West Kootenay Fishing Report: Great month of spring fishing

Balmy weather brings out flying ant hatches, make for incredibly good top-water fishing

The West Kootenay Fishing Report is provided by Reel Adventures Sport Fishing Charters in Nelson, phone 250-505-4963 or email info@reeladventuresfishing.com.

May is here, and so are the fish!

Kootenay Lake: April was a fun month for fishing on the lake. The weather has been awesome for the past couple weeks and the waters are coming to life.

The water temp has reached the high 40s and on some days it’s over 50 degrees. This is the magic number we’ve been waiting for. Our days have been consistent and the fish are now feeding steadily and with the latest warm spell, we have also noticed the hatch we’ve been waiting for as well.

Related read: Action heats up as waters warm

The flying ants have been everywhere lately and the water is covered with them. The fish are gorging on them and its now that time that every fish will be looking up. So, surface fishing is hot.

Some of our latest trips have had non stop action on the surface with rainbows, counting more than 20 fish each day, and our latest trip hooked 30. So, its time to get out there. With the abundance of ants, the fish are in a frenzy, so this is definitely the time of year when it all begins.

Most of our rainbows have been between two-three pounds, however we have seen a few approaching five pound this spring. If these fish can find some more food, i.e.kokanee, we just might see some larger ones this fall. Stay tuned.

Bull trout this last month have been fewer and far between. But, the ones we have caught have been larger. Lately we’ve seen some Bulls into the teens, which is a nice reward. Average size bulls of late have been between three and seven pounds, but we have caught them up to 15 pounds. Look for more Bulls to be caught as the water warms a couple degrees.

Arrow Lake: Lower Arrow is still a bit cool, however the latest ant hatch will get the fish excited. We managed a couple trips out there this past month and have had some mixed reports.

Related read: Late fall, a great time to hit area lakes

The rainbows have been starting to surface as the ants fall. We have been hooking into a few smaller ones each day and also getting into some nice bull trout in the mix.

Look for some great days to come as the weather is looking perfect. Expect to catch bigger rainbows and bull trout throughout the month of May.

Columbia River: Just like the lakes, it seems that the river is turning on as well. April has always been a good month to fish the river and last month was no exception. Some bigger rainbows up to six pounds were taken on the fly and we managed to get into decent Walleye fishing as well.

Now that the ants are out, the surface fishing should pick up too. We noticed a lot of fish rising yesterday and its time to break out the dry lines. This is the exciting time.

Most rainbows lately have been between two and three pounds and the Walleye have been similar in size.

Looking forward to more sunny days on the river.

What are they biting on?

On the lake its been surface, surface, surface! Lots of rainbows coming in on our favourite bucktail flies, as well as our crocodile spoons. Favourite fly patterns on the lake lately have been #210, 215, 221, and 226. Our best spoons for the rainbows have been the Gibbs/Delta crocs in the brass/fire wing or brass/ fire stripe pattern.

Bull trout have still been a bit less consistent, although we have been hooking into 1 or 2 each day. My favourite flasher / hootchie combo has been working. The lemon lime flasher with the green spatter back hootchie has been good, as well as the STS flasher with the ‘no bananas’ spoon. Most of the bulls we have caught lately have been between 60 to 80 feet.

On the river, its been a mix of spin casting or fly fishing. Running a nymph below an indicator has been pretty consistent throughout the month, although we have been starting to get some great action on the dry flies the last few days due to the ant hatch.

A three-way rig on the bottom with bait has been working for rainbows and walleye. We’ve also been casting some green or yellow jig heads with Gibbs/Delta curly tails and have produced a few good walleye as well.

Tight lines…


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