Kootenay Lake Fishing Report — Weather awful, but fishing great

This was one happy camper after pulling in a nice fish. — Photo Reel Adventures Sportfishing
This was one happy camper after pulling in a nice fish. — Photo Reel Adventures Sportfishing

It seems like Mother Nature refuses to cooperate with some good weather.

However, that didn't stop fishermen from flocking to the lake for an exceptional month on the water as Kerry Reed of Reel Adventures Sportfishing discusses the past month and what's on the agenda for May in this installment of Kootenay Lake Fishing Report.

April was a good month. Not for weather, but at least the fishing was pretty good. And now that May is here, hopefully we will finally get some consistent weather. We spent a lot of days on the water regardless of weather, so here’s the latest fishing report:

Kootenay Lake

The water is finally warming up and the fish are getting active.  We have been experiencing some good days lately with a fair number of fish being caught.  A couple really good days with more than 15 fish coming to the boat, and a lot of days with up to 10 fish being caught.  Things should continue to get better and better as the water warms up.  Looking forward to what the rest of May and June have to offer.

Kokanee season on the West arm was successful.  This year the opening has been shortened to the first two days of April, May, June, and July.   And so far, the first two openings have been good.  In fact the latest opening on May 1-2 produced limits for most boats out there.  A lot of people were finished their fishing by 7 a.m. or 8 a.m.  Also saw some big Bull Trout being caught during these periods.  Bulls up to 19 pounds have been caught lately. Kind of reminds me of the old days.  At least the West arm is still alive.

Speaking of alive.  It was great to see some life around Balfour while the Kokanee fishing was happening.  More than 50 boats were out each morning and the talk on the dock was encouraging.  Hoping to see more and more people out fishing during the next few months.

Duncan Lake

The Duncan has still been fishing well.  Some consistent days with 10 or more Bull Trout coming to the boat have kept people entertained.  Most of the Bulls have been between 5 – 9 pounds, but I did see an 11 pound and 13 pound caught one weekend.  A nice change of scenery and a really good fishery to try.

Also, since the water has warmed up, the Kokanee fishing has become good.  Hooking 20 – 30 Kokanee in between the Bull Trout fishing makes for a busy day on the water.

Fishing usually remains good up there until the water rises, which will be happening fast now.

Columbia River

April has always been one of my favourite months on the river.  This year, we didn’t get out as much as we were hoping due to the weather, but when we did, it was great as usual.  Had some crazy days with 20 – 30 Rainbows to the boat.  And some slower days when the cold fronts moved in.  But thats normal.

Most of the Rainbows were the usual Columbia size.  Ranging from 16 – 22 inches, with a few over 24.  Pound for pound, these Rainbows are some of the strongest fighting fish I’ve caught.  Being raised in the strong currents of the big river has made for some powerful fish.

This fishery is good all year round, but my favorite months are April and May for the bigger fish.  So, looking forward to the next little while on the river.  Stay tuned……

What are they biting on???

Kootenay Lake Rainbows have been feeding on the surface lately, so we have been running the usual gear.  Buck tail flies and some of my favorite spoons have been working best.  The magic numbers for our flies have been:  # 210, 222, 226, & 234.   And my best action on spoons have been on the Gibbs ‘Skinny G’ spoons right on the surface.  Favourite colors have been ‘the cop car’, ‘irish cream’, and ‘no bananas’.

For the Bull Trout, we have been catching mostly on the down riggers.  Although the warmer water temp as of late has brought some of them to the surface as well.  On the down riggers, my favourite set-up has been:  Gibbs Highliner flasher in the ‘guide series’ Lemon lime color, along with the Delta hoochie in the green oil slick color.   Also getting a bunch on the lemon lime flasher followed by the ‘no bananas’ g-force spoon.

And for the Kokanee when it was open, we were catching on anything orange.  The crocodile spoons tipped with maggots worked well and for trolling we were using the Gibbs willow leaf and a wedding band with maggots.

On the Duncan, we have had most success on larger spoons on the down rigger.  G-force spoons in Irish cream, no bananas, and trap shack colors have been great.

As far as the river goes, our best days have been using the fly rods.  Sinking lines with wooly buggers have been producing a few.  Although the best method lately has been using a nymph under an indicator.  Almost every back eddie we pull up to has produced a lot of fish.  So, we will continue with those methods until things change.

Spin casting has also produced a few fish.  And bottom bouncing has caught a bunch of rainbow as well as some walleye.

Looking forward to the next month or two on the river.

Salmon Fishing 2017

And last but not least, we are almost full for our salmon season coming up.  We still have about 15 days to fill, so if you’re hoping to get out Salmon & Halibut fishing this year, you still have time.

Drop us a line and we can help with your summer planning.

Hoping to see you on the water.

Tight lines…………

Kerry Reed
Reel Adventures Sportfishing
Nelson BC
250-505-4963
www.reeladventuresfishing.com

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