Derickson Lake near Kelowna and Big White British Columbia

Derickson Lake hike has been on my mind awhile since my friend Ray Derickson has wanted to explore the area as he continues to renew the registered trap line business that has been in his family since the mid 1800’s.  Derickson Trap Line Maps

To get to the best place to start the hike, I had to find the snowmobilers cabin known as “Uncle Tom’s. From there we walked down the road crossed a creek that was a little too much for my two wheel drive Ford Ranger and and when my GPS told me we were within 700 meters of the lake, we left the road which was now marked with snowmobile trail markers and hiked through the bush to Derickson Lake.

Update – September 2018 – Derickson Lake is now stocked with trout!

Uncle Tom’s Cabin update – A new cabin has been built and the images above are old. We’ll keep em there for historic reasons. ūüôā

I thought the lake would be more swampy but it turns out to be a very nice lake to visit. Probably no fish but ….who knows, leave a comment below if you know of anyone who caught a fish in Derickson Lake! After we circled most of the lake we followed the GPS pointer through the bush and let it take us back to the snowmobile trail and road to Uncle Toms. We saw 5 hunters in three groups, and I was only able to get 3 of them. …no not really but none of them nor I saw a single good sighting of game.

David and Pennie Briese – Our Favourite Walk is the next one!

David and Pennie Briese – Our Favourite Walk is the next one!

Whether being interrogated by army officers or trying to stay above water in a flash flood, beauty, surprise, adventure as well as peace, inspiration and deep gratitude are just around the next corner for David and Pennie Briese. Their Photodiary of a Nomad website share many of their awe inspiring adventures and I am thankful for their stories from afar as they share captivating tales in the interview  below.

You may also enjoy their incredible and inspiring photo’s that take you away to lands afar on their website but be sure to consume the stories of freedom from the daily grind,¬†achievement¬†of¬†personal goals and fullfilment of dreams as you peruse the pages of ¬†the Photodiary of a Nomad. Like many great goals, David and Pennie’s journey do not come without danger and sacrifice.

How and where were you introduced to the outdoors?

As students we did a bit of bushwalking and cross-country skiing in the Australian Alps and, as a family when our daughter was young, we regularly did day walks into the bush around our home town of Canberra or elsewhere when on holidays. Our epiphany came when we took early retirement six years ago, walked for 3 months down part of the Australian coastline and liked it so much that we haven’t stopped heading off on long walking adventures since.

End of the Great Ocean Walk – photo taken by and used with permission from David Briese

What has been your favourite walk?

This is difficult as every walk has its own charms and experiences (good and bad). We’ve listened to advice and followed this to New Zealand, the South American Andes, the Himalayas and different parts of our own vast continent, Australia. In the end our favourite walk is the next one!

Please share an outdoor story related to one of the above areas.

One memorable trek we did was to Green Lake in North Sikkim a pristine wilderness area, following a valley and glacier up almost to the base of Kangchenjunga. It sticks in our minds for one particular reason:- not for the fact that we seven trekkers set out with 30 plus porters and guides (because that is how many the local village chiefs say will be needed and if you don’t like it you don’t walk), not the trip up from the village to the start with everyone piled into and onto a massive old Tata truck, with the little sikkimese driver yanking the steering wheel to round the hairpin corners high above the mountain rivers I was looking down on out of the window, not the two Indian army officers that accompanied us as well because we were so close to the Chinese border, nor the mysterious trip with them in an army truck back to their base after the walk because they wanted to download my photos of this strategic area, not even the wonderful mountain and valley scenery of this wild and remote part of the world. It was simply the fact that the seven of us who reached Green Lake were the only ones to do so that season, while during the same time over 500 people had reached the summit of Everest. That really put everything into perspective!

Kangchenjunga Sunrise at Green Lake – photo taken by and used with permission from David Briese

Have you ever experienced a wilderness medical emergency or been lost in the wilderness? If so please describe this adventure and any lessons learned.

On our walking trips, we have never been lost. I like to think that I have a good sense of space and direction and always carry a GPS in unfamiliar terrain.  A couple of times this has led us out of some thick bush and back on route, but usually we use it to plot our track. Mind you, batteries can die, so always back up the GPS with a paper map and compass.
When in New Zealand, a couple of years back, we were caught out in the open on the Rees-Dart Track on a day when 300mm of rain fell – stuck between two impassable side-streams watching big tree trunks and debris speeding down the raging Dart River. Even goretex could not keep the rain out. Eventually, after 12 hours and 30 km wading and sloshing we ended up back at the hut that we had set out from – my how that fireplace looked good! It was the “hairiest” day we have experienced on any walk. A poor German hiker was swept away that day and drowned in the next valley, so we left with a much greater respect for the power of nature.

Can you share any unique encounters with wild animals?

On our first long-distance walk down the South Coast of New South Wales a few years back, we visited a mountain sacred to the local aboriginal people and were told that people have an animal totem, but that the animal chooses you. Barely a day went by during that 630km walk when we did not see at least one magnificent sea-eagle fly close overhead. We decided that the eagle had chosen us and the fly-bys were to check out how we were going on the walk (the mind does start to wander on these long walks!).

An amazing photo of a Sea Eagle – photo taken by and used with permission from David Briese

If not previously mentioned, have you ever completed a thru-hike or multi-day backpacking trip and what nuggets of wisdom did you glean from it?

We did the South Coast Walk mentioned above shortly after we had retired from full-time work. I’ll plagiarise the nugget of wisdom gleaned from my webpage description of this walk.
“Our trek was to put some distance between our lives in the workforce and our future lives; a time to walk, a time to reflect and a time to rejuvenate. I think that it has largely succeeded in this goal. There is no better place to reflect than while walking silently down a long isolated stretch of beach, and we passed many of these. Some of the cynicism built up during 30 years of work has been shed and we certainly have no fears for what life now holds. The Great South Coast Walk taught us that, to feel fulfilled, you need to constantly provide yourself with a challenge, of which an adventure such as this is only one form.”
Since then our guiding philosophy is that on any long-distance walk there are always two parts, the physical journey and the emotional/spiritual journey, and both need to be explored and enjoyed to the fullest.

The end of the South Coast Walk – photo taken by and used with permission from David Briese

What are your favourite outdoor websites?

The web is our first port of call for information on a new trek that we might be thinking about. ¬†For a world-wide database on potential tracks to do, I always check out Best Hike.com. For the sheer volume of track descriptions, technical information, photos, community fora etc about hiking in a particularly region, and all in a well-designed website, you can’t go past New Zealand Tramper. ¬†At the local end of the scale, I really like the Canberra Bushwalking Club website, but this is a bit of a vanity – I designed it. I probably should put in a plug for our own website Photodiary of a Nomad. This started as a simple way to let family and friends know where we were when we set off on our walking adventures, but somehow took on a life of its own when other people started taking an interest in our ramblings (both ambulatory and verbal).

What is your favourite outdoor hiking gear store?

Paddy Pallin and Mountain Designs are two iconic Australian companies that carry their own ranges of outdoor gear .Their stores are just across the road from one another in my home town – if I can’t find what I want from one it is almost always available at the other.

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Photodiary of a Nomad: www.gang-gang.net/nomad


Spirit of Adventure

Spirit of Adventure

Mystery, ¬†magic, peace and awe of the great outdoors is realized in the DSD’s writing. Here is a quote from Summit Stones and Adventure Musings Blog, “It’s not about escaping from something back here, its more about working it out by embracing the wonderful elements and rainbows out there…”
DSD

In adittion to informative and thought provoking commentaries about the outdoors from an outdoor expert, DSD Stones, has a fantastic collection of outdoor blog links that are full of unique outdor information.

“Today, I hold a single rock in my hand, from such a circle, remembering one meaning from within a thousand… Now, I think I will splash just a little bit of paint upon this stone, and place it somewhere special just for you…”
DSD

Summit Stones

Summit Stones

Relax, reflect and enjoy DSD’s interview below.

How and where were you introduced to the outdoors?

My earliest experiences about the outdoors, our wonderful wild places, and the adventures we may have out there, were through the engaging literature that is available to us all. I read so much about climbing, hiking, kayaking, canyoneering, and exploring when I was very young. Very exciting stuff! In later years I headed out with family and friends to many of our northern lakes to learn the art of canoeing and camping. After that came years of hiking with fellow adventurers, courses with Outward Bound, and especially great experiences with backcountry Guides, Mountaineering & Climbing Guides, among others. There is nothing like being out on such journeys with an experienced mentor who can share not just about outddoor skills, but also so much about what it ‘means’ to be out there, and the value of those perceptions and memories such can have for the rest of our lives. Now I continue to be introduced to new things about the wild places through the amazing websites now available and time out with young folks whose energy is great to be around.

What has been your favourite outdoor recreations area?

This is a challenging question… Propably my favourite wild place is the one I am in at that very moment… Then there is the adventure activity that I am engaged in within that place. I would have said in the past that the Rocky Mountains were my very favourite, and they still are for certain kinds of climbing, hiking, and solo time away. But it is hard to say that any other outdoor area, such as our northern lakes, our coastal islands, or the deep canyons of the desert are any less meaningful as they are so very different and unique in what they offer to us… Places like Yosemite have made powerful impressions upon me too. Each has such vivid meanings and memories. There has not been a single wild place we have journeyed to over the decades that has not provided us with such gifts… This is likely one of the distinct reasons I believe so strongly in Stewardship, in giving back, and passing forward regarding these vulnerable areas for others to also experience. Maybe… I might say that my favourite wild places these days are the ones I’ve yet to wander in… the ones I now dream about visiting, the ones I so enjoy reading about, checking out the maps, looking over the websites on, and looking forward to about the fellow adventurers whom I’ve yet to meet out there… Such anticipations are priceless too…

Please share an outdoor story related to one of the above areas.

My whole blog on ‘Adventure Musings‘ is about sharing such experiences. I hardly ever talk about the skills needed to wander, except maybe the ones that have to do with the psychology behind why we do what we do out there, and that which has to do with the inspiration, motivation and spirit that are the essential elements of any adventure… One kind of story I could share, has to do with my affinity for visiting the same wild place in all the seasons. I find this to be a very exciting way to wander and have done so in the mountains, the desert, and to many coastal islands. When way up north, this can such a wonderful way to experience a northern lake. Each and every season offers gifts of variety and unique perceptions. One mountain out here near Lake Louise I have hiked all the way around mid-summer, climbed most of its’ routes in early fall, been on snowshoes near for long winter days, and then hiked again when spring was just emerging. That mountain and I have become great friends…

Have you ever experienced a wilderness medical emergency or been lost in the wilderness? If so please describe this adventure and any lessons learned.

I have learned that preparation is everything when out there… Over the years we have experienced everything from being underprepared physically, in not having enough water or food, not carrying the appropriate medical gear – as every wild place can have its own kind of medical emergency, in not being prepared for the navigational challenges that would be needed, and in underestimating what kind of preparation may be asked of us mentally and emotionally… The last two seem to be the most important. Handling adversity out there is not just about understanding the weather or the altitude or an injury, it is also as much about the way we train ourselves to handle these things before they actually occur… If we each journey out there often and long enough, every one of us will likely look back and shake our heads about what we see now that might have happened, and how we were probably not as prepared as we could have been.
I am a bit cautious with technology too. Nothing wrong with carrying a GPS, and I often do, but making sure we know how to do a resection with a compass for example can be invaluable as well.
No time in preparation is lost, but we might be if we do not have in place the knowledge, skills, abilities, and especially the hardiness to respond to such emergencies. One of the best reasons then to head out with experienced persons who can teach each of us about potential mistakes that can be made, and share their wisdom about how such mistakes may instead be opportunities for developing our own earned wisdom for safe and fun adventuring…

Can you share any unique encounters with wild animals?

I often post about this on my blog ‘Adventure Musings’ as well. Experiences with the wild ones themselves are often fundamental reasons why many of us adventure in the first place. These can be elusive, yet powerful and meaningful encounters… I have enjoyed immensely touching moments with wolves and whales, ravens and mountain sheep, among others. The notes from my journals have many memories of these. I think we often hope to not only experience this but also then to develop our own understanding of the symbolism that such encounters may mean to each of us…

If not previously mentioned, have you ever completed a thru-hike or multi-day backpacking trip and what nuggets of wisdom did you glean from it?

While much may be gleaned from day trips, being out for lengthy time periods allows for unique perceptions and experiences. Time becomes very relative, the pace and rythym of everything changes, priorities and how we orgainize oureselves changes, moments become something else… Be it out with a pack or in a kayak, we may learn some very interesting things about ourselves, our companions, and the especially the wild places when we wander for a longer time out there… A friend once wrote, “Going out is a way of going within”… and time can be an important element of that…

What is your favourite outdoor website?

I would have to say that the links I have on my blog are all my favourites. There are many there that are profoundly inspirational, distinctly informational, and so many that provide such wonderful connections with fellow adventurers. Each is very unique and I have tried to be quite selective as to including ones that seem to provide real adventure purpose and meaning in what they present.

What is your favourite outdoor hiking gear store?

Years ago, and I’m dating myself here, it would have been Early Winters. I also like the local specialty shops that have many unique items we may want for caving, climbing, canyoneering, or for journeying out on the water,
I am always on the lookout for new and innovative gear. Many of us who wander become ‘collectors’ if you will. The fun of discovering a new peice of gear and imagining where & when we might utilize it can be an adventure in itself.
Nowadays, I would say MEC, REI, TaigaWorks, Cabella’s, LLBean, and Sierrra Trading Post have all been great resources for whatever we might need.

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http://summitstonesadventuremusings.blogspot.com/

British Columbia Hiker and Geocacher Expert – Stefan Farrow

British Columbia Hiker and Geocacher Expert – Stefan Farrow

I met Stefan Farrow five or six years back. He supplied me with a lot of pictures, video, and trail head data for the Okanagan. Having been involved with the management of a campground, teaching folks how to sail in Okanagan Lake and helping to save them when they forgot how as a Search and Rescue Volunteer, Stefan’s knowledge has been a great asset for this “outdoor” website. Stefan says that an outdoor website is a bit of an¬†oxymoron…not sure what that makes me as the webmaster for TracksAndTrails.ca. ūüôā Getting to know Stefan a little over the past several years, I have noticed one amazing characteristic of his ¬†is “attention to detail”. You can see what I mean if you read the 20 000 plus words that describe his adventures as a young lad embarking on the Duke of Edinburgh adventure. ¬†Enjoy Stefan’s outdoor interview and learn one of the most important method of survival!

How and where were you introduced to the outdoors?

I would not so much say that I was introduced to the outdoors as much as I was I have always known the outdoors.  I was born into a family that owned a KOA Kampground in Salmon Arm, and almost all of my early childhood memories are of being in the forests and clearings that surrounded the wooded camping area.  After moving to Kelowna, my family continued to spend most weekends hiking and many years in boy scouts.

What has been your favourite outdoor recreations area?

Locally in the Kelowna area, my favourite place to adventure is Myra Bellevue Provincial Park in East Kelowna.  The area is excellent for mountain biking, trail riding, and hiking, with many trails and terrain of various difficulties.  The area offers some amazing views, and yet is well shaded to protect from the summer heat.  Using the trail system you access the Kettle Valley Rail Bed and extend your adventure.  Outside of the Kelowna area my favourite place is Cathedral Lake Provincial Park.

Stefan Farrow Trekking in the Cathedrals

The main area of the park is not accessible by personal vehicle, and requires that you either pay a resort contractor to shuttle you in on their private road or make the whole day trek in.  However, whichever way you choose the diversity of eco-systems to hike through and some of the most amazing views I have ever seen make it more than worth it.  The main camping and lodge area is located in a forested area around several crystal blue lakes, and you can hike from their into alpine flowers, barren alpine and even lush waterfront zones.

Please share an outdoor story related to one of the above areas.

A favorite past time of mine has been geocaching.  The first cache I searched for and located was in the Bellevue Provincial Park Area.  I spent an hour or so hiking to the general area and the went the last few hundred meters with my GPS guiding the way.  After arriving at the location I spent the next hour looking for the cache with no luck.  Eventually I left figuring I would come back another day.  A week or so later, I returned but this time brought along my german shepherd for her weekly outing.  When I reached the top of the hill that the co-ordinates led to my dog was attempting to chew open the cache which she had found without prompting or effort.  Suffice it to say I continued to take her on every hunt as long as she was still able.

Have you ever experienced a wilderness medical emergency or been lost in the wilderness? If so please describe this adventure and any lessons learned.

I myself have not experienced a wilderness medical emergency, however, I spent many years with Central Okanagan Search and Rescue and am a certified Wilderness Medical Responder. ¬†There are many lessons that were learned from my experiences with SAR, however, the most important is the STOP procedure. ¬†When something goes wrong, someone is hurt, or you find your self lost follow the acronym STOP. ¬†S for STOP (sit down, take a breather and do NOT PANIC), T for THINK (where did you last know where you were or what do you need to survive), O for OBSERVE (are there familiar landmarks and what do you have or is around you that you can use), and P for PLAN (decide what to do and discuss it with your group or say it out loud if you are alone). ¬†By following this principal you can help your self out of most any situation. ¬†The next key principal when in a wilderness emergency is to break free of traditional thinking patters and begin to think in an objective oriented method. ¬†This means that just because you have always “boiled water” a certain way before you need to forget that and say, “I need to boil this water”, now given what I have, how do I do this? ¬†Effectively, you must turn your “auto-pilot” off and really think about how to do everything again. ¬†This is especially true of treating injuries as you may not have a commercial splint or even some good sticks to use, and might have to use tent poles, or a ice climbers axe instead. Of course the old boy scout motto is the ultimate piece of advise – Be Prepared.

Can you share any unique encounters with wild animals?

Once while cycling the Kettle Valley Railway about a days ride south east of Merritt, I awoke one morning and upon opening the door to my tent was looking directly into the eyes of white tail deer only 2 feet away.  Neither of us moved for a good minute before the buck turned and slowly made his way of my camp.
If not previously mentioned, have you ever completed a thru-hike or multi-day backpacking trip and what nuggets of wisdom did you glean from it?

As my adventurous project for my Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (also known as the Young Canadian’s Challenge) I cycled the most the Kettle Valley Railway from Beaverdell to Osoyoos, and Penticton to Hope and Merritt over three weekends. ¬†Without a doubt the lesson learned was that you can never, ever, in a million years think that you know what the weather will be like. ¬†Point in case – May long weekend, and my companions and I are huddled in a highway underpass near the old toll booths hiding from the blizzard blowing past the entrances! ¬†Once again the old adage comes back to mind; Be Prepared!!

What is your favourite outdoor website?

Isn’t the idea of an outdoor website a bit of an oxymoron? ¬†To be honest, I gather information off of so many websites relating to outdoor adventures and equipment that I could not even begin to pick one as a favourite. ¬†However, I suggest that everyone check out¬†www.adventuresmart.ca for some great safety and preparation tips. ¬†Get you trip plan there and use it every time you go out, I do!

What is your favourite outdoor hiking gear store?

That depends on what I am looking for, but I have to admit that I do like MEC if I need very specific equipment, however, I try to support the local outdoors stores.  AG Outdoor Superstore, Venture Gear, and Outdoor Adventure Gear.

Tug o war with a Loon and the fish who gets to fight another day!

When interviewing outdoors men and women, I usually have to interview them via the internet. With Bruce Merit, proprietor of the year round operational Osprey Lake Retreat located mid-way between Summerland and Princeton on the Princeton Summerland road adjacent to Osprey Lake and the Trans-Canada Trail, I enjoyed the real pleasure of getting to know him while at a local coffee shop in Kelowna.
After finding out about Osprey Lake Retreat online, the key motivators for this interview were the unbelievable wildlife shots that he has on his site, the array of services he offers in a backcountry setting and the incredible prices he offers them at. Osprey Lake Retreat is one Thompson Okanagan outdoor secret that I just had to learn more about…but before you rush to the phone for reservations, enjoy this entertaining and educational interview to get to know your host Bruce Merit, a little better…one more thing, ensure that you remember your camera!

When interviewing outdoors men and women, I usually have to interview them via the internet. With Bruce Merit, proprietor of the year round operational Osprey Lake Retreat located mid-way between Summerland and Princeton on the Princeton Summerland road adjacent to Osprey Lake and the Trans-Canada Trail, I enjoyed the real pleasure of getting to know him while at a local coffee shop in Kelowna.

After finding out about Osprey Lake Retreat online, the key motivators for this interview were the unbelievable wildlife shots that he has on his site, the array of services he offers in a backcountry setting and the incredible prices he offers them at. Osprey Lake Retreat is one Thompson Okanagan outdoor secret that I just had to learn more about…but before you rush to the phone for reservations, enjoy this entertaining and educational interview to get to know your host Bruce Merit, a little better…one more thing, ensure that you remember your camera!

 

How and where were you introduced to the outdoors?

My father was the first to introduce me to the great B.C. outdoors.
Apparently at the young age of 4 our family was camping in Yellowstone
National Park and my father had to man the fire all night and fight off the
bears.  One bear did take a swipe at the old canvas tent which required
major repairs.  At the age of 8 I was introduced to the Scouting movement
and joined Cub Scouts.  It was the 28th Thunderbirds which was the only Sea
Scout troop in Vancouver BC at the time.  Being the only Sea Scout troop we
were forced to compete in all the camporees and jamborees which really got
me outside digging latrines, making eating tables, outdoor showers and lean
2‚Äôs. I also spent the first ¬Ĺ of the summers up the Sunshine Coast on Texada
Island with my grandparents and then the second ¬Ĺ on my uncles farm helping
with the haying, castrating, vaccinating, and dehorning calves.  A wide
variety of activities that really opened my eyes to much of what the world
has to offer.

What has been your favourite outdoor recreations area?

Growing up there was never one area that really stood out, I do remember
many weekends we were Steelhead fishing on Silver Creek up near Hope in the
60’s but for the most part our family would just pick another lake, creek or
area to explore and go!

Please share an outdoor story related to one of the above areas.

One of my biggest Steelhead I remember catching at Silver Creek was actually
caught on the two large washers I was using for weight and not even on the
hook with the worm on it.  I chased it down creek for about 5 minutes
stumbling over rocks and boulders trying to tire this mighty fish out.  In
the end I beached it on a sandy area and was totally shocked that the fish
had gone after the flash of the washers and they had wedged themselves in
it’s mouth the whole time.  In the end I turned the washers sideways and
allowed the fish to fight another day.

Have you ever experienced a wilderness medical emergency or been lost in the wilderness? If so please describe this adventure and any lessons learned.

Being part of the Hayes Creek volunteer fire department there have been a
number of ATV accidents I have responded to which unfortunately most have
involved drinking and driving with many broken body parts and dozens of
stitches to fix.  A simple lesson that is not rocket science Don’t drink and
drive, even in the bush: it can be deadly!

The only time I have ever been lost was in the Shinjuku train station in
Tokyo Japan after just landing in Japan.  I walked around and around in the
underground tunnels for at least two hours not being able to ask anyone
where I was or being able to read signs I finally found the right train and
made it home totally exhausted and frustrated but made it just the same!
Next day I was able to remember some of the shops and eventually it got
easier and easier.  Really no different that being in the bush and you
remember a bent over tree or a pretty flower, it’s all pretty basic
navigating and being aware of where you are.  I find if you slow down enough
to enjoy the beauty of nature you will allows thing to really sink in and
you won’t get lost!

Can you share any unique encounters with wild animals?

Living at Osprey Lake for over 4 years now there have been many unique
encounters with wild animals.  On many occasions I have had tug-a-wars with
the local family of loons.  Especially in the summer when the parents are
trying to teach their young to fend for themselves they really take the lazy
route.  Instead of teaching their young how to dive they will teach them how
to follow fishermen and then steal their catch.  Each year I loose a handful
of fish this way which goes to show you that even wild animals can learn new
tricks and after all we have to learn to be part of the food chain!  Just
don’t end up being a meal for a bear!

If not previously mentioned, have you ever completed a thru-hike or
multi-day backpacking trip and what nuggets of wisdom did you glean from it?

When ever I partake on multi-day events I have learned not to over pack.
Much like going on a vacation where you spread everything you think you
might want to take on a trip out on your bed and then go over it a few times
placing all the necessary items in the luggage(pack sack). See what fits and
what is really a must-have item and not a want-item.

What is your favourite outdoor website?

Has to be my own site, not only because I built it but Osprey Lake area of
BC is located just outside Princeton by 30 min, less than 90 min. from
Kelowna and less than 4 hours from Vancouver.  It has a diverse range of
outdoor activities from excellent fly fishing for wild rainbow trout,
kayaking, canoeing, snowshoeing, hiking, biking and wildlife viewing
.

What is your favourite outdoor hiking gear store?

MEC in Vancouver, good selection and decent prices.  Trout Waters is my
favourite fishing store in Kelowna

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www.ospreylakeretreat.ca