Record breaking fish are one cast away.
Imagine being out on Kootenay Lake, rugged, tree-covered mountains all around. You’ve just settled in after baiting your hook and letting out your line. You’re taking in the spectacular scenery, when all of a sudden – wham – a fish strikes. But it’s no ordinary fish you’ve just hooked. It’s a Gerrard Rainbow, pound for pound one of the toughest fighting fish in the world, and it’s not stopping. These monster fish grow to 30 pounds (some locals even suggest there are 50 pounders in the lake) and when one takes your line, you’ve just landed one of the finest angling experiences you’ll ever have.
In addition to the Gerrard Rainbow, Kootenay Lake is home to Dolly Varden, Bull Trout, and Kokanee Salmon. The Kokanee spawn every August and you can see this marvelous event at Kokanee Creek and other small tributaries in the area. The Canadian record for a Bull Trout (see photo bottom left) was caught by Red Wassick on February 4, 1997. It weighed in at 29.5 pounds, so the Gerrard Rainbows aren’t the only monsters in the lake. You can also find plenty of cutthroat in the streams and smaller lakes that abound throughout the backcountry, so grab your hiking boots and head into the unspoiled beauty of the mountains for an unforgettable fishing experience.
Tip: The world record for largest Kokanee Salmon was caught on the Lower Arrow Lake in 2015
nelson visitor centre
For more information, tips, or trip ideas come talk to our friendly staff at the Visitor Information Centre and Station Gallery.
91 Baker Street
Phone: (250) 352-3433
Toll Free: 1-877-663-5706
For even more info on things to do in the area visit the Nelson Kootenay Lake Toursim website.