The West Kootenay Fishing Report is a supplement appearing every second Thursday of the month, intended to inform and help locals and visitors enjoy the wonderful natural resource available to us all. Send a hot tip, photo, or report to email@example.com.
Stoneflies will become part of the trout’s diet right about now when the spring thaw or melt happens up and down the Columbia Valley, from Arrow Lake feeder streams to the Columbia feeder streams. The fly of the week mimics the small black stonefly that gets washed out of the streams into the bigger waters by snow melt and early rains. It’s very hard to determine what the fish are feeding on when it happens, as they are quite small and just look like little black insects on the water.
Feeding habits: Trout will feed on stoneflies in the nymph stage, emerging stage and, if there is enough on the water, will take adult forms on the surface. This is just one fly to look for in early spring fly-fishing.
Technique: I would fish this with a floating line and not worry if sunk by currents. Fish like to take food just under the surface.
Fly of the Week: The ‘Improved Serendipity’.
Hook- c49s mustad size 14 or 16
Thread- UTC 70 black
Body – Black liquid lace tubing, midge
Wing- folded grizzly hackle
Wing- two strands midge crystal flash pearl
Wing- tips of white CDC feather
Upper Wing Tuft- Coastal Deer Bleached
Don’t miss the Fly-fishing Symposium at the Castlegar Community Complex next week. A ton of gear, instruction, guides and local fly tyers and fishermen: Mar. 17 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Mar. 18, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Good Luck and good fishing.
Rod Zavaduck is owner/operator of Castlegar Sports and Fly Shop. Kootenay Lake:
February is gone already but the fishing is still kind of hit and miss. Out of eight boats the other day, one had its best fishing of the winter landing eight fish while a few boats landed a couple, and the rest got skunked.
Using the right color, lure, and speed is critical. The worst part of it is that this year the fish have been real finicky, jumping from Billies to “hair” then back to Billies and then to Hellbenders to Billies then to J-plugs and Lymans – if you hit the right lure you do okay. The flasher-hoochie combos have been the most consistent for both Dollies and rainbows lately.
Water temperature: 38-39-degree range.
Fishing Conditions: With a nice chop, try flies.
Flies: November specials, caveman, black/white gold mylar, patriot (on sunny days), bleeding gill and the old favourite – 215.
Flat water lures: Start with Apex’s cop car, purple and black, and the army truck. Or Lymans # 16, 98 and 183, or Billies in the sour grape, rainbow trout, purple/chrome and black/chrome gel and the good old chrome or Dr. Death in the J-plug.
The West Arm Outdoors club had their annual wild game dinner and fund raiser on Feb. 25, and did their usual great job. The food was fantastic as usual, with delicacies such as smoked Cougar, roast bear and goat meat balls along with other Elk, Deer, Moose, turkey, and fish dishes.
Great job everyone!
As most would have already noticed the “Prime-Times Fishing Guide” is no more, so we have purchased the information and have made it available on our website: gill&gift.com – apparently, March 22 is supposed to be one of the best days this season.
Kootenay Lake Report is provided by Randy Zelonka, owner of Gill and Gift in Balfour.
Rock Island R.V. had their annual fishing derby on Arrow Lakes last month. Local anglers enjoyed some great fishing with the boat of Kyle Jones, Darryle Kohlman, and Bob Whitlock taking top honours with a 15.5-pound bull trout, and rainbows of 11.5, seven and five pounds.
Hot Lure: Anglers are having good success on blue/green hootchies.
Depth: Most are being caught at 40-60-feet.
A nod has to go to Darrel Cross this week for catching a rainbow ensnared in a pink glow ring. The ring was wrapped around the trout and cutting into its flesh. Cross cut off the ring and released the trout, saying it was a lot happier going back into the water than coming out.