We just got back from a great mini-adventure to Tunkwa Lake. Geoff and I headed up to Tunkwa to ice fish for the first time. We really wanted to attempt to catch some good size interior bows.
We drove up through the Fraser Canyon for a number of reasons, those being: snow, flurries and bad weather. The Coq was getting slammed with snow and driving in a little Honda Civic, even with good tires, doesn't make for much fun. We opted to take Highway #1 and drove up through the land of giants. Geoff and I were loving the landscape and terrain of the Thompson River valley. We kept looking at different runs and saying out loud 'I'd fish that'.
*Side note - the Thompson River is closed right now and we are hoping the work being done and people speaking up for the remarkable Steelhead that swim in those waters, is going to make a big difference. Those fish are a gift and we need take better care of them.
Alas, we made our way through the canyon and onto Tunkwa Lake Road. Driving from Savona to Tunkwa Lake is quite something. You drive up over 3,000 feet from Kamloops Lake up to Tunkwa Lake. From the get go, you make an immediate climb into the valley that leads to Tunkwa. It's pretty amazing driving up to the plateau where Tunkwa and other lakes are. The scenery of rolling hills, open fields, livestock and a stream running beside the road was made even better with fresh snow coming down.
We stayed at Tunkwa Lake Resort and were treated warmly by Al, the owner, and his staff. They were quick to make sure we had everything we needed for ice fishing and gave us all the pointers we needed. We hopped into our cabin for a quick minute to get ready and hit the ice. It's quite something to rush your way up to the spot to fish, then get there, drill your hole in the ice, drop your lure in and wait... and wait... and wait...
We waited a lot around a number of different holes. We checked out a few different parts of the lake and wished we had brought our hockey gear up with us. The location of Tunkwa is gorgeous. It's far enough out that you're not close to anything, but close enough that you're not driving for days to get there. I must say it's quite something to be sitting outside and hearing the snow land on the ground.
We had the pleasure of fishing with gear from Rapala. They hooked us up with some ice fishing rods, line, lures and my own favorite, the battery powered heated vest. It kept me nice and warm, so much so that I wore it the whole way home. It was nice trying out a new fishery with quality gear, giving us a better idea what we would need to buy for ourselves for next time.
We fished until dusk with no luck and decided to head into our rustic cabin, warm up by the fire and cook up some chicken, which would have been fish had we caught any. Glad I talked Geoff into bringing the chicken or we would have been feasting on beef jerky for the evening.
At night the sky cleared and we headed outside for evening photography and enjoy the solitude the night brings.
Not catching any fish when you go fishing sure does suck, but it's part of fishing. If I've learned anything about fishing, it's about more than just the fish. Willingness to learn, adapt and change, exploring the world around you, hanging out with friends for long drives and getting food poisoning** is what's really all about!
Be sure to check out Tunkwa Lake Resort and try ice fishing some time. It's fun, it's cold (bring more warmer clothes than we did) and pack your mini-BBQ along with you to fish and BBQ with.
**The morning after we got back from our trip, Geoff and I both woke up sick and up-chucking. Maybe it was the chicken. If only we had caught some fish instead.