Fortress Lake, British Columbia
August 2006
A while back Russ told me about a lake in B.C. that had huge Brook Trout in the 3 - 10lb range, Fortress lake.  Being from Cape Breton Island, where anything over 2lbs would be a trophy,  I was skeptical and never gave it a second thought.  Then last year the park managers at  Fortress lake changed and the lake became somewhat temporarily publicized.   After purchasing  videos of the fly fishing at this lake I knew I just had to go see it for myself, not only for the fish but because of how spectacular the scenery looked in these videos.

After thoroughly planning ahead, Russ, Calvin, and myself  loaded up the truck and started our early morning drive from Calgary to Sunwapta Falls (the location of the trailhead) in British Columbia. . . . . . .












Just when you think you're prepared for everything, we get caught in a snow storm in August! 

Good thing I put on shorts that morning.   Not a good sign.











It rained pretty much the whole way in, but that didn't put a damper on Calvin's spirits.  You can tell from this picture that he's having a great time.



Perhaps a 60lb pack is a little much for a 25km hike, but the extra luxuries were well worth it.  Especially the quart of XO :)













We made it!  Isn't it a sight to behold!
















The Athabasca River crossing......

























The weather was alot nicer on the way out, here are a couple pictures from the Chaba River valley....










We didn't end up doing much fly fishing, the Brook Trout were out of reach.  However, the sense of accomplishment after the hike and the beautiful scenery still made the trip more than worth while.  And now that we've experienced  what the trip entails, our timing and planning will be even better next time.  :) 

One mistake we won't want to repeat, don't leave your fly rod and belly boat setup overnight.  Wild animals love the taste of fly fishing  gear!

Click here for my 2009 return to Fortress Lake. & Click here for my 2010 return to Fortress Lake