This is a 'labour of love' as I grew up spending summers at this lake.
Total Length of lake approx 3.5mi or 5.6km
Circumference approx 8mi or 14 km.
This is a lake that you could paddle in one hour end to end, so double that for the round trip however, you could easily spend 8 ? 10 hours exploring the various bays and marsh areas including an island. There are 3 distinct arms to the lake 2 running E & W and 1 running N ?& S. It is a permanent settlement area, part of Jaffray (un-incorp) and cabins & houses are located primarily on the Southern shores of the two E-W arms but also on the Northern shore of the Eastern arm. The Northern shore of the Western arm is all crown land and not settled. Deer and cattle are commonly seen as are beaver, muskrat, osprey, herons, hawks, ravens, several different species of ducks, loons of course, and grebes. Red winged blackbirds are also common as are turtles, chipmunks and squirrels. Black Bears are also present due to garbage opportunities. Coyotes can be heard yipping away at night too?
To the North are mountains, E, W & S are relatively flat or rolling hills. There is a shallow outflow creek at the East end otherwise it is spring fed along with a couple inflow trickles. Nowhere is it deeper than 12?-13?. It has a thick silt layer as the bottom with a few spawning areas having gravel bottom. Bass and suckers are the predominant fish but Eastern Brook trout have been taken as well. Feed is prolific with fresh water shrimp, snails, leaches and various insects abounding. The only problem for fishing can be winterkill from the lake freezing solid.
Since the lake can warm up to 70 degrees F after a couple weeks of hot sunny weather, bass do best here. The warm water makes any swimming a pleasure but swimmers itch has been known to strike due to the number of snails and ducks and the life cycle of the bacteria that causes the itch. Dry off well after swimming and you should have no problem.
Both boat launch areas (powerboats are common on the lake and water skiing is excellent) are on the Eastern Arm, one at the E end at a public beach area and the other almost at the narrows near the West end of this Eastern arm. Right at the narrows is a small Provincial picnic area with a nice sandy beach and swimming area including pit toilets. The small island is also near the narrows just off the Northern shore. There are 6-8 campsite areas at the Eastern end stretching from the public beach area to the outflow creek. The last time I was there (in July 2000), these sites had no pit toilets - this may have changed.
Roads or trails do go around the entire lake (although on the Northern sides & Western end you'll have to search for them) so it is possible to walk around the entire lake.
Paddling is all easy. No portaging is required unless you try poking up the creek areas or marshy ends. You'll find that wave height seldom exceeds 8? to 12? even in the strongest winds, as the arms don't offer enough reach for bigger swells to develop. This is a great outing for novices and even those veterans who want an easy day loafing around with friends or family.
From Cranbrook - take Hwy 3 BC east until you get to Jaffray. There will be a sign pointing to the left to Tie Lake. From Fernie, take Hwy 3 BC East until you get to Jaffray but this time go through the settled area near Rosen Lake, over Little Sand creek (also a nice 2-5 hour twisting creek paddle) past the pub and look for the sign to Tie Lake turning right.
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Posted By: hawke_gh
- Sun Oct 17 13:01:43 EDT 2004
UpsideWarm waters!! Can easily be snorkelled as lake is shallow.
DownsideA shallow and fairly boring dive unless you are interested in freshwater bottom dwellers. Silty bottom often leads to obscured views of what you just passed.
CommentI included this in the dive section as when I was a kid there was a fellow (we knew him only as "Fred") with a cabin on the lake that dived there quite often. When we asked him how it was he said "fine but not that deep". He always had his tanks in site when we passed by his place!