Bill Jollymore celebrates 80 active years with Lac des Roches friends

Community news happening around the Lac des Roches area of the South Cariboo

More than a dozen friends and neighbours gathered last week to celebrate Bill Jollymore’s milestone birthday.

Never one to be shy of the spotlight, and in typical fashion, Bill kept the guests entertained and awed with his recount of stories and jokes from his eventful past.

He has been coming to Lac des Roches for more than 50 years and is well-known as an expert on area fly fishing. Bill’s expertise on fishing gear, firearms and fly tying is recognized worldwide with some of his collection currently on exhibit in New York City.

Bill and his wife, Lori, have been living part time at Lac des Roches for more than a decade, but have plans to relocate full time to Washington.

 

Construction update

Boultbee Road landowners with properties near the location of the drainage improvement project were invited last week to a site meeting to discuss the proposed changes.

The objective is to redirect the water through new underground culverts and manholes from a large ditch between two houses to a nearby public lake access with minimal impact to existing properties, driveways and the lakeshore.

Heavy spring runoff water in previous years has caused damage to the public road and put private property at risk of flooding, so this modification is a welcome change.

 

Diving activity

The large tent on Little Lac des Roches, visible from Highway 24 near the Lac des Roches Resort, is evidence of the return of divers conducting under ice training.

Today (Jan. 29) is the last scheduled day for underwater manoeuvres. During the training exercises, the divers have always welcomed visitors interested in learning more about their techniques and equipment, and they will answer questions and pose for pictures.

As with their first day of setup, their last day will be spent demobilizing their gear and restoring the lake to a safe condition. They will be too preoccupied to entertain the public.

If you missed the opportunity to observe the group this year, chances are they will return next January, as this has become their preferred destination for this annual training and recertification.

 

Better ice

Weather conditions have improved the ice playground at Lac des Roches.

Cooler nights in mid-January have resulted in much of the water and slush on the lake refreezing, a significant improvement since December. During a mild winter like the one we are enjoying, there will always be wet spots near the underwater springs but around the lake, ice depth is reported to be between eight and 12 inches.

 

Burbot fishing

While trout fishing can be successful all year long, several fishing parties have been out on the lake both day and night, fishing for burbot.

Although catching these odd-looking fish usually improves during their spawning season, January to March, fishing success seems to be a little low this winter. The fish seem to be a little behind schedule moving into the shallows this year, but as with all fishing, patience is required.

For those anglers, willing to try their luck catching burbot, the reward is a surprising treat. While the white meat of a burbot is easily mistaken for cod when prepared like cod, it is similar to the delicate flavour of lobster, especially when boiled in lightly salted water and dipped in melted butter, which gives this strange looking fish the nickname “the poor man’s lobster.” Bon appétit.

 

Critter watch

Residents on both Boultbee and McCarthy roads have been enjoying frequent sightings of moose meandering through the yards, munching on the tips of trees and bushes. Wolves are still heard in the surrounding hills but not seen – thankfully.