Best Fly Fishing Lakes in BC - Roche Lake

Dave Ouellette

Visitors: 104

Roche Lake is one of many high profile flyfishing lakes in BC that consistently produces for all anglers. You can enjoy your fly fishing vacation at the provincial park campsites (2), any of the rustic campsites at the surrounding lakes or spoil yourself at the fabulous Roche Lake Resort.

Fishing for rainbow trout is the only fishing available on the lake. Roche was cleared of coarse fish a number of years ago (30+) and is stocked only with rainbow trout. This lake is not a designated fly fishing only lake so you can expect to share the water with trollers and spincasters. There are a few restrictions for fishing on the lake and I would suggest that you consult your British Columbia Freshwater Fishing Regulations before venturing onto the water. The lake is located approximately 16 kms from the main turn off of Hwy 5A, 35 kms south of Kamloops. Access is along a maintained but busy gravel road where even your car will suffice. The main road leads through the main Roche Lake Provincial Park onto the Roche Lake Resort where it ends.

Roche Lake West, the other provincial campground is accessed via the Horseshoe Lake turnoff, just before you reach Rose and Tulip Lake. This road is very bumpy but an holes have a hard bottom. Stay left on this road when you come upon the Horseshoe Lake turnoff (almost immediately when you make you initial right turn off the Roche Lake Rd)and follow it to the end. This is my favorite put-in at the lake as it gives easy access to 5 Pound Bay, the south end islands and the south-east island area. This south end has wonderful shoals that are particularly productive in the fall especially dragging a chironomid or dragon through the marl, stirring up bottom to attract feeding trout.

Roche Lake is the largest lake in a group of 10 trout lakes in the area. With an area of 134ha, it sits at an approximate elevation of 1135m (3723ft). It is best navigated in a small boat and motor but a pontoon or belly boat will get you into some prime areas especially if you access from Roche Lake West. Check out this area map (and print it if you like) to give you an understanding of the area.

Approximate Size and Elevation:

Roche is the largest lake in the group at 134ha and sits at an approximate elevation of 1135m (3723ft). It is best navigated in a small boat and motor but a pontoon or belly boat will get you into some prime areas especially if you access from Roche Lake West. Recommended Flies and Lines:

Roche has prolific chironimid and mayfly hatches early in the season (after May 1st - opening day) which are best fished on floating lines with or without a strike indicator. I make sure that my chironimids are weighted so that they can get me to the desired depth as soon as possible. Also try a bloodworm, micro-leech or damsel nymph fished the same way. I prefer not using a strike indicator with the micro-leech or damsel nymph. Wet line fishermen do well with a big black/brown/green leech or a dragon fly nymph fished parallel to the weedbeds or shoal dropoffs. Try casting or trolling and vary the retrieve or speed of your boat.

Early June to mid-July can bring on moderate sedge hatches that the rainbows will take eagarly in the mornings and evenings.

The heat of the summer can slow fishing down. Go deep except late in the evening (even when it's dark) when you can stalk large rainbows that come in to the marl shallows to feed for migrating dragons, damsels and caddis nymph. A small (#12) weighted black spratley fished along the shoal on a dry line can be deadly.

The fall can bring a mass of activity where many flies and lines can be used. The Roche Lake Area lakes usually host a tremendous ‘waterboatman’ flight anywhere from late August to early October where the fish feed in a frenzy. Chironimids (all sizes but mostly tiny - #14-#18), dragons, leeches and snail patterns can be productive.

Special Notes:

Roche gets very busy so I tend to visit the other lakes in the area. Most of my fishing on this lake has been on the southern half of the lake accessed via Roche Lake West. The bay where you launch seems to produce well with a leech. If you continue south to the next bay on your right (west) you will find what I call ‘5lb Bay’. It has marl shoals, bullrush, sub-surface weedbeds and a consistent bottom depth of about 12'-16’.

Diagonally across from the Roche Lake West campground is the island(s) where big fish can be found year round. There are some restrictions in this area and we recommend that you check your provincial fishing regulations.

The far south end of the lake tapers into a marl shoal and seems particularly productive in the fall using a gomphus dragon that you can drag along the bottom.

There are similar areas in the north half of the lake where you can try all the same strategies.

Dave Ouellette was an Engineering Tech for Ducks Unlimited Canada for 11 years. While constructing over 200 wetland segement in the Southern Interior of BC, Dave managed to fish almost as many lakes and streams in his travels. As an avid fly fisherman, Dave spends most of his ice free seasons devoting intense research and development days to the rainbow trout lakes in the southern interior of British Columbia. See more of Dave's information at

And here's a link to the provincial park information that you may need.

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