Canal Flats, Columbia River, Kootenay River


Thursday, August, 31, 2017

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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.

  1 comment for “Canal Flats, Columbia River, Kootenay River

  1. Jane-Ashley Skinner
    September 4, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Love the bridge shot.

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