Blog : Fishing weekend at Cultus Lake

Posted on May 4, 2009

This past weekend we made a last minute decision to head to the mainland and go fishing with Mike. That meant rising at the ungodly hour of 5:30am on a Saturday morning to catch the 7am ferry from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen. We consoled ourselves with the knowledge that we would have the opportunity to catch a nap on the hour and a half long ferry ride over to the mainland. As Mike had offered to pick us up at the ferry dock we parked our car on the Vancouver Island side and paid the walk on fare which amounted to about $27 for the two of us.

As none of us had any concrete plans or agendas (other than to catch some fish), we headed out on the highway from Tsawwassen with no specific destination in mind. Mike had a vague idea that we should try Chilliwack (in the Fraser Valley, about an hour’s drive from Vancouver), so with a little help from Mike’s GPS and my iPhone we eventually found ourselves at Fred’s Custom Tackle and Barbershop in Vedder, BC. Fred’s advice was for us to head a few minutes down the road to Cultus Lake Provincial Park which, he explained, had a terrific campground, warm showers and, of course, great fishing. He then proceded to load us up with all the appropriate lures we would need, including ‘flying ants’ that he had noticed had just begun to appear in the area a few days before.

So it was that we ended up at the Delta Grove campground in Cultus Lake Provincial Park which is a beautiful family-friendly recreation area with large, pretty campsites (though they don’t offer much in the way of privacy), set on the shore of the largest warm, freshwater lake in the Fraser Valley. The shoreline near the campsite is a pebble beach and the water is crystal clear.

Making quick business of unpacking the truck and setting up the tents we headed straight to the beach with our new lures and started casting away. After showing us the ropes, Mike headed back to the campground to fetch us some refreshments and Baasje left to give him a hand…and a few minutes after they left I caught my first fish! I yelled to Mike for help and reeled my catch into shore unguided. In the long moments it took Mike to respond, I watched the poor fish miserably flopping around on the beach with the hook in it’s mouth. Admittedly, when it finally managed to work the hook free I experienced a strange combination of disappointment and relief. Mike ran up with the net just as it disappeared into the middle of the lake. Of course, the recurring joke all weekend long was that I had caught a pretend fish that had sadly ‘disappeared’ before anyone else could see it. Yes. Ha, ha.

It began to rain in the evening and our campsite was taken over by a group of very friendly twenty year olds who’d unfortunately forgotten to bring rope to hang their own tarp. One of the girls was a traveler who’d recently been accepted to Emily Carr and the others where all very nice, but with all of us crammed under our little 6′ x 8′ tarp, I’m afraid none of us stayed very dry or warm. The three of us eventually abandoned our tarp to the upsurpers and retreated to the campfire area. Note to self, if twenty year old girls ask you for rope to hang a tarp in a campground, do whatever you have to do to get it for them – or be prepared to tell them to hit the road when it starts to rain.

After the girls left, the wind picked up and did a crazy number on our tents. Our own tent (with quite a bit of our stuff inside) was blown halfway down to the beach, and the six person Goliath tent that Mike had brought along turned into a giant windsock that ballooned upwards towards the tree branches. At the same time the wind picked up, it also began to pour rain and the tarp became a useless, flopping and annoyingly noisy sail. It was one of those moments in life where everything is going so horribly wrong it feels like you’re living in a gong show. With a bit of a struggle we managed to get the tents back in place and we snuggled down into our warm and thankfully dry, sleeping bags for a good night’s sleep. An unexpected bonus to the ordeal was Mike’s discovery of a fish attached to one of the fishing rods’ tangled lines down at the beach…

To read the full blog article on The Other London, click here

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