There is nothing quite so serene as floating quietly in the middle of a still lake, surrounded only by trees, the occasional bird flapping by overheard.
Immersed in the quiet of the moment, landing a fish is merely a bonus, as I catch my breath, relinquished from the bustle of city life or, in this case, three months of COVID-laced concerns.
Drawn by the promise of calming waters, I plunged into our archives and my own experiences in search of remote fishing lodges to explore this summer, as regional travel restrictions lift in B.C.
Travellers are encouraged to check destination websites for up-to-date information prior to booking, and to be responsible and considerate when visiting communities, particularly Indigenous ones. The Heiltsuk Nation in Bella Bella has closed its territory to all tourists, for example, and the Haida Nation has unequivocally restricted access to its lands (which is why we’ve removed a fishing lodge located in Haida Gwaii from an earlier version of this story).
Nimmo Bay Resort
This isolated, all-inclusive luxury wilderness resort on B.C.’s central coast, accessible only by boat or floatplane, invites us to fish for wild salmon and steelhead trout in majestic mountain rivers so high we’ll need a helicopter to reach them. With its glacial-fed waterfall and sustainable, floating chalets on the edge of the Great Bear Rainforest at Mackenzie Sound, this resort, which reopened July 6, was once described by National Geographic as the “very definition of a secret hideaway.”
Meadow Lake Fishing Camp
Up in the Interior, north of Little Fort, sits Meadow Lake Fishing Camp, surrounded by 14 serene hike-in lakes, where the only traffic you’ll hear is the call of an occasional loon or the rustle of trees in the wind. Clean, comfortable, newly rebuilt cabins surround a modern lakefront lodge, well run by a German actor-turned-outdoorsman with a deep love of the land.
King Pacific Lodge
Nestled in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, the King Pacific Lodge, was built from local pine, fir, cedar, and stone on a 37-by-18-metre long former U.S. Army barge. Under new ownership since 2013, the lodge is now anchored, from June to September, off Athlone Island on the central coast of B.C. near Bella Bella. Known for its chinook and coho salmon fishing, the lodge is accessible via helicopter, but unfortunately will not reopen until next year.
Eagle’s Nest Resort
I have a soft spot for this resort where I first learned to fish on quiet Anahim Lake in the West Chilcotin. Here, the cabins are cozy, the dining room is elegant, and the evening bite was particularly strong during my stay a few years ago.
This classic fishing lodge, with cabins on Nimpo Lake as well as fly-in cabins on remote backcountry lakes, is a favourite spot for wilderness fishing and canoeing. You can also catch a floatplane here to enjoy stunning tours of the Monarch Icefield glaciers and the colourful peaks of the Rainbow Range in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park.
Speaking of Tweedsmuir, the luxurious Tweedsmuir Park Lodge in the beautiful Bella Coola Valley remains closed out of an abundance of caution but hopes to reopen later in July.
Renowned for its guided salmon-fishing excursions, this invigorating, isolated, luxury wilderness retreat on the east side of Sonora Island in B.C.’s Discovery Islands shouldn’t be missed—though unfortunately you’ll have to wait for next season to experience it.
Quaaout Lodge & Spa at Talking Rock Golf Resort
On the shore of Little Shuswap Lake in Chase in the southern Interior, the Quaaout Lodge & Spa celebrates the culture and honours the heritage of the Secwepemc First Nation. If fishing for lake trout isn’t relaxing enough here, you can always dock your boat and unwind at the spa, which reopened in June.
Or just bring your own cabin
If you’d rather find your own quiet slice of solitude, you could always bring your own ready-to-assemble cabin kit and choose an appropriate spot in the backcountry by a lake or river to try to pitch this simple yet elegant A-frame hut, locally produced in Courtenay-Comox.
Explore more destinations in British Columbia.