Enjoy world-class fly-fishing and instruction for large, aggressive rainbow and bull trout in a rugged wilderness setting.
Aug 13 - Aug 20, 2023
- Enjoy world-class fly-fishing for large native rainbow and bull trout in a breathtaking wilderness setting, the Quesnel Lake drainage. Many of these fish have never seen a fly before.
- Learn how to fly-fish in an outdoor classroom filled with aggressive trout that eagerly rise to dry flies, smash mouse patterns, grab nymphs, and inhale streamers.
- Experience five days of fishing with side-by-side expert instruction tailored to your expertise level, and compete in a mini tournament on the final day.
- Stay at the beautiful Northern Lights Lodge or adjacent cabins, which combine the heritage and hospitality of an old-time wilderness fishing lodge with modern conveniences and the comforts of home.
- Package includes the first night in Vancouver and return flights from Vancouver to Williams Lake, BC, as well as guided/instructed fishing, fishing licenses and tips, accommodations, all meals, and airport transfers.
Anglers arrive at Vancouver International Airport in British Columbia and are transported to their hotel. They can enjoy the sights and sounds of Vancouver, making their way to Robson Street or Granville Island for some shopping, if time permits. That evening, they will meet their fellow anglers for a reception and dinner hosted by Sport Fishing Expeditions at the famous Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House.
Anglers will be picked up at their hotels and transported to the Vancouver International Airport for the hour and a half flight to Williams Lake. There, they will be met by the Northern Lights shuttle van for an hour and a half ride through the rustic wilderness of British Columbia before arriving at the Northern Lights Lodge.
Anglers assemble at Northern Lights Lodge each morning for breakfast at 8 a.m. After eating, they meet up with their instructor/guide. Experienced anglers will head right to the water, while those who need to learn the ropes will receive instruction on casting, hooking, and fighting fish before hitting the river. After fishing is done for the day around 5 p.m., anglers return to the lodge for debriefing with their instructors and a cocktail hour with appetizers followed by dinner prepared by Northern Lights’ chef.
After a hearty breakfast at the lodge, anglers depart with their guide to pursue wild rainbows. Depending on the body of water, anglers will fish from rafts, jet boats or drift boats. Once out on the water, they will apply the lessons they learned, with the option to handle fly selection, netting, and releasing their own fish, if they so choose. They will learn how to approach trout stealthily using different techniques depending on the type of river and structure at hand. Anglers can learn advanced techniques such as trout spey-casting and euro-nymphing, if they desire. After dinner at the lodge, anglers can learn to tie flies and put it to the test the next day on the area’s fish.
Anglers will apply all that they have learned previously on their fifth and final day on the water in a competition for bragging rights. That night, the lodge will host an awards ceremony and celebration for all the lessons learned, friends made and, of course, the great fishing.
The Northern Lights van will pick up anglers at the lodge for the trip to Williams Lake and the flight back to Vancouver.
The four river systems of the Quesnel Lake drainage are some of most magnificent trout fisheries in the world. The waters surrounding Northern Lights Lodge produce some of the finest rainbow trout dry fly-fishing on the planet! The rivers and still waters hold multiple strains of aggressive and voracious rainbow trout that grow large. Our favorite is the “horsefly” or “yellow belly” strain, unique to the area. Pound for pound, these are the hardest fighting rainbows you will ever find, and they feed like piranha. Many of these giants have never been caught before.
This area provides the perfect classroom to teach new anglers how to fly-fish, and to let those who are already experienced hone their craft with the trout of their dreams. Northern Light’s experienced instructors are excited to share their wealth of knowledge with you through five days of two-on-one on-the-water instruction to develop your skills and knowledge. The learning experience is tailored to each angler, so whether you are brand new to fly-fishing or a veteran fly-angler, you are guaranteed to come away with some new skills.
Those who are new to the sport will start with the basics, including properly setting up rods, lines and leaders for a successful day on the water. Various casting techniques, such as overhand and roll-casting, will be taught. More-advanced methods, such as trout spey-casting and euro-nymphing, can be added once the anglers are proficient. We will visit glacial or spring-fed rivers and learn how to locate trout while learning safe wading techniques, how to choose suitable flies, etiquette when fishing around others, proper fish handling, and how to effectively fight fish with a fly rod.
Due to the ruggedness of the Cariboo mountain range that surrounds the Northern Lights Lodge, productive waters are accessed via jet boat, drift boat, whitewater rafts with fly-fishing frames, pontoon boats, or occasionally hike-in walk-and-wades. Rods that are 5- to 7-weight are suitable for most of the fishing conducted around Northern Lights Lodge, but streamer specialists who want to target big bull trout might want something a bit heavier. Singlehanded trout spey rods can be also be very effective.
When you come to fish the waters of the Quesnel Lake drainage, you can forget about 7x tippets and size 20 midges—these fish like it big. You can count on action on caddis, stoneflies, hoppers, mouse patterns and big attractor flies all summer long, on 3x tippet. There is nothing more exhilarating than stripping a Chernobyl ant across a deep run and having one of these beautiful rainbows smash it!
We utilize a variety of boats to ply the waters surrounding Northern Lights Lodge. Depending on the river, we may use a drift boat or whitewater raft equipped with a fly-fishing frame. Jet boats are sometimes employed to fish gravel bars and shorelines, and occasionally we do hike-in walk-and-wades. Still-water fishing is mainly conducted from pontoon boats that allow us to access true wilderness lakes where it is difficult or impossible to launch larger boats.
Built in 1942, Northern Lights Lodge is situated right on the shoreline of beautiful Quesnel Lake. Constructed from cedar logs that were harvested from the lodge property, this beautiful structure has been responsible for countless memories over the past 60 years. The common room is the perfect place for group gatherings, with a rustic knotty pine vaulted ceiling complemented by an inviting huge stone fireplace. There’s even a fly-tying bench equipped with everything needed to make your own flies.
Eight guest rooms surround the perimeter of the Lodge, accessed by a wraparound deck providing private entrances into each room. Seven spacious log cabins dot the property, in various sizes to accommodate parties of two up to eight. Each cabin has Wi-Fi, satellite TV, hot water, a full kitchen, and private bathrooms with showers. Large decks are attached to each cabin, overlooking the Lodge and Quesnel Lake. For your convenience, all linens, cookware and utensils are supplied.
The property around the lodge also hosts picnic tables, Adirondack lawn chairs, a fire pit and a dock, if you wish to soak up more nature during your stay!
Prices & Dates
Aug 13 - Aug 20, 2023Limited to 12 anglers
What's NOT Included
Sport Fishing Expeditions are priced as all-inclusive packages with all meals, boats and tips, accommodations, and airport shuttles. Airfare from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to Williams Lake, BC, is included, but anglers are responsible for airfare to Vancouver International Airport.
A 50 percent deposit must accompany each registration. The full payment must be paid 30 days in advance of your scheduled expedition.
Guests are welcome at select Sport Fishing Expedition destinations. Guest fee includes breakfast and dinner, accommodations, and airport transfers. Please contact us for more information.
Repeat anglers, active-duty military and veterans qualify for special discounts. Please contact us for more information.
Payments made on your expedition are refundable for cancellations received, in writing, at least 61 days prior to the first day of the expedition. If you cancel your trip, for whatever reason, 31-60 days prior to the start date, we will issue a refund minus a $1,000-per-person cancellation fee. If you cancel less than 30 days prior to the expedition start date, all payments will be nonrefundable.
Travel insurance is not included and is strongly recommended to protect your investment.