Summers coming to an end, and wow, what a summer it was!

No smoke in the Kootenays made for some beautiful trips throughout August, and on the westcoast was a huge abundance of Chinook Salmon and some fantastic weather to help finish off an amazing season out there.

Heres the latest reports:

West Coast Salmon/Halibut:

We’re back from the west coast, and what an epic season it was this year!

With all the doom and gloom in the media during the early season, people didn’t know what to expect.  But, it turned out to be the best season yet! Yes, some Salmon runs are hurting, but there are a lot of local runs which were thriving this year.  In fact, our local Robertson Creek run was predicted to be the largest run in decades, and it did not disappoint.

Right from the beginning of our trips in July and until our end trips in September, the fish were right along the shore.  The numbers of fish and the size of fish were substantially higher than previous years.  Hopeful for the future.

Our previous report covered our July fishing, so we won’t touch on that, but we will tell you just how amazing our August trips turned out.

Except for the first 2 days of August, our weather was fantastic and the fishing was unbelievable.  We haven’t seen so many calm days on the ocean and this allowed us on most days to get to our favourite destinations.

The Salmon fishing was strong throughout the whole summer and our halibut fishing really picked up after the first couple weeks of July.  The latter part of July and the whole month of August provided us with some fantastic Halibut fishing to top off our already hot Salmon fishing.

Our typical day would be to target the Chinooks early along the shoreline, and then head offshore for Hali.  Or, some days we would just head straight offshore to target the full package.  The offshore salmon are usually a bit smaller than the inshore ones, but the numbers are generally higher, so it’s a trade off.  But, its definitely nice to head out there for a one-stop shop.

We enjoyed sharing this amazing fishery with some new groups this year as well.  Thankful that the weather cooperated for the newbies and we could show them just what Salmon fishing is all about.  We had some young ones join us with their families this year, and they were definitely spoiled with some fantastic fishing.  Just what we like to see for the beginners.  It think they are hooked.

On the docks this year we saw Chinook up to 40 Lbs, but most fish averaged 18 – 28 Lbs.  And Halibut from 10 – 62 Lbs, which was the maximum allowable size this year.

During our outings we saw whales, sea lions, sea otters, eagles, and sharks.  Check out this cool video of our Blue Shark Encounter.

All in all, it was definitely one for the record books.

Thank you to everyone who joined us again this year.  It’s so nice to have a core group of return guests as well as some newcomers to help keep the schedule full.

Looking forward to having you back next summer.

And now, it’s on to the lakes and rivers for the fall/winter.

Kootenay Lake:

After a fairly consistent July for Rainbows and Bull Trout, we noticed a bit of a slow down for August as the water got warmer.  The surface action for Rainbows kind of dropped off a bit, however the down rigger action for Bull Trout actually picked up.

We had to explore some deeper waters to find them, but it all worked out pretty well.  With the water temps reaching high 60’s and even 70 degree fahrenheit, the fish were found down in the cooler depths of 150ft – 180ft.

Most August days consisted of half a dozen fish, mostly Bull Trout between 3 – 7 Lbs.  And the odd Rainbow on the down rigger as well.

We enjoyed meeting lots of new travellers this summer as well.  Our location has definitely become a tourist destination.  And with the new tourists, we have met a lot of young families.  They have become some of our favourite trips to do.  It’s always fun showing the young ones how we fish. And to see the expression on their face when they catch their first or biggest fish is priceless.  Hopefully we’re planting the seeds for some future generation fisher persons.

And now onto September!  So far, the fishing this past week has been pretty good.  With the cooler nights, the water has begun to cool and some Rainbows are starting to feed on the surface again.  In fact, our last trip managed to land 6 Rainbows and 3 Bull Trout, which made for a pretty exciting day for September.

As things cool down, the fishing will get better and better.  Our favourite months are coming up, so stay tuned…

Columbia River:

The river continued to fish well throughout August and is staying consistent so far for September.

The caddis hatches thinned out a bit, but the dry fly fishing was still great.  We switched to throwing hoppers and stimulators later in the month and that provided some exciting action on the surface.

The fly fishing was great, and we also had a bunch of new guests who preferred the spinning rods, and they were not disappointed.

Rainbows between 2 – 4 Lbs were the norm, and Walleye from 2 – 5 Lbs, with a few up to 7 Lbs have been caught lately.

September is a great month for fishing the river.  Walleye are usually quite thick for the next couple months, and the Rainbows will be fat and hungry. This is one of our favourite months to fish the river.  So, stay tuned…

What are they biting on???

Our west coast favourites this year were the Goldstar Kingfisher Spoons in Maverick, White lightning, and the coho killer in the cookies & cream pattern.  As well as our favourite hoochies in the green spatter back and green pistachio.  And it seemed that my favourite flashers this year were the Gibbs Delta  Brainfreeze or the Oki Big Shooter in the blue footloose colors.

Every year the bait is a bit different, but those combos seem to work year after year.

On the lakes, its been a combo of flashers and hoochies for the Bull Trout and crocs and hockey sticks for the the Rainbows.  My favourite Gibbs Delta Lemon Lime flasher has been killer, followed by the green spatter back hoochie.  And on the surface, its been the usual brass/fire stripe croc, or black/white hockey stick.

And finally on the rivers, it’s been a mix of spin casting or fly fishing.  On our spinning rods we’ve been using Zak Tackle twitching jigs for Bull Trout or Walleye, as well as jig heads with curly tail grubs.  Or bottom bouncer and worm works really well for the Walleye as well.

As far as flies go, we’ve been using mostly small nymphs in the back eddies, except when the trout are rising, and lately we’ve been throwing hopper patterns and stimulators to the rising trout and having great success.  In another month, we will be bringing out the large October caddis, which will make for some exciting times as well.

All in all, its been a great summer and we look forward to some of our best freshwater fishing coming up in the Fall.

Tight lines…


Kerry Reed

Reel Adventures Sportfishing