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, Rainbow 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 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.