Well here we are… Winter is on its way!
We saw the snow line fall while we were on the water yesterday, and today we woke up to some snow on the ground.
With the temperatures dropping and the snow starting to fly, we are finally seeing the water temperature drop. Now it has reached the magic numbers and we should see the fish become more and more aggressive.
Some of our crew were lucky enough to head down south and fish the great Lake Pend Oreille the past two weeks. What a nice surprise to see many of our old customers and friends down there. Many friends from BC, AB, WA, OR, who used to come here to fish. Nice to be able to hear some screams again.
There were a good number of large rainbows caught this past weekend, with plenty over 20 pounds. And so far this week, there have been a few up to 22 pounds to kick off the fall derby. The lake is busy and the towns are full. What a great economic boost. A great reminder of how things used to be here on Kootenay Lake.
For now, we’re back on Kootenay Lake for our fall/winter fishing and here’s the latest report:
The water temperature has dropped below 55 degrees and lately below 50 and the fish are peaking. We had a couple of weeks of great trout fishing as they returned to the lake, but now that the temperature has dropped, we are seeing more rainbows on the surface.
The trout have been a pretty decent size as they seem to be finding food. Bulls up to 10 pounds and rainbows up to 7 pounds have been caught lately.
Our last outing managed to land six rainbows and a couple of trout throughout the day. Rainbows were the usual 2-3 pounds and bulls were 5-6 pounds.
The day started with a bang. First fish in the boat in the first 10 minutes. Then another strike. Then 1 more rainbow and it slowed down.
For the next three hours, we played cards and listened to music. It’s funny, when the fish turn off, they turn off. Not a single bite for three hours, but then it all started again.
In the early afternoon the bite turned on, with a couple of double headers and then a few more fish. The frenzy seemed to go on for a long time, but it was only about an hour and a half. During this magical time period we managed to land six more fish and also lost a few.
This is the norm at Kootenay Lake. There always seems to be a bite in the morning and a bite in the afternoon. So if you can spend all day in the water, you will be rewarded.
The past week has seemed very windy and very cold. This can turn off the fish for a few days, and so can the full moon.
We noticed slower fishing for a few days, but things seem to be picking up again.
Looking forward to what the rest of November and December has in store.
Columbia River: Brave souls are being rewarded as cooler weather descends on the West Kootenay.
In the Columbia, anglers have been catching rainbows on spinners and spoons, and fly fishermen on wooly bugs and leech patterns tied to a sink tip or a full sink line.
The action may not be fast and furious, but the quality and numbers of bigger fish seem to improve in the winter.
October was excellent fall rainbow fishing with the warm weather and October caddis flying around. Fish were caught on the surface replicating the caddis pattern, then on nymphs and emergent patterns.
Spincasters also had good luck using their favorite spinner for rainbows, while walleyes were still biting fly anglers’ egg-sucking leech patterns, or, for the angler, the tried and true jigheads with worm-tipped rubber twister tails.
Lake Arrow: Angler success rates can be spotty, but October, November and December fishing for big trout and rainbow trout is generally good.
Anglers have had good luck fishing slow for bull trout and rainbows lately, with some of the biggest trout reaching 10 pounds and up.
With Lake Arrow cooling water temperatures, anglers are trolling 2.5-3 mph and have had the best luck throwing Lyman and Tomic plugs 90 feet and longer.
What do they bite
It’s been a mixed bag. Lately, we are starting to have them with water tails. But so far it’s been an assortment of plugs, flies and spoons.
For rainbows, the lucky bucktails have been #207, 210, 226. And the magic spoons have been Gibbs Crocs or Skinny ‘G’s. Favorite colors have been the brass/fire stripe, the Outfitter and the No Bananas.
Also, try fishing bulletproof spoons made by Anarchy Fishing in Vernon, BC. They have worked very well for both rainbows and bull trout in local waters.
As for the bull trout, we have been catching more on the Gibbs STS flasher with a green hoochie. Also put some on the green pistachio and the oil stain. The most consistent depths for us lately have been between 121′ – 153′.
The water temperature is cooling, but our fishing speeds are increasing. The best speeds for us have been between 2.7 and 3.2 mph.