Kootenai River Fishing Report by Linehan Outfitting 9.3.21
By angelamontana

Posted: September 8, 2021

This Kootenai River Montana fishing report is being brought to you by Orvis Endorsed Linehan Outfitting.  This report will be updated weekly to provide current conditions, weather, hatches, patterns, and flows to our local waters and across the state.

Flows from Libby Dam:  Current discharge from Libby Dam is 8,000cfs.

water temperature at Libby Dam: 56 degrees

hatches:  midge, caddis, pmds, nocturnal stoneflies,

patterns:  zebra midge, parachute Adams, yellow haze, parachute pmd, Rosenbauer’s rabbit foot emerger, KPPT, water walker, purple haze, purple chubby, red chubby, bugmeister, x-caddis, caddis pupa, Bloom’s caddis, tan sparkle dun, purple chubby, bh prince, soft SJ worm, bh pheasant tail, bh rubber legged stonefly, big streamers in white, pink and olive, circus peanut, black conehead buggers

Right now the Kootenai River is in great shape and flows are 8,000cfs and are scheduled to remain steady through the end of September.

Recent rains and normal September temperatures have put all local fires out.  There is currently no smoke here in the Kootenai River area.  River conditions and weather have been spectacular.  And the fishing has been pretty darn good as well.  We don’t see any reason for much to change.

Let’s see…it’s been a great year for bugs here on the Kootenai River.  Pmds and caddis are still in play.  Look for spinners in the mornings and duns in the late afternoon/evening.  Sporadic hatches of caddis are still popping in faster water during late morning as well and action in these areas has been fast and fun.

Dry fly action has been super steady  Dry/dropper rigs will carry the day with no problems.  Think traditional hopper patterns and chubbies and even bigger foam bugs through heavier water.  If you see noses a size 16 purple haze or pmd pattern with a soft hackle dropper should do the trick.

There is really no need to nymph at this point unless you really want to get down to see what happens.  Roll with one BB and four-five feet to an indicator.  Stick with faster water and cover.  Don’t overlook riffles if you see a few bugs.  Short leash with a single bead head and baby bobber in skinny water.

This season we’ve been pleasantly surprised and believe it or not the streamer bite has been exciting to say the least lately.   With flows at 8000 cfs we’re just using sink tip lines and concentrating on 2-6 feet of fast water and boulder gardens.  Some days are better than others but streamers have been sticking a few bigger fish.

It feels a lot like fall already and we’re thrilled.  Mornings are chilly and we’ve already had a couple frosts.  Expect mostly sunny days with temperatures in the 70’s to continue.

All access points and boat ramps are open and in good shape.  Wading conditions are good under these flows especially between the Kootenai Falls and Bighorn Terrace boat ramp. Nymphing in this stretch and through China Rapids section has been very productive lately.

In other news, the Boston Red Sox are struggling at the moment.  Recent covid outbreaks have diminished the roster and we’ve fallen behind in the AL East.  It appears we’re in a battle for a wild card spot at the moment.  But who knows…one or two missteps by Tampa Bay or the Yankees and we’re right back in the hunt.  For now we’re staying positive.  Chris Sale has returned and is contributing well and middle relief has been solid lately as well.  Go Sox!

Call immediately if you need more details or have questions about rods, reels, flies or want to book a trip with Linehan Outfitting. And check out our on-line store for all Linehan Outfitting swag and Orvis gear.    406-295-4872

For more information on Linehan Outfitting, click here.

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