We want you to have a great experience here at Tsylos and to help you prepare for your adventure, here are some Frequently Asked Questions about Fly Fishing at Tsylos Park Lodge.
What is a "Guide Territory"?
A guide territory is a section of land that is tenured to a "Guide/Outfitter". This area is that guides area to take non-resident people on hunts. No other guide is allowed to take non-resident hunters in this area.
How large and where is your territory?
Our area is over 90 miles long and reaches below the south end of Chilko Lake, along the west side up the Chilko River system to Bidwell Creek. Our main lodge is at the north tip of Chilko Lake, about mile down along the riverbank of Chilko River.
What type of terrain is in your territory?
The area along Chilko Lake up to our lodge is very mountainous, with high alpine shale, meadows, rivers and creeks, glaciers, and benches. The area to the north of our lodge is rolling ranchland on the Chilcotin Plateau. We have fir, pine, spruce and aspen trees. It is a very beautiful area and a lot of fun to hunt in!
What animals are in this area?
Our area is home to Mountain Goat, Black Bear, Mule Deer, Moose, Grizzly Bear, Grouse, Cougar, Wolf, Coyote and an abundance of great Rainbow Trout and Bull Trout.
When is your hunting season?
We hunt after September 1st. We choose to take our Mountain Goat hunts in the month of September. Moose season starts on October 1st in our region. Black Bear and Mule Deer are in season September and October. We also offer spring Black Bear hunts, check with us for dates.
How long have the McLean’s been guiding in this area?
The McLean family has bee guiding at Chilko Lake and area since 1957. We continue to offer professional guiding services for hunters, anglers and adventurers.
How good are the horses used on the hunts?
We keep around 40 horses and use them for our summer riding vacations and pack trip adventures. These horses are well taken care of, and very good hunting horses. The saddles, pack equipment and tack are all in great shape and well maintained. You will be very impressed with our horses and will find them very useful and helpful to the hunt.
Do you have hunts that do not require riding horses?
Yes. We offer a boat/hiking hunt from our Franklin Arm outpost cabin for mountain goat as well as can offer a black bear or grouse hunting without using horses. For high country goat, mule deer and our moose hunts we normally use horses and set up base camps. We can discuss your hunt and what it entails.
What type of food is prepared while on hunts?
The meals on hunts are great! The menu usually consists of steaks, lamb chops, pork chops, Cornish game hens, ham, fettuccine, spaghetti, other pasta dishes, potatoes, rice, vegetables, salads and we always have big hearty breakfasts and pack sandwich lunches for the day. You will never go hungry while on a hunt.
What type of firearm is best in this type of country?
Our standard response is "What are you comfortable with"? Obviously flat shooting calibers are optimal for high country, and bullet grain is considered for animal type, but a gun that you feel very comfortable with is important. I think that a gun with a relatively short barrel, a variable but not oversized scope with a comfortable carrying strap is ideal, both for the scabbard and for hiking. We can discuss your firearm when booking.
What do the camps consist of?
Your specific camp will depend on the hunt that you are on. Some have wall tents for cooking and eating, while others do not. We typically use dome tents for sleeping. We also have our Franklin Arm Cabin for some hunts.
What is the temperatures and weather to be expected?
In September & October the daytime highs can be anywhere from 40-80 degrees Fahrenheit. The nighttime is always cool, usually dropping to the low 30’s.
What do I do to reserve a spot for hunting?
You can email or call us to discuss your particular hunt, check our references, and then make a deposit to secure your spot. You can make a deposit by mailing a cheque or using a Visa number. If booking for a hunt in the same year the deposit is 50% and if it is for over one year away the deposit is 33%.
What does 2X1 and 1X1 mean?
This is the guide ratio. A 2X1 hunt is when two hunters have one guide, and a 1X1 hunt is when the hunter has his own personal guide.
Can I be un-guided for my hunt?
No. In British Columbia the law states that a non-resident hunter must be guided and that the guide ratio can be no greater than 2 hunters per one guide.
Where do I need to fly?
If you can find your way to Vancouver, British Columbia we can arrange for transportation from there via charter plane. If you are in the Northwest United States, we can give you driving instructions to arrive at the lodge.
Why should I hunt with The McLeans’ Tsylos Park Lodge?
We feel that our guided hunts are of the highest standard. We guarantee excellent mountain horses, delicious meals, good hunting country with animals that you are looking for and some of the hardest working guides you could ever hunt with. We do not over utilize our area or camps. We consider ourselves stewards of the Chilko Lake area and only perform fair chase hunts. We are very honest and forthright about our hunts and welcome potential hunters to use our references to discuss their hunts with us.
How do I obtain my hunting license and tags?
Once you arrange a hunt with us, we take care of your hunting license, fees, tags, etc. All of the proper paperwork will be waiting for you upon arrival, a quick signature and you are full legal for your big game hunt at Chilko.
Is there a draw or point system?
Although there does exist an LEH (Limited Entry Hunt) system in British Columbia, you do not need to worry about this. As a Guide Outfitter we are guaranteed a quota of animals that fall under this system...meaning that if you book a hunt, you are guaranteed that particular tag and there is no waiting game or future denial.
Will I be in camp with other hunters?
Only if they come with you. We can sometimes take a single hunter and try to arrange another hunter for his camp to bring the cost down (a 2x1 is cheaper than a 1x1), but there will never be a hunter in your camp unless you have agreed to do so at the time of booking a hunt.
How big are your Mountain Goats?
We have a very large population of mountain goat in our area. The size can range from 8.75 to 10 inches, with a few over 10 inches. The average 7 year old Billy Goat will be around 9.5 inches with heavy bases...a beautiful trophy!
How big are your Black Bears?
Big. We have a lot of larger male bears in our area and with a full Sockeye Salmon run every fall, we attract even more from other regions.
How big are your Moose?
Our moose are usually in the mid 40" range, and even though high country moose do not normally reach 60" spreads we have been able to pull a few out.
How many grouse can we shoot per day?
The limit is 10 per day with a 30 bird possession limit.
How big are your Mule Deer?
The west Chilcotin is well known for Trophy Mule Deer. You can expect a good male representative of the area being mid 20" range on the inside spread. Obviously, some of the older bucks who would normally die of old age up here can go much bigger.
Can we combine fishing with our hunt?
Sometimes. If we are on a high country hunt there might not be fishable water available, but on many hunts we can fish while hunting. Once we have harvested our animal(s) we can always come back down to the Chilko Lake or Chilko River to fish, our guides are all excellent fly fishing guides and love to fish!