Lakes, Pacific Northwest
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.