In the late 1800s Southern Vancouver Island was becoming more inhabited, and people began to explore the North Island in earnest. Some came to scout out good farming areas, and many were prospecting. In the late 1800s and early 1900s some adventurous explorers came to the Nimpkish watershed to try out the fishing. At this time Nimpkish Lake, and the Upper Nimpkish River were known as Karmutsen or Kla-anch.
Perhaps most famously, Roderick Haig-Brown wrote in A River Never Sleeps: "...In 1928 I caught a real January steelhead in the Kla-anch River on Vancouver Island. The Kla-anch, which is sometimes called the Upper Nimpkish, is the largest stream flowing into Nimpkish Lake, and is a hard river to know for several reasons. It is a very long river, scattered with pools that are not often easy to approach; it comes into heavy freshet rather quickly and easily,and it is an isolated river in a totally unsettled area; so that few people have fished it,and anyone who goes there to fish must gather his own local knowledge as he goes along... One day the road will reach there, and then the fishermen will learn the river and name the pools."
Kla-anch River - 1914
BC archives : Ref: NA-04255