Well, we finally made it back from the West Coast a couple weeks ago.
This year’s salmon fishing was a lot different than most years. Probably because of the unusually warm waters. The run of big fish we usually see just didn’t seem to happen like normal. We did manage a few big fish up to 32 lbs, but most days saw smaller fish.
The trade-off was okay though, because there seemed to be a lot of those fish around. Some days out on the bank we landed more than 60 fish per day. And I remember one outstanding day where we landed over 100 fish. The non-stop action made up for the size of salmon.
We also caught a lot more halibut this year and the sizes were up too. Most of our halis averaged between 15 and 25 lbs, with our biggest couple weighing in around 60 lbs. All in all, we made the best of our season and most people went home happy. Already planning for next year.
And now we’re back on Kootenay Lake and already into the swing of things.
Our last few charters have seen a lot of action for this time of year. Most days we’re catching between five and 10 fish. We’ve been landing rainbows up to 18 lbs and dolly varden (bull trout) up to 15 lbs. I’ve also heard of a few rainbows over 20 lbs and even up to 25 lbs. That’s amazing fishing at this time.
And things are only going to get better. The water temperature is still a bit warm for these fish to begin to get active. So, right now, the fish are scattered. But, as the temperatures cool and our water temp drops, these fish will be getting more and more aggressive. The best is yet to come. My favourite time is approaching. October, November, December are prime months for fishing our magnificent lake. Can’t wait.
What are they biting on?
Since the water temperature is still above 60 degrees, most of the fish are staying deep. So, we have been catching a lot on the usual flasher/hoochie combo. However, some of our latest fish have been caught on the surface. So, we need to mix it up a bit. Bucktail flies have been catching a few, as well as lyman plugs and apex lures on the surface. The best bet is to run some lines on the surface, and some lines on the downrigger. My favourite depths have been between 90 ft to 140 ft.
Bucktail fly colours working for me have been: 215, 221, 226, and 228. And my Lyman plugs so far working best are: #16, 53, 55, and lucky number 69. Not one pattern has been working better than any other, so keep changing it up until the fish tell you what they want.
Derby, Derby, Derby
It’s that time of year again, fishing derby season. October is not only the beginning of our good fishing, but it’s the beginning of the fishing derbies. Here’s a list of what is coming up:
October 13 and 14: Nelson City Police Alumni Derby
November 10 to 12: Kaslo Rainbow Derby
If anyone needs some more information about these derbies, feel free to phone or email me.
Get out there and have fun. And remember to be conservative and help sustain our wonderful resources.
Kerry Reed is the owner of Reel Adventures Fishing Charters in Nelson. He can be reached at 250-505-4963 or head online to his website at reeladventuresfishing.com