Dugan Lake, BC (Jun 18/22) – As things would happen, after carefully prepping Hobbes for the next journey, meticulously checking every aspect of the impending trip… something was amiss. While climbing the daunting, winding road (8-10 kms & 18% grade) up to the summit of the Duffey Lake Road (between Pemberton & Lillooet), Hobbes was suddenly experiencing an over-heating problem. It would appear the radiator fan switch was malfunctioning thus preventing the radiator fan to operate causing the engine temperature to rise only when working hard (ie. big hill). So a quick turn-around & back home to remedy, luckily N&J were only less than an hour into the trip…
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J resolved the problem by inserting a switch on the dash to ‘manually’ control the fan operation (the replacement part wasn’t readily available)… fortunately Hobbes’ cooling system is very efficient only requiring the ‘rad fan’ when idling for long periods or climbing.
Hoping to escape the ‘miserable weather’ that June brought, the drive the next day (after the false start & repair) was relatively dry with some sunny breaks. After a few stops to stretch their legs & give Jesse some exploration time they arrived at their destination, Horsefly Lake Provincial Park campground (located about 85kms north-east of 150 Mile House), which is about 10kms on a good gravel/dirt road from the Village of Horsefly. Not taking the chance of a ‘no vacancy’, the lakefront campsite was reserved a couple months ago although with the crazy wet weather lately all but 2 of 23 spots were vacant.
Horsefly Lake? …needless to say there were NO horseflies, mosquitos YES, apparently even horseflies stayed home to avoid the crummy weather.
The lake is beautiful & huge (over 54 kms long), clear & cool, brimming with fish jumping all over the place. After camp was setup the kayak was launched and ready for action, N was in her glory to try her luck catching a ‘big one’. Very quiet setting, completely off-grid, no power, no internet, nothing …which made for a peaceful existence.
The weather conditions threw everything at N&J, including heavy rain, thunder & lightening, hail the size of large gumballs, even sunny at times… one particular evening around midnight a huge windstorm shook the van & trees around Hobbes. J spied the rather large trees surrounding the campsite, luckily the wind was blowing in the opposite direction preventing any danger of a falling tree crashing down on the trio while they slept.
After 3 blissful days on the lakefront, N&J made way to rendezvous with good friends Chris & Olivier (C&O). It was decided to meet at Dugan Lake Rec Site at 150 Mile House. Fortunately arriving mid-day Friday before the weekend crowd arrived enabled the ‘travelling trio’ to get a camp spot. The mosquito’s were relentless, attacking from all sides… mandating the liberal use of bug repellent (yucky stuff !!!)
After securing the campsite N quickly made her way down to the fishing dock to see what all the fishermen (fisher-persons ?) were up to. Apparently they have been pulling out trout at a hectic pace… 2 seconds later N was back at camp madly assembling her fishing tackle in anticipation of catching ‘The Big One’. Kayak launched & away N paddles… after a few hours she returns ’empty handed’ 🙁
The next day, both N&J head down to the dock to try their luck After chatting with some of the fisher-dudes the previous day J was able to determine what is the ‘magic formula’ to catching trout at this lake. So sharing that info with N, they prepared their rods & reels for the next challenge.
The weather that morning was lightly raining, kind of misty & cool. Nevertheless off they go with fishing rods, reels, tackle box & net to the fishing dock, apparently everyone else asleep they were only ones there. Within 10 minutes J has a rainbow trout on his line (Yikes!!! now what?), so with solid coaching from N, J brings the fish closer (it madly fighting & jumping)… N reaches out with her net, captures, and immediately the fish (estimate 5 pounder) jumps out of the ‘too small’ net. That would have been J’s first fish caught ever (beginner’s luck)!!!!
With that close call, the search for another steps up into a frantic pace. The rain is beating down relentlessly but both are attired in Gortex jackets that keep them warm & dry. Soon a couple more fishers turn up, specifically Marvin and Karen from Watch Lake BC take N&J under their wings & proceed to dispense with more knowledge about catching the elusive rainbow on Dugan Lake. By adjusting their rigging & procedure N was next to get a big strike! A good sized rainbow trout could be seen from a distance jumping & thrashing about while N slowly reeled it in. One of the locals quickly comes over with their ‘much larger’ net and captures the 3 1/2 pound beauty. N’s first fish is finally landed after what seems like years of trying… with hand over her chest, barely able to catch her breath she could only let out in rapid succession “OMG, OMG, OMG” followed by fits of exuberant laughter!
Chris & Olivier in their Westfalia “Turtle” arrived along with their dog ‘Westy’ to join NJ & Jesse at the camp. Once settled C&O joined N on the fishing-dock to watch the festivities. Shortly later N catches 2 more similar-sized rainbows, only keeping 2 of the 3, releasing the third largest fish safely to live another day.
As the day grew longer, the weather improved dramatically becoming sunny & warm, the evening spent around a crackling campfire shared with friends. That evening’s dinner was courtesy of N, 2 trout on the BBQ… Hmmmm, delicious!