With the colder fall weather moving in it was time to hit Kootenay Lake for some Chrome Gerrard Rainbows! For those of you that are not familiar with Kootenay Lake, this lake is one of British Columbia finest fisheries for BIG rainbows! The lake is over 100kms long and has numerous access points throughout. The main targeted fish species for this lake is the world’s largest strain of trout, the Gerrard Rainbow; these fish can reach up to over 30 pounds! Kootenay Lake also offers great fishing for Bull Trout, Kokanee and Cut-Throat Rainbows. The most popular and effective way to fish this lake is by trolling.
This past Thanksgiving weekend a few friends and I hit the lake in hopes for some chrome beauties! The weather was in our favour for majority of the day. The winds were 5km/hour south and the temperature in the after noon reached 14 degrees Celsius. We launched our boat at the Grey Creek Store launch. On the Belfour side there was the annual fishing derby taking place so we decided to keep our distances from all the boat traffic.
We started to troll along at 1.5 mph marking the fish near the surface and not too deep, majority of the fish were between the 10 to 30 foot depth ranges. The presentation that we trolled was Black and White Gibbs Hockey Stick Lure with 2 to 4 ounce weights. Other lures that produce well on this lake are Bucktails, Lyman Plugs and Apex’s. Small spinners tipped with bait trolling behind flashers will entice the Cut-throat trout and Kokanee.
Our day on Kootenay Lake started with success! We caught our first 4 pound rainbow in the early morning. Throughout the day we had numerous hits but they weren’t too aggressive. After lunch the day started to really pick up with us bringing in a stellar 10 pound Gerrard Rainbow. Later in the afternoon the bites started to slow down as a low pressure system moved in. Just before we called it a day we brought in our third fish of the day weighing in at 3.5 pounds.
Spending a day on Kootenay Lake is like no other! The Kootenay Lake Valley is surrounded with the Purcell and Selkirk mountain ranges that offer a breathtaking view that no angler can get tired of. Even if the fish aren’t biting, the trip to Kootenay Lake is well worth the experience, but don’t take my word, I recommend that you get out there and experience it for yourself!