It’s cool and blustery here on the Kootenai at the moment with temps in the 60′s. Discharge from Libby Dam will increase slightly from 7000cfs to 8000cfs on September 1st. A little more water and a little more current is a good thing! It’s amazing what a difference 1000cfs can make so this is good news. Increased flows will provide a bit of a freshet to the river and also boost the current along some of the softer banks. Fish will likely respond. The last couple days have been a bit slow due to cold front but by mid-week summer will return and fish will likely turn on. Hoppers are still moving bigger fish but with cloud cover small bugs like caddis, pmds, and parachute adams fished on 6x will move fish pretty consistently. September will be awesome!!!
It’s starting to feel a bit like fall around here what with cool mornings and chilly evenings. But days are still lovely and fish are still eating dries. Hoppers and droppers still dominate the scene. But mornings are often better spent fishing size 16 caddis, pmd spinners, small wulffs or parachute adams especially in the long, slick runs. As the day warms terrestrials will move nicer fish and don’t forget that long leaders, at least ten feet, are necessary as water is gin clear. Nymphing is still in play through faster runs and boulder gardens and will produce some nicer fish. The Kootenai is great shape and conditions will not change any time soon. Get out there and have at it!
Kootenai rainbows are still responding to hoppers during the heat of the afternnoons but consistent dry fly fishing is concentrated during morning and evenings. Conditions are still excellent. Caddis and pmd adults and spinners on 6x will bring fish in slicks and tailouts. Most rising fish are catchable and some nice thick fish are being found in skinny water sipping spent bugs. Nymphing in fast riffles and runs is also producing fish throughout the day. Don’t overlook beetles, ants and other out of the box fly choices. Show them something different and don’t be afraid to fish big bugs in 6-8 feet of water. You might be surprised
Caddis are the name of the game here lately. Yesterday there was a carpet of dead caddis all over the ground at the shop and local parking lots and the fish have responded. Most of the bug activity is happenening late at night but even during the heat of the day there are caddis bouncing on the water and trout are stimulated. Stay small and don’t be afraid to fish 6x since water is now gin clear. Mornings and evenings offer better opportunities for consistent dry fly action but all boats and guides did very well during the day yesterday. Go deep with nymphs if you want to find bigger fish.