Braeburn lake is a 5 mile long lake located about an hour north of Whitehorse. Braeburn Lake is listed as a high quality water by by the Yukon Government and offers lake trout, northern pike, whitefish and arctic grayling. To maintain high quality angling special restrictions apply on the lake.
The location of the lake is not well identified but is easy to find once you know where to go. Simply go past Braeburn Lodge and take the next left. That road goes down right to the lake. There isn’t much parking there either and there are residences and driveways close by, so be sure not to park in their way! We found them to be friendly and helpful.
The landing to the lake itself is quite steep, so keep that in mind if you have a huge boat you want to take down there. We had no trouble with our fishing kayaks, just had to haul them down to the water.
There are endless islands, little bays and spots of wilderness to explore, it’s a beautiful lake to paddle. We were lucky enough to have one of the best days of this unfortunately rainy summer, so it was a fantastic day before we even hit the water.
As you hit the water, straight across the lake is a small bay that is
unaccessible by motor boats because the entrance is so shallow. Yet another benefit of being in a kayak! We paddled into the bay and the water was completely still and there wasn’t a breeze.
We pulled out the fishing rods and went to town. The water is so clear you can see to the bottom in the shallow spots, perfect for spotting fish! We spotted a couple of smaller pike but didn’t land anything early on.
The only wildlife we saw were a pair of loo
ns who put on quite the show with their vocalizations and diving under the water for food. I could have sat and watched them forever!
There were also traces of beavers and a pretty impressive beaver house but no beavers were spotted. Just beyond this beaver dam is a narrow section that goes under a bridge and into a secluded area of the lake, almost a mini-Braeburn lake that is used by the Brabeburn summer camp. It’s a gorgeous spot! On a nice day, this would be a pretty perfect place to be in the Yukon.
Although Dave said the fish were attacking his rod like crazy last time he was here, we didn’t have a bit in this area. It was
still a nice paddle, and half(or more!) of the fun of kayak fishing is the paddling.
We spent the better part of the day kayaking all around the lake and had absolutely no luck! We were there in mid-June and Dave’s last successful fishing trip was later in the summer, so maybe there’s something to going a bit later. The weed beds weren’t quite a full as he’d seen them before, therefore less places for those wily pike to hide.
Then the weather started to turn! Typical of summer 2011 in the Yukon – mostly rainy, but can also turn on a dime. Our +25C day turned into a much colder, rainy day. We donned some raingear and even though the weather was horrible and windy, we REALLY wanted to catch something for dinner! We all agreed that despite the crappy weather, we’d head back to the first little bay we entered. Sure enough…
A nice pike for dinner. Then we could see numerous pike swimming around below us. The excitement was too great to go home! Sure we’d been out for hours, and now we were wet and cold, but there were fish there. And we were not quitters. We fished the bay for a while longer and Dave landed another one. Totally knocking Heather and I out of the water, since we caught… nothing. Not that it matters, we all partook in the fantastic pike feast afterwards and it was TAAAASTY!
All in all, I rate Braeburn lake a solid 4/5 for kayak fishing!