There have been some big fish on Kootenay Lake of late.

Spring fishing on Kootenay Lake holding on

Well summer is finally here. With the forecast calling for more sunshine, we are getting a break from the rising water levels.

Well summer is finally here. With the forecast calling for more sunshine, we are getting a break from the rising water levels.

This has definitely been a high water year. Although the lake has been littered with debris, we have had some great fishing days.

Due to the high water and extreme runoff, our water temperature has stayed cooler than normal. And that has helped prolong our spring fishing season. Usually by the time July hits, we are hitting the 60-plus degree mark, which in turn will slow the fishing down.

However, we haven’t hit that mark yet and the good fishing continues.

Not every day has been the greatest. I think the fish are a little frustrated with the weather . Storms rolling in and out, rain, hail, and high winds have all affected the fish. One day the fish will be aggressively feeding and the next day all is shut off.

Some of our good days have produced up to 10 fish during the day. And the sizes have been of good quality. Rainbows up to 22 pound and Dolly Varden (bull trout) up to 15 pounds have been coming in. Even our slower days are still making it worthwhile. One day we only managed to hook into a couple fish, but they were 12 pounds and 18 pounds. It’s always worth the trip.

We are still fishing mainly on the surface. Although it can be very frustrating due to the massive piles of debris on the water. But, that’s why the fish are still on the surface. Be patient, pay attention to the debris fields, and check your lines often.  The end result should be worth it.


What are they biting on?

Since most of the fish are still coming to the surface to feed, we are mainly running our bucktail flies. The new fish skulls are still working well. The usual flies now come with a weighted head. They are called fish skulls. This weighted head not only helps keep some of the debris off your lines, but it gives the fly a different action. And they are still producing some fairly consistent fish on our boat. My favourite colours have been:  black/white, grey/white, and green/white. Or the common numbers are:  214, 215, 221, and 228.

Plugs have been working as well and also help to keep debris off the lines, as they will dive down a few feet. And the favourite apex (hockey sticks) are working also. My favourites have been:  black/silver, silver/gold, blue/green or lucky numbers of 10, 16, 53, 55, and the 135 of late.

We’ve also managed a few fish on the downriggers. Still using the old flasher/hoochie combo for the dollies. But we’re catching lots on my favourite plugs again down deep. Magic depths have been 40 feet, 60 feet and 80 feet.

Tight lines….


Kerry Reed runs Reel Adventures Charters in Nelson. He can be reached at 250-505-4963


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