Where: Waneta Bridge, Hwy 22A, 19.5 km south of Trail, B.C. Canada
Coordinates: 49.00453, -117.61851
When: April to September
Accessibility: Easy to moderate: steep, but short rocky decent
Main Species: Bass
Secondary Species: Rainbow trout and walleye
If you are looking to tie into some nice smallmouth bass on the Columbia River, then the Waneta Bridge Pool is the place to go.
Bass, like walleye, are not native to the Columbia River, but were introduced into the Pend d’Oreille River in the U.S. portion by a bass hatchery above the Boundary Dam that release 100,000 bass annually.
Smallmouth Bass are more prone to be found in rivers and cooler water than largemouth. They love structure and the large boulders and rocks beneath the bridge provides plenty. In addition, the constant flow of water creates seams of slack water next to current that carry insects to waiting bass and trout.
The large rocks beneath the bridge are areas that collect decaying matter which also attracts crayfish and fry which invariably attract more bass.
These transition areas are prime bass holding water. Cast into the deep pools among the rocks and seams of current, or cast into the outflow of the dam where the Pend d’Oreille meets the Columbia for fast-water feeding rainbows.
Spincasting is the most popular method, but anglers can also cast a fly from the rocks and find success using crayfish patterns, streamers, and woolly buggers.
Care must be taken as the dam’s release flow is often substantial, and the current swift.
The daily quota for bass and pike on the Columbia is unlimited, in an effort to eradicate the alien species. Alternatively, the Pend d’Oreille Reservoir also provides great bass fishing with a daily limit of eight.
About our fishing hole sponsor
Wolf Den on the River. Riverfront at its finest! Enjoy amazing views of the Columbia River after an amazing day of Kootenay adventures. Cast your line from the shore in their private and secluded backyard eddy, or take it up a notch and ask about guided fishing trips and jetboat tours. Relax after a great days fishing in the outdoor pool or hot tub, or enjoy a spectacular Columbia River sunset as you grill up your own fresh catch of the day.