This Kootenai River fishing report is brought to you by Orvis Endorsed Outfitter Linehan Outfitting and provides current Kootenai River and fishing conditions. It will be updated frequently or as conditions change. Linehan Outfitting Company is the best local source for all information 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: 4000 cfs
In-Flow From Lake Koocanusa: Approximately 4,200 cfs
Kootenai River water temperature below Libby Dam: 49 degrees
Water Clarity: Water clarity is terrific. The river is gin clear this time of year.
Hatches: midge, baetis
Patterns: parachute Adams, purple chubby, red chubby, hopper patterns, terrestrial patterns, parachute pmd, rusty spinner, spent caddis, elk hair caddis, Blooms caddis, caddis pupa, prince nymph, soft hackle pheasant tail, Pat’s rubber legged stonefly, SJ worms, Orvis bead head pt, Orvis bh copper john, red bh copper john, big bunny streamers and deceivers in red, pink and white, and white circus peanut
The Kootenai River is in great shape. Hard to believe it’s November and we’re also in the thick of the hunting season.
Dry fly action is still in play and concentrated mostly in the late afternoon when temperatures have warmed up. Baetis are popping here and there in certain places. #16 parachute Adams should be part of your rig each day this time of year. #12 purple chubbies are will still work as well especially around cover and broken water. Look for rising fish in softer currents this time of year.
Nymphing the Kootenai River has been picking up fish throughout the day. Fish may not be as aggressive as water temperatures starting to fall. The bite might be a bit more subtle so check anything you think might be a hit.
Look for fish in slower currents, buckets, tailouts, drop-offs and especially around cover and down rocky runs. Slip your bugs above and especially below boulders in the cushions as fish will be concentrated in soft pockets. This time of year fish will be holding in deeper runs 4-6 feet deep and in walking speed plus water currents. Don’t overlook off current areas either like back eddies, small foam pockets, and the top of runs where the current just barely starts to pick up.
Be brave and confident. Get out the bigger rods and throw streamers. This is actually a great time of year to pick up a big fish. Fish streamers slowly with a pulse now and again to make them look like struggling baitfish.
7 Day Weather Outlook: Expect cold mornings with temps in the 20s and partly sunny skies with temps in the 40s during late afternoon. By the end of the week it looks like we may get some showers and darker skies. Early winter conditions are obviously here and there’s plenty of great fishing to be had.
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