West Kootenay Fishing Report: Prime fishing months for Kootenay Lake

Water temperature perfect for bull trout and rainbow trout on Kootenay and Arrow Lakes

  • Nov. 19, 2020 12:00 a.m.

Kerry Reed of Reel Adventures Sport-fishing Charters shows off a large bull trout caught in Kootenay Lake last month. Photo: Submitted.

The West Kootenay Fishing Report is submitted by Kerry Reed of Reel Adventure Sportfishing Charters. Call Kerry at 250-505-4963 to book your trip or go to www.reeladventuresfishing.com.

October started out with some warmer than seasonal temperatures and some beauty weather for being out on the water. But then switched to be more like the fall that we are accustomed to. And now that we’re in November, the temperatures have dropped and we are fully into our winter fishery.

Related read: August/September brings hot weathe and walleye action

Related read: Northern Pikeminnow a growing concern on Kootenay Lake

Kootenay Lake:The water temperature should be optimal for our fall/winter fishing now.

The beginning of October handed us some nice weather and some pretty decent fishing for Bull Trout and Rainbows. And since the end of October with the perfect water temps we have expected the Rainbows to take over as in previous years. However, lately it’s still been better fishing for Bull Trout with a few Rainbows mixed in.

Bull Trout up to 10 pounds have been caught recently, with most being between 3-6 pounds. There was also one Bull around 16 pounds that was caught by another local angler, so there’s still the odd big one out there.

Rainbows have been hit and miss lately, but we’ve been getting some mixed in with the Bull Trout. Average Rainbows between 2-4 pounds have been coming in.

We’ve had a few new groups join us the past few weeks and have had some exciting trips. It seems that the fish are located in tiny pockets on the lake. And when you find a group, that seems to be the ticket to stick to that area. Some days we can troll for hours trying to locate fish, but when we find them, the action has been fairly consistent.

Some of our better days lately have seen groups hooking into 10-15 Bull Trout throughout the day and usually a few Rainbows as well.

The key has been to concentrate on the area where these groups of fish have been hanging out.

Water temp is right and we hope the Rainbows turn on and the Bull Trout keep doing what they’re doing. November and December are usually our best months.

Arrow Lake: Anglers success rates can be hit and miss, but October, November, and December fishing for big bull trout and rainbow is generally very good.

Anglers have had good luck slow trolling for bull trout and rainbows lately. Reports have ranged from anglers landing up to 10 fish a day, with some of the bigger rainbows coming in at 11-pounds and bull trout up to 14 pounds.

With the Arrow Lake’s cooling water temperature, anglers are trolling between 2.5 and 3 mph, and have had the best luck pulling Lyman and Tomic plugs at 90 feet and more.

Columbia River: We had some successful trips on the river in early October and even managed to get some good fish at the end of the month when the temperatures dropped.

Some great Walleye days were had and the fall fly fishing was good as well.

We’ve shifted most of our trips now to the big lake where we can be comfortable in our heated boats. Although, if we get a warm weather window, we look forward to a few more trips on the river.

Rainbows can be pretty chunky at this time of year, and there are still some Walleye to be caught.

What are they biting on? On the river it was mostly big nymphs, or the October caddis was hot for a while. Also getting a bunch on the spinning gear or bottom bouncers.

And, on the lakes, it’s been a mix again. The Bull Trout have been falling for the Gibbs/Delta Lemon lime flasher or the Oki Big Shooter Yellow/green mist flasher, followed by the green glow spatter back or pistachio hoochie.

Depths from 81-to-153-feet have been working best for us. The Rainbows have been less consistent, but we have been getting a few on Bucktails, and a few more on the brass/fire stripe croc or the brass/fire wing croc.

Again, you just have to find where they’re hanging out.

Hope this helps with your next adventure.

Tight lines …


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