Airstream Time

Exploring North America in an Airstream

Archive for ‘September 3rd, 2017’

Catching Up

I could put these pictures in their proper posts, but we have to get on the road to Montana. Some of these were just too pretty to pass up.

Fishing the Bull River

Friday, September 1, 2017

After a little research on the excellent wifi at Fernie RV Resort, I called Snowy Peaks RV in hopes of getting help with the inverter problem. They could take it today! We had a guided fishing trip today at 9:00, so we hurried to hook up and drive 7K to Snowy Peaks. We turned into an RV resort and asked at the office. A nice lady pointed to a building at the back of the campground with a green roof. We drove around to find a big, well-equipped, dual bay shop. Steve came out and asked about the problem. I showed him the inverter and described the problem. I had called Lew Farber, who installed the system, but he never called back. I gave his number to Steve, and told him we had a guided fishing trip and we needed to go. As he looked around, he was impressed with the work Lew had done. He has done solar systems, but this one impressed him. It made me feel better that he knew what the inverter was, telling me what a hybrid Magnum inverter was capable of. I felt like I was in good hands as we left.

Our guide for the day was Nate Kelly, a nice young man who also guides hunting trips. He was born and raised here, hunting and fishing all over. He went to guide school, knowing what he wanted to do from the start. We stopped at Elk River Guiding Company to get some emergers. I have never seen such a great selection of flies, beautiful flies. We would have to come back! As we drove the customary hour up a gravel road, we talked about the Elk River where we had planned to fish. He suggested the Bull, saying the Elk was fishing a bit slow for some reason. We talked about flies, kinds of trout, trucks and tires for these rough roads.

Arriving at a parking area, there were several people camped. Kelly and I said it was likely fished too much, but Nate said these were hunters. It was the first day of bow season, and Nate has a guided hunt this weekend. We geared up, crossed a stream and walked a horse trail to a big pool. We caught several nice fish, and missed a couple of big ones. This is the way the day would go, climbing up and down banks to the trail and hiking to the next pool. At each site, we would catch a few beautiful cutthroats and miss some nice ones. Sometimes the fish would miss the fly. Sometimes we could see the fish coming and set the hook too soon. Other times the fast current would leave us with too much slack in the line, so we couldn’t set it fast enough. As with most streams, it is all catch-and-release with single, barbless hooks, so all fish were quickly released.

We went back to the car for lunch and then went up a smaller creek. Nate knows all the holes and pools and how to get to them. In all the streams we fish here, it seems the fish are in pools, seldom in fast water. They need a place to rest as well as feed. After a full day of hiking up and down streams, banks and trails, we were pretty whooped, but it had been a great day of fishing and Nate did a good job putting us on the fish. On the long drive back, we followed in the dust of another car, but we enjoyed the beautiful scenery and impressive mountains.

It was 7:00 by the time we got to Snowy Peaks RV and everything was closed up for Labor Day weekend. Fortunately the trailer was there, and everything seemed to be working. Steve is a trusting man! He could have left it in the bay, locked up for the weekend, and we would never have found a place to stay. We didn’t know what the charge would be, but we hooked up and went back to the campground.

Canal Flats, Columbia River, Kootenay River

 

Thursday, August, 31, 2017

It’s moving day, but we are only going to Fernie, so it isn’t not a long drive. We wanted to see the origin of the Columbia River, so we went to the source in Canal Flats. Totally unadvertised, you have to find your way to a marsh where there is a walkway and some signage. Part of the Kootenay River goes underground and bubbles up in this marsh. It isn’t particularly impressive, just a small creek of clear water flowing through the marsh, but it forms Columbia Lake, which is quite large.

Kelly, the owner of Kootenay RV Resort, suggested we see Findlay Falls, so we drove up the Skook road 7K to a parking area. Two young men were getting their rods ready to fish. Getting out of the truck, I told them we would need to check their licenses. We must have looked official enough, or old enough that one just gazed at us while the other started looking for his license. I told them I was just kidding. They were from Edmonton and were fishing the area for a week. This gorge is stunningly beautiful, but we suspected very difficult to fish. Very nice guys, we enjoyed exchanging information about fishing places and techniques. Meanwhile a man named Pete was listening on his very fancy-looking trail bike. He said he had just bought it and liked to ride it on these roads. I think it was a $6,000 bike, but he said you could spend 20K on one! He would later report the guys caught a few small fish in the big pool under the falls.

We headed up the Kootenay to a bridge and fished for an hour or two. This is a big river, fast-flowing and cold! Its waters are a blue-green. We had no idea what to fish with, but we knew there were cutthroat and those special char that are a rainbow/salmon cross. We caught a few cutties. I tried all kinds of things that I guessed these big fish might hit, but they weren’t interested.

We drove around the lake to the other end to a gravel road overlooking a huge marsh at the north end of Columbia Lake. The Columbia River flows out and two other streams join it through the marsh. People were kayaking the river with its beautiful, clear waters. Others were fishing, so we gave it a go. We did catch a few, but as usual, it sees a lot of fishermen and women. It would be a great part of the river to float.

Back at camp, we hooked up the trailer for travel, but we had a problem. The inverter was not working. The inverter’s job is to take 12 volt battery power and change it to 120 volt power like we use at home. Shore power comes into our Magnum inverter first. It had been very hot, so we had the air conditioner on. I don’t think the campground power was particularly good, and maybe there were surges since everyone had their air conditioners on. We don’t really know what happened or how. We just knew a critical component was down. The batteries were fully-charged. Solar seemed to be working, but we couldn’t use the air conditioner, the oven or charge the computer.

We went through everything, checked circuit breakers, fuses checked current to the inverter, read the manual and pushed the restart button, all to no avail. Big problem! Oh well, we had to let it go and get to Fernie. Arriving at Fernie, we did some serious grocery shopping and settled into camp at Fernie RV Resort.