One of the perks of being a small company is the freedom to think on the move and run with fun new ideas on the fly (no pun intended). 
The Mission
   About a month ago Landon Muzio from 808 & Bench up in Kamloops, BC and I were hanging out talking when the idea to plan a fishing mission to Kamloops came up. Kamloops is known for its incredible Pennask strain Rainbow trout and unmatched still water fishing. Of course it was a no brainer and plans were made including producing a few cool collab pieces sweeten the trip. 
The Players
   All good trips need to have a good crew to make them memorable. We most definitely had a good crew this time around. Three of us from the Lower Mainland and three Kamloops locals. All of us friends from days gone by rolling on the skateboard and still connected through a pure love of fly fishing. 
808 & Bench - A solid shop in downtown Kamloops with a very firm identity planted in Graffiti art and supplies, and skateboard culture. They have supported us whole heartedly since we started. 
Landon Muzio - Landon is the owner of 808 & Bench and a solid human being. He is a gifted artist and can kick around a lake with one flipper as good as most with two. Landon designed the art for the collab that was used for the beanies, pins and patches. 
Brian Mayo - Brian and Craig have known each other for more than 20 years at least. Brian was a staple in the Abbottsford skateboard scene back in the day and was always at the park when Craig made the trek out Abbottsford to skate. Brian is a very accomplished fly fisherman and was the main planner when it came to which lakes we were going to hit. A job well done, by the way. 
Aaron Long - Hunter, fly fisherman, skater, pilot, ex skate shop owner, and all around fun guy to be around (unless your taking a leak and he has access to fire crackers.......). There was pretty much no way we could have gone fishing in his town without us inviting him! 
Moses Itkonen - A pro skater and an owner of RDS/Centre dist., Moses only discovered fly fishing last year. It did not take him long to get obsessed and excel at catching fish. He may have caught more fish than any of us on this trip. 
Tyler Charles - 50% of Cutts and Bows is Tyler and his creative art skills. Speaking of skills, Ty excels at streamer fishing and fast water. We had to peel him away from the river for this trip but man, he still caught some nice fish. 
Craig Williams - Thats me. I'm the other half of Cutts and Bows and god be damned if I don't love fishing small remote lakes. I was sure amping on this trip for that very reason. 
   We all met up first thing in the morning at 808 & Bench eager to get on the road and see the lakes Brian had lined up for us. It had been decided that we would head up to the Bonaparte Plateau and fish Whitewood and Dunsapie lakes. Both smaller high elevation lakes loaded with Pennask strain rainbow trout. It was gonna be a long bumpy road so we wasted no time in gassing up and rolling out. 
Whitewood Lake
   We arrived to picturesque Whitewood lake not long after sunrise. It was over cast and drizzling but the lake looked flat as glass and beautiful.
   We all geared up and inflated our tubes and prepared to set off. Just before we pushed off, Landon realized he forgot his flippers. Oh Man! Forgetting your flippers on a float tube mission an hour down a forestry road is such a let down. Not one to let things get too amiss, Tyler let Landon use one of his flippers. Ty's tube is more of a small drift boat with oars so he could still easily move around the lake while Landon figured out the proper technique to successfully using only one flipper. 
   Moses had a small fish on within minutes and we got even more excited. Thats when things changed. the rain started to come down fairly heavily and we slowly moved around the whole lake without getting so much as a hit. After an hour or two of striking out, Tyler, Moses, and Landon headed around the bend back to shore, while the rest of us headed out to the middle of the lake. That is where Brian and I found ourselves with a couple decent trout on the line. 
   After a bit we headed back only to find Landon and Moses slaying a school of smaller trout right at the shoreline where we put in. 
   We called it and jumped back into the rigs and headed to Dunsapie. 
Dunsapie Lake
However pretty we thought Whitewood was, Dunsapie definitely out classed it. It is one of the prettiest lakes I have been too.
   We geared up again and headed out. Both Ty and I had fish on right after putting in and before long it became apparent that we were in for quite an amazing day of fishing. Every one of us, including one flipper Landon, were catching fish. At one point, Tyler, Moses, Brian, and I all had a fish on at the same time. We had Quadrupled up. Can't say I have ever done that before.
Both Brian and I had 17" fish to hand back to back and Tyler landed a beast as well. Without exaggeration, I bet we had at least 70 fish to hand between the 6 of us before we decided to call it a day. 
   Oh, did I mention the rain? Because the rain tried its absolute hardest to deter us from fishing. When the fishing is that hot, not even a deluge can get you out of the water. 
   It was a long wet drive back to town but we all had smiles on our faces. 
   A few of us met up for dinner where we decided to head to Edith lake the next morning in search of Brook trout. 
Edith Lake
   We slept in a little and met up with Landon at the shop. Brian and Aaron couldn't make it this day do to other obligations so it was just going to be the four of us. We coffee'd up and headed out to Edith. the landscape around Edith is a lot different than the Bonnaparte Plateau with its rolling grassy hills and sporadic groves of pine trees. Very beautiful in its own right.
   It was particularly windy this day but we decided to give it a go anyhow. We kicked out and fishing started off slow again. It was hard battling the wind so we kicked over to the far shore that had some trees and was more protected from the wind. The fish seemed to prefer this calmer water too as we started catching fish. Moses started things off again with a beauty of a brook trout. 
   It did not take long for Landon to lose one of his flippers to the bottom of the lake and was once again he was kicking around with one flipper. Not to be deterred he still managed to catch a fantastic rainbow and a hefty Brookie. 
   I lucked out and got my biggest still water Rainbow trout to date and beauty of a Brookie.
Edith lake Brookie.
   The wind started to really howl and we decided it would be safer to call it a day.
The Way Home
   Moses, Ty, and I had a long drive home so we decided to try and make it to the Coquihalla river before dark for a few casts. We bid Landon Adieu and climbed in the rig. After a wrong turn down a long bumpy forestry road, a cool stretch of highway through lake country, and some serious rain on the Coquihalla hwy, way too many conspiracy theories, we made it to the river.
   It was blown. High and chocolate brown. Ty and Moses tried for a bit anyhow while I watched before throwing in the towel.
   We made it home in one piece and very satisfied on a great fall fishing trip to Kamloops.  
   Thank you Landon and Brian for doing your parts to make this trip happen. I can't wait till next years mission. Dunsapie or bust!


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