West Kootenay Fishing Report: Hooray it’s May

May is the wake-up-call month, when great trout fishing begins on local West Kootenay lakes

The water is heating up and so is the fishing in the West Kootenay, as rainbows start feeding more aggressively on emerging hatches. Photo: submitted

The water is heating up and so is the fishing in the West Kootenay, as rainbows start feeding more aggressively on emerging hatches. Photo: submitted

Hooray Hooray, it’s May, and our spring fishing is starting to get going.

Kootenay Lake: Water temps are finally rising after a long drawn out spring. Our temp has been up to the mid 40 degrees, which means the fish are starting to wake up.

Most of April saw some cooler weather and water, and the fishing was hot and cold. But, the past week or so the water has started to warm and we are seeing more fish coming to the surface. Rainbows up to 4 pounds and bull Trout up to 10 pounds have been coming in lately. The top three bull trout in the Easter derby were between five and 10 pounds.

Because of the mixed weather in April, fishing continued to be inconsistent throughout the month. But, the latest warming of weather has turned things on a bit. In fact, our first trip of May saw a busy group of fishermen hook into over a dozen fish. On another day, we managed to hook into 20 fish. So, the feeding has begun.

Mostly rainbows lately, but expect the bull trout to become more aggressive as the water warms. And because of the warming trend, the creeks are starting to flow and some more food is washing into the lake. This has the fish looking upward. Most of our fish are being caught on the surface now, and this should continue through May and June.

The phone is ringing and people are excited to get out of the house. We’re looking forward to a busy month and hope the weather will finally become consistent.

Time to get out there!

Columbia River: The river is rising, and the water temperature is warming up.

Similar to the lake, the fish are starting to feed more aggressively. Some fat rainbows up to 6 pounds have been coming in. Also getting into a few walleye this spring still. That will probably slow down a bit as they approach spawning time, but will pick up when everything is done.

Fly fishing seems to be more productive now, as the hatches have begun. We seem to be getting more action on the fly rods compared to the spinning rods.

Looking forward to the water reaching that magic temperature and the fish to really turn on.

Local Lakes: The month of May means the ice is off on most small West Kootenay Lakes and fishing will heat up. Chironomid fishing is very popular as early hatches begin in earnest. Suspending size 14-18 chironomid patterns into water from six feet to 20 feet deep can be extremely rewarding. Or try dredging the bottom with small nymphs or leech patterns with a sink line to search for feeding trout.

What are they biting on?

Kootenay Lake Rainbows have been taking the bucktail flies lately. Our favorite color in the past couple weeks has been the #22 or #26. These colors always seem to produce at this time of year. As the water rises and begins to stain, look at using some different patterns with greens or golds, as they will show up better in the stained water.

Our normal line-up of lures to start the day is: bucktails on one side of the boat, and Gibbs/Delta spoons on the other side of the boat. The brass/fire stripe or brass/firewing croc is always a go-to for us.

And on the down riggers we’ve been hooking a few Bull Trout down between 100-150 ft. The ‘STS’ flasher or the ‘Lemon Lime’ flasher have been our favourite. Followed by the green spatterback or green pistachio hoochie.

On the river it’s been pretty good using an indicator and a nymph. Also swinging some streamers along the seams has been producing. Shore fishermen have been getting a few on the bottom bouncer with bait.

That pretty much sums it up for now.

This is the beginning of our favourite time of year. Water temperature is climbing. Water levels are climbing. And fish are coming to life!

West Kootenay Fishing Report is provided by Kerry Reed of Reel Adventures Sport Fishing Charters at 250.505.4963 or go to reeadventuresfishing.com.

Read: West Kootenay Fishing Report: March-2022


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