Slow times on Kootenay Lake look to be over

Nelson’s Jim Torrans with his trophy rainbow trout caught on Kootenay Lake this month. - photo submitted
Nelson’s Jim Torrans with his trophy rainbow trout caught on Kootenay Lake this month.
— image credit: photo submitted

The past couple months have not been as productive as I expected. However, the past couple weeks have helped make up for it.

November and December saw some inconsistent fishing. Seemed like the fish would only feed once a week. And if you were lucky enough to be out there on that day, it was rewarding.

Over the holidays, our fishing really began to get good though. Finally – maybe it’s just a late start to our fall fishery.

The past couple weeks we have had many days with many fish to the boat. Some days catching up to 12 fish has made it exciting. And it’s that time of year when we seem to catch our biggest fish.

In fact earlier this month, in two days we managed to hook into 20 fish ranging from 10 to 20 lbs. Those were a couple of hot days. I hope to see more of that throughout our winter.


What are they biting on?

A little bit of everything it seems. When the fishing has been slow, people are trying every lure in the box. But, when the fish are feeding, it’s the usual suspects that go to work.

We’re still catching on Bucktail flies. My favourites are the 203, 210, 215, and 228. Or for those that don’t know the numbers: Grey ghost, November Special, and black/white.

Also working at this time of year are the Bill Norman lures. Common colours like the purple/silver, black/silver, or the rainbow trout will work well throughout the winter. But make sure you slow your speed down for these lures.

And finally, my Lyman plugs have been working a bit also. Some on the surface, or some on downrigger, it all depends what the fish want. My favourites lately have been 10, 55, 69, and 160.

Big fish season is here. So, be patient and be rewarded!

Tight lines...


Kerry Reed owns Reel Adventures Sportfishing in Nelson. He can be reached at 250-505-4963 or head to


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