Merritt British Columbia offers numerous small lakes that are pure gems for fishing! One of my favourite ice fishing lakes in the area is Chicken Ranch Lake. This lake offers great fishing for Brook Trout. The fish average in size around 1 lbs but can reach up to 3 to 4 lbs. We found that the best spot to fish was approx 50 meters from the parking area and to the North side. There is a small tributary that comes out of the grassy area. We had our best luck ice fishing in about 6 to 10 feet of water. We used a small PINK jigging lure tipped with a maggot or corn. Jigging at a faster pace for 5 seconds then pause for 5. The strikes came just as we stopped our jigging, but with out the faster movement we couldn’t intrigue them to bite. We found that this lake can get very windy in the winter; an ice fishing tent can be useful.
Directions to Chicken Ranch Lake are easy and you do not need a 4×4 vehicle to get there. Travel East on Hwy 97 towards Kelowna from Merritt approx 10kms. On the right side of the highway you will see the Kane Valley Rd turn off. If you pass the Aspen Grove Princeton turnoff then you’ve gone too far. Travel up Kane Valley Road about 7kms and you will come to Chicken Ranch Lake on your left, just before Harmon Lake and past the cross country ski trails.
This lake is one of the best Brook Trout fishing lakes I’ve experienced in the Nicola and Okanagan Valley. I highly recommend practicing catch and release with the majority of the fish at this wonderful fishery. We bring home the odd fish for dinner between our group and not our limit of 5 fish each. Give this Chicken Ranch Lake a try, I’m sure you will really enjoy it!