Fishing for the Elusive Kokanee Salmon, Gerrard Rainbow Trout and More

Man and son fishing in lake

Come fishing on Kootenay Lake all year long! You’ll find quite a few marinas on Kootenay Lake as well as charters and tours. The area is famous for the elusive Kokanee Salmon and the magnificent Gerrard Rainbow Trout, with several fishing derbies happening in spring and fall.

If you’d like more information on fishing derbies year round, check out the Woodbury Resort or Balfour's Gill and Gift. Winter is a favorite fishing time on Kootenay Lake when the big fish come up from the deeper depths to eat. Kootenay Mountain Culture has written an article summarizing the history of the beautiful trout, which is definitely worth a read for those planning to fish the lake.

Travellers can organise their own adventure or join a fish and stay package with one of three Nelson Kootenay Lake charter or fishing guides; Reel Adventures Fishing ChartersKootenay Wild and Kootenay Kingfisher. Friends of Kootenay Lake is a local organization with lots of information for you about Kootenay Lake and the fish within it.

Fishing Licenses

Licenses need to be purchased before you fish, and you can get them at sporting stores and fishing retailers. A separate license is also required to fish in national parks which can be purchased at park headquarters at each park site. See Travel British Columbia’s travel resources for up to date licensing information.

Winter Fishing on Kootenay Lake

Because Kootenay Lake does not freeze over in winter, you can still fish during the colder months here. The bigger fish come up from the cold depths (152m/500ft) in the winter, and if you slow down and stay patient, you can catch a 20 pound Dolly Varden or Gerrard Rainbow Trout.

Preventing Invasive Species

We want to keep Kootenay Lake pristine and free of invasive species, we ask all anglers to please CLEAN, DRAIN and DRY their boat and equipment. For more information of how you take action and prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species visit the CKISS website.

Reel Adventures

Reel Adventures

Reel Adventures offers premiere fishing packages for some of the best fishing in the World.  Our backyard is World famous Kootenay Lake.  It is known for the Giant Gerrard Rainbow Trout, which is the worlds largest wild Rainbow Trout.  And they are native to our lake. Kootenay Lake does not freeze over in the winter, so it is known for our year round fishery.  And winter is our prime.

Kootenay Wild

Kootenay Wild - Fishing, Golf Packages and Taxidermy

Kootenay Wild Fishing Charters offer guided sport-fishing tours that target Gerrard Rainbow Trout and Bull Trout.  Kootenay Wild is a family owned business which means that you receive our full and undivided attention. We also offer golf and fishing packages catering to the many mountain golf courses in the area.

One of Kaslo Shipyard's houseboats on the shore of Kootenay Lake.

Kaslo Shipyard Co

Cruise, fish and explore sensational Kootenay Lake from the unique vantage point of a houseboat. Choose from our four seaworthy cruise vessels, each fully furnished with a spacious wheelhouse, full galley, full bathroom and complete sleeping facilities for four, six or eight people.