The West Kootenay Fishing Report is a supplement, now appearing the first 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bill King derby was held over the may long weekend with the winner Bill Sawatsky winning just over $3,000 for his 34.25- inch (18-pounds four-ounces) rainbow. In second was Shane Cook winning almost $2,000 for his 33-inch (18-pound two-ounce) fish and third went to Steve Sims 32 7/8 inches (16-pound six-ounce) Congratulations guys and thank you to all entrants.
Conditions: At present water temp is around 52 degrees, prime bucktailing water, but the water is up due to all the rain and runoff.
Technique: Troll around three to four miles per hour. With the high water, the main problem will be keeping the floaters off your lures so using plugs, apexes, Brownies weighted-skull flies or even a split-shot weight may be the answer.
Lures and Flies: Black still seems to be the trigger color ever since the black ant hatch. Again the Lyman #16 (of which no one has any) Tomic black/grey, black/white, The Skull 215, 214,or 228, Splitshots 215, black racoon, Russ’s favorite, caveman or hillbilly.
Gerrard spawning return in Lardeau River: This year, B.C. Fisheries started recording fish on Apr. 17 and the spawn peaked on May 7, recording 1039 spawning Gerrard rainbows on that day. A definite improvement compared to last year’s peak at 995 and the year before at 604.
The Kootenay Lake fishing report is provided courtesy of Randy Zelonka owner of Gill and Gift in Balfour.
Area Lakes: Fishing on the small lakes has been excellent. Good lakes in the area include Summitt and Box lakes, Rosebud lake, Erie and Champion lakes, Nancy Green lake, Wilgress and Jewel lakes are all great to fish. All lakes are stocked most every year with various trout species.
Fly patterns: The spring thaw is over and fish are into their respective feeding cycles. Chronomid patterns on all the lakes have been very good. Chronomids then leeches will be the first and best flies pulled out of your flybox. With new growth on the lake bottoms damsels, dragon flies, sedge or caddis will all be good choices for fishing.
Technique: Fish the chronomid with a floating line and long enough leader to reach the bottom of shoal or lake – eight to 15 feet. Place a strike indicator on the leader then add tippet to the desired length to reach bottom. If fishing deep, I like to add a swivel or small split shot about 15 to 18 inches above the fly. This helps sink the fly right to the depth needed, usually a foot above the bottom. The indicator goes under when the fish has taken the fly and gives you the heads up to set the hook.
Fly of the Week: Chironomid flyHook- 2487 TMC or 2457 TiemcoSize – 12, 14, or 16Bead – white to match size of hookThread- UTC 140 blackTail – two strands crystal flashBody – utc black threadRib – silver wireWing pad- thorax, orange holo flash a bouFinish- coat fly with two coats ‘gloss coat, fly head cement
Columbia River: It’s been an interesting year to date for the Columbia.
Conditions: High water has moved the fish around and produced interesting hatches. The Slocan River is high and dirty, filling the Kootenay and Columbia with debris so will have to wait a few days to clear.
Hatches and Fly patterns: The cicada and ant hatch came and went with small hatches this year. The mayflies are always present. Pale morning and pale evening hatches, (the little yellow ones) are starting to become more present. When I see splashy rises I relate this to fish feeding on the mayflies. We have seen caddis activity for a good month and a half with some major hatches happening the last week in May.
Technique: During the day fish a caddis pupa then, if still out in the evening, when fish are feeding aggressively, put on a dry caddis and entice a take on the surface. If fishing the pupa early in the day/evening be ready for aggressive takes, the fish will be hungry and super hot this time of year. Hang on to your rod and carry lots of backing, some of these fish will peel out a good hundred yards in no time. Till next time, tight lines.
Area lakes and Columbia River report are provided by avid fly angler and fly-tier Rod Zavaduk of Castlegar Sports & Fly shop.