13-Jul-2003 -- After not living up to my promise to take the crew fishing the previous day, I decided to make amends. However they didn’t suspect I had an ulterior motive when we set off for Francois Lake.
I had picked Francois Lake for a few reasons. First I wanted to make sure we were able to go fishing. Second, we wanted to take a look at the lake and see what the lakeshore property was like. Third, there is a confluence on the lake and I’m not really into fishing.
The drive to Francois Lake, from Prince George, was less than three hours. (We had to stop for Tim’s in Vanderhoof) We turned off Hwy 16 at Francois Lake road, which is a few miles west of Fraser Lake. (The town not the lake) We followed the road around the north side of the lake, past the Stellako River. It was clear that the confluence was indeed on the lake. We noted the two houses which were closest to the confluence and made our way back to the Nithi Pit Road. A short distance later we turned right, and followed the road along the south side of the lake.
We made our way a few miles down the road to the Sawmill Point Rec site. However there were a few careless families camping at the site and we didn’t feel like having to put up with the half a dozen dogs they had brought with them. We decided to back track to a spot west of the Nithi River where we could easily launch the boats in private.
Unfortunately for us the wind with blowing and the fishing was a little rough for the car top and dinghy. However after a while the wind did die down. This made the hunt for the confluence a lot easier and faster. I was worried that the rough water would make it difficult to get all zeros on the GPS.
The GPS had shown that we were around 1 mile away from the confluence when we launched the boat. At trolling speed it took us about an hour to get to the confluence.
One of the benefits of using the GPS out on the lake was the number of satellites we were able to pick up. Instead of the 3 or 4 satellites I usually get in the bush, I was able to pick up 10 while out on the lake. The last time I had seen that many satellites on the GPS was when we were on the prairies.
On the second pass I easily managed to get all zeros across the display. The confluence was a short swimming distance from the shore. The elevation was 2352 feet.