Trail fisherman Bruce Kruk goes for distance with his Spey rod on the Columbia River on the weekend. Great fishing is only minutes away with local lakes and river fishing improving in the autumn months. Jim Bailey photo.

West Kootenay Fishing Report: Anglers geared up for fall fishing

Autumn is a great time for fishing West Kootenay area lakes and rivers

The West Kootenay Fishing Report is submitted by Kerry Reed of Reel Adventure Sportfishing in Nelson. 250-505-4963 or go to reeladventurefishing.com.

Kootenay Lake: After a fairly consistent July for rainbows and bull trout, we noticed a bit of a slow down for August as the water got warmer. The surface action for rainbows kind of dropped off a bit, however the down rigger action for bull trout actually picked up.

We had to explore some deeper waters to find them, but it all worked out pretty well. With the water temps reaching high 60’s and even 70 degrees fahrenheit, the fish were found down in the cooler depths of 150 – 180 feet.

Most August days consisted of half a dozen fish, mostly bull trout between three and seven pounds. And the odd rainbow on the downrigger as well.

We enjoyed meeting lots of new travellers this summer as well. Our location has definitely become a tourist destination. And with the new tourists, we have met a lot of young families. They have become some of our favourite trips to do. It’s always fun showing the young ones how we fish. And to see the expression on their face when they catch their first or biggest fish is priceless. Hopefully we’re planting the seeds for some future generation fisher persons.

And now onto September! So far, the fishing has been pretty good. With the cooler nights, the water has begun to cool and rainbows are starting to feed on the surface again. In fact, our last trip managed to land six Rainbows and three bull trout, which made for a pretty exciting day for September.

As things cool down, the fishing will get better and better. Our favourite months are coming up, so stay tuned…

Columbia River: The river continued to fish well throughout August and is staying consistent so far for September.

The caddis hatches thinned out a bit, but the dry fly fishing was still great. We switched to throwing hoppers and stimulators later in the month and that provided some exciting action on the surface.

The fly fishing was great, and we also had a bunch of new guests who preferred the spinning rods, and they were not disappointed.

Rainbows between two and four pounds were the norm, and Walleye from two to five pounds, with a few up to seven pounds have have been caught lately.

September is a great month for fishing the river. Walleye are usually quite thick for the next couple months, and the rainbows will be fat and hungry. This is one of our favourite months to fish the river.

Area Lakes: Fishing West Kootenay lakes is starting to yield great results. For fly fishers, targeting cruising rainbows with a sink tip and dragonfly nymph or attractor patterns like the woolly bugger has been hot, or try chironomids, micro-leeches, and small mayfly nymph patterns suspended under a strike indicator.

The trout will by bulking up for a long winter and will feed heavily into October so get out to Arrow, Champion, Nancy Greene, Rosebud, Cottonwood, and other local lakes for some great fall fishing.

So, stay tuned…

What are they biting on?

On the lakes, its been a combo of flashers and hoochies for the bull trout and crocs and hockey sticks for the the rainbows. My favourite Gibbs Delta Lemon Lime flasher has been killer, followed by the green spatter-back hoochie. And on the surface, its been the usual brass/fire stripe croc, or black/white hockey stick.

And finally on the rivers, it’s been a mix of spin casting or fly fishing. On our spinning rods we’ve been using Zak Tackle twitching jigs for bull trout or walleye, as well as jig heads with curly tail grubs. Or bottom bouncer and worm works really well for the walleye as well.

As far as flies go, we’ve been using mostly small nymphs in the back eddies, except when the trout are rising, and lately we’ve been throwing hopper patterns and stimulators to the rising trout and having great success. We will also be bringing out the large October caddis, which will make for some exciting times as well.

All in all, its been a great summer and we look forward to some of our best freshwater fishing coming up in the Fall.

Tight lines…

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