Edwards Lake – fishing and exploring downtime

Edwards Lake Sunrise

I get up with the beginnings of the light to see some morning red sky. I manage to get a picture of that before it fades away to grey a few minutes later. My furnace kills the chill, but I don’t crank it anymore than I need – power is limited to one battery for now and it is looking to be a cloudy day. There will not be much solar recharge and I want at least one more night at this awesome spot.

RV in the morning light SR600120
RV in the morning light

My morning breakfast is cereal, with hot coffee to chase away the remaining chill. I decide to head out for a walk to explore – more coffee when I get back!

My first walk of the day is following the road I came in on back down to civilization. I hear hounds baying in the distance and want to find the source, without getting too close in case they roam freely at times! I get to a point where I can see the paved road again with the hairpin turn that heads out to Loon and Edwards Lake. I can see the hounds down there baying, all fenced up in there run. Now that I know where the source of the baying is, I head back up but detour south down a side road.

Grassy field near Grasmere SR600123
Grassy field near Grasmere

It leads me into an open pasture I walk down, until I hit a fence that is the border with the Tobacco Plains reserve. Another north – south cross fence keeps me from entering the woods.

Old Truck First Encounter SR600125
Old Truck First Encounter

I see an old car, model T or old truck possibly in a pile of garbage, but can’t get too close with the fence in the way. Back to camp I go, noting a road that crosses the fence at an open gate. I returning to my site I contemplate the water again.

I decide I wanted internet service to buy a BC freshwater fishing license. The lake is just too tempting to fish and I need a license to do that. Not quite enough service to connect to the gov’t website, so off I go for a hill climb to buy a fishing license online.

Once that is done, I decide since I am up here, I might as well explore the mesa a bit in the morning light. There is a road that terminates right at top where I am, and winds back down the gentle slope south away from me. Last night it was getting dark and I decided the road would have to wait for another day, that being today! I follow it back to a Y junction. You can see the remains of an old sign fallen down by the tree in the Y, way to far gone to guess what it might have read. The roads here are all originally from logging, which you can see from all the original forest stumps, now well over fifty years cut down.

I take the Y going further in to the right rather than the more traveled one that likely leads back to civilization., It wanders further to the southwest, taking me past some former campsites with barely a firepit char remaining. But I come to the end loop pretty quickly and see that this is used during hunting season for birds. I know this because all that is left is groups of white feathers that have yet to blow away, plus a few more recent tracks in the loop and heading off in quad friendly terrain.

I decide to climb the little hill beside me and see if there is any view. What I find is a fence. This must be further west the same border of the Tobacco Plains reserve. I follow the fence along the hill top a bit then head back down to the road. The forest is quite open here so I have no problem walking through the trees back to the road. I follow the road back, then go down the steep trail back to the creek and my RV, now in foggy conditions that have settled in during my walk

Foggy Lake Edwards SR600129
Foggy Lake Edwards

A lunch is in order before my fishing begins. A grilled cheese with ham left over from Thanksgiving hits the spot – a warm meal is appreciated as it is still quite chilly in the mist and cloud that has rolled over this morning. But the sky clears a bit after lunch with even a little bit of sun poking out to warm my RV a bit.

It is a good time to go fishing! My plan is to catch my dinner. Being fishing, there is a plan B, a fat sausage. Depending on the fish, the sausage may have a fish dish added, or go back for tomorrow if I catch a bigger fish. My standard orange and gold spoon goes on first. It is a general purpose lure that works on trout and pike in these parts. I am assuming trout here, but you never know. I head to the campsite to the west of me with the unlevel spots. It has deeper water than where I am camped. An unexpected bonus is a fishing dock of sorts. A log has been carved in half on a tree fallen into the water, making a platform I can step five feet out onto to cast further in. The water in the lake is quite high at the moment. I know this as I see a fire ring under the water, normally in lower water this would be a beach fire spot.

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Fishing spot by second set of camps

I cast for a while, and am nearly ready to try something else when I get a good strike, fish on! I can feel him shaking his head on the other end, then gone! He was only on for a couple of seconds, but I could tell it wasn’t a minnow. It would have been dinner at least.

Up until now, I have been completely alone on this side of the lake. But I hear female voices coming from across the lake. I don’t see at first where the sound is coming from, but as they get louder, I see a canoe being paddled by two ladies, who are nattering away to each other about house care woes. Sound travels far on water and I can hear the gist of their conversation. They pass on the other side of the lake and head down presumably to where my RV is parked at the end of the lake. I keep an eye out in that direction once they are out of sight, my city mistrust of people kicking in on the assumption they are up to no good. But they eventually re-appear, coming back up my side of the lake.

“How’s the fishing?” One asks, when paddling by. “One bite, right where your canoe is”, I reply back. Yes, just a little hint I don’t want a lot of socializing right now. “Watch out if you catch one, there is an eagle that will scoop your fish if it gets a chance” they warn me. I reply back that I have my fish bonking stick with me that is now also for eagle bonking if required. Interesting problems to consider, my stick is not nearly big enough to deal with an eagle intent on my fish. “There are some big fish in here, so don’t give up just yet!” they say in parting. Well, that is useful information at least, even if I still don’t know if they are trout. But “big fish” means I’m switching to a bigger orange and gold lure, just in case!

But the rest of the afternoon I am skunked. No bites, only one fish jumping to remind me that they are in there, just not interested in my lures of various types I try. I fish right back to my camping spot, trying in the shallow water right where the creek enters the lake, but no luck. It will be just sausage tonight.

Fall Colors on the Civilized Side of the Lake SR600130
Fall Colors on the Civilized Side of the Lake

One thing I noticed at the other camp was that cell service is much better. I could actually surf the web on my phone, so no more hill climbing, just a five minute walk to the other site if I want to connect to the world. I use the time to check the weather forecast and see rain is forecast from now for the next 24 hours. Pulling up the radar, I see it coming in from the south, so fishing stops as soon as the first drops of rain fall.

I decide that at least I will cook my sausage over a fire, toasting my remaining cheese buns given to me for extra flavor. Add some boiled frozen veggies, and I have a meal. But that means collecting firewood, and getting a fire going before the rain really kicks in. The campground is not used much, so there is a ton of deadfall in the understory as soon as you walk more than a minute away from the camping area. I even have some chopped logs if I want to go split them – but content myself with one piece from the other camp that I break up with my axe.

Camp view in fading light SR600132
Camp view in fading light

I collect a couple of armfuls of deadfall, and some tinder. Using my new trick of a Kleenex with a squirt of alcohol hand sanitizer as the initial starting bit, I get a nice little fire going just as the rain starts to spit and wet things down. Sausage is cooked and buns are warmed just as the rain really gets going. I could just leave the remaining fire coals to go out in the rain, but do the right thing and dump a bucket of water on it once I’m done my dinner and no longer want to “supervise” the fire. I finish my drink and watch the light fade over the lake in the drizzle. A little run of the furnace to warm things up a bit inside, and I retire for the night, spending some time writing up my day before bed.


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Today’s view out of the insulated window

I enjoy the dawn view of the lake, noting that I need to start getting rid of some of the more ridiculous stickers pasted all over the inside (some outside too). It was a rental RV after all, but I don’t need to be reminded every day I have insulated windows.

I decide today to hike up to the mesa again, this time taking the other Y junction heading back to civilization. I want to know where it comes out, and if I might make it in there with my RV some day.

Climbing the steep trail and heading down the road, this time I take the left turn a the Y, heading down the slightly more defined road that must go back to civilization, being the only one left I have not explored.

Logging Reminants SR600134
Old tree stumps

There are old tree stumps all over the place, this area was completely logged out a long time ago now. The new growth forest is well along, I’d say we are dealing with at least 60 year old trees, but I’m no arborist.

Freshly Cut Tree SR600135
New cut tree

The contrast of red wood and green foliage fascinates me, as well as telling me there is activity in here sometimes. Why this tree only? I can’t say, it is too big for a Christmas tree, a little small for lumber. One thing I can say, it was probably taken illegally, as there is no tree harvesting allowed here according to the signs.

The road continues to improve – it is actually passable by RV until just before the end. Boondocking possibility, other than I find out later that no boondocking is allowed in the area currently. Sigh. I see a fence ahead and as I approach, I realize I have come back to my fence line from the other direction. I’m on the crownland side of things, so I can go explore down the fence on this side and see the junk yard from a better angle.

Old Truck outside SR600142
The old truck, round two

Now I can walk around what I can see is the remains of an old truck, brand uncertain. The gas tank is nearby, and the cab has trees growing in it now.

Old Truck inside SR600137
Inside the old truck, tree taking over

There is junk everywhere around here, several piles of it – can’t even be bothered to at least wreck the smallest area possible. But one man’s junk is another man’s photo opportunity.

Kettle in the Junk SR600144
Old Kettle
Large Junk Pile SR600146
One of the more extensive junk piles
Old Stove me thinks SR600149
Old stove among the junk

I explore south again to the fence line marking the Tobacco Plains Reserve. The forested gully below looks like it might have a road in it, so I walk down, following the fence. I don’t see a road here, but I do spot some strange grass patch just on the other side of the fence in the reserve.

Possible Gravesite SR600150
Possible native gravesite

I’m no archeologist, but the patch screams “grave” to me. There are a few bones around, coincidental or deliberate I cannot tell. My gut tells me this is the grave of an elder, guarding the obvious path into the reserve from the north. I’d love to bend the ear of a living elder to see if such a tradition exists among their tribe. I look on solemnly, respecting the fence line and returning up the gully to the north.

Fall Larches on Edwards Lake SR600157
Yellow Larches
Camping spot from south side of lake SR600162
RV from other side of lake returning from walk
Evening on Lake Edwards SR600168
Last evening at Edwards Lake

The rest of the day is taken up with a little more fishing (no fish caught). My lure finally finds one of the logs and is lost to the lake, my cue to end the day’s fishing. I explore the little group of cabins on the northwest side of the lake. The road is fenced so you can’t just drive through to the other side, probably a local initiative to keep the summer tourists from meandering (and camping) on their properties. A little evening stroll on the south side of the lake among the woods takes me through brush and an old logging road that may have connected back to the campsite. I decide it is time to pack up, head out. I’m skipping my planned stop near Creston, straight onto Kootenay Lake to Garland Bay campground. Hopefully, I will be able to camp on the shores of the much larger Kootenay Lake!

About ralph

Just another blog to share some thoughts with the world.
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