It’s been a fantastic summer season and we’ve worn the soles
Wore the soles right off our boots
off some of our boots. But now it’s officially fall and these first few days of the season have been nothing short of spectacular. Mornings have been crisp and in the high twenties here in Yaak. Heavy frost on the windshield at first light is to be expected but days are lovely, sunny and the hoppers are still hanging on.
Discharge from Libby Dam is still 6000 cfs and expected to remain steady until at least the first of October. It seems the fish are really starting to get the feed bag on and looking for dries of all shapes and sizes the last couple days. Hopper dropper rigs are still the name of the game in the afternoons with little bead heads now doing more business than ever before. Fish them at least twenty-four inches from the hopper and let them penetrate the water column a bit. Specifcially size 18 copper johns, prince, and pheasant tails have been hitting fish. There’s still a smattering of mayflies and a parachute adams will continue to find fish as well as size 16 X-caddis. Bigger fish are a bit shy since the Kootenai is now absolutely gin clear. Shoot long cast downstream, well ahead of the boat and show fish nothing but fly and concentrate on drop-offs and buckets to find bigger fish.
Streamers in the early morning light are turning some nicer fish as well. All in all the Kootenai is in great shape and fishing pretty well. Get out there, get your game on, and get into it. Fall, Mother Natures last contented smile…
Discharge from Libby Dam is presently 6000 cfs, water is gin clear, and the generally speaking the river is in excellent shape. Fall conditions are hear with chilly, crisp mornings and cool evenings. It’s a wonderful time of year and there’s good wading access up and down the river. Hoppers and droppers are still the primary mover and shaker rig. But it’s a small world after all. Each afternoon for several days millions of size 20 flying black ants have hit the water and the trout are loving them. Rises and feeding fish doing the sippy-sippy thing can be seen for miles but in this case the fishing can be great but the catching very difficult. Long leaders and 6X are the name of the game if you happen to find yourself in the middle of an ant fall. It’s also important to target specific fish instead of flock shooting since most of the time feeding trout will be cruising around in slower currents and not necessarily stationary. Threading the needle can be difficult with literally tens of naturals on the water competing with your bug. But give it a shot, take yourself to school, and challenge your abilities with some ultra technical conditions. In moving water parachute adams and other attractors are moving fish and there’s still a smattering of caddis and pmd’s in throughout the day. We’re also seeing the occassional fall caddis (big stimulator will work) and also the occassional aquatic moth (#10 tan tarantula) as well. All in all the fall is a ball and big fish are getting the feed bag on!!!
G-man does it again! 17 inches of Kootenai rainbow!
Hoppers, droppers and ants, oh my. Hoppers, droppers and ants, oh my.
Discharge from Libby Dam has been decreased from 7000cfs to 6000cfs and will remain constant through the end of September. The Kootenai is still in great shape! It’s hopper season and big bugs rule. Good action is being had in faster water with all varieties of hopper patterns. The river is now gin clear so long leaders are the name of the game even when fishing big bugs. Droppers like tiny pheasant tail nymphs, copper johns and Kootenai green meanies are also moving fish. Don’t be afraid to fish dropper nymphs at least 24 inches below the hopper. Keep in mind it takes time for the nymph to penetrate the first couple inches of the water column. Size 18 black flying ants have also been covering the water each day like so many specs of dust. 6x is the starting point but fish are really active and playing the sippy-sippy game when ants are prolific. Yesterday it seemed that every fish in the river was rising and sipping ants providing targets all day. Keep in mind it’s best to always look ahead and concentrate on a single fish instead of flock shooting especially since fish will be moving in slower currents and not necessarily stationary. Choose your target, be very accurate, and you’ll do well. XXX-caddis, pmd patterns and small attractors continue to move fish. Look for spinners in the morning and as always, lime green midge on the upper river. All in all the Kootenai is still in great shape and we’re looking forward to a great fall season.