About UsIn 2022 Dr. Mark Gambee, a long-time fly-fishing enthusiast, and friend, Jeff Vermillion of Sweetwater Travel Company, embarked on a journey to find a property in North America suited for a fly-fishing lodge of a different caliber-- one targeted to anglers with a deep appreciation for wildness, solitude and exploration and most importantly that would exceed expectations for a luxury vacation.
After a lot of searching in the American and Canadian West, Mark closed on Brooks Creek Ranch… a truly stunning ranch on the Elk River surrounded by crown land in every direction. Brooks Creek Ranch was originally designed by the Dunn family and built by Craig Mackay and his team at Graceland Builders--some of the best tradesmen in the valley. Randy Fehr of Digital Homes and JK Mechanical designed the off-grid system... No small task given our remote location.
Brooks Creek Ranch operates entirely off-grid, disconnected from the provincial electrical utility BC Hydro. This unique setup has led to meticulous construction, focusing on an efficient building envelope and careful consideration of every detail. Advanced LED lighting, consuming only a fraction of energy compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, illuminates the buildings. The energy management system optimizes electricity and heating by adjusting lighting levels and room temperatures based on natural light availability and occupancy.
Despite the high-efficiency building design, energy consumption is inevitable. To maintain a luxurious experience without compromising sustainability, the ranch relies primarily on a small water turbine harnessing energy from a nearby stream. This turbine operates around the clock, generating over 35,000 kWh annually. Excess energy is stored in batteries for nighttime use. Additionally, a 12.5kW solar panel array contributes to daytime energy needs and charges batteries during periods of low demand.
By exclusively utilizing these 100% renewable sources and abstaining from fossil fuel-fired generators, Brooks Creek Ranch prevents approximately 33,000 kg of CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to removing seven average cars from the road. In winter, when stream flow diminishes, propane is employed to generate heat and electricity simultaneously. Unlike conventional propane generators, the ranch's Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system achieves an efficiency exceeding 85%. Waste heat from this process is repurposed for space heating and domestic hot water. Unused heat is stored in insulated tanks and a spacious outdoor hot tub, ensuring maximum energy utilization.
Once acquired, Mark's intent to make what was already great even greater and his team has done that; from fully refurnishing the lodge, to upgrading the landscaping and off-grid infrastructure to purchasing a fleet of the best boats available, no detail has been spared and we look forward to our first operating season in the summer of 2024.
We are honored to operate in the Fernie valley and look forward to supporting conservation efforts, community and local businesses and tradesmen however we are able. Let the great adventure begin.