The RV dump at William’s Lake Stampede grounds was convenient and free, perfect. When we arrived Henry and Allison had an announcement, they needed to return home soon as a family issue had developed. They still had a week.
Davie lake had no cel service, once we entered Williams Lake Henry and Allyson’s phones went crazy with an overload of emails and texts from their family.
The rest of the group were not disappointed, everyone was ready to return home. We’d been on the road for more than a month.
Raven lake was not included in our original itinerary. It was Ralph’s suggestion to fish this lake. He, Lois and their parents fished this lake many years before, limiting out every time, good size fish was the description.
“Limiting out” were the magic words, I don’t think Henry and I heard another thing after those words came out of Ralph’s mouth. We were immediately convinced and the itinerary was quickly changed. Raven lake was in.
We arrived at Raven Lake late afternoon in time to select a nice private campsite in the trees next to the lake shore with a place close by to moore Henry’s boat.
The camping area was a bit small for our three rigs but some maneuvering between the small trees and camp was set. Henry and I usually concede to Ralph, letting him choose his spot first. He has the longest one, (rig)………. just to be clear.
Raven Lake is another BC Provincial Rec. Site with the standard basic amenities, pit toilets, picnic tables, and a fire ring, the best part, no charge. This rec site is slightly different from others we visited on this trip.
A rare new state of the art boat dock complete with aluminum decking and floats, quite a contrast next to the narrow poorly maintained boat launch,…….. strange.
The primitive camping spots were well separated with trees and brush lending a feeling of wilderness camping and privacy. The lake itself is not large, roughly one kilometer square and relatively shallow.
The campfire crackled as if to welcome us to happy hour. Another great sunset entertained us as dusk fell over our camp.
Shortly after happy hour began a car happened by, the passenger beckoned us to approach the open window. I considered this gesture rude staying put in my chair. I figured if the occupants wanted to have a conversation they should make the effort to approach us.
Ralph wandered over to the car to talk with the occupants. The gist of the conversation was, be aware of your belongings, the natives in these parts are on the warpath stealing anything not locked up. We had already been informed by other campers of the situation when we arrived.
The temperature dropped steadily during happy hour and dinner reaching the freezing point just before bedtime.
Day 30 – Raven Lake Fishing
The morning greeted us with clear skies and freezing temperatures. I pulled back the curtains of the camper window to see a blanket of white covering our camp. The sun was a dim ball of light glowing through the heavy mist laying over the lake.
The camper furnace works well, the fan uses 12-volt battery power so we try not to use it unless necessary, but this morning demanded warmth. I flicked the furnace switch and climbed back in bed to give the furnace a chance to do its work.
Once the inside temperature climbed enough I dressed and ventured outside. Ralph huddled near the fledgling campfire gently tending to it. More wood was my thought as I grabbed the ax heading to the wood pile. I split a bunch of frost covered rounds.
The fire grew quickly giving off waves of precious warmth drawing the rest of the group from their warm campers.
By 10 am the freezing temperatures were a faint memory, the sun had done its job warming the air and chasing the mist from the lake.
The campground, although not full was thinning out, the adjacent campers and their huge dogs were packing up and heading to their home on the BC southern coast, leaving fewer than a half dozen groups in a campground that could accommodate ten times more.
Our late afternoon arrival the day before left no time for fishing. Once breakfast was done it was time to try our luck.
Henry, Ralph and I boarded the boat and headed onto the glass smooth water. We dropped our lines in as soon as the bottom fell away enough, no danger of snagging the bottom.
I rigged my rod with a willow leaf and worm while Ralph and Henry continued with the same set up that gave them so much success at Davie lake.
A slow morning with only two fish bagged. We returned to camp for lunch after our last worm was stripped from the hook. What were we going to do, no bait?
Hot dogs over the campfire were top of the lunch menu, yum yum. A favorite of the group since the beginning of the trip, nothing like a hot dog cooked over an open fire.
Henry sat in his camp chair eating his hot dog when a grasshopper landed on his knee. He grabbed it, held up his clenched fist and announced through grinning teeth, WE HAVE BAIT.
Henry explained as a kid growing up in Saskatchewan he often used grasshoppers as bait.
After lunch, most of the group darted around the campsite like children, running, jumping and crawling through the tall grass in search of our newly discovered bait.
We quickly captured enough grasshoppers for another trip around the lake. Henry and Allyson took the honors this time while Ralph and I made another firewood run.
We returned to camp with a sizeable load of wood which we unloaded and split ready for the evening. A short time later Henry and Allyson strolled up from the lake shore with four fish, two rainbows, and two brook trout all around two pounds. Henry’s new bait had done the trick.
I guess Henry and Allyson figured they better bring home something this time, despite other temptations they may have considered while floating on a beautiful secluded lake on this warm sunny afternoon. Memories of Davie Lake!!
Ralph and I spent the rest of the afternoon driving to town, Ralph needed to call home. We decided to pick up ice cream for desert, a welcome surprise for the gang.
We arrive back at camp in time for happy hour, the group settled into our nightly routine under partly cloudy skies. As the sun set a fall chill crept into camp pushing us closer to the fire.
Dinner this evening was another cooperative. A fish fry comprised of fish from Davie lake and the latest catch from Raven. On their walk, the girls found a metal grate that would work perfectly over the fire supporting the fry pans.
We set stones around the campfire to support the grate. It worked perfect, our much-anticipated fish fry was underway.
The experimentation with combinations of batters paid off, this was the most delicious fish we’ve tasted yet. The compliments flowed with every bite.
The final combination – equal parts “Panko Bread Crumbs” and onion soup mix, (not sure the onion soup brand, probably any will do).
The flavor difference of rainbow trout and brook trout was quite noticeable, brook trout has a stronger fish flavor. Rainbow trout is the group’s favorite followed by lake trout or char, brook trout, and the least favorite white fish.
Evening was upon us and with it another display of sunset colors, a scene only visible far from a smoggy city.
The campfire grew as the temperature dropped and the sun retreated below the horizon. The clear wilderness night revealed a multitude of blazing stars, a perfect end to another great day on our tour.
Another cold night -5 celsius, probably the coldest night so far on our trip. This morning, a repeat of yesterday, turn on the furnace retreat under the covers til the camper warms up.
A beautiful crisp sunny morning and no mist on the lake. Another morning fire to warm the cockles. The bright sunshine soon chased away the cold.
Breakfast and then back on the water. The first hour trolling was slow, no bites, then frantic fishing, like someone rang the dinner bell. Four larger rainbows in a row, probably three pounds each. The crickets were the ticket.
The hottest spot on the lake was the southeast corner across from our camp. By the time we returned for lunch the fish count was up to an even dozen.
The wind picked up during the afternoon fish curbing the bite. After a couple of hours of no luck, we headed back to camp to enjoy the warm afternoon, a balmy 16-degrees celsius facilitating a lazy afternoon relaxing around the campfire.
Another happy hour, a community dinner of BBQ chicken, rice, and salad and a celebration. Again I am never sure what marks the occasion? Maybe the sun going down, maybe the stars coming out, or maybe the darkness settling around us.
Whatever the reason it’s a good one. This evening’s highlight is a shooter built with southern comfort, peach schnapps, and baileys.
A great time around a crackling campfire, listening to golden oldies on the satellite radio, enjoying pleasant conversation, laughing and taking turns creating shooters.
My next article, Raven Lake to Watch Lake the last stop on our tour.