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flyguys.net 2012 Ice Off & Fishing Reports!

Well that was an awesome year but it’s time close off 2012 and move on to 2013! Thanks to everyone that contributed reports, stories & pictures last year and we’re really hoping to see even more of you on our … 2013 Fishing Reports post!

Tight lines & good times in 2013!

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921 Responses to flyguys.net 2012 Ice Off & Fishing Reports!

  1. James says:

    Just wondering if there is any more feed back on ernest lake, earlier reports said that the lake had winter killed. Does anyone know if some fish survived or if they have restocked? Any feed back would be great. Thanks in advance.

    • Gord FGND says:

      James I can’t confirm if it winter killed though we fished it late May for 5 hrs and had no indication of fish other than loons on the lake. On going over the stocking reports I see they haven’t yet put any fish in but plan on stocking 1,500 fry this fall. There are plenty of other lakes in the area if you do go try Ernest that can bail you out.

    • Rob says:

      When I spoke with Craig from the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC on the subject earlier this May he did not mention Ernest as one of the lakes that may have killed and , as Gord mentions above, they are stocking as usual this fall. Having said that I didn’t catch a fish there this year but that’s not a shocker & definitely not a good indication of a kill. I’m with Gord, I would go fish it and if it doesn’t pan out head over to Black, or Roche, or Horseshoe … I think you get the idea 😉 if you do go please let us know how you make out.

      • Brian Jolly says:

        I’ve been wanting confirmation on this the entire summer – it will effect my fall fishing plans as well as next spring’s. Any additional info on winterkill possibility at Ernest from others would be wonderful. Here is my previous post and a couple of replies from my trip up to Ernest the first week of last June.

        “Just got back from a trip to Ernest Lake. Water level was down at
        least 5 feet, not a single bit of fish activity found over three
        straight days. Also it seemed as if the usual marl beds were gone.

        No blips on the fish finder, even after spending half a day searching
        in the deeper waters on both ends of the lake. Same goes for another
        group who went searching. We both came to the same conclusion that it
        possibly had winter killed. Poured rain on us for 4 days, thousands
        of scuds swimming everywhere in the lake Does anyone have any word if
        there has been any fish caught out of there this year? I also heard
        from someone fishing Black Lake that he heard Hosli Lake had winter
        killed. Anyone have any knowledge to that as well?”

        Author: Shay
        I was up at Ernest in May and didn’t see a single fish. We were out on the water for the entire day. We came to the realization that it must have been winter killed. We stopped by the Roche lake resort on the way out the following day and one of the lodge staff was nice enough to confirm that it had been winter killed. What a shame.

    • harold elzinga says:

      My friends and I fished Earnest Lake as well this year (2012) in May and no fish were caught nor did any fish show up on the fish finder.

      How is it that this wonderful hard to get to lake did not get restocked this year when there was obviously a severe winter kill? This makes no sense.

      Can someone tell me who I can approch for an answer to this question?

      • Rob says:

        Steve Maricle is the area’s senior fish biologist.

        You can try 250 371-6253 and/or Steve.Maricle@gov.bc.ca

        Curious as to what you learn ……..

        • Harold Elzinga says:

          Thank you, I will email him a note.

          • Harold Elzinga says:

            Hi Harold,

            We are aware that Ernest received a substantial, if not total winterkill. This is the first winterkill event that I am aware of on Ernest in the 28 years I have worked with Fish & Wildlife. Ernest is a deep lake but it is also productive, and if the conditions are just right (or wrong), the dissolved oxygen levels can drop below 2 ppm and the trout will die.

            I do not expect this to be a regular occurrence and the lake is stocked on an annual basis. The fishery will recover but it will take 2 to 3 years for the trout to obtain a desirable size.

            Stephen Maricle
            Small Lakes Fisheries Biologist,
            Ministry of Natural Resource Operations (MNRO),
            Thompson Region
            250 371-6253

          • Rob says:

            🙁 Sad but at least now we know for sure. Steve is right though it should only take a few years to get the fish back up to trophy size so mark your calendars. Thanks for sharing the info Harold!

          • Harold Elzinga says:

            Because Ernest is a tough access lake, the Society stocks it by helicopter in the fall.

            I have requested that they double the stocking for the first year to get the trout density higher from the start.

            Stephen Maricle
            Small Lakes Fisheries Biologist,
            Ministry of Natural Resource Operations (MNRO),
            Thompson Region
            250 371-6253

      • Art Vandelay says:

        Ernest, and other hard to get to lakes, are stocked in the fall with fry. I believe that this stocking is done from a helicopter. Following a winterkill, it is common to re-stock a lake with Fraser Valley catchables. Lakes such as Ernest would not be a candidate for the stocking of catchables as there is no chance of getting a hatchery truck through that road. Ernest will be re-stocked with fry this September and those fish will grow relatively quickly. That being said, the lake probably won’t be worth fishing for at least 2 years.

    • Joe says:

      I was talking to a credible source at a Kamloops fishing shop who is aware of fish being caught this year in Ernest. I brought up the thought that it had suffered a winter kill and he told me he had customers who had had success at the lake. It was a relief to me as a friend had been skunked twice, but had many fish showing on his finder. Hopefully the fall goes well.

    • Shay says:

      I was at Ernest in May. Fished it for a day, and gave up. Tonnes of shrimp swimming around on the surface, and not a single trace of a fish to be seen anywhere. I assumed it had been winter killed. I stopped by the Roche lake lodge on the way out and talked to one of the guys there who informed me he had heard rumors it was winter killed and hadn’t heard of a single fish caught there in 2012.

  2. Simon says:

    Fished 6 Mile on the weekend for 2 hours. Great afternoon! Brought 11 to the boat, biggest was 5.5 lbs and the rest were 3-4 lb range. Caught on a long (2.4 inch), thin, black bunny leech with gold bead in 16 ft of water. Excellent strikes and long, hard runs. The wind was brutal but the fishing was unreal. Going back this Friday hopefully.

    • Ron says:

      Seen any waterboatman?
      I saw a few waterboatmen swimming at Edith Lake the other day. The fish weren’t keying in on them, though. Has anyone encountered any waterboatman flights where the fish are smashing them?

  3. Chris says:

    Is there still some bloom on Roche ?

    • Art Vandelay says:

      Hey Chris,

      I can’t comment directly as I haven’t been up there this fall, but the bloom has lasted on Roche until well into October for the past two seasons. That being said, it is never a thick bloom but it does cloud the water to the point that you can only see down 3 or 4 ft. It probably makes the fishing better as the fish in the shallows won’t be able to see you as easily as they would if the water was crystal clear.

  4. Darryl says:

    Good news everyone. An aerator is currently being installed at Red Lake. Should keep the big ‘bows alive through the winters making them even bigger. I have been fishing Red for the last couple of weeks. It seems the fish that are hitting are holding at a depth of around 6 feet and are sitting in water ranging from around 9 to 18 feet. Surface temperature was 16 C on Tuesday. I have been fishing from about 10 am through till 5:30 pm on the days I have been up there and the vast majority of hits and fish landed have been from 3:30 on. Red, like any other lake, seems to have certain times when the fish feed. Last year in the fall it seemed to be between 11 and 4 was the best time. So far this year it seems as though it is a little later. Of course, this is just one guy’s observations, not a rule.



    • Art Vandelay says:

      I wouldn’t get too excited just yet as aerators are not a “magic bullet” when it comes to preventing winterkill (Bleeker Lake has 2 aerators and it regularly suffers large winterkills). A lake the size and shape of Red would probably require several aerators to really reduce the winterkill factor. That being said, it certainly can’t hurt to put an aerator out there and hope for the best as it is a fantastic lake.

  5. Don says:

    Hi folks, My neighbor was out to Pass early this week, says he caught a 6lbder and seen lots of big ones jumping. Anyone else heard or been there??

    • Darryl says:

      I have also heard of a large rainbow around 6 lbs being caught from Pass back in July. If these reports are true it suggests that the odd lunker survived the winter kill. However, my understanding of the winter kill is that it was very extensive, so I think I will stay off that lake at least for the next couple of years.

    • Art Vandelay says:

      Apparently a few fish did survive the winter and the lake was stocked with 500 catchable trout in June (3/4 lb fish).

  6. Mark says:

    Anyone Fished Red lake lately? Would really appreciate a fishing report.

  7. Chris says:

    Hi Guys,

    Fished Red today for the first time with three other family members. We were limited to trolling being the only “fly caster” in the group with all of us packed into my 16 foot jon boat.

    We dragged bead headed leeches on everything from intermediate to fast sinking lines around the outside of the entire lake without a single strike or fish in four hours.

    The two times we did stop and anchor, thirty minutes total, I was able to hook three fish and land two to the boat. One was a 12″ brookie and the other a 20″ rainbow that looked as fat as it was long. Nice, scrappy little football. The third fish head shook a little with my rod doubled over. I thought I had bottom for a while until it turned and started to go. About then, I snapped off my 6 pound tippet and the leech along with it.

    The three fish were all caught directly west of the boat launch along a stretch of reedy shoreline in front of three A-frame cabins with the middle one having a bright red steel roof. I was fishing 20 feet of water casting the bead head leech tight to the reeds and slowly stripping it back to the boat.

    Looking forward to heading back and hooking into something that my five wt. rod can’t move very well again. On a different note, lot’s of large chironomids hatching all over the lake, looked to be about size 10-12 or so. I didn’t bother setting up all four rods with indicators, fearing total casting chaos, and stuck to trolling instead………..probably should have been fishing chironomids!



  8. Shay says:

    Hey, just wanted to give an update for Peter Hope and Plateau lakes. I was up there last week. Fishing was productive in the evening but slow throughout the day. Hooked into a couple nice fish in the 3lb range. The fish appeared to still have what I call “summer bellies” They didn’t appear to be feeding a whole lot. Maybe still a little warm?



  9. FishNaked says:

    How did everyone make out this weekend?

    • Darryl says:

      Have not fished in a couple of weeks. Getting the itch to go out one last time and was just wondering if anyone knew if lakes like Stump, Morgan or 6 Mile were still ice-free?



  10. Rob says:

    Ice Fishing Report for November 28, 2012 … here’s what I know (heard) so far:

    Campbell: frozen (did not hear how thick the ice is)

    Scuito: frozen (did not hear how thick the ice is)

    Horseshoe: frozen and fishable (3ish” of ice). Brookies to around 3lbs, HUGE rainbows spotted and a couple hooked but not landed.

    Red: frozen & some people are fishing it but the ice is thinner than I would trust! Slow but fish being caught.

    If anyone has more please let us know! 😉

    • Wayne says:

      Took a drive up to Red yesterday maybe an inch thick at best still some open water in spots.lol the ducks were liking it

      • Rob says:

        Ya that’s what I was afraid of .. this time of year it can be on & off for a while. The report I got said 1.5 inches .. too thin for me and I would not recommend anyone take a chance. Patients … it won’t be long now! 🙂

    • Johnny Trout says:

      Went to Horseshoe today caught 6 nice brookies. Lost two 5 plus rainbows they are dragging along the bottom side of the ice after running for about 40ft+. Was great to get out and sample a lake I have yet to Ice Fish. Ice is now 4+ inches. Let it begin!

  11. FishNaked says:

    Anyone hear anything about edith or knouff?

    • kyle carusi says:

      Fished horse shoe the other day nov.30 caught 3 brookies all around 2lbs. On way home stoped by edith maybe an inch if that. wont be long now, cant wait good ice fishing lake.

  12. Darryl says:

    Hi everyone,
    I fished Morgan today (Nov 29th) and it was pretty good despite the relentless wind 🙁 Hooked 8 and brought in 6 decent fish. 6 Mile was about 1/4 frozen over (from the east end). Stiull very fishable though. Morgan was frozen on the east end as well out to about 30 feet. The forecast suggests that these two low elevation lakes should still be open for at least the next week. Picked up my fish between 6 – 9 fett of water along drop offs in the west end of the lake (near the island, out from the boat launch some 80 feet etc,). FISHNAKED – I have not heard anything about Edith or Knouff. No one else on Morgan and no one on 6 Mile.



  13. Darryl says:

    I am alreay looking ahead to next year and I have a question for everyone who fishes the Merrit area. Which do you consider a better lake for open water fishing (size of fish, quantity, etc) – Lundbom or Harmon? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.



  14. Shing says:

    Has anybody ice fished on Red lake yet?

    • Johnny Trout says:

      Went there last weekend for a boo in hopes of solid ice. Nothing but a thin layer. With the recent drop in temp I’m going to give it a shot on sat the 15th and hope we can slay some brookies.

  15. Rob says:

    December 9, 2012, Ice Fishing Report

    Little Heffley: Ice Thickness = 3ish”. Good action on bows to 1.5 lbs using glows hooks (green & red with red having the edge) and cooked shrimp. Good fun for old & young!


    Big Heffley: Close but looked a bit sketchy so did not venture out on to it … should be good to go within a few days.

    Horseshoe: Slow but some fatso Brookies being caught with shrimp, worms and flies. A few real MONSTER bows sighted but no hook ups 🙁

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