I woke up to a dark sky this morning on an otherwise 30 degrees Celsius Yukon weather trip. Damn. But out Jim and I went to do a boat tour of Kathleen Lake, about a 20-minute drive along Haines Road. Here, Ron Chambers met us and eight passengers from a Holland America Cruise ship and took us out.
Ron is of Tutchone and Tlingit ancestry, so he told us about the First Nations history of the area and kept us laughing at his jokes.
“There used to be a lot of goats around here, but not many this year” he tell us.
“Why, is someone paying them more than you?” asks Jim, always the funny guy.
Ron pauses, “No, it’s the recession.”
But our laughs are cut short with the sight of a small black bear watching us from the nearby mountain. A hush falls over the excited passengers as we crane our necks to get a closer look.
Ron inches the boat closer, people get out their binoculars and the photographers with long lenses have a field day. Eventually, the bear starts making his way back up, curious of us, but obviously a little paranoid of what danger we pose. (By the way, in three days here, my bear count is now up to four.)
From Kathleen Lake, Lee Drummond from Paddle Wheel Adventures takes Jim and I out to Kathleen River. I’m about to go on my first ever fishing trip. Me, a gal who doesn’t eat meat and believes I should only eat what I can kill myself. I guess I’ll have to test that theory out now…
After a quick fishing lesson 101 by Lee, we get out onto Mud Lake to see if any fish would become lunch. Within two minutes I had a tug on my line, but it got away. Less than two minutes later, another tug, this time a trout that couldn’t escape my determination.
Many proud photos ensued as I picked it up and showed it off. This would become our lunch after I had caught and released another four more in less than two hours. Not bad for a rookie.
Lee found a small patch of forest we could get to and set up a tiny BBQ for the trout. Along with the lunch he had brought with us (smoked salmon just in case no one caught anything), he seasoned the fish and we had a glorious lunch in the pouring rain. It was his dog’s birthday, so she got a special fish lunch as well.
What I Liked:
- Kathleen Lake, although crowded with pesky mosquitoes, is a lovely setting to boat in. The mountains tower over the lake and forests butt up against the water (and some are slowly falling into it).
- Paddle Wheel Adventures runs a fantastic tour company- I highly recommend booking with them if you’re in Haines Junction and the Kluane National Park, Yukon.
- I’m staying at the Raven Hotel, what I believe is the nicest accommodation in town. They also have an outstanding gourmet dinner (reservations required) and fantastic hosts.