For decades the Douglas Lake Ranch has retained a household name in the still-water fly fishing world. With over 12 lakes located throughout the property, understanding the importance of managing quality fisheries comes first, and it's Kamloops Rainbow Trout to be specific. Stocking and enhancement / management programs take place throughout the Ranch to ensure large fish can occupy these waters. The Pennask strain and Triploid Rainbow Trout are notorious hard fighting and aerial spectacular fish, especially when they reside in the nutrient rich waters of this region.
On the South end of the Ranch, closest to Merritt BC, lies Minnie Lake, Stoney Lake and Crater lake just to name a few. Looking North along the Douglas Lake Road, Big & Little Sabin Lakes, Harry's Dam, Pike's Lake, Wasley Lake and Salmon lake, are some more of the popular destinations on that end. Each Lake located on the Douglas Lake Ranch has it's own special characteristics, depths, structure, fish habits and size. All of the Lakes located on the Ranch are managed as fly fishing only fisheries.
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Many of the popular North American still-water trout flies work great on these lakes. It's recommended that when using larger flies in deeper waters to use heavier tippets, six pound and greater. Many of these lakes hold fish past the 10 pound mark, therefore a light tippet on a big strike will usually end things quickly. Most anglers enjoy fly fishing from 10-12 foot flat bottom boats, pontoon boats and float tubes. It is always important to have anchors ready and available, especially when locating and casting to feeding trout.
Visiting Fly Fishing anglers usually arrive prepared for most of the fishing scenarios that can take place. Having a selection of some different fly lines is important. Floating, Intermediate and fast sinking lines are highly recommended. In the warmer summer months, sinking fly lines of type 4 to type 7 can be very productive as the fish can seek deeper waters. During the ice-off phase, the lakes normally start to become ice free around the end of April, depending on the weather of course. A week or so after the ice comes off, most of the lakes will experience a small "turn over" phase, while the water will become disturbed as the temperatures stratify. It is the post turnover phase when the trout become very active and begin seriously feeding for the upcoming season.
Chironomids, Shrimp, Leeches, Damsels and Dragonflies are the majority of the staple food source in all of these lakes. Mayflies, Traveling Sedge, Water Boatman and Flying Ants can also hatch or occur at anytime on any of these lakes. Weather and surface temperature play a big roll in determining when these events may take place. The warmer summer months are a great time to locate larger fish in the deeper waters using Leeches, Shrimp and Dragonflies. The fall fishery can be fast and furious as mature Rainbow Trout are aware that the dropping lake temperatures means the ice-on phase will be returning. Site fishing in extremely shallow waters can be an exciting addition to the fall.