With the cool fall weather, rainbow trout are coming up and taking flies and lures on the surface.                                Submitted photo.

With the cool fall weather, rainbow trout are coming up and taking flies and lures on the surface. Submitted photo.

West Kootenay Fishing Report: Rainbow trout fishing picks up on Kootenay Lake

Cooler temperatures translate into great trout fishing on West Kootenay rivers and lakes

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

Kootenay Lake: The water temperature has finally reached that magic number, and the fish are back into their fall feeding patterns. Rainbows are mostly up top now and our favourite techniques are working, and most of the bull trout have dropped back into the lake after their fall spawn and are feeding aggressively.

We’ve been experiencing some great days on the water lately and hope it continues as usual.

At the end of October, we did a corporate trip out of Kaslo with all our boats, and the fishing was fantastic. The group managed to land lots of bull trout and a bunch of rainbows to round it off. Biggest rainbow of the trip was 7-pounds, and most of the bull trout were between 4-to 7-pounds as well. Thanks to the Kaslo Hotel for looking after this large group. What a great place to host this annual trip.

The first half of November has continued to be good fishing as well. We have seen a few more rainbows between 5-and-7 pounds in the past couple weeks, so hopefully things are shaping up. Average days have seen between 10-to-15 fish come to the boat. Mostly rainbows between 2 – 4 pounds and bull trout between 2 – 7 pounds. It seems that depending on where we are fishing, its’s either mostly rainbows in one area, or bull trout in another. But the nice thing is, if one species isn’t biting, the other species usually is. So, our days have been fairly consistent.

There have been some crazy days mixed in with the regular days. In fact, one day last week, we found an area that the fish seemed to congregate. And on that day, we hooked into more than 30 fish. Almost a perfect balance, as half of them were rainbows and the other half were bull trout. Now these days don’t happen very often, but when everything is aligned, it’s pretty magical. That will be a tough one to beat.

And on to some new projects. We have been implementing a pilot project with some local schools lately as well. Our goal is to get students out of the classroom and into the outdoors a bit more. If we can help create more interest in the sport of fishing, then hopefully our future young fisher persons can carry on with the sport. So far, I think its been a hit. Looking forward to having more schools jump on board with us.

All in all, its been a pretty good fall so far. Stay tuned, as November and December are usually our favourite months to fish the lake.

Lower Arrow Lake:

The Lower Arrow has been producing some decent fish lately. The water temperature is perfect and things are finally shaping up. It was a bit of a slower start this fall, but we’ve seen some good fish coming in now.

Not as productive as Kootenay, but the potential for a big fish is there, and the anticipation is what keeps us going back.

A few rainbows up to 8 pounds lately, and Bull Trout up to 12 pounds have come in. It should just get better and better, as all the Bull Trout are now back in the lake, and the Rainbows should be putting on the feedbags as well.

Columbia River:

The River levels have remained low and the fishing has remained hot. This is the lowest we have seen the river in a long time, but we’re not complaining, as the fish have been stacked up in some of the shallow feeding areas. They seem to be concentrated in these areas and feeding heavily.

It’s been nice to be able to fish into November comfortably on the jet boat most days.

Average days on the river have seen 10-20 fish come in. We’ve been mostly catching rainbows as they have been our target species of late, although we did still find a few walleye hanging around.

Fly fishing has been best for us, with the best techniques being drifting a nymph through the shallow runs. Although, when the nymph fishing slowed down, we did manage a few fish on the dry fly. A good way to mix it up.

The forecast is for the river to rise, but we should be able to still have some great days of fishing as long as the weather cooperates.

What are they biting on?

On the lakes, we’ve been catching on a mixed bag of things. For the Rainbows, our favourite buck tail flies have been producing fairly well lately. Our best patterns this month have been the Bleeding gill # 210, and the November special #203. When the flies aren’t working, then our favourite Gibbs/Delta croc spoons have been picking up the slack. Best spoons as of late have been: hammered brass/fire stripe or the brass/fire wing.

For the bull trout, it’s been the usual Flasher/hoochie combo. We’ve been getting them on the STS or Lemon Lime flashers, followed by my favourite glow hoochie in the green spatter back or the green pistachio. Favourite depths have been 101′ & 121′ for us.

On the Columbia, it’s been best for us using floating fly lines with nymphs and indicators in the shallows. Also been still getting a few on the large October Caddis fly.

The bank fishermen have been getting a few on the 3-way bottom rig with bait, as well as a few lucky spoons like our Gibbs Crocs.

Fall is here. The fish are hungry.

So, let’s go fishing…..

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