Clark Fork River Montana Fishing Report 4-24-2017-Good Conditions

This Clark Fork River Montana fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company and provides current water and fishing conditions for the lower Clark Fork River below Alberton Gorge. This report is updated frequently or as conditions change.

Flows at St. Regis: 14,000cfs

Water Clarity: stained but very fish-able

Water Temperature: 45 degrees

Best Time Of Day: late morning to evening

Hatches: baetis, skwala stonefly, March brown, gray drakes

Patterns: Pat’s stonefly, bh prince, bh copper john, bh green machine, parachute Adams, purple haze, Rasta Skwala, bullet head skwala, parachute skwala, bugmeister, bh pheasant tail, sj worm

The lower Clark Fork River is very fish-able at the moment. Recent cool temperatures and gray days have slowed runoff in a manner of speaking and conditions are excellent.  It’s starting to feel a bit like spring here in northwest Montana and at least daytime temps are consistently above 50 degrees for the time being.

Bug activity is good especially on cloudy days.  March browns, baetis, and gray drakes now headline hatches.  The skwala stonefly hatch is waining but they are still around to some degree.

Nymphing is your best bet to start the day. Fish are still concentrated in deeper pools, drop offs, and tailouts but are moving toward banks for food during afternoons. Keep in mind with chilly water temps trout are not likely to move very far to eat. Get the flies down, and fish them slowly along the bottom and around structure.

Streamer action might move a few fish but don’t be that aggressive with the retrieve. Let streamers roll and bounce and instead of ripping them back, let them pulse and dead drift some of the time as well. Bigger fish might like a bigger meal this time of year and big black buggers with a #12 Pat’s stonefly nymph as a trailer is a good rig for prospecting while floating.

Dry fly action has been pretty steady but mostly about in afternoons and early evening.  As I mentioned, water temps are still a bit chilly and a couple days of sunshine would actually help the bug situation. Baetis have started to show in really good numbers. If you see a fish rise, slide a small parachute Adams or purple haze over it and you’ll likely get an eat.  Cloud cover is our friend thi time of year.  Gray drakes love soft, cloudy days and some sections of the River have seen good numbers of drakes in the late afternoons.

Expect more rain and dark skies to continue through the week with daytime temperatures in the middle 50’s. Cooler nights will continue which is actually good since that will keep runoff to a minimum.   All in all it’s perfectly warm enough and gray skies are good for fishing. Keep an eye on flows and water clarity as rain will influence both. Expect good conditions to prevail.

Sliding along on the Clark Fork looking for the next rise…

 

 


Mayflies-Bitterroot River Montana Fishing Report 4-24-2017

This Bitterroot River fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company and provides current Bitterroot fishing and river conditions. It will be updated frequently or if conditions change. We are currently on the Bitterroot River and running trips so give a call if you want to schedule a guide trip or need information on anything Montana fly fishing related.

Flows at Bell Crossing: 2,400 cfs

Water Clarity: clear

Best time of day: 10:00 am-6:00 pm

Water Temperature: approximately 45 degrees

Hatches: skwala stoneflies, March brown mayflies, gray drake mayflies, baetis mayflies

Patterns: rubber legged stone fly nymph, bh prince, San Juan worm, bh hare’s ear, bh pheasant tail, parachute Adams, purple haze, March brown emerger, pheasant tail soft hackle, Rogue skwala, rasta skwala, bullet head skwala, gray drake parachute, gray drake cripple

The Bitterroot River is still in great shape and fishing pretty well. Flows have been hanging around 2000-2500cfs for the last couple and it looks like they’ll likely stay in that range. No hot weather or heavy rain is expected In the immediate forecast.

Skwalas are still active and fish are still eating them but as a whole the hatch is officially waining. Dry fly action has been terrific but does depend on weather conditions. With partly sunny skies and a bit of warmth skwala nymphs are more likely to be active and hatching and adults are more likely to be moving as well. March Brown mayflies are still in play and most days blue winged olive mayflies are hatching around 2:00 pm and fish have been responding and rising in specific water types where bugs are concentrated.  Gray drakes have shown up the last several days under cloudy conditions making for some of the best dry fly action of the spring

For now Nymphing remains best bet in the morning if you’re just looking to get into a few fish, and who isn’t? Think dry/dropper in the afternoon. Water temps have ooched up the last couple days and dry fly action has been good in the afternoon and early evening. By about 6:00 pm insect activity has tapered off.

Expect a mix of spring weather through the week with gray skies, rain showers, and very intermittent partly sunny skies. The Bitterroot River will remain very fish-able for the foreseeable future especially since nights are staying cool and runoff has been slow and steady.  Flows have risen a bit over the last 72 hours mostly due to a couple of warmer days.

LOC guests Tom U. and Gerry B. on another most excellent Bitterroot River adventure.

 


Libby Dam-Kootenai River Montana Fishing Report 4-24-2017

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: 23,100cfs

In-flow from Lake Koocanusa: 14,000cfs

Water temperature below Libby Dam: 37 degrees

Best Time of day: afternoon

Hatches: midge, baetis

Patterns: rubber legged stonefly nymph, San Juan worm, bh prince, bh hare’s ear, tung head pheasant tail, bunny patterns, circus peanut

Runoff has officially started here on the Kootenai River and for the most part the Kootenai is huge. Periods of rain could spike tributaries throughout the week and push color into the mainstem. Additionally, Libby Dam is discharging nearly power house capacity so conditions are not that great at the moment. Generally speaking, the Kootenai river is not user friendly. Is it fish-able?  Actually, yes.  Water clarity is great and will only change if it rains hard enough to bump tributaries.

How long will conditions like this last? Hard to say. Right now if I went with my gut, I’d say it’s smelling like it might be one of those springs where the Kootenai River doesn’t offer much in the way of reduced flows until summer.  There’s still a ton of snow and data is showing the Kootenai River basin is now at 130% snow water equivalent.  It will start running off quickly depending on weather. But daytime temps and nights are still cool so for this week the song remains the same. But that can change in a day as we all know.

Generally speaking the Army Corps will drop flows significantly during April.  We just received word that discharge from Libby Dam will remain at essentially power house capacity and will not be reduced for the remainder of April.  We had big rain and precipitation last fall and big snow this winter. There is lots of water content in the basin and it all ends up in the Kootenai River. We’ll just have to wait and see.

For now the Kootenai is only fish-able from a boat.  With water this high wading is non-existent and could be dangerous.  Keep in mind water temps will be a bit warmer as you move downstream.  And since the Kootenai River flows are big, longer floats are the name of the game.

Generally, it’s a waiting game for now and it all depends on the weather. Expect gray skies and showers to continue through this week.  Expect daytime temps in the middle 50s.

The Boston Red Sox bats are finally starting to warm up.  Run production of late has improved greatly.   Defense has been solid and pitching continues to look stellar for the most part.  GO SOX!!!

The mighty Kootenai River is big and full right now!

Runoff-Bitterroot River Fishing Report 4-14-2017

This Bitterroot River fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company and provides current Bitterroot fishing and river conditions. It will be updated frequently or if conditions change. We are currently on the Bitterroot River and running trips so give a call if you want to schedule a guide trip or need information on anything Montana fly fishing related.

Flows at Bell Crossing: 2,200cfs

Water Clarity:  clear

Best time of day: 10:00 am-6:00 pm

Water Temperature: approximately 40 degrees

Hatches: skwala stoneflies, March brown mayfly, baetis

Patterns: rubber legged stone fly nymph, bh prince, San Juan worm, bh hare’s ear, bh pheasant tail, parachute Adams, purple haze, March brown emerger, pheasant tail soft hackle, Rogue skwala, rasta skwala, bullet head skwala

The Bitterroot River is still a bit swollen but actually fishing pretty well. Flows have been hanging around 2000-2500cfs for the last week and it looks like they’ll likely stay in that range.  No hot weather or heavy rain is expected through next week.

Skwalas are active and fish are eating them.  Dry fly action has been getting better but does depend on weather conditions. With partly sunny skies and a bit of warmth skwala nymphs are more likely to be active and hatching and adults are more likely to be moving as well. March Browns are also starting to show up but water temps will have to bump up in order for hatches to really pop.  Most days blue winged olives are hatching around 2:00 pm and fish have been responding and rising in specific water types where bugs are concentrated.

For now Nymphing remains best bet in the morning if you’re just looking to get into a few fish, and who isn’t? Think dry/dropper in the afternoon.  Water temps have ooched up the last couple days and dry fly action has been good in the afternoon and early evening.  By about 6:00 pm insect activity has tapered off.

Expect a mix of spring weather through next week.  The weekend will see cooler daytime temps and possible snow or rain showers.  Early next week cloud cover will prevail with bursts of partly sunny conditions and daytime temps in the high 50s.  The Bitterroot will remain very fish-able for the foreseeable future especially since nights are staying cool and runoff has been slow and steady.

LOC guest Kris C. with a skwala eating Bitterroot River rainbow.

 


Snowpack-Kootenai River Fishing Report 4-14-2017

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: 24,500cfs

In-flow from Lake Koocanusa: 11,4000cfs

Water temperature below Libby Dam: 38 degrees

Best Time of day: afternoon

Hatches: midge, baetis

Patterns: rubber legged stonefly nymph, San Juan worm, bh prince, bh hare’s ear, tung head pheasant tail, bunny patterns, circus peanut

Runoff has officially started here on the Kootenai River and for the most part the Kootenai is huge.  Additionally, Libby Dam is discharging full power house capacity so conditions are not that great at the moment. Generally speaking, the Kootenai river is not user friendly at the moment. Is it fish-able you ask? Water clarity is good but when the river is this high, and keep in mind tributaries are adding volume as well, it’s technically fish-able, but if you have other options I’d suggest you find another river to fish.

How long will conditions like this last? Hard to say. Right now if I went with my gut, I’d say it’s smelling like it might be one of those springs where the Kootenai River doesn’t offer much in the way of good conditions for the next couple months. There’s still a ton of low elevation snow which will go quickly depending on weather. But nights are still cool and it’s melting but not really that quickly as of late. But that can change in a day as we all know.

Generally speaking the Army Corps will drop flows significantly during April.  But that may not happen this year.  We had big rain and precipitation last fall and big snow this winter.  There lots of water content in the basin and it all ends up in the Kootenai River.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

If you feel like you have to get on the water, just know the Kootenai River is now only fish-able from a boat. With water this high wading is non -existent and could be dangerous.

So, it’s a waiting game for now and it all depends on the weather. Expect gray skies and showers to continue through the middle of next week with periods of partly sunny skies.  It’s still kind of cool, not feeling necessarily like spring on some days, but this week it looks like at least we’ll have some bright skies.  Expect daytime temps in the high 40s, low 50s. The snow is melting, sort of…

The Boston Red Sox are off to an uneven start.  Pitching has actually been good but bats are not necessarily on fire at the moment and run production needs to ramp up.  We’ve got the talent on the mound in Rick Porcello anchoring the rotation and good arms behind him and in the bullpen.  Go Sox!

Bread and butter Kootenai River rainbow trout.

Skwala-Bitterroot River Fishing Report 4-12-2017

Bitterroot River skwala eater!

This Bitterroot River fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company and provides current Bitterroot fishing and river conditions. It will be updated frequently or if conditions change. We are currently on the Bitterroot River and running trips so give a call if you want to schedule a guide trip or need information on anything Montana fly fishing related.

Flows at Bell Crossing: 2,450cfs

Water Clarity: basically clear

Best time of day: afternoons

Water Temperature: approximately 40 degrees

Hatches: skwala stoneflies, March brown mayfly, baetis

Patterns: rubber legged stone fly nymph, bh prince, San Juan worm, bh hare’s ear, bh pheasant tail, parachute Adams, purple haze, March brown emerger, pheasant tail soft hackle, Rogue skwala, rasta skwala, bullet head skwala

The Bitterroot River is still a bit swollen but actually fishing pretty well. Flows have been dropping steadily and will continue so long as nights stay cool and we don’t get any heavy rain.

Skwalas are showing up and dry fly action has been getting better but does depend on conditions. With partly sunny skies and a bit of warmth skwala nymphs are more likely to be active and hatching and adults are more likely to be moving as well. March Browns are also starting to show up but water temps will have to bump up in order for hatches to really pop.

For now Nymphing remains best bet in the morning if you’re just looking to get into a few fish, and who isn’t? Think dry/dropper in the afternoon.  Water temps have oohed up the last couple days and dry fly action has been good.

It looks like gray days and rain showers are in the line-up through at least middle of next week. Bursts of partly sunny conditions may show up here and there but this is all good from a fishing point of view. The Bitterroot will remain very fish-able for the foreseeable future especially since nights are staying cool and runoff has been slow and steady.

 

 


Rain-Kootenai River Fishing Report 4-7-2017

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: 24,500cfs

In-flow from Lake Koocanusa: 10,300cfs

Water temperature below Libby Dam: 37 degrees

Best Time of day: afternoon

Hatches: midge, baetis

Patterns: rubber legged stonefly nymph, San Juan worm, bh prince, bh hare’s ear, tung head pheasant tail, bunny patterns, circus peanut

Runoff has officially started here on the Kootenai River and for the most part the Kootenai is huge.  Periods of heavy rain will likely spike tributaries over the weekend and push color into the mainstem. Additionally, Libby Dam is discharging full power house capacity so conditions are not that great at the moment. Generally speaking, the Kootenai river is not user friendly. Is it fish-able you ask? Not really and especially if you have other options.

How long will conditions like this last? Hard to say. Right now if I went with my gut, I’d say it’s smelling like it might be one of those springs where the Kootenai River doesn’t offer much in the way of good conditions for the next couple months. There’s still a ton of low elevation snow which will go quickly depending on weather. But nights are still cool and it’s melting but not really that quickly as of late. But that can change in a day as we all know.

Generally speaking the Army Corps will drop flows significantly during April.  But that not happen this year.  We had big rain and precipitation last fall and big snow this winter.  There lots of water content in the basin and it all ends up in the Kootenai River.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

If you feel like you have to get on the water, just know the Kootenai River is now only fish-able from a boat. With water this high wading is no -existent and could be dangerous.

So, it’s a waiting game for now and it all depends on the weather. Expect gray skies and showers to continue through the middle of next week.  Periods of heavy rain are possible.  Expect daytime temps in the middle 40’s. The snow is melting, sort of…

The Boston Red Sox won their first two games of the season.  Starting rotation was solid, bull pen was snappy and efficient, and defense made the difference.  GO SOX!

Tim Linehan of Linehan Outfitting Company on the lower Clark Fork River
Hooked up in the rain…

Clark Fork River Montana Fishing Report 4-6-2017

This Clark Fork River Montana fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company and provides current water and fishing conditions for the lower Clark Fork River below Alberton Gorge.  This report is updated frequently or as conditions change.

Flows at St. Regis: 13,500cfs

Water Clarity:  stained but very fish-able

Water Temperature:  40 degrees

Best Time Of Day: late morning to evening

Hatches:  baetis, skwala stonefly, March brown

Patterns:  Pat’s stonefly, bh prince, bh copper john, bh green machine, parachute Adams, purple haze, Rasta Skwala, bullet head skwala, parachute skwala, bugmeister, bh pheasant tail, sj worm

The lower Clark Fork River is very fish-able at the moment.  Recent cool temperatures and gray days have slowed runoff in a manner of speaking and conditions are improving nicely.  It’s starting to feel a bit like spring here in northwest Montana and at least daytime temps are consistently above 45 degrees for the time being.

Bug activity is increasing a bit as well.  March browns, baetis and skwala stoneflies should be hatching but it may take a few warmer, sunnier days to really get bugs active.  Skwala nymphs have been showing up daily especially if there’s some sunshine and adults are floating downstream during afternoons as well.

Nymphing is your best bet to start the day.  Fish are still concentrated in deeper pools, drop offs, and tailouts but are moving toward banks for food during afternoons.  Keep in mind with chilly water temps trout are not likely to move very far to eat.  Get the flies down, and fish them slowly along the bottom and around structure.

Streamer action might move a few fish but don’t be that aggressive with the retrieve.  Let streamers roll and bounce and instead of ripping them back, let them pulse and dead drift some of the time as well.  Bigger fish might like a bigger meal this time of year and big black buggers with a #12 Pat’s stonefly nymph as a trailer is a good rig for prospecting while floating.

Dry fly action should get better in the coming days.  As I mentioned, water temps are still a bit chilly and a couple days of sunshine would actually help the bug situation.  Baetis have started to show but not really in numbers.  If you see a fish rise, slide a small parachute Adams or purple haze over it and you’ll likely get an eat.

Expect more rain and dark skies to continue through the week with daytime temperatures in the high 40s.  It looks like early next week we might see brighter skies but don’t expect much in the way of actually sunshine or high pressure.  Cooler nights will continue which is actually good since that will keep runoff to a minimum.  But all in all it’s perfectly warm enough and gray skies are good for fishing.   Keep an eye on flows and water clarity as rain will influence both.  Expect good conditions to prevail.  The Clark Fork is still actually dropping and it looks like it will continue to drop for the foreseeable future.

Early season Clark Fork River rainbow

Bitterroot River Montana Fishing Report 4-6-2017

This Bitterroot River fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company and provides current Bitterroot fishing and river conditions.  It will be updated frequently or if conditions change.  We are currently on the  Bitterroot River and running trips so give a call if you want to schedule a guide trip or need information on anything Montana fly fishing related.

Flows at Bell Crossing: 2,450cfs

Water Clarity: basically clear

Best time of day: afternoons

Water Temperature:  approximately 40 degrees

Hatches: skwala stoneflies, March brown mayfly, baetis

Patterns: rubber legged stone fly nymph, bh prince, San Juan worm, bh hare’s ear, bh pheasant tail, parachute Adams, purple haze, March brown emerger, pheasant tail soft hackle, Rogue skwala, rasta skwala, bullet head skwala

The Bitterroot River is still a bit swollen but actually fishing pretty well.  Flows have been dropping steadily and will continue so long as nights stay cool and we don’t get any heavy rain.

Skwalas are showing up and dry fly action has been getting better but does depend on conditions.  With partly sunny skies and a bit of warmth skwala nymphs are more likely to be active and hatching and adults are more likely to be moving as well.  March Browns are also starting to show up but water temps will have to bump up in order for hatches to really pop.

For now Nymphing remains best bet if you’re just looking to get into a few fish, and who isn’t?  Think dry/dropper in the afternoon and streamers, while not providing fast action, have been moving a few bigger fish.  The dry fly action is coming and if conditions keep trending in the same direction and water clarify improves a bit more, this coming week the Bitterroot River will get better and better.

It looks like gray days and rain showers are in the line-up through at least middle of next week.  Bursts of partly sunny conditions may show up here and there but this is all good from a fishing point of view.  The Bitterroot will remain very fish-able for the foreseeable future especially since nights are staying cool.

We’ll be on the water this week and would love to take you fishing too.

It’s what we’re all looking for right now…

 

 

 


Kootenai River Montana Fishing Report 4-2-2017

This Kootenai River fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company and provides current 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: 24,500cfs

In-flow from Lake Koocanusa: 10,300cfs

Water temperature below Libby Dam: 37 degrees

Best Time of day: afternoon

Hatches: midge, baetis

Patterns: rubber legged stonefly nymph, San Juan worm, bh prince, bh hare’s ear, tung head pheasant tail, bunny patterns, circus peanut

Runoff has officially started here on the Kootenai River and for the most part the Kootenai is huge.  Period rain Will continue to sporadically bump tributaries which are pushing color into the mainstem. Additionally, Libby Dam is discharging full power house capacity so conditions are not that great at the moment. Generally speaking, the Kootenai river is not user friendly. Is it fish-able you ask? Not really and especially if you have other options.

How long will conditions like this last? Hard to say. Right now if I went with my gut, I’d say it’s smelling like it might be one of those springs where the Kootenai River doesn’t offer much in the way of good conditions for the next couple months. There’s still a ton of low elevation snow which will go quickly depending on weather. But nights are still cool and it’s melting but not really that quickly as of late. But that can change in a day as we all know.

Generally speaking the Army Corps will drop flows significantly during April.  But that not happen this year.  We had big rain and precipitation last fall and big snow this winter.  There lots of water content in the basin and it all ends up in the Kootenai River.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

If you feel like you have to get on the water, just know the Kootenai River is now only fish-able from a boat. With water this high wading is no -existent and could be dangerous.

So, it’s a waiting game for now and it all depends on the weather. Expect gray skies and showers to continue through next week. No heavy rain is in the forecast and daytime temps are predicted toga get around the middle 40’s. The snow is melting, sort of…

In other news the Boston Red Sox have headed home from spring training and tomorrow is opening day at Fenway!  CY winner Rick Porcello will get the start.  It’s game time and all is well in the world.  GO SOX!

Nothing but tail…