On Friday, August 4, 2000, four of us went to Williston Lake, BC, to prospect for gold and catch a few fish. The party included John Laninga, his son Beno, his son-in-law Calvin and myself, his brother, Ken. John has a terrific riverboat and it did a wonderful job, with Captain Beno at the helm all the way. Here are a few pictures. Williston Lake was created when the W.A.C. Bennett Dam was built; details are at http://dist.hudsons-hope.bc.ca/html/dam.html
We started much too late in the day and did not get onto the lake until around suppertime. There was a fishing derby on so there were more boats than usual. We saw about 9 boats the first day. We could not find a decent place to pitch our 2 tents so finally we just pulled into the nearest spot where the mountainside did not drop vertically into the very deep, cold, clear lake, and leveled off the gravel a bit behind a driftwood log and, in spite of the fact that this is Grizzly country, we laid out sleeping bags out under the stars. We could not have pitched a tent there even if we had wanted too; far too steep, too rocky and it was after midnight and pitch dark.
the view looking out the back of the boat
the view looking out the front of the boat
Note how beautifully calm the water is; we wished it could have been like that later in the trip...........!
The view was always terrific!
Heading down the lake on the smoothest water one could hope for!
One of several places where we stopped to eat. This was breakfast time. John, while frying up some bacon 'n eggs, asked Beno, "Did you bring the toaster?" The reply was "NO, I couldn't find a cord long enough." Later, after Beno had done some of his own frying, he inspected the results carefully and told us: "Boy! That really looks ................... ................ GROSS."
Same place; there were 3 boats here when we arrived, but they left soon after. At this spot there was even a picnic table. We caught a few Bull Trout here; NO gold. You can find out more about the Bull Trout at http://www.gov.ab.ca/env/fw/fishing/index.html.
Lots more about picnic tables at my page here.
Beno with one of his earlier Dollies. Little did he realize then that he was going to be catching a couple of really big ones later.
Beno frying up some hamburgers; no we did not eat much fish. It was "catch and release."
This was the first REALLY big Bull Trout; it weighed 11 1/2 pounds! Beno caught it and Calvin helped him land it. The Bull Trout is also known as Dolly Varden.
This is what an eleven and a half Bull Trout looks like up close. Beautiful fish and terrific fighters.
Just behind our camp was a Bald Eagle nest with 2 juveniles in it. We saw the parents delivering food to them. At one point an Osprey dive-bombed one of the eagles. The Osprey nest was less than a mile away, at the top of a huge dead tree in the water; we wondered how they could co-exist.
A really nice Dollie on the hook, peacefully for a moment. Those fish really fight!
Here, Beno is bringing in what must be one of the smallest fish he caught on the entire trip.
Note the very beautiful orange belly on this Dolly. This one probably weighed close to 8 pounds.
John, with one which probably weighed about 6 pounds.
Beno, hard at work bringing in his umpteenth Dolly Varden. He caught fish like he was the world's greatest fishing expert.
And here he is, showing off the fruits of his labours.
Yours truly, with a nice Dolly of about 8 pounds; I did not go to fish and did not even bring my fishing rod. I went to prospect for gold but when there was no gold, the boys let me use their fishing rods a little.
And here (s)he goes, back home to momma, with a story to tell his/her grandchildren!
John, hard at work. Hey, SOMEbody's got to do it!
Another big dolly coming in for a short visit with us.
John, helping Beno remove the hook from a Dolly; we removed the barbs from the hooks so they would not be hurt.
That Dolly is being very cooperative; not all of them were that way!
John appears to be quite pleased with this trout which probably went in excess of 8 pounds.
And ditto goes for me too.
The water was much too rough on the way back. The swells were at least 3 feet high and there were many long, white rollers. We got bounced around so badly that we hurt. We were scared and Calvin asked for some kind of plastic bag (I wonder what for??)
This was a beautiful spot to camp and fish.
Beno quickly proved (as he always does) that the fishing was terrific here too. This was the largest Dolly Varden we caught on this trip; it was 12 pounds.
The gold panning did not pan out (NO pun intended) but I keep trying; good practice for the GOLD PANNING workshops which I used to teach. (see my page on that at http://www.sticksite.com/gold_panning/index.html)l
Well, gentle reader, that is about all for this trip. If we do it again, we'll probably make another web-page for you. Stay tuned. At the moment my only other Fishing Trip site lives HERE.
If YOU are an outdoor enthusiast, as I am, and are looking to buy, or lease or sell a "Recreational Property" then this page will interest you: http://www.sticksite.com/RecreationalProperties/.