COLUMN: Cold days fishing on the water

Kerry Reed gives an update on local winter fishing.

Kerry Reed's six-year-old daughter Alexis enjoys ice-fishing.

We spent almost everyday during the holidays on the water. Lots of people with friends were in town and looking to get out and do something different. And the fish co-operated as well.

Kootenay Lake

There were some cold days on the water this past month. But that didn’t keep people from coming out. The heated cabin was very welcoming on the boat, that’s for sure. When we did get out, we had some good days.

On average, our boat would hook into 10 to15 fish each trip. Rainbows seemed to be the most aggressive and the Bull Trout would appear once in a while. Rainbows between two and five lbs were the norm, and Bull Trout up to eight lbs were coming in.

One of my favourite trips during the holidays had two young kids with us. The little boy was glued to the rods all day long. Even the cold wind wouldn’t keep him inside the cab. But his persistence paid off and he and his family landed more than a dozen fish that day. It’s nice to see young kids still interested in the outdoor lifestyle.

We did have a few ‘bluebird’ days as well. When the sun came out and the temperatures rose above minus five, it was truly magical out there. Some great postcard pictures on those days.

Columbia River

Due to the colder temperatures we didn’t get out on the river much during December. But, when we did, we managed to hook a few decent fish. We didn’t bother with the boat this past month, as it would be too cold to run the river in an open boat. So we stuck to fishing from shore which proved to be just as good.

Mostly drift fishing and spin casting the last few trips produced well.

Ice Fishing

It’s that time of year when it seems to be safe to walk on the ice on most lakes. We did manage to get out a few times on our local ponds and produced some good fish.

I’ll have more ice reports as the winter progresses and we get out a bit more.

But, lately we have fished Cottonwood Lake, Erie Lake, and Rosebud Lake. All have produced fish and should continue throughout the winter.

We’ll keep you posted.

What are they biting on?

The usual gear has been working on Kootenay lake for the past couple months. Our water temperature is around 40 degrees, so we have slowed down our presentation. My favorite bucktail flies have been catching most of our Rainbows. The best one this past month has been lucky number 204 (blk/red/wht), as well as a couple of my other favourite numbers 210, 214, 215 (greys, blacks, whites).

On the down rigger we have been catching mostly Bull Trout and the odd Rainbow. My favourite Gibbs Delta flashers have been working well with the usual hoochies or spoons. The Lemon Lime Highliner flasher with Skinny G spoons in the No Bananas color have been best. We’re also catching a few on our Gibbs Delta hockey sticks, mostly in the black/grey or green/silver pattern.

And on the river, we have been catching on the centrepin outfit, as well as the bottom bouncing set up. Try drifting a float through your favourite stretch of water or throw a bottom weight with a 3-way swivel and bait into some of the back eddies. Both techniques have produced some good fish as of late.

The next couple of months are usually the biggest fish coming in on the river. So stay tuned.

Tight lines….

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