The Clark Fork is still in good shape and fishing well. Flows bumped slightly over the weekend but are still hovering around 8000cfs in St. Regis. Water clarity is also hanging in there and visibility is twenty-four inches or better. Nymphing is the name of the game through the mornings. Pat’s Stonefly, pheasant tails, and worms are still moving fish. Afternoons have been thrilling with a couple hours of good dry fly action when gray drakes start popping. All in all conditions should last for another week or so until daytime temps start warming up…if and when they ever do. Snow again this week!
The Kootenai is still in great shape and present discharge from Libby Dam is 17000cfs. Current flows make wading a bit difficulty so get in your boat or craft and have at it. Water temps have risen slightly and now hover around 40 degrees below the Dam. Keep in mind the river is closed to fishing from the Libby Dam downstream to the mouth of the Fisher River. All other stretches are open. It’s another gray day with moisture plenty of moisture predicted. Continue to look for fish in slower runs and around cover and pull streamers through boulder gardens for results as well. Additionally there is some sproadic dry fly action being reported during mid-afternoon. Pheasant tails, prince nymphs, and Pat’s Stonefly are good bets. Big, ugly, black buggers adn bunny patterns have been moving some bigger fish down deep.
Present discharge from Libby Dam is 17,200cfs. Visisibility is and water conditions are great and with a few days of warmer temps, the fish seem to be responding. These flows are more suited for drift boat fishing. Nymphing will bring some good action and pheasant tails, Pat’s stonefly, and prince nymphs are all moving fish. Streamer action has also been good on dark, brooding days. Dry fly fishing has been uneven but fish are looking up from time to time. All in all the Kootenai is in great shape.
Present discharge from Libby Dam is 9000cfs and conditions are great. Water clarity is very good and beginning to warm slightly and fish are responding. Daytime temps are consistently in the high forties but it’s gray and blustery due to another Pacific front. Once again precipitation is expected. Could be rain, could be snow. Sound familiar? Keep the nymphs deep and fish the streamers slowly. During mid-day you might just start to see some fish on top. Look for March browns and Baetis.
Present discharge from Libby Dam is 13,200cfs and conditions are great. Daytime temps are expected to reach fifty, winds are light and we’re thrilled for a partly sunny day. Look for a smattering of March browns to start with warmer temps. Nymphing and streamer fishing will likely still be best bet for another few days.
One of the most common casting errors is caused by not properly loading the rod. Without a properly loaded road on the backcast, there’s literally not enough inertia in the rod to fully complete the forward cast and this situation leads to what I call weeny arm syndrome. Weeny arm syndrome is exactly what it sounds like. Simply put, if you have weeny arm syndrome, you’re not putting enough mustard into the casting stroke. Keep in mind that your rod is a tool designed to preform a specific function. Basically to flex and store energy on the backcast and flex and utilize that energy on the forward cast. That function is accomplished by accerlerating the rod to a stop on the backcast and accelerating the rod to a stop on the forward cast as you shoot the line. It takes a bit of gumption to flex the rod and I often encourage people to be more aggressive when accelerating the rod to a stop. Also, be sure to start your cast with the tip of the rod low and pointing at the water. If you start the casting stroke with your rod pointing toward the sky, or essentially halfway through the casting stroke, then you’re already decreased the capacity of the tool by fifty percent and actually the direct cause of weeny arm. This common error also leads to a backcast where the rod is stopped way past the ideal position. Essentially, if you start the cast with the rod high, there’s no chance of properly loading the rod, you sense that, and think you need to bring the rod way back behind you which leads to a classic collapsed back cast and snapping off of your fly. By being a bit more aggressive on your backcast and by starting the casting stroke with the tip of the rod low and pointed at the water, you can get rid of the dreaded weeny arm syndrome.
Discharge from Libby Dam will be 9000cfs throughout the day. Visibility will vary depending on location. Tributaries are still pushing color into the river but there areas where water are good and fishable. It’s winter again…or actually it’s still winter. Weather will vary from cold and gray to cold and gray with precipitation. Water temp in the stilling basin below Libby Dam has actually fallen the last couple weeks and is 37 degrees. Hatches are kind of skinny so it’s still a streamer and nymphing game for the most part.
Discharge from Libby Dam is presently 4000cfs. Visibility is still only about 24 inches but is improving what with cooler temps. It did freeze last night above 4000 feet so run-off from recent heavy rains will slow down. The rain has let up as well and forecast for this week includes showers but no heavy precipitation. Look for conditions to improve throughout midweek. For now, stick with big,dark streamers and nymphs.
Early season fishing can often mean off colored water conditions. Fishing streamers under these conditions can be very effective and by keeping a couple things in mind you can increase your success.
It’s important to remember that you have to give fish something they can see under turbid water conditions. Dark colored flies are always best. Black and purple show up well even when the water is cloudy compared to more muted colors like green or brown. Creating a sharp profile with a dark fly is most important.
It’s also important to keep in mind that under turbid conditions fish are less inclined to feed unless it’s worth their while. By fishing with bigger flies, you will increase the odds of getting a strike. Depending on the water you’re fishing, consider using a fly at least a size bigger than what you would normally fish under good water conditions. For instance, if you usually fish a size 8 black bugger, use at least a size 6 if the water is off color. That way, at least you’re giving fish a more sizable meal.
By using bigger, dark colored streamers, you can still catch fish during early season, off colored water conditions.
It appears everyone who applied for a non-resident deer/elk combination will be successful in the drawing. Approximately 15800 applications were filed by the March 15 deadline leaving a surplus of approximately 1200 There are 17000 deer/elk licenses available this season. The remaining 2000 licenses will be sold on a first come, first serve basis and the state will start processing them beginning April 18. Applications will only be accepted on-line and absolutely not before April 18. Additionally, 7550 applied for the 4600 available deer only licenses making a drawing necessary on April 11. So, if you still want to hunt this season, give us a call and apply on-line for the deer/elk combination beginning April18.