Former Nelson resident

COLUMN: Hopefully March cooperates

February was a bit inconsistent, but we did have some good days with six or more fish to the boat.

Kootenay Lake

Well, it has been a slower season than what we expected. The fishing has seemed to gradually get slower throughout the winter months. Although February and March are usually slower months, they are also the months when we seem to catch our biggest fish of the year. And February did provide some big fish, so hopefully March will cooperate as well.

February was a bit inconsistent, but we did have some good days with six or more fish to the boat. And then the next day we would struggle to get one fish to the boat. So, you just have to keep at it. Our good days saw Rainbows up to 17 pounds and Bull Trout up to 12 pounds.

The February derby saw a lot of boats on the water. And while the locals were concerned about the added pressure to the lake, it proved to be a tough weekend for fishing. However, it did provide a nice economic boost to the area during this slow time of year.

There were some nice Rainbows caught, which was encouraging. But the catch rate was very low.  Rainbows up to 18 pounds and Bull Trout up to 14 pounds were the biggest.

We are spotting lots of fish on the sonar, so that is a good sign. However, they seem to be a bit lethargic right now, which is normal with the cold water. The days are getting longer and the weather should be getting warmer.

Looking forward to the weather finally breaking and maybe a touch of spring in the air in the next few weeks. That might be the change the fish are looking for also. We will see what happens.


What are they biting on?

We are still catching a lot of our fish on the surface.  Bucktail flies are working well for us on the choppy days. And on the calmer days, we are catching on Bill Norman lures and Lyman plugs.

My favourite flies have been lucky numbers:  210, 215, 228. Or colours of black/white or gray/white.

Lucky Lyman plugs have been number 10, 16, 55, 69.

And Bill Norman lures in various colours.  Purples, blues, and greens have all been producing for us.

The key to catching fish at this time of year is just to be out there. You have to put in the hours and they will come.


Columbia River:

We have also been fishing the Columbia River a bit during the past month or two. The weather has limited us to fishing only on the warmer days, which we did have some. There was a warm spell in January when we managed to get out about four times and I think February had a couple warm days for us to enjoy also.

The days that we did get on the river proved to be successful. Managing to catch a bunch of Rainbows each day made it rewarding. Most Rainbows between 2 to 5 pounds. These fish are powerful. They are used to surviving in the strong current, so when we hooked into them, they would take a lot of line and end up in a great battle. A very exciting alternative to lake fishing.

Hopefully as the weather warms up, we will be able to spend more and more time on this amazing fishery. Looking forward to what March and April have to offer.

Favourite techniques at this time of year are:  float fishing, fly fishing with streamers, or bottom fishing with bait.

It’s only going to get better in the spring. Can’t wait


And finally : Salmon/Halibut Fishing 2014

We are almost booked up for Salmon fishing this summer. However, there are still some prime dates available for anyone interested.

Forecasts are calling for the largest run of Columbia River Chinooks this year. And those giant fish have to go right past our fishing grounds. So, we are definitely getting excited about this season.  Also our halibut size limit has been increased this year as well. Looking forward to another fantastic season on the coast.

Kerry Reed is from Reel Adventures Sportfishing

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