This Kootenai River fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company and provides current Kootenai River and fishing conditions. It will be updated frequently or as conditions change. We have fly fishing guides available so give a call anytime if you have any questions surrounding The Kootenai River or anything about Montana fly fishing or fly fishing in general.
Discharge from Libby Dam: Libby Dam outflows will be decreased from 20 kcfs to 17 kcfs at 2300 MDT Thursday, June 15. Flows will be further decreased to 15 kcfs at 2300 MDT Sunday, June 18. This operation continues the descending limb of the Sturgeon Pulse.
In-flow from Lake Koocanusa: 42,000cfs
Water temperature below Libby Dam: 50 degrees
Best Time of day: afternoon
Patterns: elk hair caddis, caddis emerger, ascending caddis, supa pupa, royal wulff, parachute Adams, purple haze, yellow haze, chubby, bubble back nymph, quasi moto nymph, rubber legged stonefly nymph, San Juan worm, bh prince, bh hare’s ear, tung head pheasant tail, bunny patterns, circus peanut, parachute Adams, purple haze, stimulator
The Kootenai River is shaping up nicely and will be in great condition and fishing well in just a few short days. Flows are headed south and by Sunday will be 15,00o cfs which is perfect. Water temperature is now 50 degrees and that means caddis will start to pop with more frequency as well. It’s still a bit early for pmds but it’s time to officially say, LET THE DRY FLY FISHING BEGIN!
With lower flows and warming water temps fish and bugs will both be more inclined to become active during all times of the day. For the immediate future, look for fish next to islands and in softer currents until the weekend and until flows come down again. If you see bugs hatching in a riffle, you may indeed find rising fish. But for the most part trout are in transition right now. Flows are still slightly high so fish will not necessarily be in riffles to any degree just yet.
Dry fly fishing is picking up and if you stick with it, and roll down soft banks and tight to grassy island edges, you will likely pull a few fish. Think attractor patter with caddis dropper or pheasant tail about three feet below.
Nymphing is currently good. Again, look for fish in softer current and especially at drop-offs around islands and in channels. Structure will hold fish as well so keep in mind boulder gardens submerged woody debris as good target areas.
This time of year the streamer bite can be great. Get out the big sticks like 7 weights and be sure to roll with a at least a depth charge sinking tip line. Get down deep and let patterns swing. Big fish have just come off a long winter/spring and are hungry. Think 4-6 feet of walking speed current or way down deep at the bottom of tailouts in pools and longer runs.
Expect cool, cloudy days and nights with chance of showers or rain through Saturday and daytime temps in the low 50s. By Sunday partly sunny days and warmer temps will prevail and with flows being reduced next week the Kootenai River will be in great shape. Give us a call if you want to get on the water. 800-596-0034.