How do they expect me to sleep with all this silence? Every night it’s the same thing. Quiet, quiet, quiet.
It begins just before they pick you up at the landing on Caverhill Lake, about 90 minutes north of Kamloops, B.C. While you stand there waiting for the boat, all you hear is the wind in the trees and an occasional cry of a loon.
The sound of the approaching motor signals the prelude to an incredible visit to Caverhill Lodge — three days of solitude interrupted only by fabulous meals and great fishing. Other guests called the angling world-class, but that’s only because more trout jumped into their boat than into mine.
Anyway, there are trout — Kamloops trout — and thousands of them. The lodge is on (surprise!) Caverhill Lake, four miles of crystal clear, icy cold water. This lake is fishable from June 10th onward, and there are another 15 lakes to wet a fly on from early June. The lodge has boats on all these lakes. The great part is that no one else fishes these waters. Lots of fish and no people, the perfect combination.
There are some things the lodge doesn’t have — electricity, TV, cell phones, traffic, skimpy meals and uncomfortable cabins.
We arrived late morning and received a family-friendly greeting from Larry and Marlene Loney, the lodge owners, and Jake, the camp mutt (he likes to play fetch, but doesn’t quite get the ball all the way back to you). Larry does the maintenance and repair, while Marlene runs the kitchen.
We got a quick orientation of the lodge and its cabins. My son and I were assigned the honeymoon cabin. No, it didn’t have a heart-shaped bed. But it was the farthest away from the lodge, and mesmerizingly quiet.
Then we met Bus Ellis. He started the camp in 1947 after returning from World War II. He sold the lodge to the Loneys about eight years ago. Bus helps out on occasion, and my son and I lucked out in having him go with us for the afternoon. I hadn’t fly fished in years and my son was new at it, but with Bus’ guidance we were in business.
Marlene packed us a lunch of Dagwood-style sandwiches, cookies, candy bar and water, and was about to send us off with Bus when she noticed we didn’t have any backpacks. Out she came with one for each of us, as well as a net. The Loneys also stock basic flies for sales, just in case you forget.
After fishing, we hiked back to the lodge and took a dip (maybe not even a dip) in the very cold lake, followed by trip to the Finnish sauna. Next stop, a soft chair and a glass of ice tea in the lodge. Dinner that night found us seated at a long table with the other guests, the Loneys and Bus. Did I mention, they treat you like family here? Amid wonderful conversation and backed by a long sunset, we ate — take a deep breath – braided brown bread, garden salad with lemon dill dressing, French Canadian tortiere spiced with cloves, sage and cinnamon and accompanied by broccoli and cauliflower topped with a lemon pepper cheese sauce. Dessert was just French apple torte with warm vanilla custard.
Other meals included creamy mushroom and sweet basil soup followed by a curried honey chicken breast. But my favorite meal was on our last night there. The appetizer was a baked camembert cheese in filo pastry with a tangy three
berry sauce. The main dish was an incredible ham with cheddar scalloped potatoes accompanied by zucchini and red peppers sauteed in sesame oil. Dessert was Caverhill’s famous almond torte soaked with honey and espresso, with whipped cream and cream cheese between each layer. Marlene assured me that there are no calories above 4,000 feet in elevation. The lodge is at 4,600 feet.
We finished dinner about 8:30 p.m., then strolled until about 9:15 when sleep rang the bell. Our log cabin had two very comfy beds, each topped with a toasty comforter. My son got the small stove going and in no time the cabin was dreamy. I read by propane light before overcoming the lack of noise and drifting off to sleep.
One morning, I awoke at about 4 a.m. and stepped outside. The water was like glass and there was not a sound. It was easy to go back to sleep… While rustic and remote are apt descriptions for Caverhill Lodge, it has everything you need, from a hot shower to a hot fire. And if you don’t like to fish, bring a good book or partake of the Canadiana library at the lodge. Or ask Larry or Marlene about the antiques and other bric-a-brac.
Spokane, Wash./Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Too Quiet to Sleep?
By Fred King (Staff writer)
Sunday, August 11,1996