Fly Fishing Waters & Wild Fisheries:
Chilko Lake is considered to be, by many, the most pristine and beautiful lake on the planet. The lake is the largest, high elevation lake in North America and in places reaches depths of over 1600 feet and is roughly 50 miles long. The lake is surrounded by snowcapped peaks and is fed by numerous glacial streams. At the north end of Chilko Lake the Chilko River winds' its way north easterly through the Chilcotin Plateau merging with the Taseko River to become the Chilcotin River, and eventually the Fraser River. Chilko Lake offers a natural filtration system for Chilko River offering crystal clear waters and consistent seasonal water flows.
Chilko Lake and Chilko River supports the 3rd largest run of Sockeye in British Columbia and both the river and lake are the natural spawning grounds and rearing habitat for rainbow trout, steelhead, bull trout, rocky mountain whitefish, sockeye, Chinook, and Coho salmon. It is home to a healthy population of indigenous Rainbows and Bull Trout. Consequently there are always migrations within the system from April to November.
In April the Chilko steelhead migrate to the river to spawn. In May millions of sockeye salmon smolt begin their journey from Chilko Lake to the ocean. As the smolt travel through the river, the bull-trout have a feast. In late May and early June the sockeye fry emerge from the gravel and travel up Chilko Lake. As the summer progresses the rainbows are the primary species in the river, but you can always catch a bull-trout on a wet fly. Starting in August the Chinook salmon arrive. The sockeye start to arrive the beginning of September. The Coho arrive late October and November.
The Chilko waters are a very unique and natural habitat in North America.
Species of Fish:
The Chilko River rainbows are 100% wild and native to the Chilko waters. They are renowned for their coloration, size, and fighting prowess and their willingness to rise for large, visible dry flies. It's not uncommon to be taken into your backing and to see your fish torpedo across the surface of the water, cartwheel, jump repeatedly and to snap you off in an explosion of color and heart stopping action.
These stunning Rainbows grow to healthy sizes due to the large late summer runs of Sockeye, Chinook, and Coho salmon, the spring smolt escapement from the lake and the never ending summertime insect hatches make for healthy rainbow trout.
The river is crystal clear and it's common to see large trout slowly rising from the river bed to take your fly. The constant flow and temperature of the river maximize insect hatches and the growth of the resident fish. The character of the river is punctuated with long, deep pools, riffles, boulder gardens, shelves, structure, white water and braided channels all of which offer a wide variety of fishing opportunities. If you can stand to take your eyes off your fly for a moment you may spot bear, moose, mule deer, eagles, osprey or even the elusive wolverine.
Bull Trout are built for predation and we target these apex predators both on the Lake and in the Chilko River. They grow to trophy sizes and are often seen hammering shoals of salmon smolt on the lake and will even chase down hooked rainbows to the boat. They offer exciting sub-surface action. The average size of these predators is between 5-8 lbs with much larger fish caught on a regular basis. You will fish off the banks of Chilko Lake using large streamers on sink-tip and full sinking lines on 6 - 7 weight rods. A day on the lake comes highly recommended and depending on weather conditions the lodge will get you up there to experience a little bit of paradise.
Fly Fishing Methods:
With a guide for each two anglers, you can choose a variety of fly fishing experiences during your week at Tsylos Park Lodge, each day the choice is yours.
You can drift fish from our flat-bottom jet sleds. Float the river targeting the shelves that hold our big Rainbows. Once at the end of your drift, the jet motor is used to move upstream for another drift. With guide and jet support you can wade all the different pools and ledges with your guide moving you from shelf to shelf.
Experience the drift boat trip wading the River about 22 km's. This is a beautiful trip to experience the lower end of the river in faster waters. We float the river, stop, wade, and float to the next spot.
On very hot days a float tube and flippers is a fun way to experience the river up close and personal. With full guide support you stop at all the shelves and really work those drop-offs.
Head up Chilko Lake, park the boat on a pristine beach, fly fish knee deep in clean blue waters, surrounded by majestic mountain peaks and no one for miles.
General Weather Conditions:
Chilko Lake is on the east side of the Coast Mountains and is a semi-arid climate. As the storms blow off the coast and travel across the Pacific Coast Mountains the majority of precipitation is left on the south and west side of the ranges offering us a fairly dry climate.
Summer temperatures average 60° F but can drop or climb 50° F degrees between morning and afternoon. This is mountain weather and it changes quickly. Mornings and evenings are cool as soon as the sun goes down. The best defense is to be prepared with the proper clothing that you can adjust during the day for changing weather conditions. Anglers should dress in layers and always bring raingear. In general the lodge experiences beautiful mountain summers with cool crisp mornings, warm to hot afternoons, and cool in the evenings. Occasionally we get a summer storm that can blow in and temperatures can be cold.