COLUMN: Kootenay Lake produces rainbow bounty

Although fishing tourism on Kootenay Lake is way down, the main lake has still been producing lots of the usual two to four pound rainbows.

Shawn Eckle of Edmonton caught a bull trout on Kootenay Lake this month.

Although fishing tourism on Kootenay Lake is way down, the main lake has still been producing lots of the usual two to four pound rainbows, with a few bull trout also from two to six pounds.

Some of our best days see up to 20 fish being caught. But, an average day would produce between eight and 12 fish. Lots of action to keep our guests busy.

We have been mixing it up a bit lately as far as fishing location on the lake as well. We have fished the extreme north, the extreme south, and the central portions of the lake and have found the better fishing to be from the central portion and south.

Lighter gear is the ticket for fun now. Still lots of excitement catching these two to four pounders on a fly rod or lighter spinning rod. But, be prepared to break a few fish off if you manage to hook into some of the bigger fish still around. Either way, there’s still lots of action and lots of fun to be had on the lake.

The West Arm has been producing some nice fish as of late.

It seems that some of our bigger fish have been cruising the West Arm in search of food. There have been a few surprises coming in lately.

Fly fishing has been a blast in the past few weeks. Lots of two to four pound rainbows, but we’re also hooking into some rainbows and bull trout up to eight pounds in the arm. This is a pleasant surprise when targeting the smaller fish.

Lots of opportunity for fish this summer. Looking forward to the tourist season and hoping to get lots more people hooked on this great sport.

Columbia River

The river was on fire for the early months of April, May, and June. Lots of fantastic days floating the river with both floating and sinking lines. As the water remained low, the seams were plentiful and the fish remained very active.

Lots of rainbows between two and five pounds were being caught. Also started to see more walleye showing up in the fishery.

Now, with the rising water, the fishing holes have changed a bit and the fish are moving around. The back eddies are producing well, especially after the crazy caddis hatches that we had early in the season.

Usually these hatches don’t start until this time of year. A sign of the times I guess, as our seasons seem to be getting earlier every year.

June and July should see some of the largest caddis hatches of the year and should put these fish back into a frenzy. Also, the walleye should get to be more plentiful as the summer continues.

Looking forward to the next couple months on the river!

What are they biting on?

Not a lot of secrets out there at this time of year. The main lake has been producing most rainbows on the usual bucktail flies. Common colours have been grey/white, black/white, green/white. The common numbers of these flies are: 210, 215, 221, 222, 234.

Also catching some rainbow and bull trout on apex lures and my favourite Lyman plugs. Check out some of the new Lyman patterns as they have been producing well for us.

On the river we have been catching most of our rainbows on the fly. Dry lines with elk hair caddis have been working well on the hot days. And on the cooler days, or when we can’t seem to catch on the dry, we have been drifting nymphs through our favourite holes.

On the days when we are not fly fishing, we have been spin casting with spinners and spoons, as well as bottom bouncing with bait.

The bottom bouncers or jigs have been producing best for the walleye. Lots of different techniques to use on the river and lots of different fish to be caught.

Kerry Reed of Reel Adventures Fishing Charters writes here once a month.

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