COLUMN: Another fantastic month of fishing

March was a pretty good month for fishing. The weather started out a bit miserable, but it seemed to turn around during the second half.

Kerry Reed is bullish on bull trout in his latest fishing report.

March was a pretty good month for fishing. The weather started out a bit miserable, but it seemed to turn around during the second half. We had another enjoyable month on the rivers, as well as a lot of action on the lake. So, here’s the latest report.

Kootenay Lake

It’s been a numbers game on Kootenay Lake. Lots of days with 10 to 20 fish coming to the boat made for an exciting month. Mostly rainbows between two and four pounds, but a few bull trout up to 12 pounds have been caught lately as well. As the water warms up, the fish will become even more active and we should also see a lot more bulls in the mix.

Our latest trip last week saw a young family hook into about 23 fish in their day. Landing more than half of them was exciting and to see the look of excitement in their daughters face made it all worth while. She was shaking every time she fought a fish. Even though the fish were all two to four pounds, it just proves how the adrenaline still flows when the rod buckles over. Lots of fun with these guys. That’s what fishing is all about!

The next few weeks should see more and more action as these fish start to warm up and become more aggressive. Looking forward to it.

Last week I also decided to make a run up to the spawning grounds in Gerrard to see what our future will bring. As to be expected, the numbers were low and the size was down, but at least there’s still some fish up there to keep the genetics going. There may still be some more fish showing up over the next couple weeks, so we can still be hopeful for the future. Usually the peak count at Gerrard is around the first week of May, so stay tuned.

And finally, on a good note, a few rainbows were caught last week between 12 and 17 pounds. So, the chance is always there. You just have to be out there. So, let’s go fishing.

Columbia River

Another fantastic month of fishing on the river! And with the high temperatures rolling in this week, I expect to see some hatches starting and some fish starting to get more aggressive.

In the past few weeks we’ve caught some of our biggest rainbows and have been having a blast. Lots of double digit days on the river lately as well. Mostly rainbows between two and four pounds, but still manage to hook a few in the five to eight pound range as well.

Both fly fishing and spin casting have produced well for us lately. I’m looking forward to the next couple of months on the river.

Duncan, Summit, Box, Bear, and Fish lakes

Duncan Lake has been fishing well for the past month also. Lots of boats heading that way for a change of scenery. Bull trout between three and ten pounds have been caught daily on the usual gear. Such a beautiful lake to fish with the surrounding mountains and glaciers. A great escape.

Last week I checked out some of our other popular lakes. And some of them still have ice, but some are clear to fish. This is always an exciting time of year on the smaller lakes. In case anyone is wondering, here’s the status of a few of the lakes: Summit Lake and Box Lake by Nakusp are both wide open. These are two of my favourite when the ice comes off. Should be some good chironomid fishing happening there.

I also drove by Bear Lake and Fish Lake just past Kaslo. Both lakes were slowly losing their ice. As of April 15, both still had ice in the middle, however the edges were clearing and the end of the lakes were open. They should be good to go anytime now, especially with the hot weather spell we are receiving.

What are they biting on?

All my favourite stuff has been working on Kootenay Lake. The majority of our rainbows have been caught on bucktail flies, although some are hitting on smaller spoons and lures. Gibbs crocs and gators have been working well for both rainbows and bull trout. And our usual flasher/hoochie has been working mainly for the bulls. The biggest rainbows that I heard being caught last week were all caught on the down riggers, although the majority of the fish that are feeding right now are on the surface. So, best to mix it up a bit.

On the river, we have been having great success with sink tip fly lines and nymphs or streamers. Although during a few warmer days, the fish have been rising to the dry fly. Can’t wait for more of those days.

We have also had some amazing days just float fishing with the centerpin or level wind. The fish are keying in on the loose eggs coming downstream from the spawners, so drifting will continue to be productive. One magical day we managed to hook into 30 to 50 fish between two guys. These are the days to remember.

The other option for the river is to use a three-way rig on the bottom with bait. It has been producing very well lately also.

Stay tuned for more exciting reports as the weather warms up and the fish really get going!

Kerry Reed of Reel Adventures Sportfishing writes here once a month.

 

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