West Kootenay Fishing Report: Slow and steady January fishing

Anglers have been catching nice bull trout on Arrow Lake, poised for a promising February

Trail angler Kevin Koyanagi caught this nice bull trout on Arrow Lake on the weekend. Fishing has slowed with the cold weather, but patience does pay off. Photo: Submitted.

Trail angler Kevin Koyanagi caught this nice bull trout on Arrow Lake on the weekend. Fishing has slowed with the cold weather, but patience does pay off. Photo: Submitted.

West Kootenay Fishing Report is provided by Kerry Reed of Reel Adventures Sportfishing Charters. Contact Kerry at 250-505-4963 or go to reeladventuresfishing.com.

Slowly making our way through the winter, and enjoying what the water has to offer us.

We’ve been lucky enough to still have some local families and small groups join us throughout January. A great way to kick that ‘cabin fever’.

Kootenay Lake: We are now in mid-winter fishing conditions. The water is cold, and the fish are lethargic but they still have to eat.

Most of our trips in January noticed the rainbow fishing drop off, however, we are still hooking a few each day. Although, the bull trout fishing has been pretty consistent, which has made it entertaining.

Rainbows are still averaging 2 – 4 pounds, but the bull trout have been a bit heavier. Bulls between 3 – 15 pounds have come in lately. Just have to put in the time.

One memorable trip from January had a couple of young bucks on board who were keen to fish. They managed to hook a couple rainbows each and about 8 bull trout.

The fun part was watching the participation of both of them during each battle. The boys took turns reeling in fish and also took turns netting each others fish. Teamwork made this day successful. The biggest fish of the day was a bull trout just under 9 pounds, with a bunch of 3–5 pounders rounding out the day.

It’s always a blast having the young guns on the boat.

While January and February might not provide the quantity of fish we are always hoping for, it usually provides us with some quality fish. So, it’s always worth a trip.

Arrow Lakes: As per our previous reports, the Arrows are still a bit hit and miss.

Upper Arrow is still producing both rainbows and bull trout up to 15 pounds.

Lower Arrow has seen some quiet days, but there have been a number of nice bull trout caught in the 4-13-pound range and the odd rainbow. Most have been caught between 80 and 100 feet at a slow troll, but if the weather warms, they should get a little mor active in February and March.

If you put in your time and practice some patience, the end result can be rewarding.

Columbia River: Still getting a few fish on the river. The water is high right now, and the fishing is up and down as well.

We’ve had a few good days out there lately. Rainbows up to six pounds have been coming in but it’s different every day.

Looking forward to getting back on the river if the weather cooperates during February. We’ve had some of our best days on the river in February and March, so looking forward to it.

What are they biting on?

When they are biting, the Kootenay rainbows have been hitting on the #10, 15, and 22 from Lux Flies, as well as our favourite Brass/Firestripe, or Brass/Firewing Crocs.

The bull trout have been fairly consistent on the Gibbs/Delta STS flasher or Lemon Lime flasher, followed by the green pistachio or green oil slick hoochie.

Arrow Lake rainbows have been caught on flasher-hoochie combos, with a black glow flasher and oil slick green hoochie proving productive.

Read: Elk hunting group all about conservation


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