Warm spring weather brings out the blooming flora and a rich diversity of hatches that draws rainbows into shallower water to feed in earnest on this unique section of the Columbia River.
In late March, April and May anglers can enjoy some of the finest fishing the Columbia has to offer. Fishing is excellent for all species, as rainbows feed heavily on early hatches of chironomids, stoneflies and mayflies, Gerrard rainbows and bull trout follow the kokanee up to the surface and pre-spawning walleye attack anything that moves.
Midges will come off the water first, followed by small mayflies like blue wing olive or pale morning dun. Golden stonefly and salmonfly nymphs become more active and emerge into their adult forms in April.
Terrestrials are also a favourite ingredient in the rainbow trout’s diet. Cicadas, flying black ants, and beetles all come out in May and the big meals draw big trout to the surface.
Depending on Mother Nature, the spring freshet usually comes in full force in May causing the water to swell and washing debris into the river, which puts the rainbow trout off for a week or two depending on run off. It’s not long before anglers are back in their boats, at the mouths of streams, or casting from the rocks to the many species available to anglers on the Columbia.
Often anglers are greeted by sunny days with temperatures up to 20C on the river, yet, spring weather can be unpredictable, with warm days turning windy and rainy in what seems like seconds, so come prepared with a pair of good waders and wet-weather gear.