John Manwell landed this nice rainbow on Kootenay Lake

John Manwell landed this nice rainbow on Kootenay Lake

West Kootenay Fishing Report

June fishing was a hot month for Kootenay anglers

Thanks to Kerry Reed for submitting the Kootenay Lake Fishing Report. Contact Reel Adventures Sportfishing at or call 250-505-4963.

We had some pretty hot days to finish the month of June and it’s getting even hotter, both the weather and the fishing.

Kootenay Lake: The water temperature was perfect in June. Except for the screaming hot days, the fishing has been very consistent for us.

We saw some chunky rainbows come in, and a few big bull trout as well. The rainbows are still the average Kootenay size of 2 – 3 pounds, but we’ve hooked a few over 4 pounds lately. However, the bull trout seem to be finding some food and have been a bit larger. Biggest one being around 10 pounds in the last few weeks.

Watch for kokanee fry entering the lake at this time of year, and that should put the bull trout and bigger rainbows into a bit of a feeding frenzy.

We also had another flying ant hatch recently. This brought all the fish to the surface and fishing was fantastic for a few days while they were chomping. If you managed to time it right, the fish were gorging themselves. But, if you were a few days late to the party, then you would’ve noticed the fish were stuffed and not interested in eating for a few days.

So, some mixed reports. A couple hot days of fishing, and then a couple slow days of fishing. It’s all about the timing.

Lower Arrow Lake: Some fun fishing happening over on Arrow Lake right now as well. The kokanee fishing has been very good, with limits of fish coming in a couple hours. Also, while kokanee fishing, a lot of people are hooking into some decent rainbows as well. It all makes for an exciting outing.

With the good numbers of smaller kokanee in the lake, the bull trout are also putting on the feedbags.

One of our guys managed to land a beauty bull around 16 Lbs the other day, as well as a bunch of smaller bulls. Those are some quality fish.

Kokanee fishing should remain good on the Arrow, and the rainbow/bull trout fishing should be pretty decent until the weather gets too hot.

Columbia River: The river has been producing some good rainbows lately. Some of the most popular pools are providing some excellent fishing with nymphs. And, some good hatches have been happening lately as well and providing some good dry fly fishing. Rainbows between 16 – 24 inches have been the norm.

Walleye fishing has been picking up a bit as well. There’s been a lot of boats out there on the fair weather days. Most walleye between 16 – 20 inches as well, however there’s been a few bigger ones caught.

My favourite walleye fishing doesn’t begin until August/September, but there’s still a bunch out there to be caught at this time.

West Coast Salmon/Halibut: We will be heading west with one of our boats real soon. The reports from our guide friends who are already fishing in Ucluelet have been great. The Salmon fishing has been hot. The fish are close to home and decent size.

Halibut fishing has been good as well, with some great quality fish coming in.

Can’t wait to get out there.

What are they biting on? Surface fishing is where it’s at.

Kootenay Lake fish have been chomping on the bucktail flies during the choppy days. Our favorite colors lately have been the #15, #21, #26.

We’re always running a couple bucktails on the surface, however our favourite spoons have been providing some killer action as well. It seems like the spoons work for the first couple hours of the day, then the flies turn on later in the day.

Favourite spoons lately have been the Gibbs Delta Skinny ‘G’ in the Outfitter, No Bananas, and Herring Aid patterns. I like to run these spoons directly out the back of the boat and right on the surface.

On the river, it’s been good fly fishing with an indicator and nymph. Also spin casting with 3/8 oz Gibbs/Delta crocs has been providing some good fish.

The Walleye have been coming in on the bottom bouncers or some of our yellow curly tail grubs.

Fishing season is upon us, so let’s get out there!