The Rainbow Bite Is On

Growing up on the shores of Francois Lake, I spent many hours in an old 12-foot Lund trolling back and forth between my parents’ house and grandparents’ house. My favourite target as a little kid was the mighty rainbow trout, a popular sporting fish in British Columbia’s freshwaters. The same things that made me originally fall in love with trout fishing as a little girl are still the same reasons that I enjoy targeting the species to this day, over two decades later – scrappy fights and plentiful action.

Boat. Photo by Raeanne O’Meara.
Photo by Raeanne O’Meara.
Young fisherwoman. Photo by Lisa O’Meara.
Photo by Lisa O’Meara.

As the end of June rolls around, I throw on my rubber boots and head out to dig for worms. For some reason, that in and of itself builds up some anticipation for the fishing that is to come – flipping logs, rocks and loosening up the dark soil with a spade, hoping to embrace bird-like reflexes to snag a few of the juiciest worms for bait.

If you’re like me, and enjoy some instant gratification while fishing, trying your luck at getting a feisty rainbow trout into the boat is about as close to guaranteed success as you can get. I would thread the most tantalizing worm I found onto the hook, and let the line trail out behind the boat. Little rings would appear all around the boat as rainbow fins dart about the surface of the lake, building up the anticipation. It usually doesn’t take more than a few minutes before a fish takes the bait – and then the fight is on.

Baiting the hook. Photo by Lisa O’Meara.
Photo by Lisa O’Meara.

Now, if anyone is having their doubts about rainbow trout being that exciting for a grown woman, let’s just say that on this past Father’s Day weekend, a video was taken of me reeling in the first or second trout of the evening… and had you not known we were trout fishing, anyone watching the video would have assumed that I was fighting a massive Tyee at the ocean, not a one-pound rainbow. The commentary was absolutely hilarious, and I sincerely apologize to my dad for always doubting his netting skills!

For two decades I have relied on one lure and one lure only for my trout fishing on Francois Lake. Luhr Jensen’s Ford Fender Model T has almost exclusively caught all my rainbow trout from that lake. A willow leaf or bolo will yield good results as well, but my heart is faithful to the ol’ Ford Fender.

My personal favourite way to prepare rainbow trout is smoking it with this Honey Maple Smoked Fish recipe, but Linda Gabris has an amazing Trout with Wild Onion Stuffing & Raspberry Sauce recipe that has me thinking I might change my ways this summer.

So, what are you waiting for? The rainbows are biting – grab your gear and some worms and get out fishing!