Please let us know if you would like to see your weekly fishing report included in this compilation by emailing your report to us before the end of the day on Tuesday of each week here along with your business website/email address.
“It’s been a slow day but we’ve caught a few.” – Riverside Rods
Oscar was checking out the water today. Raymond had a water temp of 42 degrees at the boat ramp this afternoon. According to the forecast, we should have open water by next weekend for sure!
Tongue River Marina will be closed until April 1st.
“There is still ice, but I wouldn’t consider it safe. I am working around echo today and can see some open water, not a whole lot of open water, but I think it’s safe to assume it’s not safe to walk on.” – Chris S.
Many lakes are starting to lose ice!
PLEASE USE CAUTION!
Lake Mary Ronan- As of last week there was 12-14” of ice. Perch and salmon action was excellent.
Ashley Lake- Last week 10” of good ice. Salmon bite was good and a few nice perch.
Lower Stillwater- 12-14” of good ice. Perch fishing has been very good.
Flathead Lake- Excellent lake trout fishing near delta with dead bait. Painted Rocks and Shelter Island also excellent. Mid lake for trolling flatfish very productive. Look for perch showing up East Bay soon.
Flathead River- Lower section near Sportsman’s Bridge fishing well for Lake Trout and few pike.
Rodgers Lake- Still lots of good ice.
***Please check new regulations for any rules that have changed. ****
“There almost 2 feet on Tiber.” – Daniel W.
“Tuesday, fishing was slow and the ice is going fast.” – Mark W.
“Fishing 🎣 still good on Ashley lake ice about 10 inches.” – Mike W.
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: 4000cfs
Water temperature at Libby Dam: 42 degrees
Hatches: midge, baetis
patterns: zebra midge, parachute Adams, parachute pmd, Rosenbauer’s olive rabbit foot emerger, purple haze, purple chubby, red chubby, olive sparkle dun,bh prince, soft SJ worm, bh pheasant tail, bh rubber legged stonefly, big streamers in white, pink and olive, circus peanut, black conehead buggers
It’s not quite spring up here in Kootenai River country but we have good news. Flows from Libby Dam have been reduced and will be stable at 4000cfs through the end of March for now. That means there’s some great early season fishing available right now.
Expect more clammy cloudy weather through the weekend and into next week. March continues to come in like a lion and we’ve yet to see the lamb. Rain and snow mix will dominate forecast. Fortunately daytime temps will ooch into the forties which is at least a small sign of spring around here.
At the moment the river is clear and in good shape. Don’t expect much in the way of dry fly fishing and insect activity until we get some substantially warmer daytime temperatures. The water is still cold but trout will start to feed a bit in the coming weeks.
This is always a good time of year for nymphing. With low flows you don’t need a heavy rig. You just need to get the flies down in softer runs and pools where trout are most likely to be holding this time of year. Don’t spend a ton of time fishing fast riffles.
Streamer fishing is also productive this time of year especially since bigger fish will be hungry after laying low for a couple months during the dead of winter. Keep in mind they will not necessarily want to move too fast or too far to get a meal. Get your streamers down and fish them slowly and erratically. Nothing like a wounded minnow to get a big rainbow interested in at least a sniff.
In Boston Red Sox news, it’s PLAY BALL! After several weeks of a lockout the players union owners have finally come to an agreement. Spring training will start immediately and while opening day was and remains delayed until April 7, the season will still be 162 games. For now the Sox have managed to keep essentially the same playoff roster they had last season. Infielders Dalbec, Arroyo, Bogaerts, and Devers are key players. In the outfield Jackie Bradley Jr. has returned to Boston and Kike Hernandez and Verdugo will anchor the deep green. Ace Chris Sale will hopefully be healthy and other starters from last year will hopefully pick up where they left off in October. Go Sox!!!
Give a call anytime if you need more Kootenai River details or information on any of our hunting or fishing adventures. And please check out our e-commerce site for all Linehan Outfitting branded swag and Orvis gear. https://linehan-outfitting.myshopify.com/
We look forward to hearing from you. 406-295-4872
“ I asked around the Gates are open but Holter so far is still iced over. Hope this helps !!!” – Chris K.
“It is open from Gates of the Mountain up to Hauser Dam. The boat ramp is open. There were 50 boats on the lake yesterday.” (as of March 21) – Steve C.
“The lake is thawing fast. I was up there fly fishing this morning. Entire South end is opened up about 1/4 of the way across. The entire east shoreline is open around 50-100 yards out. The marina area to the island still have ice, but it’s getting soft on top and the shorelines have water. Pretty sure you could still ice fish towards the island, but I would be cautious.″ – Ian T.
“I checked the ice yesterday afternoon. Open water along shore at the boat launch. Looked like you could still get on the ice further down the bank. Ice was looking rough.” – Mark T.
March 17 update: Ice fishing is officially over for the year. The ice is no longer safe to be on. We will be away from the phone for the next 2 to 3 weeks, so we can take care of some annual maintenance.
Happy Spring everyone! We’re now officially on to the next season, and it certainly feels like it outside. With a forecast of 61 today and lots of 50s/60s coming up it’s pretty safe to say that spring fishing is right around the corner.
First, to get it out of the way, let’s talk snowpack. Despite a decent storm recently, numbers still aren’t where we want them to be. All of our river basins here in southwest Montana are sitting in the 80th percentile. There are a lot of factors that come into play on how the rivers will be this year. We’ll be keeping a very close eye on conditions as we move into spring, and will be hoping for more snow.
It’s impossible at this point to say how this summer’s water conditions will be. But we remain optimistic!
So how’s the fishing been lately?
Things are definitely improving. Warmer temps are melting ice in the river, driving some insect activity, and the trout are getting more active. We’ve seen and heard more positive reports this past week or so than we have in a while. The large ice jam mid-valley on the Yellowstone River has melted, opening up more ramps and float options.
Nymphing has been the most consistent, but you can find a few fish eating midges off the top in places where the wind isn’t howling too badly. A two-fly rig with a larger attractor fly followed by a hare’s ear, pheasant tail, or lightning bug has been the most productive. Fish something like a dead drifted wooly bugger or stonefly pattern as your lead fly. Perdigons have been effective as well, like always. Streamer fishing is picking up as the fish get more active. A slow presentation has been best with larger flies.
The Lower Madison has been fishing better as well, and if you’re after a dry fly day that’s where we would head in our local area. The easily accessible places are getting pretty crowded on these beautiful spring days, but walk up Bear Trap a ways and you’ll find some solitude. The Gallatin through the canyon is fishing pretty decently as well.
This is the time of year when the warm weather shifts everyone’s focus from skiing to fishing and we all start hoping for spring to arrive in full force. Our really good spring hatches are coming up fast, and as water continues to warm we will see an uptick of interest in streamers as well.
Pre-runoff spring fishing can be some of the best of the year. The waters are less crowded, the trout are feisty, healthy, and hungry after a long winter, and the air is (hopefully) free of wildfire smoke that’s become the norm later in the summer. Give us a call for more info on spring fishing!
We’re booking guided trips for the 2022 season and our prime dates are going fast! A guided fishing trip is a great way to experience the Yellowstone River and our local area. Call the shop at 406.222.1673 or stop in to learn more and book your dates. We’re also getting more and more spring gear in almost every week – rods, reels, apparel, technical gear and much more! Come check it out!
Just too nice of a night not to fish. Caught a couple northerns on flathead minnows. Don’t worry Jesse, we put them back in for you. (Completely ice free now)
*click link to see photos
The park is closed for the season! Check back next May. See you next season!
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