Date: January 27, 2023
Source: Jim Bailey
Target Species: Rainbow trout
Location: Trail / Castlegar
Temperature: -3 to 4 Celsius
It has been an interesting couple of months for weather here in the Columbia River Valley.
We saw record snow fall and cold temperatures in December. A few days before Christmas the local weather station reported a frosty-25.7C, and a few days after Christmas it was above freezing. All of January has been relatively mild so far with rain in the valley that melted a lot of the abundant December snowfall.
I usually head out with my fly rod and sink line in winter, but recently I decided I was going to try change it up and try spin casting with a variety of lures. I did manage to hook into one nice rainbow trout, but unfortunately I lost it right at the shore.
Along with the change of gear, I also decided it’s time to start scoping out new areas from time-to-time. Most recently I decided to start exploring the shoreline northeast of Sunningdale. I will let you know if I make any discoveries.
Fishing has mostly been hit and miss this month, but as in most cases, those who put in the time and are creative generally find success. Some that have found success can be found on Kootenay Fishing and Fishing in the Kootenays Facebook groups. The folks on these groups have been extremely informative and generous in sharing their fishing techniques and success on the river.
Two that have done the time and are creative are Scott JG Beauchamp and Emile Contant. Scott’s photos of Columbia rainbow trout are simply stunning. For proof just look at the gorgeous rainbow trout pic above that he graciously allowed us to use. Thanks for sharing Scott.
Emile ties fly-like patterns on jig-heads. He said he’s landed several beautiful rainbows recently casting his jig-heads in a variety of patterns that replicate woolly buggers, sculpin, and leech patterns. He also said he loves getting feedback and updates from people he’s tied jigs for, or has inspired to tie their own.
If you want to check out Scott and Emile’s posts and photos do a search on Facebook for the aforementioned private groups and ask to join. It’s a great place to connect, collaborate and learn how to catch more fish.
Every time I go out on the river I think of how fortunate I am to have such a wonderful resource in my back yard. I walked the shore fishing for about 5 km the other day and only saw one angler on the other side of the river.
Spring fishing is on its way, so like the trout we will also be more active in the coming months. Why not share your photos and fishing stories on the WeSportFish Facebook page.