Other Things To Do In Winter For Seniors.

Ice fishing on Heffley Lake near Sun Peaks Resort with Elevated Fishing Adventures. Here, the guide and guest try their hand at outdoors holes. Credit: Yvette Cardozo

Some folks fish for sport. Some for relaxation. Some to “just get away.”

I fish to eat. If I can’t eventually put it in a fry pan, I’m not really interested.

So enter Elevated Fishing Adventures, near Sun Peaks Resort in British Columbia, Canada, where you get all three. Especially the eating part.

“Probably half the people who come out with us cook their fish that night,” said owner/guide Campbell Bryk.

Owner/guide Campbell Bryk picked my friend, Nancy Slye, and me up at 7 am and we drove out to nearby Heffley Lake, which at this point in the year, was covered with 20 inches of ice.

The lake is stocked with rainbow trout, a mild fish that makes great eating. The red glow is sunlight coming through the red canvas tent. Credit: Yvette Cardozo

A few hundred yards out, Campbell set up his fishing tent, got a portable heater going and re-drilled three of his fishing holes. Then he baited our hooks with natural looking lures that not only wriggle, they glow in the dark water below the ice.

This is really popular with families that have kids. “As soon as  you see fish down there, you can get kids to sit for hours,” Campbell said.

And anybody …really ANYbody…can catch a fish, he insisted, describing one morning where a mom was breast feeding her infant with one hand and hooking fish with the other.

“Her three-year-old caught a 24-inch fish,” he added.

The BC government each year stocks Heffley with 5,000 rainbow trout, a fish that Campbell claims, “Anybody can cook and virtually everybody likes because it’s so mild tasting.”

The best fishing, he explained, is just before Christmas. The most any group has caught in a day is 36, though folks are limited to keeping only five per person. And the largest fish anyone’s ever caught was 30 inches, big enough to feed six people.

The lake has both wild and stocked fish. The wild ones are dark red and green, the stocked ones are shiny but they both taste the same, so we were told

As for us, we were pushing the end of the season. And the fish were nowhere to be found. Have any groups ever come up completely dry?

Only two out of 50 trips. Campbell invited them to come back the next day, free of charge.

Okay, we were running out of time.

And then, with maybe 15 minutes before we had to pack up, something nibbled Nancy’s line. She set the hook and reeled it in. It was cute. It was tiny. It was too small to keep.

So we went back to fishing and now, with merely five minutes to go, Nancy got another one (I was busy taking pictures). Again she hooked it. Again she reeled. Again it came up.

And this time it was over a foot long, one of the stocked fish, holding a good pound of edible meat. A keeper. Campbell filleted the fish and delivered it to us later that day.

As for the cooking part, we removed what tiny bones remained, cut the fish so it lay flat, tossed it into a frying pan with lots of butter, garlic, a bit of salt and a splash of lime juice.

Even I, someone who joyfully eats but doesn’t necessarily cook fish, did a yummy job.

Next year, Campbell said, he will have a permit to fish on Paul Lake, which is stocked with landlocked sockeye salmon, called Kokanee in these parts. He’ll be making salmon sashimi for those who want it and cooking lunch.

Nancy and I WILL be back.

Click for more about Elevated Ice Fishing at Sun Peaks Resort.

After cleaning, there is about a pound of rainbow trout, perfect for two for dinner. Credit: Yvette Cardozo

2 Comments

  1. Don Beebout says:

    I like senior skiing

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