Events, News, and The Balfour Buzz
Winter Fishing on Kootenay Lake
by Kerry Reed of Reel Adventures Charters
While most people are putting the pleasure boats away and preparing for winter,
we are gearing up for what is generally the best season to be fishing on
Kootenay Lake is a large body of water that never freezes over. And lucky for us
because Winter is our fishing season.
As the water cools down from our warm summer, the fish begin to feed more
actively. And October, November are usually the beginning of our favorite
Fall/Winter fishery. Most fish become more aggressive as the temperatures
drop to that optimum temperature.
Winter is also known as ‘Big Fish’ season. The Rainbows and Bull Trout that we
were catching in the Spring have now put on 3 – 5 Lbs and are that much heavier
in the Fall.
It is not uncommon to catch Rainbows up to 20 Lbs in the fall and winter and some
fish even bigger. Also, Dolly Varden (Bull trout) seem to be much larger in the
middle of winter.
As we begin fishing in the fall, we vary our speeds according to the water
temperature. Starting out in October, the water hasn’t quite cooled off from the
summer heat, so our speeds are still a bit on the slower side. But as November
goes on, our water temperature hits that optimum temperature and we can speed
up for the more aggressive fish. Usually speeds between 2.5 –3.5 mph will produce
a lot of fish. During November and into December we can reach speeds up to
4.5 mph as the fish are feeding heavily.
A lot of surface feeding will go on during these months. So our favorite techniques
are usually Bucktails on the surface. This is also the most exciting way to catch a
big Rainbow. Since the lure is only in the top foot of water, these big fish are
usually airborne within seconds of taking the fly. The scream of the reel and the
acrobatics of these fish make it most exciting. Something everyone should experience.
We are also fishing with downriggers to help cover the water columns. The fish can
be found on the surface or down to about 150ft. So, it never hurts to mix it up a
bit. Run some surface lines and some deep lines. That should increase your odds.
Our favorite lures on the downriggers are: plugs, apex’s, and flasher/hoochie combo.
As the water cools down in the cold of winter, we will slow our speeds down. Usually
January, February, March are the coldest water temperatures. This is when the fish
slow down a bit to conserve energy. Don’t be discouraged because they are still
catchable. They still have to eat. As a matter of fact, those months are usually
when the biggest fish of the year are caught. So, patience and perseverance will
With the slower speeds come slower lures. This is when our ‘Bill Norman’ Lures
will kick in. They seem to have good action even at these slower speeds. Our
bucktail flies still work at this time of year also, you just have to slow down
the presentation a bit.
While winter can be cold and snowy. It’s definitely a good time to be fishing
on Kootenay Lake. It helps get rid of cabin fever and can be the most rewarding
time of the year for big fish.
So, just because it’s ski season, don’t forget about our wonderful fishery.
It’s definitely worth the trip
What do I Need for Winter Fishing????
First off, you need a heated boat. You have to be comfortable or you’re not
going to enjoy yourself. Next you need an assortment of lures. Bucktails,
plugs, apex’s, Bill Norman’s, and flasher/hoochies. That should about do it.
If you don’t have a heated boat, there are some knowledgeable guides who would
be more than willing to take you out.
I think that about covers it.
Winter is here, so Let’s Go Fishing.
The Association also recommends you check the list of accommodations and services available on this website.
Victoria Day Weekend
May 18 - 19 - 20, 2013
Bill King Memorial Derby
Info: Gill & Gift 250-229-2113
Kids 15 and Under
Saturday, September 7, 2013
Info: Gill & Gift 250-229-2113
Thanksgiving Weekend Derby
October 12 - 13 - 14, 2013
Woodbury Resort 250-353-7717
Nelson City Police Charity Derby
October 18 - 19 - 20, 2013
Info: Nelson City Police 250-354-3919
Remembrance Day Derby
November 8- 9 -10, 2013
Info: Kaslo Hotel 250-353-7714
or Berren Fly & Tackle 250-353-2617
BC Family Day Weekend Derby
February 8 - 9 - 10, 2014
Canadian Training Resources
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