The weather is warming and large bull trout and rainbows are starting to come out and feed.

The weather is warming and large bull trout and rainbows are starting to come out and feed.

West Kootenay Fishing Report: Prime time for fishing

April is a favourite month for big rainbows on the Columbia, also good walleye fishing

The West Kootenay Fishing Report is provided by Kerry Reed of Reel Adventures Sport Fishing Charters in Nelson; ph. 250-505-4963 or go to

Spring Break is generally the beginning of our busy season, and this one was no exception. We were happy to get families out on the water and out of the house.

Kootenay Lake: The lake was a bit slower fishing throughout March, but that’s normal for the water temperature. We had a few good days with some big bull trout and some slower days with a few smaller rainbows and bull trout.

As the month progressed, the fishing seemed to get better. In fact one of our trips at the end of March turned out to be an exceptional one. Our group hooked into 15 fish throughout the day, and managed to land 11 of them. And now, as the water is warming up, we expect to see more and more consistent fishing throughout the month.

The beginning of April marked our limited Kokanee fishery on the West Arm. April 1, 2, and 3 saw a large number of boats get out and try their luck at catching the great tasting Kokanee.

A lot of boats did well, and it seemed that the early birds got the best of it. Our boats that were on the water at daybreak did the best, with limits of fish being caught before 7 a.m. each day.

After 7 a.m. it turned into normal fishing, where you had to put in your time to get a few fish.

Overall, it was a fairly successful fishery and one that will be talked about until the next limited opening in July.

We will be concentrating on the main lake from now on. April is generally the beginning of our spring fishery as the water has finally warmed up a bit, and the fish are becoming active once again.

The water temperature is hanging around 42 degrees and still needs a few more degrees before the feeding frenzy begins. Our favourite time usually begins around the third week of April and continues to get better and better throughout May and June.

If you’re looking to get out of the house and get over the ‘cabin fever’, we have just what you need.

Catering to family groups or small groups (within the same bubble), a day on the water can be refreshing for the mind.

Columbia River: Low and fluctuating river levels has made the fishing on the Columbia a bit of a hit and miss the past month. The river is at its lowest and the fish are concentrated.

We’ve had a few really good days, finding the fish holding in some of the tailouts and back eddies.

Rainbows and walleye up to six pounds have been caught lately.

With the mild weather and spring break, we’ve seen an increase in the number of boats out there as well. Good to see people getting out and enjoying our local resource.

April has always been one of our favourite months for big rainbows and also looking forward to some good walleye fishing before the spawn.

Stay tuned for more reports as we will be spending a lot of time on the river the next few weeks.

What are they biting on?

On the main lake, its been a mix of things. The rainbows are starting to hit the buck tails on the choppy days, or the usual Gibbs/Delta spoons on any given day. My favourites still being the Gibbs Croc in Brass/Fire stripe, or the Skinny ‘G’ in irish cream, or outfitter patterns.

And the bull trout have been coming in on the Highliner flasher in lemon lime, followed by the green spatter back hoochie. Depths from 101’ – 121’ have been working best for us.

And, during the Kokanee fishery, our favourite lure was the Zak Attack in hot pink UV, or fire orange. This lure tipped with maggots was hot when jigging on top of a school of fish. Hopefully the next opening we will get a chance to jig some up again.

On the river, its been good for flyfishing with indicators and nymphs. As well as spin casting with spinners and bait.

And for the walleye, its been the good old ‘Bottom bouncer’ technique with a spinner and worm.

Until the next report,

Tight lines …

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