Columbia River

THE UPPER COLUMBIA RIVER CASTLEGAR BC

A Dry Fly Eating Hen

A Dry Fly Eating Hen

The caddis hatch of June and early July on the Columbia River reaches epic proportions; you literally get pasted with flies as they swarm above the water getting their mating game on. The grannom caddis and spotted sedge clusters are so thick to look at it upwind with mouth open would lead to incidents of choking. These hatch periods peak in the evening and as the caddis rain down, snouts start popping up through the surface film as massive pods of rainbows begin sipping on the buffet of caddis. The fish are timid but abundant and dry flies with proper drifts will result in a good number of hook ups and some punishing battles. The fish are strong, fast and eager to snap tippet and the anglers’ skills will be tested in both presentation and fish handling, fortunately there is also lots of opportunity to practice as these fish cannot help but continue to rise throughout the hatch.

Day periods at this time of year tend to be a little spottier, although wet fly patterns mixed in with some dries (even the odd golden stonefly) can result in some great matinee action. Streamers can also be used to coax some giants out of the depths. Early mornings are a good time to try spent caddis patterns as millions of dead caddis float their way downstream from the previous nights foray. This hatch is definitely in the serious fly anglers “bucket list” of things to do and has to be seen to be believed.

 

The Weapon of Choice for the Columbia

The Weapon of Choice for the Columbia

The Columbia River in Castlegar also supports good numbers of stoneflies, mayflies and terrestrials.   The hopper fishing in late summer (September/October) can be epic and is not restricted to an evening feeding regime. Big rainbow trout will strike at huge leggy patterns throughout the rivers’ seam convergances, massive riffles and boulder runs.  The river becomes more defined as water  volume is much lower during this period which opens up more possibilities in regards to spots to fish.   There are still good numbers of caddis present and huge orange October caddis begin to appear as fall approaches and closes out our guiding season.

Our other featured waters of the West Kootenays will not be mentioned by name but can provide anglers with the option to walk and wade for rainbows and bull trout as well as drift down a much more intimate river than the Columbia. The intimacy and privacy of these little gems will satisfy the palate of anybody who embodies a love of nature in a near pure state. Their  is a feeling of great calm as one drinks in the purity and clarity of these remarkable little streams and some of these precious little waters carry some hard fighting 20” rainbows which have seen very few flies in their lifetimes.  We run the Columbia trips on our well appointed 18′ jet skiff.

Upper Columbia River Rainbow Castlegar BC

Upper Columbia River Rainbow Castlegar BC