Float Fishing – BC’s Best Fly Fishing Vacation Experience

Personally, there is nothing like relaxing on my float fishing for rainbow trout on my favorite fly fishing lake in BC. It’s better than my couch in my living room. Yes, belly sailing became a mainstay of my fly fishing vacations or day trips in the late 1990s when I swapped my truck for a mini-van.

Navigating the belly or floating with a float is a completely new experience. The best part is how relaxing it can be, especially when you have the opportunity to anchor or float. If you are lucky (and most of the lakes in the Kamloops area are like that) you will be able to witness eagles, ospreys, and waterfowl from a closer distance because their intrusion will disturb them less. Wildlife such as bear, deer, elk, or coyotes often approach the water’s edge to quench their thirst.

There are many lakes throughout BC that are suited to float fishing. To make the experience as pleasant as possible, there are some considerations to review, such as access. Lake and lake access are probably the most important factors when choosing your body of water for fishing.

Here are some important factors when considering your belly boat fishing trip. It pays to be prepared when looking for float fishing spots.

 1. Outlook – First I decide if I want a lot of fish or big fish. The two are synonymous at times, however, I have learned not to stretch my expectations. I prefer to be surprised. The Kamloops area and the Roche Lake area in BC have many lakes that have limited bag limits (or even just catch and release). These lakes generally have trophy-sized fish and are more difficult to catch. However, for the angler who likes to eat what he catches, there are also plenty of opportunities to catch both fish and fish of reasonable size.

2. Access to the body of the lake – We are looking for a smooth and progressive release. There is no point going through mud, rocks, and sticks that cause the fins to get stuck in the mud or damage the boots or tube. Another consideration is access to the shore from different parts of the lake. Taking care of “personal affairs” requires quickly reaching a landing and peeling off your boots. When the water is cold, this event can arise quickly.


3. Access to privileged locations on the lake – the smaller the lake, the better. Floats are not known for their speed (pontoon boats are faster) so you want to get to the best fishing spots (banks, bumps, weed beds) as soon as possible.

4. Susceptibility to wind – The wind is the most annoying factor during float fishing. It does not have the advantage of sitting on top of a boat and launch distances can be considerably shorter. It is important to me to be able to find shelter from any direction the wind blows. Look for oddly shaped lakes with sheltered bays. The waves created by the wind can also be a challenge when trying to get back into your vehicle, so keep this in mind when moving too far from your launch site.

5. Vehicle access to the lake – paved, gravel or 4×4. The great thing about a float is that it can be easily deflated enough to fit in a car, trunk, or other two-wheel drive vehicle. Many of the inland lakes are quite accessible by 2-wheel-drive vehicles. On the other hand, there is no shortage of 4x4s or walks in lakes that are willing to reward adventurers.

Visit here for a list of some of my favorite float fishing lakes in BC.

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