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BC's Fishing Highway 24

Fawn Lake, BC | Blake Jorgenson

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Part 1

Kamloops to Little Fort

93.1 km | 1 hr 3 min

Take BC-5N toward Barriere and drive approximately one hour to reach the turnoff for Highway 24. Turn left onto Highway 24 (aka Interlakes Highway/Little Fort Highway).

Suggested Stop:

If you haven’t fished it, consider visiting East Barriere Lake. 35 minutes from Barriere, the lake is a delight of Rainbows, Northern Pike, Dolly Varden, and Kokanee. At the north end of Barriere, turn right off BC-5N onto Barriere Town Road and follow it until it becomes Barrier Lakes Road and follow it for approximately 29 km. There are signs to East Barrier Lake, so follow them as you drive. In the summer months, there is a forestry campsite available, but otherwise, you can camp anywhere along the lake if as long as you pack out what you pack in.

Part 2

Little Fort to Bridge Lake

50.8 km | 37 min

Before you get started on the 2nd leg of the journey, consider stopping in at Little Fort Fly & Tackle. It’s a great little shop run by locals who know the lakes in the area and they are always willing to share their wisdom (and which bait & flies are hot at the moment). It’s on the left-hand side (136 Little Fort Highway).

Along the way, keep an eye out for these lakes that are easily accessible from the highway:

  • Latremouille: Fly fish or spin cast for Rainbows and Bull Trout. Offers camping sites.
  • Lynn: Fly fish for Rainbows and Brook Trout.
  • Goose: Accessible by a trail off McKinley-Ogden Road. Fly fish or spin cast for Rainbows.
  • Long Island (aka Janice): Fly fish or spin cast for Rainbows. Offers fishing camp and camping area.
  • Emar Lakes: Accessible by canoe or kayak from Long Island. Fly fish or spin cast for Rainbows and Lake Trout. Offers small, rustic campsites.
  • Phinetta: Fly fish or spin case for Rainbows. Offers one limited space camping site.
  • Lac des Roches: One of the largest and well-known of the Interlakes, it’s a popular resort fishery, separated into two bays by a narrow channel. It holds wild Burbot and stocked Rainbows and is a great lake for all types of fishing. There are also boat launches and resorts scattered around the lake.

If you need to get out to stretch your legs or feel like exploring, look for these well-known hiking and recreation areas:

  • Eakin Creek Floodplain Provincial Park: large, undeveloped park featuring giant ancient cedars and cottonwoods, a large variety of birds, and cave exploration.
  • Emar Lakes Provincial Park: this park is accessible from Long Island (Janice) Lake and it consists of wetlands surrounded by forests. It has a series of easy to moderately difficult hiking trails and the forest walks are spectacular.

Bridge Lake: Bridge Lake is one of Highway 24’s most popular fishing lakes. The lake (1,370 hectares) is fantastic for fishing arctic char in the shallow soon after ice-off (in early to mid-May). The lake is also stocked with Kokanee and Rainbows each spring, but also contains Lake (which can get up to 20 lbs) and Burbot, as well as a few different species of coarse fish. Fish for Kokanee in June before they head deep to cool off for the summer months. Fish for Rainbows (which can get up to 6+ lbs) in the early spring or late fall before ice-over. Lakes are usually caught on a deep troll line using a large spoon and are catch-and-release only. Bridge Lake offers numerous resorts, campgrounds, and boat access around the lake.

At the southern end of the lake is Bridge Lake Provincial Park, a scenic area with a dozen drive-in campsites, a handful of walk-in sites, all first-come, first served. There is a short trail that circles the park and offers some beautiful forest and lake views, as well.  If a resort is more to your liking, Cottonwood Bay Resort is located on the same end as the provincial park. It has all the facilities (showers, washrooms, rec rooms) and many campsites and RV spots available.

South of Bridge Lake, anglers will also enjoy Eagan Lake Resort while Free Rein Guest Ranch awaits guest ranching aficionados and families.

Part 3

Bridge Lake to Lone Butte

36.5 km | 37 mins

Loon Bay Resort BC

Leaving Bridge Lake, continue to head down Highway 24 toward Lone Butte.

Before heading out to Sheridan Lake or Fawn Lake to get your fish on, stop by the Interlakes Market on the highway to stock up on supplies!

Sheridan Lake: One of BC’s premier trout lakes, Sheridan is heavily fished every year, but is amply stocked with Rainbows by BC Fisheries each spring. The Rainbows grow into monsters at this lake (up to 18 lbs), due to an abundance of freshwater shrimp and ideal lake conditions. The fish tend to run deep, so trolling is the way to go, but fly fishers and spin casters can try their luck in the shallow southwest bay. In addition to Rainbows, there are also some Brookies, Browns, and Burbot gracing the waters. As Sheridan is a huge lake, there are numerous resorts, boat launches, private residences, and even a store, cafe, wood-fired pizza shop, and gas station right on the lake. Popular resorts on Sheridan Lake include Loon Bay Resort (7250 Texas Road) and Sheridan Lake Resort (7510 Magnussen Road). Both offer cabins as well as RV sites and hookups and tent sites.

Fawn Lake: Just off Highway 24 you’ll find Fawn Creek Road to the North, with the lake just a few minutes drive away. The lake is stocked with Rainbows with 5lb sizes common and allows electric motors only for a peaceful day of fishing. Consider a stay at Fawn Lake Resort to get a jump on an early morning catch.

Suggested Stop

If you like fishing really FUN lakes, we highly recommend you detour to Horse Lake to check out the action and get in on the fun. Turn left off Highway 24 onto Horse Lake Road (just past the Interlakes Market) and follow it to the lake (approximately 22 mins). To leave the lake and continue to Lone Butte, take Horse Lake Road south for 2.4 km and turn left onto Lone Butte Horse Lake Road. That will take you back to Highway 24.

Horse Lake: is very easy to get to and it is stocked every year with an abundance of Kokanee and Rainbows. The lake also holds wild Lakes, Brookies and Burbot. As Highway 24 lakes go, Horse is a really fun lake to fish, so the quick and easy detour is worth it. Try trolling deep for Lake Trout or using spinning lures for Kokanee and Rainbows. Fly fishing and spin casting can also be effective in the shallows and there are many boat launches, campsites and cottages available for rent on the lake. Cariboo Bonanza Resort is located on the south shore off Horse Lake Road and it has rustic cabins, modern chalets and an RV and tent campground.

Part 4

Lone Butte to 70 Mile House

44.5 km | 44 min

While you can continue on for the brief remainder of Highway 24 to 93 mile (and replenish your supplies and tackle at Lone Butte Sporting Goods Store), then turn south on Highway 97 towards home, we’ve discovered a more leisurely route that offers even more fishing and adventure opportunities. Start by heading east on Highway 24 (back toward Sheridan Lake) for 1 km and turn right onto Watch Lake Rd and follow it for 13.1 km. Turn right onto N Bonaparte Rd/Watch Lake Rd and follow it for another 3.4 km where it will slightly curve right onto N Green Lake Rd. Follow N Green Lake Road for 18.3 km and turn right onto N Bonaparte Road. Follow it until you reach the highway and turn right onto BC-97S.

Suggested Stops

Watch Lake is known for its’ excellent rainbow trout fishing and boasts Kamloops trout up to about five pounds.  While trolling is most popular, fly fisherman also love Watch Lake, making fishing the second most popular activity in the area.  The first…  Horseback riding!  Watch Lake Lodge provides an excellent base for both fishing, horseback riding, and on Wednesday’s you might even get a bit of a cattle drive into your trail ride Watch Lake Lodge is a working guest ranch and the cattle must be moved!

Green Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in British Columbia with its crystal-clear green-tinged water that is welcoming to a wide array of people. The lake holds wild Brook and Lake Trout and is well-stocked with Kokanee and Rainbows. The fish love hanging deep, so trolling is the best fishing method in this lake, but there are many shallow bays where fly fishers have great luck in the cooler months. In addition, the size of the lake, the temperature of the water, and the numerous campgrounds and resorts located along its shoreline are alluring to families and people who love water sports, such as wakeboarding, kayaking, and paddleboarding. There is even a sunken boat at the north end of the lake that sports a skeleton and a treasure box – a must-see for little ones.

Canada’s oldest guest ranch with over 60,000 acres of trails also awaits on the shores of Green Lake at The Flying U Ranch, located about a mile north is Graham Dunden Guest Ranch and B&B., and at the far western end, you’ll find the Wind and the Pillows B&B Retreat & Resort built by the “Timber Kings” awaiting your arrival!

Part 5

70 Mile House to Clinton

31.3 km | 20 min

Fishing Clinton BC

After your enjoyable side trip, consider a quick five-minute jaunt north at the junction of Hwy 97 to find a little piece of Quebec in the heart of the Cariboo, at The Sugar Shack – maple syrup products & gifts await, as well as authentic, no-shortcut poutine!  Then, continue your way on BC-97S toward Clinton. This stretch of the highway is very picturesque and has two popular stops, Chasm Provincial Park and Marble Range Provincial Parks.

Chasm Provincial Park: Often referred to as the Mini Grand Canyon, the Painted Chasm is one of the most geologically unique parks in the Cariboo. It displays a spectacular array of colour during the spring and summer months, with a startling contrast between the red, brown, and purple lava walls of the gorge and the green of the Ponderosas and grasses of the valley below. Carved by melting glaciers and erosion over the past 10 million years, the Chasm is 8 km long, 600 metres wide, and 300 metres deep. In a word, epic. It has a fenced viewing platform at the top and there are hiking trails all over it.

After you’ve seen the lookout, follow the trail that parallels the train tracks north. It will fork so take the trail that heads southwest. Lined by giant Ponderosa Pines, it follows the edge of the canyon quite a ways and the views are worth the hike.

Directions:  Approximately 26.5km from 70 Mile House, turn left onto Chasm Road and follow it for 4 km to the viewing platform.

Marble Range Provincial Park: Known for limestone karst formations (a type of formation created by dissolved limestone, dolomite, and gypsum that results in sinkholes and caves), this park exists in an alpine and subalpine habitat. Old growth forests surrounded by karsts and mountains, this wild and unmanaged area is the perfect mix of primordial nature and abundant wildlife. The park is packed with hiking trails, is popular with backcountry and horseback riding enthusiasts and it offers a mix of both easy ambling for those who want to stretch their legs and summit scaling for those who want to test their mettle. The park does not provide any facilities and does not contain water sources, so be sure to prepare yourself accordingly.

Directions: Resuming your journey down BC-97S, turn right onto Big Bar Road. Follow Big Bar for approximately 43.5 km and then turn left off of Big Bar (unnamed road) and follow that road for another 10.5 km.

Suggested Stop

If you are interested in the history of the area, consider stopping in Clinton to take a historical 20-stop walking tour. The tour includes many buildings built 100-200 years ago, including China Town/Pioneer cabins, and the old schoolhouse turned museum, built in 1892. To book the tour, pop into the Museum at #1419 on the Highway through town.  And if antiquing is your passion as well as fishing, then plan for a whole extra day in Clinton!

Part 6

Clinton to Cache Creek

39.9 km | 27 min

Picking up on our fishing tour, a quick side trip to Loon Lake on the way from Clinton to Cache Creek is a must.

Loon Lake: This lake is consistently ranked one of North America’s Top 10 naturally stocked lakes to fish and, as an added bonus, it’s a really fun lake to fish. It isn’t stocked by Fisheries and the entire population of fish are natural Rainbows. Although they are much smaller than stock fish, they are feisty little fighters. Throw a fly out or spin cast at nearly any time of day and they’ll be biting. There are many deep areas of the lake, as well, so trolling is also a great way to catch some of the bigger fish down near the bottom. Marigold Fishing Resort has rentable cabins and boats. It’s also open to water sports and it’s a dream to kayak or paddleboard in the early morning when the water is glassy, and the Loons pop up beside you as you paddle. Highly recommend stopping to fish this lake and take it all in.

Directions: From Clinton, follow BC-97S 18.7 km and turn left onto Loon Lake Road. Follow it for 29.5 km until you see the lake on the right-hand side.

Suggested Stops:

Visit, stay, play and eat at Historic Hat Creek at the junction of Hwy 97 & 99.  While you’ll have to leave your fishing rod in the truck, Historic Hat Creek provides a fabulous fare, history, entertainment, and even a chuck wagon to spend the night!

If you don’t stop at Historic Hat Creek and are feeling peckish while passing through Cache Creek, a choice of three awesome stops await at Horsting’s Farm Market (at the North end of town), Hungry Herbie’s Drive-In (on the left as you enter the town limits)  or check out Anie’s Pizza & Bakery (on the right-hand side across from Dairy Queen)—they make some of the tastiest pizzas ever!

Part 7

Cache Creek to Kamloops

83.2 km | 59 mins

Kamloops BC

At the light in Cache Creek, turn left off onto Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 toward Kamloops.

Suggested Stops:

Walhachin Museum: Often called “Canada’s Camelot” because it was built by a bunch of affluent British settlers in 1909, Walhachin was once a thriving farm community with state-of-the-art (for the time) houses (with indoor plumbing, hot and cold water, and even carbide lighting) and outbuildings. Residents there lived a leisurely lifestyle while their Chinese and Native servants worked the land. Although no water was readily available, residents solved the problem by building a 20-mile wooden gravity flow flume to carry water down from the highlands above the town. World War One put an end to the town when all the men went off to war, leaving the women, children and elderly behind. A flood in 1918 damaged the flume, cutting off the water supply, and basically finished the town. Today, there are two original buildings remaining, one which houses the Walhachin Museum.

Directions: Look for the Museum sign on the right as you get up into the plains above Cache Creek.

Kamloops Lake: This lake is HUGE, full of trout, and deep—so deep, in fact, that it even has a Loch Ness-type myth surrounding it. Stories have circulated among locals for years that a giant white sturgeon lives in the lake and sometimes surfaces and catches people by surprise. The story is hardly unbelievable as the lake is fed by the North Thompson River, which is known to carry Sturgeon. Throw in a fly or cast spoons from the shore in early spring or late fall to catch Rainbows and wild Bulls. The Bulls are particularly feisty and “fight like Steelhead” according to one local fisherman who spends summers on his cabin at the lake. In the summer months, you’ll have more luck trolling the deeps, but be careful, the Kamloops Lake Monster is down there too. 😉

Directions: In the town of Savona, take either road down into town to the Savona Public Beach (next to the Savona Hotel). The boat launch is at the beach. Alternatively, after you cross the bridge and before you enter the town of Savona, take a right onto the Savona Access Road and follow it to Steelhead Provincial Park. There is another boat launch there, plus access to lakeshore fishing and campsites.

Continue through Savona on the Trans-Canada Hwy 1 to return to Kamloops.

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