake, Photo By Bud Logan
Nimpkish lake is located in the nimpkish valley and is a very large lake. The lake is 20 +km long but quite narrow. The wind can come up on this lake and produce some very large waves that will put you to shore to wait it out so be careful. On the other hand, it is a very popular windsurfing lake.

There are dolly varden and cutthroat trout in this lake that can reach impressive sizes. Trolling is the best method to catch those biggies. There are several boat launches and recreational sites on the lake as well as several provincial parks on the lake. The scenery is quite beautiful and there are plenty of mountains to observe and photograph, so bring your camera.

At the north end of the lake is a modern wooden trestle that goes across the nimpkish river just as it leaves the lake, there are many old trestles in the area and they are fun to find and photograph.

Nimpkish Lake
Nimpkish Lake, Photo By Bud Logan
North Vancouver Island was and still is in a lot of areas, logged by train. I have seen the remains of many old trestles and some of these are works incredible feats of engineering. The men who built these trestles had a true understanding of working with wood, to think of the weight of the old steam engine trains and their loads of logs going across these structures just shows the knowledge they had, a lost art form now.

The wildlife in the are is awesome and you have a good chance in seeing wolves, bears, cougars, elk, deer, pine martins, raccoons and a great variety of birds. There are lots of incredible beautiful wildflowers here on the shores of this lake as well. It is quite a wonderland.

Woss Lake
Woss Lake, Photo By Bud Logan
Woss lake is a large body of water that is easily accessed by car. The lake produces good numbers of rainbow, cutthroat and dolly varden trout that average around 35 to 45 cm but can get to be 2.5 kg in this deep lake. Watch for strong winds that come up fast on this lake, The way the winds come up most every day makes this lake a favorite destination for windsurfers. All in all, l must say this is one of the best lakes on Vancouver Island.

Woss Lake
Woss Lake, Photo By Bud Logan
There is a good recreation site with a boat launch at the north end of this lake with great views. The south end of the lake is protected by the Woss Lake Provincial Park. The lake here can reach depths of 150 meters, its a great place to troll deep where the monster fish are, there are some very nice creeks that flow in where you could set up a wilderness campsite and spend a few days at. There are many such spots on this big lake. This is a great lake to spend time on in a kayak or canoe, so peaceful and not that well used making it a premier camping lake.

There is an abundance of wildlife in the area including black bears, cougars, wolves, blacktail deer and roosevelt elk along with lots of different bird species. The wildflower show in the late spring is pretty incredible and the insect life on the shores is awesome, so bring your camera.

There are many summer cabins located on this lake, please respect these cabins and do not trespass. I would love to own one of these, what a place to head up for the summer months or a great winter trip in the island’s wilderness.

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