A nice Kootenay Lake bull trout. Photo courtesy Kerry Reed.
January was a slower month for fishing. Although, we did manage to catch fish each time out, it just seemed slower than December.
Now with our water temperatures at their coldest, we should expect the fish to remain lethargic. Even the smaller Rainbows have tapered off. So, it’s that time of year when you have to be patient and put in your time.
The feeding has been sporadic lately. It seems like the fish will turn on for a short period, but it’s different each day. Spending a whole day on the lake is our best option to ensure that we don’t miss the short feeding periods during the day.
We have been catching 2 – 6 fish most days with the average sizes ranging from 1 Lb – 8 Lbs. Although, I did hear of a beautiful 21 Lb Rainbow that was caught on the South Arm of the lake this month. So, that is encouraging. It’s usually this time of year when the biggest fish are caught.
It’s typical winter fishing right now. You just have to put in your time.
What are they biting on???
We are still catching most of our fish on the surface. Bucktail flies have still been working, as well as our Bill Norman crankbaits. Keep in mind that since the water is so cold, you need to slow down your presentation. The fish are still feeding, they just aren’t as aggressive.
Lucky colors of bucktails lately have been: blacks, greys, and purples or #203, 207, 210, 214, 215, and 228.
Bill Normans in the blue/silver, purple/silver, green/silver, and rainbow colors have been working as well.
We’ve had some mild weather days which has allowed us to get out on the river. It has been producing some nice rainbows each day. A nice change from lake fishing.
We have been catching rainbows between 2 – 5 Lbs on the usual gear. It ‘s that time of year when we should see some of these fish fattening up. So, looking forward to hooking into some 10 + pound fish coming up in February and March.
Most anglers are having good luck on the usual bottom fishing gear. A 3-way swivel set-up on the bottom with bait seems to be working best. We have also had some good luck on the fly rods lately. Sinking lines with egg patterns as well as swinging streamers has been working.
But keep in mind, the cold water conditions mean slower presentation as well. If you can find the fish and put it in front of their face, they should eat it. If not, keep changing your patterns until they go for it. Persistence is the key at this time of year.
Either way, you can’t catch them if you’re not out there. So, Let’s Go Fishing……..
Upcoming limited fishery: Our Spring Bull Trout fishery is coming up fast. March is when our cold Kootenay Rivers are finally ice-off and navigatable by jetboat. We have limited days still available during this fishery. Bull Trout from 6 - 16Lbs are hungry at this time. Flyfishing or spincasting are preferred methods. Check out this teaser video and drop me a line if you're interested.
Reel Adventures Sportfishing