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Kootenay Lake Fishing Report

Dean Fancy holds a giant Bull Trout caught in Kootenay Lake during the Christmas holiday season. — Photo courtesy Reel Adventures Sportfishing

Happy New Year Everyone.

And welcome to a better year to come.

In looking at back at 2020, we can reflect and focus on the positive.  While we didn’t have much work during the first half of the year, we made up for it in the second half.  We’d like to thank our locals for supporting our company and helping to keep us in business.

Starting from January to March we didn’t have a lot of trips going out, and then just as we were ramping up for a good spring fishery, everything was shut down.  However, in June when travel was opened up a bit, fishing became a very popular activity and our business picked right up.

Our Lake was very productive throughout the summer and fall months and our Westcoast Salmon trips were successful throughout the summer.

And, since the fall, we have been enjoying a bit of a quieter time on the water, however the time spent has been very enjoyable.

December was a pretty decent month for fishing, and here’s your latest reports:

Kootenay Lake:

December had its ups and downs.  Just when we thought we were all booked up, another announcement would come out and travel was restricted.  However, we did manage to get out with our family as well as some local, small family groups, and were happy to share some of our good fishing.

The water temperature has dropped and the Rainbows are slowing down a bit.  It’s that time of year when metabolism slows down and the fish don’t need to eat as much.  So, what seems to happen out here is:  we get one really good day of fishing while the Rainbows are feeding, and then we get a few days of slower fishing while the Rainbows digest their food.

However, in saying that, we had some pretty spectacular days.  On one day with a local group, we did manage to land 17 fish.  Mostly Rainbows, but a couple Kokanee mixed in. As per the current regulations, the Kokanee were released as well as a bunch of Rainbows.  Although the crew did keep their share of Rainbows for the BBQ.

That was probably the best outing in December.  After that day, we managed to have a few good days with up to 10 fish coming to the boat, but most days have averaged two to eight fish.

 Still pretty good fishing for winter.

While the Rainbows have been tapering off, the Bull Trout have started to come out of hiding.  We’ve seemed to be able to land a decent Bull Trout on most outings now.  And although the quantity may not be there, the quality has made up for it.

Latest catches have seen Rainbows between 2 – 4 pounds and Bull Trout between 3 – 20 pounds.  Yes that read 20 pounds.  More common have been the smaller fish, but it’s nice to know that the odd giant still exists.

We will continue our pursuit of the next giant throughout the winter months.  But, it’s just nice to be on the water.

Stay tuned….

Arrow Lakes:

Similar to last months report, the Arrow lakes have been distinctly different from one another.

The Upper Arrow continues to produce some good fish, but the Lower Arrow has been considerably slower.

Rainbows up to 12 Lbs and Bull Trout up to 15 Lbs have been caught lately.

But, you have to put in your time.  Typical winter fishing.

Columbia River:

The river has produced some decent Rainbow fishing over the past month. Shore fishermen have been catching the usual Columbia Rainbow between 2 – 4 Lbs.

The best method lately has been bottom fishing with bait, or float fishing.

Hoping for some mild weather to allow for some days on the river this winter.

What are they biting on?

Our Rainbows on the lake have been hitting on our favourite Gibbs/Delta Croc in either the hammered brass/fire stripe, or the plain brass/fire stripe.  And when the water is choppy, we are still catching on our favourite bucktails. Lux Flies #07, #10, #15, #21 have been the magic for us lately.

And the Bulls have been hitting on the Lemon Lime flasher with some

custom green/glow hoochies, as well as our favourite hockey stick in the BK color.

Rainbows on the surface and Bull Trout between 100 – 180ft has been best.

On the river, its been the Gibbs/Delta Bottom bouncer with the Delta Tackle ‘Leader saver’ and bait which has worked best.

It’s winter fishing now, and you just have to put in your time.  Remember at this time of year, it’s quality over quantity!

Wishing you all the best in the new year!!

Tight lines……

Kerry Reed
Reel Adventures Sportfishing