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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, flyfishermen from Calgary here, will be taking a trip out to the Kootenays in July and was just wondering if anyone had any recommendations for lakes out there? Ideally would like to bring a float tube in, but not a must. Anything within driving or walking distance of a camp site would be a plus to!

Tight lines!

Buck
 

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Depends on what you are after, and where you're going to make your main camp / home base.

I'm from the West Kootenays, and have had lots of luck catching trout up to 18 inches with a few around 22-24 inches.

Jewel lake has a nice resort and a camp site. The fishing is good, but since it gets a lot of pressure + lots of stocked fish, the size has been getting down to where a 14 inch fish is big :(

However, there are lots of lakes around where the average size is much bigger.

If you are wanting big trout, head to the big lakes: Kootenay Lake, Arrow Lake etc. Gerrards are like salmon, not even mini-salmon, they get huge 10 pounds and up.

The higher mountain lakes, especially in the East Kootenays, will offer the scenery, but the higher you go, generally the smaller the fish, but also the more numerous.

Any way, do you have a plan of where to base your trip out of? Nelson, Creston, Grand Forks? What kind of fishing are you looking at doing? Big lake, or small mountain lake?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Btree,

Basically after any type of trout, preferably bigger fish as we do have lots of mountain lakes around here that have plenty of smaller fish. Someone on the fly fishing Calgary forums was talking about some monster bull trout around Fort Steele?? I'm assuming these would be out of a river/stream though, still wouldnt mind checking that out.

Im thinking we would probably like to be closer to the Nelson area. Don't really have a preference on the size of lakes, although we will be using belly boats so probably wont be able to cover a ton of distance throughout the day.
 

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Btree,

Basically after any type of trout, preferably bigger fish as we do have lots of mountain lakes around here that have plenty of smaller fish. Someone on the fly fishing Calgary forums was talking about some monster bull trout around Fort Steele?? I'm assuming these would be out of a river/stream though, still wouldnt mind checking that out.

Im thinking we would probably like to be closer to the Nelson area. Don't really have a preference on the size of lakes, although we will be using belly boats so probably wont be able to cover a ton of distance throughout the day.
The Kootenay River runs right pastFt Steele and does in fact have some very large bull trout in it. It is a large river, suited better to drifting than it is to walk and wade (not to say there aren't areas accessible by foot). Flowing into the Kootenay within a few minutes of the fort, are the St. Mary and the Bull rivers and these are also great fishing rivers and much more accessible by foot. A really good idea, is to get a copy of the Backroads Mapbook for the Kootenays and research the lakes and rivers that will be in the area you are planning to visit. The "Kootenays" as an area encompass a great number of fishing opportunities, but it is a large area with rivers and lakes that may be many hours distant from each other. Do you plan on basing in Fernie, Cranbrook, Creston or some other place? This information would allow more precise planning for your trip.
 

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I'd agree - the "Kootenays" is a huge area, and since there are very few ways to drive and the crow flies, there can be significant drive times between places that are really not that far apart. I just drove from Fort St. John to Terrace (just over 1000kms) and it took me about 10 hours (only one pass to go over, and ittook forever to drive through P.G. in the middle of the day) of driving including moments to pee and get a Tim Horton's or two...and I've heard of people making the ~800km drive to a hotel in Edmonton in under 7 hours, but in the Kootenays (becaue of all the high mountain passes) - 500 kms could take over 5 hours. You'd be lucky to average 90kmph on the road, and if you are pulling a trailer or a boat, good luck averaging over 80kmph. If there is a lot of traffic, especially chip trucks, or motor home tourists then be prepared to go even slower.

From what you've said so far, it sounds like you are heading to the East Koots or the Central Koots - lots of mountains. Often to go between destinations you must be prepared to drive over two or more mountain passes, each well over 1000m elevation.

If you go in the summer, make sure your vehicle is not underpowered for what you are pulling. Lots of vehicles die on the hills when it's over 30C.

Any who, let us know more about your trip. Lots of high elevation lakes with plenty of fish, but if you want big fish, you need to be in big water. If you head over towards the Kamloops area, then you are into trophy trout potential in a lot more lakes and rivers.
 

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Hi Buck

I too am headed for the Nelson area in July. Also trying to figure out where to go to catch some fish.

Hope you have good luck and maybe we'll run into each other on a lake.

Allan
 
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