This Kootenai River fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company and provides current Kootenai River and fishing conditions. It will be updated frequently or as conditions change. We have guides available and we’re the local source for all things surrounding the Kootenai River. Give a call anytime if you have any questions about the Kootenai River or anything about Montana fly fishing or fly fishing in general.
Discharge from Libby Dam: Summer discharge has been leveled off and will remain in the 9,000 cfs range through end of August.
In-Flow From Lake Koocanusa: approximately 8,100 cfs
Kootenai River water temperature below Libby Dam: 61 degrees
Water Clarity: Water clarity is excellent.
Best time of day: Conditions are terrific all day at the moment. Sure, mornings and late evenings will provide better and more consistent dry fly action but fish are eating in specific water types all day. Nymphing is strong throughout the day.
Hatches: midge, caddis, pmds, crane flies, hoppers and ants
Patterns: parachute Adams, purple parachute Adams, pmd spinner, parachute pheasant tail, midge cluster, green meanie midge, elk hair caddis, caddis emerger, pmd dries, pmd emerger, Bloom’s caddis, purple chubby, red chubby, royal Wulff, zebra midge, green goblin, olive emerger, Pat’s rubber legged stonefly, pt soft hackle, bead head pt, bh copper john, red bh copper john, big bunny streamers and deceivers in red, pink and olive.
It’s the last day of July and the summer season is in full swing here on the Kootenai River and in Kootenai Country. Days have indeed been hot the last week but mornings and nights cool down nicely. It’s hard to believe we’re headed into the month of August already.
Dry fly action has been exceptionally consistent this season. Trout are now in summer runs and that means faster water and riffles. It’s still a bit on the early side for total hopper action but trout are responding and big bugs are now moving some thicker fish throughout the day.
For the most part the river is full of 10″-12″ rainbows this year and if they’re eating consistently you can expect decent action throughout the day. Pmd spinner falls are still in play and will provide lots of targets in tailouts and long pools below riffles. Tons of smaller fish will be active so action has been good. Size 16 parachute pheasant tails have been the ticket. Have a close look at rise forms and you may be able to target some thicker fish as they’re certainly in the mix as well.
Nymphing is still solid and will indeed move a few thicker fish if you stick with it long enough. Dry fly action has been slowing down during the heat of the late afternoon so LOC guides have been either adding a three foot dropper to a hopper or rolling with a standard nymphing rig. You don’t have to be super deep. Think 5-6 feet to the first fly with one BB split shot and stick with faster water, boulder gardens and riffles in 3-6 feet of water.
Word on the water by some of the crew is that even on hot, sunny days, the streamer action has been incredibly, surprisingly good. Not sure it’s necessarily consistent and seems like it’s day by day but if you happen to get lucky and bigger trout are on the prowl, you could be the lucky angler.
This time of year we like to mix it up especially for groups staying at the lodge. Float tubing alpine lakes is a great way to stay cool on a hot afternoon. We just had a terrific week with a crew from the Orvis Roanoke store hosted by manager Will Cohen and they had a great day in the high country
We do have some availability especially if you’re looking for a day trip. Give a call anytime and we’ll get you on the water.
My Boston Red Sox are still on a tear and have recently had some exciting late inning rallies to win ball game. The pitching staff of Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, David Price, and an exciting mix of hard working arms has been stellar. Offense by Mookie Betts, Andrew Benitendi, has been consistent throughout the season as well. Here it is at the end of July and we lead the American League East over the Evil Empire NY Yankees. Go Sox!