Rain-Missouri River Montana Fishing Report 5-19-2017

Missouri River rainbow trout

This Missouri River Montana Fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting (www.fishmontana.com) and provides current Missouri River fishing conditions. This report will be updated frequently or as conditions change. The LOC crew spends May and June on the Missouri River and we currently have availability. Give a call and let’s go fishing.

Flows from Holter Dam: 10,500 cfs

Water Temperature: 52 degrees

Best time of day: River is fishing pretty well throughout the entire day

Hatches: midge, baetis, caddis

Patterns: zebra midge, tailwater sow, hot bead sow, Ray Charles sow, gold lightening bug, San Juan worm, steel worm, green machine, pheasant tail, parachute Adams, purple haze, Bloom’s caddis, crystal caddis, ascending caddis, zoo cougar, circus peanut

It’s been an interesting couple of days here on the Missori River. Flows from Holter Dam have increased approximately 2000 cfs in the last four days.  Normally we’d expect the fishing to slow down under this situation but for the most part the song remains the the same.

Two days ago a winter storm brought over 2 inches of rain to the area.  Tributaries blew up and Prickly Pear Creek and the Dearborn River both tripled in size  and are presently still pouring color into the the river.

For now, the only fish able water is from Holter Dam to the Dearborn River.  The upper River is off color at the moment but has been improving quickly.  Below the Dearborn River and in the canyonwater conditions are marginal.  The Dearborn is dropping quickly but it will be a couple more days before the lower river/canyon is fish able.

Today we had several boats running deep nymphing rigs with wire worms and sow bugs. Reports were good with rigs set 7 feet from the first fly with one B split shot. Most fish were caught in 6-8 feet of water and most were still on the sow bug.

Streamer action has been pretty good and one boat had substantial streamer action over the last couple days. Cloud cover always helps when you’re throwing junk and several big were netted with big smiles and high fives. If you’re throwing streamers you have to put in the time.

Dry fly action is pretty much non-existent at the moment. Blue winged olives are hatching each day but with higher flows rising fish are pretty scarce. If you poke around in the channels and really look hard you might get lucky and see a nose or two. But don’t expect much in the way of surface activity.

Today was a great weather day.  It was 65, partly sunny, and there was no wind.  The good news.  Expect more of the same for the next week.  And keep in mind water clarity is improving daily as well.  By early next week the entire River will be in good shape again.

Stay tuned for more reports and give a call if you’re headed this way to join us or want to arrange a trip.

 


Holter Dam-Missouri River Montana Fishing Report 5-14-2017

This Missouri River Montana Fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting (www.fishmontana.com) and provides current Missouri River fishing conditions.  This report will be updated frequently or as conditions change.  The LOC crew spends May and June on the Missouri River and we currently have availability.  Give a call and let’s go fishing.

Flows from Holter Dam:  8,230 cfs

Water Temperature: 52 degrees

Best time of day:  River is fishing pretty well throughout the entire day

Hatches: midge, baetis, caddis

Patterns:  zebra midge, tailwater sow, hot bead sow, Ray Charles sow, gold lightening bug, San Juan worm, steel worm, green machine, pheasant tail, parachute Adams, purple haze, Bloom’s caddis, crystal caddis, ascending caddis, zoo cougar, circus peanut

It’s been an interesting couple of days here on the Missori River.  Flows from Holter Dam have increased approximately 700 cfs over the last 48 hours.  Normally we’d expect the fishing to slow down under this situation but for the most part the song remains the the same.

Today we had several boats running deep nymphing rigs with wire worms and sow bugs.  Reports were good with rigs set 7 feet from the first fly with one B split shot.  Most fish were caught in 6-8 feet of water and most were still on the sow bug.

Streamer action has been pretty good and one boat had substantial streamer action over the last couple days.  Cloud cover always helps when you’re throwing junk and several big were netted with big smiles and high fives.  If you’re throwing streamers you have to put in the time.

Dry fly action is pretty much non-existent at the moment.  Blue winged olives are hatching each day but with higher flows rising fish are pretty scarce.  If you poke around in the channels and really look hard you might get lucky and see a nose or two.  Caddis are hatching in the canyon.  You might find fish rising tight to the bank in soft water if you’re lucky.  For the most part flows will have to come down before any consistent dry fly action can be expected.  When will that be?  That’s the big question.  Wednesday weather prediction calls for an inch of rain and possible snow.  That means the water is still pouring into Holter Lake and after a certain point, it has to be released.  Will flows keep increasing?  Only time will tell.

Expect another day or two of decent weather and then be prepared for some cold rain and possibly snow here in Craig.  Forecast is calling for an inch or more of rain on Wednesday with temps in the middle 40s.  With this kind of fast moving front winds are expected to blow around 20 miles per hour from the north.  That means it will feel much cooler.  Fortunately the front will last for only two days and by later in the week weather will be fair and more user friendly.

Stay tuned for more reports and give a call if you’re headed this way to join us or want to arrange a trip.

Nothing but net here on the Missouri River with LOC.

 

 

 

 

 

 


BWO Mayflies-Missouri River Montana Fishing Report 5-4-2017

This Missouri River Montana fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company.  It provides current water and fishing conditions and will be updated frequently or as conditions change.  The LOC crew spends May and June on the Missouri River in Craig, Montana.

Discharge from Holter Dam:  7,200cfs

Water Temperature:  48 degrees

Best Time of Day:  Conditions are good throughout the entire day now

Hatches:  midge, baetis

Patterns:  parachute midge, midge cluster, bwo hackle stacker, bwo parachute, bwo sparkle dun, bwo cripple, zebra midge, lightening bug, green machine, pheasant tail, sow bug, hotbead sow, sj worm, black bunny patterns

This is the time of year when the LOC crew is on the Missouri.  Through the middle of June we will be featuring  Missouri River fishing reports on our site and other outlets.  Stay tuned especially if you are meeting us soon in Craig, Montana for a spring fling adventure.

Let’s see…current flows from Holter Dam are 7,200cfs which is bigger than we’ve seen over the last three years.  This is a good water year and we’re all hoping flows stay in that range for the entire spring.  To compare, the last several years Holter Dam released average flows below 4500cfs.  We like more water and the river stays fresh and offers more in the way of diversity since channels are full, holding fish, and spreading things out a bit.

At the moment nymphing is pretty solid.  With good hatches of baetis and midge, fish are eating all day and depending on weather have been pretty grabby.  Bright days seem to offer less action but with cloud cover the nymphing has been great.  With slightly higher flows, remember to raise your indicator.  Think 6-7 feet to the first fly and be sure to add enough weight to get the flies down near the bottom.

Dry fly fishing has been sporadic.  During hatches of blue winged olives you can definitely find some rising fish in soft water and tight to the banks.  These fish will be tricky.  It’s all about small ball and long leaders.  But if that’s your preference, look closely and you’ll find some targets.

The streamer bite is largely dependent on weather.  It has been worth the effort if skies are cloudy, overcast, and obviously rainy days are better still.  Bunny patterns are always in play and we like to fish a dropper off streamers as well.  Think bead head prince nymph or something with some flash that might get their attention this time of year.

It looks like we’ll be seeing pretty typical spring weather for the next 7 days.  Immediately daytime temps are going to rise significantly with sunshine and approach high 70s!  I know, right.  And clear sunny skies will dominate the landscape for two or three days.  Then, daytime temps will be more normal and hover in the 60s as another gray sky, low pressure, rainy front moves into the area.

We have availability and would love to get you on the water.  Joanne and Helen are in the office and ready for your call.  800-596-0034.

Blue winged olive hatch on Montana’s Missouri River

 

 

 


Kootenai River Montana Fishing Report 5-3-2017

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: 22,600cfs

In-flow from Lake Koocanusa: 15,600cfs

Water temperature below Libby Dam: 39 degrees

Best Time of day: afternoon

Hatches: midge, baetis, March brown mayfly

Patterns: 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,

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 for the foreseeable future.  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.

Dry fly fishing is really not that much of an option at the moment.  You might see some rising fish late in the afternoon in super soft water but for the most part water temps are still on the chilly side.  Dry droppers down grassy banks might work.  But nymphing will be your better option.  Fish a #10 brown rubber legged stonefly nymph with a #12 bead head prince dropper six to seven feet below an indicator.  Add at least one BB split shot and look for fish in soft currents, cover, next to and below flooded islands in 4-6 feet of water.  Fish will be concentrated and actually nymphing under these big water conditions can actually be pretty good if you dial into where fish are holding.

Expect warmer daytime temperatures in the high 60s-low 70s and sunshine through midweek.  Then partly sunny skies and chance of showers with daytime temps in the low 60s.

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 sign says it all. And if you’re not here, you should be.

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.