Fishing at Buntzen Lake – Port Moody

by Coleman


Last Friday I had a day off school.  Dad found out and asked me if I’d like to go fishing with him.  The idea wasn’t a showstopper, but it sounded better when he said we’d go out for breakfast along the way.

The other thing we had to do along the way was buy dew worms.  I never knew this, but you can actually buy worms, live ones, to use as bait for fishing.  How gross is that?  Sure enough, we stopped at a Mohawk gas station en route.  Nobody wanted to get out of the car and buy the worms.  We drew straws and Mom lost.  Within minutes she came back with a small white styrofoam container.  “How many worms are in there?” I asked.  “The carton says 18,” Mom answered.  Mom put the carton down on the floor in front of her.  I had this vision of Dad suddenly stopping the car and all the worms wriggling out, crawling over the front seat, and somehow ending up on my face.  “Can we put the carton in the back of the car; no, better yet, make that inside the storage hatch?” I asked Mom.  “Here, you do it,” she replied.  “I’m not the family servant.”  I sat in silence, not sure what to do.  Luckily, Dad stepped in and volunteered to put the carton in the back of the car.  Problem solved, for the moment anyway.

It was my first time going to Buntzen Lake.  Dad explained it was a man-made lake used to generate electricity.  The government set aside an area for swimming, and I guess somebody came up with the idea to stock it with fish, trout mostly.  That’s why we were there--to catch a fish—not for eating mind you.  I think that would be my Mom’s worst nightmare:  to clean a dead fish.  Mom wasn’t interested in fishing either.  She had other plans:  to hike as far as she could around the lake.  Apparently it takes three-and-a-half hours to do the full loop. We got to the beach area and I immediately zoned in on a dock.  “Perfect, a dock,” I said; “we don’t have to walk anywhere.”  “There’s a guy already fishing there,” Dad answered.  (Aka we’re going to walk someplace else).  The first spot we came across had a guy throwing sticks in the water for his dog to fetch.  Mom figured they would scare the fish off, so we had to move on.  Our next spot had quite a few branches in the way, but we decided to try it anyway.  Sure enough, on my second cast, I got my line tangled in one of the lurking branches.  That took me on a mission that lasted about half-an-hour:  to get my lure back.  Finally, Mom (who’d come back to tell us she scoped out a much better spot), valiantly lifted a gigantic tree limb to lift my tangled lure from the branch.  Did she do it?  Well, let’s just say, we weren’t the only ones to lose our lure on that tree.  In fact, I name the tree Lure Cemetery.

It wouldn’t have been so bad, if we’d caught a fish, but that didn’t happen either.  We packed up and went to Mom’s chosen spot, a clearing with no trees to hook.  We had better luck there.  I caught the first fish, a small trout.  In case Mom didn’t believe us, Dad took a picture as proof.  He ended up taking seven pictures of each and every fish we caught.  They were mostly trout, except for a couple of funny looking ones which Dad wasn’t even sure about.

Before you knew it two hours had gone by, and Mom was back.  We showed her all the pictures and she was quite impressed.  “We better get going back, I just felt a raindrop on my forehead,” Mom said.  I didn’t feel like stopping.  I had gotten into the fishing; even the worms didn’t bother me anymore.  Dad took sides with Mom, only because his rod broke making it impossible for him to fish any longer.  I bought some time by telling Mom all the homework I planned on doing on our return home.  Sure enough, before you knew it, I felt a tug on my line.  I reeled it in, and there was my fish, a tiny trout.  Dad unhooked the fish, while Mom and I decided where to put the rest of the dew worms.  Mom wanted a spot where’d they be “happy.”  Luckily she didn’t see the fate of the ones who didn’t make it.

We just finished packing everything up and it started to pour.  It literally went from one drop to raining buckets of water.  Before Mom had a chance to say it, I blurted out “I told you so.”   “The laugh’s on you,” she answered; “last one back to the car is a rotten egg.”  “I stood there with my rod in one hand and fishing tackle box in the other, and knew I’d been beaten.  At least I caught more fish than Dad.    


It take about 1 hour to get to Buntzen Lake from Vancouver.  To get to Buntzen Lake, go through Port Moody (St. John's St.), and just as you leave Port Moody turn left on to Ioco Road.  Follow Ioco Road, and then turn right on to 1st Avenue and again at Sunnyside Road.  Sunnyside Road will take you to the park entrance.  For more information call 1-800-BCHYDRO.

You can purchase bait and rent canoes from the Anmore Grocery Store (3275 Sunnyside Rd, Anmore, 604-469-9928) located just outside of the park.


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