A fly-angler lands a healthy rainbow using a chironomid pattern on a small West Kootenay lake. Autumn is a beautiful time to fly fish on local lakes. Jim Bailey photo

A fly-angler lands a healthy rainbow using a chironomid pattern on a small West Kootenay lake. Autumn is a beautiful time to fly fish on local lakes. Jim Bailey photo

West Kootenay Fishing Report: Fishing heats up with cooler fall weather

Autumn a great season for fly fishing West Kootenay lakes and streams

The West Kootenay Fishing Report is provided by Kerry Reed from Reel Adventures Sportfishing in Nelson, ph. 250-505-4963 or go to www.reeladventuresfishing.com. The lakes supplement was made available by flyfishbc.blogspot.com.

Kootenay Lake:

It’s been another busy tourist season in the West Kootenay and our guides have been getting out a few times each week to share our local resources.

July was pretty good fishing on the lake for both rainbows and bull trout. But, as the water temps warmed up in August, the rainbows kind of slowed down a bit. However, the bull trout were still eager to bite.

Even though the smoke was thick again this August, we still managed to get some people out on the water. Mostly early mornings to beat the heat. And most trips saw our groups hook into five or six fish each morning. Still a great way to spend the morning.

In September with the cooler, fall weather, our fishing has picked up significantly.

The last couple weeks have been good fishing for both rainbows and bull trout. The rainbows have been caught on the surface and down deep and the bulls have been predominantly caught on the down-riggers.

Looking forward to my favourite time on the lake. October/Nov/Dec have always been a great time to fish Kootenay Lake. So, stay tuned…

Columbia River: Our river trips were very successful this summer as well. July was good for both walleye and rainbows and either fly fishing or spin casting. August seemed to slow down a bit for the walleye, but they are usually quite plentiful in September and October. So, we’ll see what the next little while brings.

Rainbow fishing remained consistent throughout August and so far, September has been good as well.

I look forward to the next month of fishing on the river as well.

West Kootenay lakes: September in the Kootenays is a beautiful time of year to fly fish area lakes. The days can be warm and pleasant with the surrounding hillsides popping with the colours of autumn. Suspending Chironomids are a good choice early to mid-day.

Check depth and set your strike indicator so your chironomid is suspended about 12-18″ from the bottom. Vary the colour and size until successful and, if possible, use a stomach pump when you are to determine an approximate variation.

Keep an eye on those indicators as the trout are prone to sip and spit almost in one motion.

As the chironomid hatch subsides in the afternoon, tie on a sink tip or sink line and cast or troll leeches or dragonfly nymphs over the dropoffs.

These patterns and techniques work on most smaller West Kootenay lakes and there are many, including: Nancy Green, Champion, Cottonwood, Loon, Rosebud, Wolf, Panther, Curtis, Wilgress, and Jewel lakes.

What are they biting on ?

Kootenay lake has been an assortment of lures and bucktails. The bucktail flies have been working the past few weeks since the rainbows are coming up. As well as small spoons and hockey sticks. Our best lures have been flies in the # 210, 215, and 226 colors. Crocodile spoons in the brass/fire wing, nickel/fire stripe, and brass/fire stripe colors have been working just as well and sometimes better.

And for the bull trout, we’ve been catching mostly on the flasher/hoochie combo. Green Lemon Lime flasher or STS flasher with a green spatter back hoochie has been my stand by. Most consistent depths for the bulls lately have been between 90 and 120 feet.

On the Columbia River, its been a mix of fly fishing or spin casting. Most of our walleye are being caught on jig heads with curly tails or using the bottom bouncer with a worm.

Rainbows have been caught on a mix of croc spoons on the spinning rods, and fly fishing with dry flies is still working, however, we are starting to get more action on the nymphs.

On area lakes, try chironomid patterns in size 14-16, black body-red rib or silver/red seemed to offer us the best luck while size 6-10 dragonfly nymphs and leech patterns (ie: woolly buggers) in greens, browns, and orange were the most effective.

Looking forward to later September and October when the big October caddis appear.

Trail Daily Times