In mid-July, we packed our bags, drove through the pouring rain and found ourselves at Lakes District Air’s base on the shores of Burns Lake, BC. We were off on a four-day adventure in North Tweedsmuir Park, at the remote Tesla Lake Lodge. About an hour flight from base, the lodge offers three different lakes for fishing: Tesla, Wahla and Olaf lakes. While there, we fished two of the three lakes available to us.
By the time we had gotten situated at camp, the afternoon winds had still not picked up in the sheltered area out front of the cabin, so we threw our fishing gear into the boat and tried our luck. A couple times we poked the boats around the point to the west, hoping to sneak our way out to some spots that looked promising on the map, but the way the wind funneled down the lake made for tough waters in 14-foot boats. Not to be discouraged, we fished in sight of the cabin, where we were eventually able to pull up the first fish of the trip – not “Walter,” for sure, but it was a nice way to start off our trip.
The following couple days revolved around the same schedule; wake up early, get out on the water while the sun is still rising, sneak around the west point while the winds are minimal and fish hard in the shadow of Butler Peak, and then make our way back to camp as the mountain winds moved back in by 9 or 10 in the morning. We spent one afternoon exploring the very east end of the lake, and a couple of the others fishing up at Wahla Lake.
Only a short 12-minute walk from the cabin, Wahla proved to be the lucky lake to get us into a nice sized rainbow trout. Armed with small weights and our reliable black sparkle and skunk apexes, we trolled the south end of Wahla, working the rocky structures not far from where we had launched the boat. That’s when it happened – and to be completely honest, all I remember thinking was, “This is the fish I’ve been waiting for.” It was quite the fight to get him to the boat – a nice change from the smaller fish we’d been catching down on Tesla up to that point – and a sense of relief washed over me as we got him up to the boat to get a good look at him.
At Wahla, there is no retention of fish over 50 centimetres, and we knew before we had even seen him that we would be releasing him. After getting him into the boat, I removed the hook and we snapped a couple pictures before releasing him back into the cold, dark water. By far my biggest rainbow trout, we estimated him to be close to seven pounds.
Feeling like our luck had shifted – and that just maybe we would be able to tie into a bigger fish down at Tesla, the following day (and our very last full day at the lodge) we once again rose with the sun and headed out fishing. After a few hours on the lake I was lucky enough to tie into my second large rainbow of the trip; despite being smaller than the Wahla trout, it was still an impressive six pounds, two ounces and put up a good scrap! It took the entire trip and battling some ugly winds to get a big one out there, but the fish were certainly plentiful the entire time at depths from 27 to 32 feet.
We came home with some delicious fish, loaded memory cards, and tons of stories – a great, and very memorable trip out at Lakes District Air’s Tesla Lake Lodge.
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