West Kootenay Fishing Report

West Kootenay Fishing Report – July 2015

"We’re just getting into the prime river fishing, so stay tuned for that"

Columbia River: The river seems to be at its highest level lately, and while that doesn’t usually provide the best fishing when it is rising, it seems to have stabilized over the past week or two, and the fish are getting into a feeding pattern.

Our last few trips have seen 10–20 rainbows come to the boat, and our favourite time has just arrived – the caddis hatch. That means that these fish are now looking up. They are keying on insects on the surface, which means its dry-fly season, the most exciting time to catch these feisty rainbows.

One small pool we drifted into was holding a couple dozen fish. We could sit and watch these fish cycle from the top end of the pool to the bottom end, each taking turns coming to the surface to sip a skittering caddis. This made for an exciting afternoon.

Sight fishing for these great fish is very exciting, and getting your presentation just right is rewarding. When that fish finally comes to the surface to take your offering, zing goes the reel and into the air goes the fish.

These fish are powerful. Being raised in the strong currents of the Columbia makes for some strong swimming fish, and these trout will take you well into your backing before you can gain control. Just another exciting afternoon on the Columbia.

That’s only the fly-fishing part of it.

We have also been hooking into some nice walleye on the spinning gear. They’re not really thick in the river yet, but that will soon change. The next couple of months should see more and more walleye hanging around and the fishing will just get better and better. Most of the walleye have been 2-4 pounds, and most of our rainbows have been 16–22 inches, with the odd 24-27 inch fish as well.

We’re just getting into the prime river fishing, so stay tuned for that as well.

Kootenay Lake:

With the latest heat wave upon us, the fishing has been hit and miss. Although there are lots of two-to-three-pound rainbows still coming in regularly, with the odd 10–15 pound fish being caught, in the past couple weeks we have noticed a lot of fry entering the lake and this is what the fish are keying on. So, keep your presentation small and stick to the shorelines and you will catch fish.

One of our latest trips had four lovely ladies join us for the day. The day started out calm and a few nice fish were caught. And then, as it has happened a lot lately, the weather changed in an instant. We went from flat, calm water to 3-4 foot waves and crazy wind gusts. We decided to stick it out for the day and it proved to be worthwhile as we continued to catch fish all day long, ending up with 10 nice rainbows.

It looks like there’s still a lot of fish to be caught throughout the summer, and they seem to be hungry. so, stay tuned.

What are they biting on?

The rainbows on Kootenay Lake are keying in on the small fry that have entered the lake, so our best presentation has been 4-inch bucktails, fished close to shore and right on the surface.  The color patterns haven’t changed much. The usual black and white, grey and white, and green and white have been working well. The standard numbers lately have been:  210, 228, 234.  Other small lures have been working as well. Small spoons and small Rapallas have been catching a few lately as well.

On the river, we have been catching our walleye on the usual 3-way rig on the bottom with a worm. Also working well are our weighted jigs with rubber twisters or tipped with a worm. The rainbows for us have been mostly caught on flies. Try swinging a nymph during the dead heat of the day, and then switch to the dry caddis when the fish begin to rise. It’s getting better every day.

Area Lakes: Lakes like Rosebud, Nancy Greene, and Champion Lakes have been fishing well in the mornings and evenings but fish will go deep during the day to escape the heat.

Try dragonfly and damselfly nymphs in the morning over drop offs and along  weedbeds, and adult caddis or mayfly patterns on the surface in the evening.

The fishing report is provided by Kerry Reed of Reel Adventures Sport Fishing Charters. Contact Kerry at 250-505-4963 or reeladventuresfishing.com.

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