Brayden Conroy of Cranbrook is all smiles after reeling in this catch on Kootenay Lake.

Fishing heats up on Kootenay Lake

Our fishing columnist Kerry Reed: "We have had lots of days with over 15 to 20 fish to the boat."

Spring weather is finally here! And the water is warming up and so are the fish.

With the warmer weather here, we have seen the beginning of our flying ant hatch. This seems to bring all of the fish to surface and creates a feeding frenzy.

We have had lots of days with over 15 to 20 fish to the boat. It’s an exciting time of year. Most of the fish left in Kootenay Lake seem to be of the younger age class. So a normal day would consist of many fish between two and three pounds, with a few over five. There have also been a few fish over ten pounds caught, so it keeps it interesting.

May 1 saw another weeklong opening for kokanee fishing in the West Arm. And just like the April opening, the fishing was good. The first few days were better than the last few days, but that seems to be the norm. For the first couple days we were limited out and back to the dock by 8 a.m. Then the last few days made us work a bit harder for the prize. But, still lots of action and some great tasting kokanee.

Looking forward to the June opening, as these fish should be even bigger.

The Gerrard run of spawning rainbows has peaked and the numbers are about what we had expected. Low numbers this year similar to back in 2000 when the lake crashed. Hopefully they can rebound again as they have in the past. We shall see.

But, until then, we will just have to enjoy the fast paced action of the high population of smaller fish. Lots of fun on the lighter gear.

Columbia River

The fishing is in full swing on the Columbia now. We had some crazy days with lots of Rainbows taking our lures and flies. Mostly two to five pounds as of late, but we have hooked into a few in the seven pound range and I’m pretty sure there were a couple over ten pounds that just wouldn’t stay on. But that’s normal. The big ones always get away …

The hotter weather has produced some hatches on the river lately. So, dry fly fishing is making for some exciting days. Looking forward to the next month of fly-fishing, as the dry flies should get more and more productive.

Walleye fishing was pretty good for the past little while also. The usual bottom bouncer or jigs have been working well. Some good sized Walleye at this time year too. Always makes for a good fish fry.

And again, Pike have been caught in the past little while also. Concentrate on the shallower, warmer water for the Pike. They seem to hang around the weeded bays and drop offs. You never know what you’re going to catch out there now.

Duncan Lake

Duncan was good throughout April, but is slowing down now. As the water rises, the fish get more spread out and are a bit tougher to catch, although we still always seem to scrape a few up. So, it’s always worth the trip.

Bull trout up to ten pounds have been caught in the past week, as well as some nice Kokanee. The warmer temperatures will help activate the kokanee feeding, so that’s another option while fishing up there.

What are they biting on?

Our bucktail flies have been working best for the rainbows on Kootenay. The magic colours have been purple/pink, grey/pink, and black/white. We’ve also been catching lots on the Lyman plugs. Mostly blues and greens have been working best for the plugs.

On the river we have had our best days using fly rods. Sinking tips with nymphs or wooly buggers have been producing well for the rainbows. And for the walleye, we have been using the three-way bottom bouncing rig as well as rubber twisters with jigs.

And on the Duncan, the best lures have been my Lyman plugs. Trolled on the surface or down to 60 feet seems to work best. Again, blues and greens seem to be the ticket.

What’s coming up:

We are expecting the lake fishing to pick up even more as the water gets warmer. So, expect lots of fish in May, and June. Our river fishing should only get better and better as well. As the weather warms up and the bugs start hatching, the fish will become more and more aggressive. Looking forward to the next few months of fishing.

We are almost fully booked for our upcoming salmon/halibut fishing season. This year is expected to be another good run of salmon and we still have about ten days to fill. So, drop me a line if you’re interested in filling your freezer with fish for the year.

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