Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yes, the Columbia is on Fire

Yesterday was one of the days on the water when you feel your being thanked for something you've done....a good karma day perhaps. After some moderate success on the Columbia and an aborted treeplanting mission; Joel, Spencer and myself heading out early, that's right EARLY!!! to the Columbia River to do battle with some of the rivers fine rainbows.

I was up at 4:30 tying streamers and sipping on coffee anticipating a day of dredging for meat. When we got to the river it was 8:30 am, which for us is early. Being freestone guides there is not much use or need in getting your feet wet until later in the day as the river warms up and the fish began feeding. We had decided some needling was in order so the early start gave us some time to really fish the runs thoroughly.

The water looked good, levels have dropped and some of our favourite structures have begun to show themselves. The day started with big stonefly nymphs and the streamers that I spent the wee hours tying up. They went to work fairly quickly with some decent fish striking our offerings and one pig destroyed Spencers nymph rig leaving his indicator bobbing around in the back eddy like the remnants of a ship wreck.

As we ventured down river the nymph stuck some more nice fish but we fished a dry in behind the nymph and streamer on one run (little bit unorthodox) and it started turning fish and some really nice ones as well. By late noon the caddis dry was crushing big rainbows off the banks and each deflection seem to be holding an active 18 to 20 inch well fed rainbow.

The strength of these fish is impressive, swimming around in that tailwater builds there muscles and the battles were epic. It was by far the best day I've spent on that water and the recent angling reports from the other guides are supporting the same conclusion we had...the river is on fire. Really sweet day, thank you fish :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

West Kootenays Update

It's nice to be home in my favourite little town of Nelson; weather's good, company's excellent and the fishing is good as long as you stay away from the Columbia River for now which is just starting to settle into it's fall levels. I've been out on the Columbia a few times and have stuck some really nice, strong fish but there just isn't enough terrestrial and October Caddis activity to really get them excited although the evening fishing can provide some decent dry fly action. Streamers and nymphs are hooking the odd fish but locating the feeding fish has been sporadic at best.

The other streams in the area are fishing really well at the moment, all dry flies and all leggy/foamy type stuff which has been a lot of fun to fish. The Columbia is continuously dropping and we will be hitting it hard over the next few days and the hot weather in the next week should get some hoppers out and the river dropping will provide some more habitat for the hopper eating trout.