Never Judge a Fishing Hole on the First Cast

Evan Swensen
2 min readMar 3, 2020


China Poot Lake sports good camping sites on a gravel and sand beach near Inlet Stream.

China Poot Lake Trail begins at Halibut Cove Lagoon and passes three lakes beneath China Poot Peak. You reach the first lake after 15 minutes of uphill hiking. The trail crosses the lake outlet stream just before reaching the lake and continues through forest and bog for 30 minutes to the second lake: Two Loon Lake.

Not a spectacular hike, but the trail ends at beautiful China Poot Lake, 30 minutes beyond Two Loon Lake through more spruce and muskeg. Highlight of the trail is the number of different species of wildflowers along the trail.

Occasional breaks in the trees give hikers their first view of China Poot Peak, more commonly called Chocolate Drop Mountain. China Poot Lake, known locally as Leisure Lake, sports good camping sites on a gravel and sand beach near Inlet Stream. Pan size rainbow trout may be taken at the stream’s mouth and in the lake.

On one hike to China Poot Lake my son, Lars, and I pitched our tent 20 yards from the small, clear water Inlet Stream. Our companions, Cindy and Kevin Sidelinger, said other hikers had done well fishing for rainbow trout at the mouth.

Lars and I unpacked our fly rods before the tent was up. My first cast with a polar shrimp brought a tug to the line. The bow made several small runs, always staying in the current. Finally, I maneuvered him out of the fast water. By the time I had him beached, an audience had gathered.

“Trout for supper,” Cindy announced. “Catch three more.”

The first one had been so easy I readily accepted the challenge.

Supper was late that night as Lars and I labored for the next three hours to accomplish our task. I learned again to never judge a fishing hole on the first cast.



Evan Swensen

Book publisher, editor, author, Author Masterminds charter member, founder of Readers and Writers Book Club, and bush pilot.