We are back from the West Coast!

And what a season it was!

This season would be rated up in the top 5 of my career on the west coast.  There seemed to be fish just about everywhere  this year, which was great in case the weather didn’t allow us to get to our planned destination.  There always seemed to be a back-up plan.

July started out with big seas, but not a lot of wind.  So, we were able to fish on the outside edge, but near the shoreline.  The salmon were consistent along the beach for our first couple of weeks.  Our daily routine was to fish the beach for the first couple hours of the day, or until we caught a limit of Chinooks, and then head offshore for some Halibut fishing, or coho fishing, or both.

On the windy days, we would head inside the protected islands to fish.  And, most days we were lucky enough to catch a mix of Chinook and Coho.  The inside fishery remained strong throughout the whole season, which was a pleasant surprise and a good feeling to always have a plan ‘B’.

Halibut fishing was unbelievable for the whole month of July.  Thanks to the regulation change, we were able to target our possession limit in one day, which made for some busy days at the cleaning station.  A lot of days where clients were able to bring home their 2 undersized or 1 oversized.

Once August hit, the Halibut slowed down a bit for the first couple weeks, but ramped up again for the last half of the season.  It might have just been the fact that more people were around during August.

Either way, it worked out just fine.  If the Halibut weren’t chomping, then the Salmon were.  Always some good action to be had.

We had a lot of new groups join us this year as well.  And, lucky for most of the new groups, the weather cooperated on their first trip with us.  That’s always what we hope for when newcomers join us.  The new groups got spoiled with great fishing.  I think we may have set the bar high for these groups.  Big shoes to fill next year.

Lots of fun stories developed throughout the summer as well.  From Blue Shark encounters, Bald eagles, humpback whales, Orcas, Sea lions, otters, sunfish, and too many others to list. We fly fished for coho, spin cast for coho, spin for bass and bottom fish, jigged for halibut, trolled for salmon,  This was a great season.

Check out this cool video our guests put together from their trip in July.

We are already almost 80% booked for next season with returning guests, so I think everybody had a great time.

Already looking forward to next year.

And now, back to our Kootenay reports.

Kootenay Lake:

The lake remained productive throughout the summer months.  Usually by the time August hits, the water temp has warmed up so much that the fish get lazy and the fishing slows down.  However, this summer, the fishing remained good.

July was consistent with lots of fish caught, and even some bigger Bull Trout to the net.

And August, we were only fishing the mornings due to the heat, but most mornings produced a good number of fish.

The Rainbows slowed down a bit during the hot, smokey days, but the Bull Trout kept everyone busy.

One observation from this summer is that: the Rainbows and Bull Trout all seemed to have full bellies.  Usually during the warmer months, our fish have empty stomachs and are a bit lethargic. However, this summer we found small Kokanee in their stomachs and the fish seemed more active than normal.  Maybe something is changing in the lake, but what ever it is, we liked it.

Hope to possibly see some bigger trout this fall if they continue to feed well.

Despite the heat and the terrible smoke this summer, our guides did manage to have a pretty decent season.  Lots of cancellations due to smoke, but still managed to get some groups out.

And now that September is here and the weather has cooled, we look forward to the fishing getting even better and better.

Stay tuned…

Columbia River:

Our guides kept busy on the lake mostly this summer, but when they did get out on the river, it produced very well.

During July, the water remained high and the fish were moving around.  We had some good days for Rainbow, and even a few Walleye throughout the month.

And, throughout August we seemed to be catching more Walleye than Rainbow.

Now that September is here, the Walleye are thick and the Rainbows are putting on the feedbags again.  The cooler temperatures mean it’s feeding time.  We should see more and more Walleye and expect to see some big Rainbows coming up.

Stay tuned…

What are they biting on???

Let’s start with what was killing it on the west coast.  My favourite Gibbs/Delta spoons were the best for us.  Skinny G was on fire, as well as the Kingfisher spoons in 3.0. Our favourite patterns were:  cookies & cream, herring aid, maverick, white lightning.  And for the bottom fish, we were slaying with the Jumbo anchovy in all colors.  They seemed to work for everything.  We caught: rock fish, ling cod, halibut, and salmon on the jigs.

On Kootenay lake it’s been a mixed bag.  Since the trout are feeding on small Kokanee, we’ve been using 3″ hockey stick in chrome or black, as well as 3″plugs on the down rigger, or flasher/hoochie.  The fish have been hanging around a bit deeper due to the warmer water.  Most fish during the summer were caught between 80 – 100ft.  But now that the weather has cooled, we are starting to catch on the surface again.

Gibbs crocs on top, as well as our favourite buck tails are starting to produce.

On the River, it’s been a mixed bag as well.  Bottom fishing for walleye with bottom bouncers and curly tails seems to work well for us.  Or casting a jig head with curly tail also helps locate the fish.

Fly fishing has been going well lately too.  Indicators with nymphs has been working well, but dry flies are starting to go again.  Looking forward to some of the hatches coming up.  Could be a great fall.

Well, that’s a lot of information to catch up with for now.

So, we’ll leave you with that info and hope that it helps with your next adventure.

Tight lines…