|Lac Le Jeune|
|Pass and Isobel Lakes|
|Tranquille and Saul|
|Tulip and Rose Lakes|
The largest North Thompson tributary, the Clearwater river rises in Wells Grey Provincial Park north of Clearwater,BC. The area is known for its magnificient waterfalls, the most impressive of which is Helmcken Falls; its drop is 141m. The headwaters of the river come from the glacier fed Clearwater, Azure, Murtle and Mahood lakes. The main Clearwater tributaries are Murtle and Mahood rivers. Becasue of the high elevation of this park, snow usually stays till May, and patches of it can be found by Helmcken falls well into June. Other waterfalls of interest in the area include Dawson, Spahats and Mushbowl falls all of which are right by Helmcken falls road. More waterfalls can be found through hiking into the park. Due to the short season, tributary waters are not very productive. Good fishing opportunities exist in the mainstem Clearwater and the lakes, where regulations permit fishing. In July and August chinook salmon enter the river in their spawning migration; these fish can be targetted and retained in a few places.
The Mahood river chinook run is protected, so no salmon fishing is allowed in this river and the first several kilometers of the Clearwater below the confluence. To get to the good fishing spots, one has to follow the gravel road on the West (right) side. Helmcken road runs on the opposite East side and provides access to Clearwater lake as well as the trailheads to Helmcken rim, Murtle lake and other destinations.
Despite their wild and remote location, Clearwater's good salmon pools get busy very early in the morning. Some anglers camp in the forest by the river in the hope of getting first shot at the pools. Once the salmon season ends, which occurs in early September, fishing pressure drops substantially. Retention of trout and char is not allowed, so anything caught has to be released. (this does not apply to mountain whitefish)
As with most BC rivers a word of caution is necessary. This is a strong and deep river with dangerous shores. In most sections access to water is limited; in the ramaining sections shores are quite rugged. There is a lot of wildlife including deer, black bears and moose. Mosquitoes can be expected to be in high numbers during June and July, so appropriate skin protection is needed. Overall, the Clearwater's attraction lays primarily with its truly impressive waterfalls and white waters suitable for rafting. It takes about 1h 15min to get to the village of Clearwater from Kamloops and another 15-20 min to reach the salmon pools.
Many anglers use roe and bottom bounce it for chinook (the legality of this method has to be verified). Rainbows can be taken on flies and lures. Fishing this river is quite an experience.
Murtle River with Dawson and Helmcken Falls in June.