West Kootenay Fishing Report

West Kootenay Fishing Report: Hot and cold days on the lake

"After enjoying a nice month of February weather, we are now paying for it in March."

Spring fishing has been fun. Although, after enjoying a nice month of February weather, we are now paying for it in March.

During the warm spells, we have been spending a lot of time on the rivers already. Some great days catching rainbows on the Columbia, and some fantastic days catching giant bull trout on the Kootenay River. Hoping for some consistent weather in the next couple of weeks to allow us to continue our efforts on the rivers.

The weather doesn’t really bother us on the big lake. The heated cabin of our lake boats allows for us to fish in all weather. So we haven’t slowed down. Plenty of tourist traffic at this time of year to keep things going. And our skiers have been enjoying a day to rest their legs and enjoy a day on the boat.

So here are the latest reports.

Kootenay Lake: We have had some hot and cold days on the lake. The fish are still feeding pretty actively, but only on certain days. Now, if we could figure out what days they are, we would be laughing. We’ve had some days with 10 to 15 fish coming to the boat. And we’ve had some slower days mixed in. The feeding seems to be consistent, as long as the weather is consistent. And lately, the weather doesn’t know what to do. So, we’ll just keep putting in our time and enjoy the outings.

Mostly rainbows between two and four pounds have been caught lately, although I did hear a report of a giant rainbow caught at the south end of lake this week. Also lately we have been catching bull trout between two and ten pounds.

The water temperature has warmed a bit, so hopefully the fish will become more active as we get into our warmer weather. Still, it’s always better than sitting on he couch.

Columbia River: The river has been producing well for us. Lots of days with 10 to 20 rainbows taking our offering. The water levels have remained very low, which has provided some great seams for fly fishing. If the water stays this low and the weather warms up soon, we will begin to see more and more hatches and the fly fishing should remain amazing.

In some of the deeper holes, we have been catching lots of rainbows on our centrepin gear. Always fun to use this steelhead technique to target our feisty rainbows. It never gets old watching your bobber go down. Brings back childhood memories of bobber fishing from shore on the small lakes. Only difference is, these fish are bigger and stronger! Fun times.

Most rainbows lately have been two to four pounds, but we have managed to hook a few in the five to seven pound range. Still expecting some even bigger fish in this next month as they begin to feed more and more.

Duncan Lake: My favourite time of year on Duncan is right now. A nice change of scenery from Kootenay, and a nice change in fishing. We have been catching bull trout between five and eight pounds regularly. Healthy looking fish at this time of year.

What are they biting on? Kootenay Lake has been producing fish in the usual ways. Most of our rainbows have been caught on the surface. Bucktail flies, apexes, and small spoons have been the ticket. There hasn’t been one consistent pattern of late, but it does seem that anything with pink in it appears to be working. Lucky flies have been No. 203, 207, 210.

We have also been catching a few bull trout down deep. Mostly on Lyman plugs or flasher/hoochie combos. Lucky depths have been 100 to 160 feet.

On the river, we have been catching lots of rainbows on the fly rod. Streamer patterns have been working great. Although there have been a couple magical days when a tiny hatch has brought the fish to the surface.

A few fish have been taken on the dry fly lately. Midges have made for some exciting takes.

Also float fishing or bottom fishing with bait has provided us with some fat fish at this time of year. Looking forward to the next month.

And finally, on Duncan Lake it’s been the usual bull trout gear. For me it’s been Lyman, Lyman, Lyman. But for others it’s been flashers/hoochies, or apexes, or plugs. They seem to be everywhere. You just need to find the right depth.

Hope this helps with your next adventure.  Tight lines …

The West Kootenay Fishing Report is provided by Kerry Reed at Reel Adventures Sport Fishing Charters in Nelson. Contact him at 505-4963 or at reeladventuresfishing.com.

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