The West Kootenay Fishing Report is submitted by Kerry Reed of Reel Adventure Sportfishing in Nelson; ph. 250-505-4963 or go to reeladventurefishing.com.
Spring is in the air and things are looking up. Here’s the latest fishing report:
Kootenay Lake: February weather was much better than January and we managed to get out quite a few times and enjoy the sunshine. Rainbows were still a bit lethargic, but we managed to hook a few each day. And the bull trout seem to be waking up from the long winters nap as well. The water is still at it’s coldest temperature, but will slowly warm up as we move through the month of March. Expecting the fish to slowly come around as well.
Our latest catches have included rainbows between 2–4 pounds and bull trout between 2 – 10 Lbs. They are starting to feed a bit more consistently and we expect to see some more consistent catches as well.
One of our recent trips hosted a couple guys from Nashville who were up here for a week of skiing, but needed a break to rest their legs. So, they decided to join us for a day on the lake. They were pleasantly surprised by not only the beauty of the scenery, but also by the quality of fishing. I had explained to them that it could be slower fishing due to the coldest water temps of the year and they came with low expectations. Well, their expectations were blown away and we managed to hook into five rainbows and five bull trout throughout the day. The biggest fish being a bull trout around 10 pounds. What an awesome day off for these guys. I think they will plan another ski/fish vacation after this trip.
We love getting new people out to experience the different perspective from the boat and getting them hooked on our backyard. Fun times….
As the temperatures begin to warm up and the water warms up, we expect to see more aggressive patterns from the fish and look forward to our best months of Spring fishing. Stay tuned…
Arrow Lakes: Not as consistent as Kootenay Lake, but Arrow has been producing some larger fish throughout the month of February. The annual Scotties Marina derby took place on Feb. 22 and the turnout was a good one.
We were lucky enough to hook into a big one early in the day, but that was it for the day for us. And in talking to the other boats, that seemed to be the pattern. Very slow fishing, but quality fish. Derby winners were by length this year and all three of the winners were bull trout in the the 31-inch range. We weighed our fish in at just over 10 pounds, and I think the top three were pushing 12–14 pounds. This seems to be the norm for Arrow Lake. Slower fishing, but the trade off is bigger fish.
Throughout the past month we have seen and heard of rainbows up to 12 pounds and bull trout up to 16 pounds on the Lower Arrow as well as Upper Arrow.
We still have a few trips left on Arrow Lake this spring, so we will keep you posted.
Columbia River: With the nice sunshine in February, we managed to get out a few days on the river. Still haven’t pulled the boat out of storage, but the shore fishing has remained pretty good. Some rainbows up to 6 pounds have been caught, but most are the cookie cutter size of 2 -3 pounds.
Looking forward to pulling the jet sled out this month in order to cover some more water and catch some more fish.
March has always been the beginning of our favourite fishing on the river.
What are they biting on?
Kootenay Lake we have been catching our rainbows mostly on Bucktails. Our favourite Lux Fliespatterns have been working good. Lately its been the number 221 (Lux21) bleeding gill w/green flash and the original bleeding gill number 210 (Lux10) catching most of our rainbows. And, on the calm days, its been our favourite Gibbs/Delta croc in the brass/firestripe color that’s been working well.
For the Bull Trout, we have been catching mostly on the Gibbs Delta flasher and hoochie. Lemon lime flasher with a green spatter back hoochie has been best between 80 -120ft. Lately, we’ve also been getting a few Bulls on the surface on our croc spoons and the odd one on a bucktail.
On Arrow Lake, it’s been more of a plug or hockey stick fishery. Silver J-plugs, green Epic plugs, and Black or Rainbow hockey sticks have worked best for us lately.
And finally, on the river it’s been a mix. We’ve had good luck using the bottom bouncers with bait, as well as float fishing with bait has produced some good fish. Swinging streamers on a sinking line has caught some of our bigger fish this spring as well. It all depends on your location and the weather conditions.
Hope this helps with your next fishing adventure.