Targeting Big Char in The Yukon

Wellesley Lake is 600 square miles in size with a huge variety of features from shallow weedy bays to rocky underwater “terraces” and drop-offs to deeper areas of varying depths. Wellesley is one of the richest both in food terms and fish stocks.

Whitefish and northern pike head into the shallows as temperatures rise. Conversely the big lake char head for deeper water.

We target these areas for big char in the 20 to 50 pound plus range in the warmer periods of July and early August. In 2018 we enjoyed amazing sport jigging and slow trolling, drop shotting large soft plastic lures and jig rubes in 40 to 70 feet. It is critically important to have the correct tackle and rigs and also to ensure the char has time to “de-gas” as they are brought to the boat. They should not be rushed and under normal circumstances, they will de-gas around mid-depth.

Casting and trolling streamer fly patterns is effective for char in the 4 to 20-pound range fishing the shallow areas in early and late summer.

My since departed fishing partner and I used to fish for big char in Canada’s cold clear northern lakes 30 years ago. Then it was the mono line, 4 to 6 ounce of lead on the line or downriggers. Things have progressed in recent years. We now fish lighter and more direct. Braid has revolutionised deep water fishing too. Fluorocarbon makes the leader almost invisible in water. Quality echo sounders show features and feeding fish areas quickly on huge water systems. Hooking and landing monster char still requires skill and the right tackle.

One of the most effective methods for big char is fishing jig tubes on a 2-ounce lead head hook slowly moving the lure close to the bottom in deeper water. With a breeze, it is possible to fish on the drift. On still days we use the engine in slow drive and then neutral. The trick is to work the lure in the last 10 feet to bottom as we pass over shoals of feeding char. We do not target mid or upper water char as we find them not to be feeding as aggressively on this lake.

Char of all sizes fight hard. They have a tendency to spin and twist on the line. For this reason, we use braid for the main line and about 18 feet of fluorocarbon or mono as the leader. We tie directly to the jig head. The fewer knots etc the better. All hooks must be barbless.

Strong but supple through action rod 9 to 10 feet. (5 piece travel rod).
Use too stiff a rod and you will “bounce” fish off.

A fixed spool reel with a smooth powerful drag is essential. I use a Shimano Saragosa 8000. Slightly over gunned but better than being under gunned.! You never know whether you are going to hook into a 20 to 50-pound fish or bigger. There are 80 pounders swimming in these depths and these lake char do not give up easily. It’s a long dogged fight with the big ones.

I fully load my reel with 50-pound braid. My leader will be 26lb fluorocarbon.

Jig tubes and 2 oz lead head hooks are available at the lodge. I have the best success on white jig tubes but other colours work too. Better to have a selection.

Care of fish:
Ensure the char has degassed (you will see a prolific amount of bubbles expelled from the char’s mouth and gills (as it reaches around 20 feet from the surface) Then carefully release at the boat.

Once it clears the 10-foot depth mark it will safely make it to the bottom. (We hold only a few fish for photos as examples of our catch, far better not to take them out of the water).

Remember these lake char have an average growth rate of about half a pound a year. A 45-pound char is around 90 years old.!!!

Fraser River Sturgeon. BC, Canada

Dave Plummer escorted a small group for 6 days fantastic fishing for sturgeon on the mighty Fraser River in conjunction with our top guides at Cascade Fishing Adventures.
They landed many fish in the 200 to 400 pound class the biggest around 480 pounds. Amazing weather and action packed sport.
Join Dave on an escorted trip in July 2019, booking now.

Big Lake Char, Kluane Wilderness Lodge

Kluane Lodge, Wellesley Lake, the Yukon.
I have just returned from a weeks escorting and guiding a group of anglers to one of Canada’s finest wilderness lodges. So exclusive that only a few guests get to fish this rich water that can only be reached by floatplane.
Summer was late arriving but our trip dates (mid July) coincided with high pressure and hot weather driving the huge lake char into deeper water. All clients had plenty of 20 to 30 pound plus char and a number had fish exceeding 40 pounds. Amazing fishing using soft plastic lures. So direct on braid with a fluorocarbon leader. With only a slight breeze or still conditions it was so easy to ensure the right presentation. We averaged 3 to 11 big char each session and we had 3 fishing sessions each day.

Big Lake Char

Kluane Lodge Yukon Wildlife

This exclusive fly in lodge caters for around 12 guests in wilderness comfort.

It is a renowned fly and lure fishing location however in addition the wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities are exceptional. Moose, wolves, bald eagle, and a wide variety of birdlife create great photo opportunities.

2016 Fishing Update

After a good winter the snow was gone we were proved wrong by mother nature April turned out to be a cool month soon as May arrived the weather changed went straight into summer which turned out to be one of Ontario’s hottest summer’s ever on record! It was getting hotter and hotter with no rain the Carp seemed confused as to when to spawn which only lasts a day or so in Canada. End of May we had John Tom & Paul who fished hard in very hot temperatures who caught between them 135 fish with Paul netting 4 over 25 lb. Now the lads coming in June would have to be patient and catch at the right time of the day soon they would catch 8 over 3 over and personal best for our Andy 2.6 lb. In all a total weight of of fish.

Kevin joined us in August with the family, fished some of my local hot spots as well as the garden swims. Very soon Kevin had fish up to 26 lb. then it was not long after had fish from the garden swims 26 lb. 28 lb. 29 lb. then topped off by a beauty 33 lb.! Next a lovely couple arrived in September very soon Bob was soon into catching fish over I showed Bob some of my local hot spots  soon rewards where there with several good’s and a superb 31.5 lb. Bob worked hard at baiting fishing the right times finished the holiday with 8 over plus lots of double figure fish. Another 2 weeks of fishing and fun! For the next guys who work very hard taking it in turns when they get a run also taking it in turns to bait up a great system soon enough Steve had a good followed by Phil 33.14 lb Don later on catching a 30.02 lb well done lads. The lads fished the lawns and my local fishing spots and sure enough produced 20. lb’s and 30. lb’s. Phil was very pleased and surprised to catch a Muskie 21.13 lb of the Lakeside garden swim now the new name is Muskie Phil! In all the Lads had 19 doubles 23 twenties and 5 thirties. Other guests enjoyed fish of 29.13 lb almost the 30 lb! Saving a bigger one for the next time.  Don landed one time on his own 1250 lb with 14 over 20 lb with a personal best 32. lb. It pays to work hard and rewards are there. Mid – October ended our season with some great fishing the weather was mixed warm windy then cooler temperatures but that did not dampen any of our guests spirits.

Once again we are delighted to hold our Carp Thanksgiving fishing contest but first I needed to remind everyone the main key here is the pre-baiting and everyone was to catch fish at Lakeside Cottages. This weekend was truly amazing and well deserved with great fishing by any standards! All worked extremely hard baiting and fishing at all times day and night and in the end were well rewarded well done everyone! Tops marks to you all for sticking with it baiting and fishing at all hours. Cat our most famous fishing Lady had a 31 lb Karen topped that with a superb 34 lb biggest of the season! What a great way to finish the season.

Looking forward to seeing everyone next year all the best, Mike & Eileen

bluevale-june-06th-2015-020 cats-personal-best-31-lb drirkus-august-superb-25-lb justin-with-a-beauty-32-lb mike-with-peter-june-good-26-lbHope to catch up with here fishing at Lakeside! Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy Healthy successful New Year!


Tight Lines Mike & Eileen

Fly Fishing British Columbia

Theo and his father Aiden enjoyed a great weeks fly fishing for fresh run, fighting fit, Steelhead and Coho Salmon on the Skeena River and its tributaries.

August and September are prime months with the best steelhead weighing in at just under 20 pounds.

Theo and Aiden stayed at the superb Kalum River Lodge and top owner guide Andrew Rushton knows all the best fishing beats to guarantee a fabulous weeks fishing in pristine surroundings.

Limited weeks available for 2017. Call us on 01246 221717.

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Carpin in Canada

3rd biggest wild fit common carp on the St Lawrence caught by top guide, Paul Hunt, this 46lb 2oz fish gave a great fight on this superb wild water system. Paul operates Canadian Carpin in Ontario and is one of our top fully guided big carp action destinations. Book your place now for 2016 and 2017, all transfers, guiding, accommodation, meals and tackle included.

Paul Hunt

Paul Hunt

Fly Fishing for Late Run Salmon.B.C. Canada

Cascade Adventures, the number one salmon, steelhead and sturgeon fishing guides on the Fraser and Harrison Rivers are offering some rather special fly fishing – double and single handed rods, fishing in October 2016.
Fish with top guides on prime river stretches, casting to aggressive late run Coho and Chinook Salmon. This is a perfect holiday for the purist fly fisher. Stunning scenery – amazing fishing, good accommodation and apre angling. Top fly fishing guides.

Seasons for fly fishing for late run salmon.
September 25th to October 10th – single and double handed rods for Chinook Salmon.
October to November 5th. – single and double handed rods for Coho Salmon
September to October 15th . – Bar fishing the Fraser for Chinook Salmon.
Big Sturgeon also show October into November for those anglers seeking variety of species (fishing baits).

Places strictly limited so call us now on.. 01246 221717.CohoHead-blog HarrisonCoho-blog CHUM.BC-blog

2014 Fishing Updates at Lakeside Cottages by Mike Williams

After a long and cold winter 2014 started with a much cooler spring than normal I was expecting the fishing to be unpredictable but as soon as the warmer weather kicked in the fishing really took off at the Lake!

One of the main key factors here about the fishing, and I have always said this, is the feed – you have to remember that the fish here in Canada are wild hungry fish looking for a fight! More feed! More fish! As you will read on later in the year we have had some of the best Carp fishing here at Lakeside Cottages.

End of May two lovely couples booked in for 2 wonderful weeks celebrating a 60th birthday. The lads did well with some serious fishing a superb 29.8lb – one of the best days had were 12 fish in one day! The weather was warming up fast helping the water temperature some more good fish were caught several good twenties while the ladies had great fun exploring the local shops sightseeing sunbathing even a paddle boat ride.

Mike and guest with great carp catch at Lakeside Cottages

Next to arrive on their first 10-day fishing trip to Lakeside Cottages but not the last! Marcus and John booked the Carp fishing package and after giving the lads a guided tour and showing them some of my hot spot areas to fish they were soon into fish with several good twenties. Their best day consisting of twenty fish! Marcus managed a magnificent beauty a 31.03lb off the Lakeside swim! John had his PB a nice 27.05lb. It pays to work hard and the rewards are to be had!

Mid – June after their wedding on the beach at the resort and on their honeymoon at Lakeside Cottages, Spike managed some good fishing days of the garden swims with several good twenties and fish up to 28.-5lb! On one day Spike had 9 fish were over 20lb what a wedding gift!

End of June and regulars Andy and Gary arrived they had to miss out on their 2013 trip so 2014 could not come soon enough for 10 days fishing. In one year the lads managed a total weight of 1600lbs all their previous records were broken! And the temperatures too – reaching over 100! This years target was to catch fish enjoy barbecues at the resort and relax but as the weather got hotter the lads mixed in some sunbathing and yes, they fished hard and put the effort in catching a total weight of 900lb of fish with Andy achieving his PB 28lb!  On previous trips the lads have had weights of up to 1200 lb. The lads sure did all the right things again by keeping the bait going working hard fishing the right times when the temperatures were hot and great rewards were had with arms aching great suntans they headed home for a well deserved rest after a fabulous trip!

Spike with a great carp catch at Lakeside Cottages 2014

“Dear Mike & Eileen another great trip, the fish were to die for with weights of 900lb! The waterfront cottage just perfect for us you’re the best hosts ever and Lakeside Cottages is the Best Carp Resort in Ontario Canada hands down!”

Mornings and evenings are the right things to do when the temperatures are into reaching 30ºC great sport with great rewards for one who puts in the effort! Fantastic wild hard fighting fish are here and will really give the thrill of a lifetime like one morning in July I was up early before any of my guests having pre-baited the night before I was ready for some Carp action! Straight away I was in to the fish with half-dozen twenties and a superb 29.8lb! The key was keeping the bait going in to keep the fish around very important!

August was the most productive trip for Mark X Pat from Calgary who had some incredible fishing at Lakeside Cottages. Mark managed 824lb of fish several good twenties a very nice looking Mirror and his personal best catches of:- 34.05lb / 32lb / 35.04lb / 33lb / 32.08lb / 34.12lb / 37.04lb and a real beauty 37.05lb.

Mid – September we have the pleasure for the first time to Lakeside Cottages Philip Steve and Don. Philip is originally from England now living in Canada inviting his life long friends for a 2 week fishing trip to Lakeside Cottages and all were very keen to catch fish. Taking it in turns off the garden swims for the fish. The aim was to all have personal best’s and over the course of the holiday all were delighted! Once they got used to the style of fishing here and the baiting up methods all were straight on to fish. It was Steve with his first personal best 30.10lb followed by Don with a 31.02lb and Philip with a 30.15lb and a 32lb well done! With two 30lb fish for Philip the banter followed. Several good days were had with lots of twenties a piece. All worked extremely hard at baiting and well deserved their rewards. Another great fishing year at Lakeside Cottages. Tight Lines Mike

For more details on fishing holidays at Lakeside Cottages visit