Flows from Libby Dam are steady and holding at 17,000. The river is in good shape and it’s partly sunny with highs predicted in the 60′s. Winds are calm and there’s a chance of showers later this afternoon. All in all the Kootenai is in good shape and getting better. Visibility is good. Local tributaries are pushing a bit of color along banks in specific places but no blow outs and actually the color is helping things. Nymphing is the name of the game although we did see a few rising fish yesterday. Pheasant tails, copper johns, prince, green goblins, all consistently moving fish. Six to seven feet from the indicator to the first fly with one BB split shot seems to cover most water well. If you want to move the indicator, keep in mind you can always run a short leash down the grassy banks adn fish about three to four feet from the first fly with a tunghead fly and dropper. Some nicer fish are still hugging the banks while the water is a bit high. There is some good wading now around islands even in some of the bigger channels. Caddis and pmds are beginning to show up but it seems just when we get a couple warm days and water temps rise, it cools down and bugs go away again. Stay tuned. We’re right on the cusp of breaking loose. But the season is under way and the Kootenai is in good shape! Get out there and fish!!!
Discharge from Libby Dam is still 17,000 cfs and will remain steady through the weekend. The river is just barely stained but visibility is three to four feet and actually the color is likely helping the fishing right now. It’s still mostly a nymphing game. Yesterday was a little slow to begin with but the last couple hours of the day we banged a few and guest Matt K. topped out with a thick 15″ rainbow that jumped five times and made everyone in the boat hoot with laughter. Sunshine will warm water temps and caddis and pmd’s should start responding. There are a smattering of pmd’s showing up around 3:00 pm but still not really enough to get fish moving on top. Pheasant tails, prince, Pat’s stoneflies, hare’s ears, copper johns and worms are produced fish. Weather is predicted to remain steady with partly sunny skies, light breeze, and twenty percent chance of showers. Perfect conditions!
It’s gray again. No surprise. Winds are calm and showeres are predicted throughout the day. Perfect fishing conditions and flows from Libby Dam have been reduced to 17,000 and that means the season is wide open! The Kootenai is now well within it’s banks, islands and structure are much more clearly defined, and the fish are responding. It’s still best fished from a boat with wading around islands but there are sections that you can wade from the bank as well. Be careful. While 17,000cfs is now considered mid-range, it’s still a big river. Nymphing is still most productive with pheasant tails, prince, lightening bugs, and caddis pupas leading the charge. Dry fly fishing is coming along nicely with a smattering of pmd’s and caddis starting to show up. Last evening guide Steve found a few fish rising in a bucket next to a grassy island and pinned a few with #14 royal wulff. Give a call, get out there, and catch more fish!
Discharge from Libby Dam is currently 20,000 cfs and the Kootenai is in good shape and getting better. Guides are finding fish with guests although action is still a bit on the slower side. Water temps are a bit cool but should be warming up quickly. Yesterday was indeed the first day of summer and today is feeling like summer too. Warmer temps should boost caddis activity. Look for rising fish in softer water but most of the action is still coming on nymphs. Pheasant tails, prince, copper johns, hare’s ear…the usual suspects. Tributaries are shaping up nicely too. It’s all coming around nicely lately.
It’s down! Discharge from Libby Dam was reduced to 20,000cfs and water temp in the stilling basin is now 47 degrees. What does this mean? It means the Kootenai is now very fishable. At 20,000 the river is basically within it’s banks and much easier to read. Gravel spits, riffles, and structure are now mostly defined as well as the grassy edge along the banks. To be sure, the river is still big and absolutely best fished from a boat. Wading is still kind of limited although there are areas around islands that are starting to shape up to that end. Be careful if you wade! And you heard it hear first. Don’t wade deeper than your knees!!! Double nymph rigs with a big bug like a # 8 Pat’s stonefly on top and a #14 pheasant tail on the bottom is a good bet. Get the bugs down with two bb split shot and fish at least six feet to the indicator. For you streamer hounds, white seems to be consistently moving fish and if you stay with it, you will move a bigger fish. How big? Let me know and send a photo. There’s even talk about some rising fish in softer water too. Parachute adams and royal wulffs in sizes 12,14 will do the trick with a good drift. And caddis are starting to show up as well.
Local tributaries and creeks are also shaping up fast. Low and mid-elevation snowpack is now completely gone so it appears we may have peaked with high water. With warmer weather on the horizen, indeed small streams and inflows will spike, but the game is on here in Kootenai country and water conditions are shaping up quickly.
The Kootenai is still big and brawling and present discharge from Libby Dam is 25,800cfs. Local tributaries like the Fisher River and Libby Creek are pushing a bit of color into the mainstem but there’s still plenty of fishable water down the right back for almost the entire river. Wade fishing is minimal. In fact, we discourage anyone from wading past their ankles when the river is this high. Get in the boat and stay in the boat unless otherwise noted. Long floats are possible and fish are showing up in softer water, back eddies, long runs, and immediatley off the grass along the banks. It’s a deep water nymphing game so don’t forget the split shot. Nine feet to the indicator has been the rule and pheasant tails, prince nymphs, Pat’s stoneflies, and other big stuff as the lead fly have all been moving fish. Streamer fishing has also been producing some bigger fish and white seems to be moving fish consistently. If you’re not inclined to deal with the high water on the Kootenai, keep in mind local lakes and ponds are fishing very well. Grab your float tube or pack a canoe with a buddy and explore the many stillwater opportunities Kootenai country has to offer. Local tributaries are starting to shape up but are still swollen with runoff for the most part. Skies are presently gray (no surprise there) winds are calm and temps are likely to hit 60′s today. Great fishing weather!
Dishcharge from Libby Dam is currently 25,000 cfs and will remain steady until further notice. It’s big but water clarity is actually pretty good. Local tributaries are pushing a bit of color into the rivers but there’s still plenty of fishable water to that end. It’s all about being in a boat. Do not attempt to wade right now as there is really no place that’s suitable for walking in the water…not to be confused with walking on the water. But floating and pitching two nymphs with two bb split shot might move some fish. Yesterday Sean floated from the Dam to Blackwell Flats and boated a dozen fish. Not bad at all. Once again it looks like we’re in for a gray, wet week but at least it’s warm and temps highs are expected to be in the 60′s.