Nelson resident Jayden Maida with a nice 24 pound Chinook Salmon.

COLUMN: Fish are starting to wake up

With all the predictions from fisheries hailing this as the biggest run of salmon ever, we certainly didn’t see anything spectacular.

We’re back from the West Coast! And this year was an unusual year on the ocean.

With all the predictions from fisheries hailing this as the biggest run of salmon ever, we certainly didn’t see anything spectacular compared to most years.

The last couple weeks of July saw some tough days of fishing. The bait wasn’t hanging around and so the salmon weren’t sticking around for long either. We spent a lot of time chasing fish. One day they were in one spot, and the next day they moved 10 miles and we had to move also.

But, when the bait finally arrived, we started to have some of the great days that we expected. August saw some really good days with limits of Chinook and Coho salmon, as well as our halibut limits fairly easy.

This year we found some great halibut spots and were rewarded with consistent fish from 40 to 70 pounds.

We did have some of the days that we are accustomed to though.  A few days with over 40 fish to the boat made it exciting.

Chinooks up to 30 pounds this year and Coho up to 17 pounds were caught.

All in all, it was a good year, and I’d like to thank everyone who joined us on the coast this year.  Looking forward to what next year has to offer.

And now back to our local reports:


Kootenay Lake:

The hot summer also made for some the warmest water temperatures we have had in years.  This warm water also affected our fishing.  July was still pretty good on the lake for Rainbows up to 10 pounds and Bull Trout up to 12 pounds.

Early August saw some good mornings of fishing for Kokanee and small Rainbows.  And then by mid-August, the fishing did slow down, but we still managed a few fish each day.

Now that September is here and the nights are cooler, our water temperatures are dropping fast. This is starting to wake the fish up. We have had some good days with more than 10 fish to the boat lately.

Rainbows up to 12 pounds have been caught and should continue as the water cools. Our favorite time is coming up. As the water cools, the fish will become more active and begin to feed heavily.  October, November, December are our favorite months of fishing. So, let’s get ready for another fantastic fall!

Columbia River:

The river came alive in July and August and continues to be great fishing so far in September. Once the hatches started, the dry fly fishing was phenomenal. Fly-fishing remained great throughout the summer.  And still the past couple weeks have produced some nice fish.

September is usually a good month not only for Rainbows, but also for Walleye on the River. Looking forward to the next month of fishing out there. Spin casting , fly fishing, or trolling can be very rewarding at this time of year.

What are they biting on?

The lake is beginning to produce some decent fish. We have been using Bucktail flies on the choppy days. And on the calm days, we have had good success on our Lyman plugs and Apex Lures.

Colour choice for flies right now are:  Grey and white, Brown and White, and Green and white.  Lucky numbers for the bucktails are:  210, 221, 226, 227.

Our Lyman plugs that have been producing so far are:  Black and White, Green and White, Blue and white.  Lucky numbers have been 10, 16, 69, and 98, 101.

The river has been producing on our favorite fly patterns. Late August and so far early September has seem some great days using hopper patterns or stimulator for dry fly fishing.

Nymphing has been productive also using floating line and indicators.

Also, spin casting with spoons or spinners has been working well. And the usual three-way rig on the bottom with a worm is producing as well.

That should bring us up to date with the local fishing. Hope this helps increase everybody’s chances. Good luck out there.

The next couple months are our favorite.  So, let’s get out there!

Tight lines.


— Kerry Reed is from Reel Adventures Sportfishing. Contact him at 250-505-4963 or online at

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