The early spring near the end of March and April presents good Rainbow Trout fishing on Osoyoos Lake. Osoyoos Lake is the furthest southern lake in the Okanagan Valley and it tends to warm up faster than the other lakes in the valley. The warmer water temperatures kick starts the ecosystem under the water and the fish start to become more active looking for food.
Osoyoos Lake is not only home to Rainbow Trout, but it is also home to Sockeye Fry. These fry will stay in the lake until they are approx one year old; they then turn to Smolts to head downstream towards the ocean. These fry tend to be a good forage fish for the bigger rainbows. This is why using lures or flies that imitate a sockeye fry can be so effective on this lake.
Osoyoos Lake also has Kokanee that reside in the lake which is another forage fish for big Rainbows. Trolling Lyman Plugs mimicking Kokanee can put the odds in your favour. Good color patterns in the early season are white/blue, white/green, and black with speckles. The old wise tail using light colours on bright days and dark colours during cloudy days proves well on this lake. The plugs that we normally troll can be from 2 inches to 4 inches in size. If one size isn’t producing then switch the size of your presentation first before changing colours. If you are fishing two lines out of the boat have each rod set up with a different presentation. First bite can be a fluke, 2 hits is a pattern! Whichever presentation gets the firts two hits you know you are on the right track.
Apex Lures can also generate good results on Osoyoos Lake. Again sizes between 2 – 4 inches work the best. Good Apex colours patterns are watermelon, purple/blue rainbow, solid blue and black/white. If the fishing is a bit slow try trailing a worm behind the Apex, but make sure the bait does not take away from the side to side action of the lure.
Osoyoos Lake is a decent size and it has three main deep pockets within the north end of the lake (above the Hwy 3 Bridge). The deepest pocket is over 200 feet deep and it is located in the mid section of the upper portion of the lake, across from Mica Creek. The deep pockets offer some good drop off points and ledges that you will notice the fish suspended between 15-75 feet deep. In the early spring the fish are scattered in the water column. The best way to find the most productive depth is to start approx. 15 deep and work your way deeper in 10 foot increments every 20 minutes. Again, if you are fishing more than one line try different depths with each presentation. Trolling speeds can also play a role in stimulating a fish to bite so make sure to try different trolling speeds. A popular trolling speed when trolling Lyman Plugs and Apex’s is 2.5mph; but Lyman Plugs are designed to troll from 1.5mph to 4mph which is a benefit when changing trolling speeds.
In the early spring Trout can also be found in the shallow ledges of this lake. The North East side of the lake near Inkaneep Creek can hold fish feeding on fry and other aquatic food sources. Trolling a sinking fly line with a fry pattern or a plug near the surface can work well in this area. If you observe fish hugging the bottom there is a good chance that these are Bass, not trout. The Bass normally won’t start to make their way up into the shallower water until the water temp reaches over 50F.
As freshet starts to make its way into the north end of the lake it can make the water clarity very limited. During this time the fishing does start to slow down and the use of flashers or dodgers will help attract the fish. In cloudier water conditions darker colour of lures such as blues or purples helps the contrast of the lure stand out for the fish to target in on. The Rainbow Trout fishing can be good all the way into June, but as the water warms up the trout will descend to find the cooler water and dissolved oxygen layers.
One of the great benefits of Osoyoos Lake is that this lake provides an excellent opportunity to get out onto the open water early in the season. This lake is known to get windy so always check the weather forecast before heading out and of course dress in layers. Share your pictures and stories on our BCFishn Facebook Page!
Tight lines & Conserve our Waters!