West Kootenay Fishing Report: Anglers bullish over trout fishing on area lakes

Anglers have been hooking up with double-digit sized bull trout on Kootenay and Arrow Lakes

Nice bull trout coming off Arrow and Kootenay Lakes. Photo: Kerry Reed.

The West Kootenay Fishing Report is provided by guide Kerry Reed of Reel Adventures Sportfishing at www.reeladventuresfishing.com or call 250-505-4963.

December is here and the 2020 rollercoaster continues, but the fish have been cooperating for us.

Kootenay Lake: November was a windy and chilly month, but we still spent most of our days on the water.

Rainbows between 2-4 pounds and bull trout between 2-10 pounds were caught throughout the month, although the catch rate has dropped a bit. Probably due to the angler incentive program that’s been taking place since the spring.

Most days have been producing half a dozen fish with a few hotter days producing 10 or more. Either way, its been great getting out and enjoying the outdoors.

Depending on where we are fishing throughout the day, we have been having better luck with the bull trout on certain days, and then better with the rainbows on different days.

The fish seem to be gathered in little pockets throughout the lake. And, when we find the pocket, we tend to hook several fish.

The past few days in December have provided us with some great weather finally. Sunny and calm for the last couple trips made for some spectacular outings.

Looking forward to what the rest of December will bring.

We have our safety protocols in order, and look forward to sharing some outdoor adventures with you in the new year.

Arrow Lakes: The Upper Arrow has been producing some good fishing lately. The water temperature is in the high 40’s and the fish are cooperating. Some days with 5 -10 rainbows up to 12 pounds and bull trout up to 15 pounds have been recorded. This seems to be the time for fishing the Upper portion of the lake. We’re hoping to get out a few more times and keep you updated.

The Lower Arrow has been a different story. Slower days with 1 or 2 fish to the boat. However, the potential for a big one is there. Rainbows up to 6 pounds and bull trout up to 15 pounds have been caught, but they are few and far between.

We’ll keep you posted if we get out there soon.

Columbia River: With the cooler weather and the wind, we haven’t been out much on the river lately. Although our resources have been keeping us up to date.

Rainbows are still being caught from shore either using three-way rigs tipped with shrimp or roe, as well as a few walleye still coming out to play.

Fly anglers are swinging large patterns, so get the fly down with a sink tip or full sink line. With the cooling water, trout aren’t as active and feeding less on the surface, so sinking a stonefly or mayfly nymph, muddler minnow or attractor leech pattern down to where the nymphs and sculpin forage on the bottom are all good choices.

Fly anglers have caught rainbows up to five pounds using this technique, especially during the recent mild weather of early December.

Winter rainbow fishing can be good. So, we are looking forward to getting out on the mild days throughout the winter.

What are they biting on?

Bull trout on Kootenay Lake have been gobbling up the Gibbs/Delta Yamashita hoochies. The green spatter back and the green pistachio have been working best for us. Led by the Oki Big Shooter flasher in yellow/green mist or the Highliner flasher in Lemon Lime and trolled at depths between 101 – 153-feet have produced best.

And the Rainbows have been hitting on our favourite bucktails in the grey or black colors. Lucky numbers (Lux Flies) #10, 14, or 22 have been working best for us on the choppy days. And, on the smoother days, we’ve had our best luck on the Gibbs Crocs in our favorite colors of hammered brass/fire stripe, or brass/fire wing, and lately the Outfitter Skinny G has produced as well.

Arrow Lake has been a mix of plugs and flasher/hoochies for the bulls, and a mix of bucktails and hockey sticks for the rainbows.

Hope this helps with your next adventure.

Tight lines …

Related read: Prime fishing months for Kootenay Lake



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