Thanksgiving-Kootenai River Fishing Report 11-14-2017

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 guides available and we’re the local source for all things surrounding the Kootenai River.  Give a call anytime if you have any questions about the Kootenai River or anything about Montana fly fishing or fly fishing in general.

Discharge from Libby Dam: the Present discharge from Libby Dam is 4000cfs

In-flow from Lake Koocanusa: 4000 cfs

Kootenai River water temperature below Libby Dam: 47 degrees

Water Clarity: gin clear

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

Hatches:  baetis, midge

Patterns: parachute Adams, purple parachute Adams, midge cluster, green meanie midge, purple chubby, red chubby, tan parachute hopper, royal Wulff, zebra midge, green goblin, olive emerger, pt soft hackle, bead head pt, bh copper john, red bh copper john, big bunny streamers and deceivers in red, pink and olive.

Winter fishing conditions have officially arrived.  Yeah, yeah…I guess it’s still technically fall and Thanksgiving is next week and festivals are still on the schedule.  But here in Kootenai River country it’s much more like winter already.  There’s snow on the ground and already a fair bit above 4000 feet.

Water conditions are still terrific and flows from Libby Dam are still steady at 4000cfs.  That means the entire river is penetrable with streamers and nymphing rigs.  Fish are still feeding and water temps are hanging in there and surprisingly warm for this time of year.  It’s generally not a numbers game but there is fun to be had if you’re game.

With Kootenai River flows at 4000 wade access is terrific up and down the entire river.  Drift boat fishing is often a better bet.  Drop the hook in appropriate places like deep runs and pools and work the water.

Nymphing in specific water like around cover, through deep runs, and tailouts is a good bet.  Try a big, dark  attractor with rubber legs like a Pat’s stonefly and drop a small prince or lightening bug about 18 inches below.  Under these Kootenai river flows two BB split shot should be just about right with an indicator 7-8 feet above the big bug.  Be sure to get the bugs down.  Concentrate efforts in deeper runs with good current since fish are not really holding in riffles this time of year.  There are no hatches to speak of and this time of year  fish become more opportunistic.  If it bumps them in the nose they’re likely to eat.  Don’t expect them to move very far.

This time of year we really like to throw streamers.  Get out the 7 weights and the 150  grain sink tips and start slinging.  Again, it’s likely not going to be a numbers of game but more about a big rainbow or two if you very lucky.  Don’t be over zealous.  Fish are getting a bit lethargic as water temps start to drop.  Fish streamers with slower action and even just let them swing.  Get out the two handed rods as well.  This is a great time of year to stand in a run and learn to spey cast.  Look for fish in deep runs and around cover and especially right down the main channel in the deepest part of the river.  Short strikes are common.  If you get a grab don’t strip.  Instead, let the fly sink and swing and pulse the tip of the rod a few times giving the impression of a wounded baitfish.  Sometimes fish will respond and then really eat the fly in earnest.

Expect dark, cloudy skies for the most part this time of year here on the Kootenai River.  Snow and rain/snow mix are predicted for the foreseeable future.  It’s chilly out there so dress appropriately.  Daytime temps are expected to be in the 30s.  Conditions are actually darn good for this time of year.

Chow time on red and white streamer for this Kootenai River rainbow

 


Fall Fishing-Kootenai River Montana Fishing Report 10-27-2017

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 guides available and we’re the local source for all things surrounding the Kootenai River.  Give a call anytime if you have any questions about the Kootenai River or anything about Montana fly fishing or fly fishing in general.

Discharge from Libby Dam: the Present discharge from Libby Dam is 4000cfs

In-flow from Lake Koocanusa: 4200 cfs

Kootenai River water temperature below Libby Dam: 50 degrees

Water Clarity: gin clear

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

Hatches:  baetis, midge

Patterns: parachute Adams, purple parachute Adams, midge cluster, green meanie midge, purple chubby, red chubby, tan parachute hopper, royal Wulff, zebra midge, green goblin, olive emerger, pt soft hackle, bead head pt, bh copper john, red bh copper john, big bunny streamers and deceivers in red, pink and olive.

Fall has deepened and the larch and cottonwoods are now a deep rust color having lost their brilliant early season hues.  But the Kootenai River is still in super shape and conditions are still perfectly good as well.

There’s still some dry fly fishing to be had and there are presently a couple ways to think about that.  Running long and covering water in the boat with attractors like royal wuflls, chubbies, stimulators with a size 16 or size 18 baetis or parachute Adams as a dropper will move fish on top.  Additionally, hatches of baetis and midge have been sporadic but when they’re happening, fish are looking up and targets are available.  If you’re working rising fish, be sure to roll with at least a 10′ leader and 6x will definitely help.

Nymphing has been spotty.  Gin clear water has fish a bit spooky especially if they see a bobber in skinnier water.  Deep water will offer better nymphing results.  Think about 5-8 feet off shelves, in tailouts and pools, and around boulder gardens.  Use fluro and think size 14 and 16.  If you’re up near the Libby Dam, try zebra midges and be sure to get them down.

This is the time of year when hucking streamers can really pay off.  It’s all about sticking with the program, making a commitment, and understanding that it’s an all or nothing game.  Sink tips are necessary and concentrate on the middle of the river down the deepest channels and around structure.  Fish are on the prowl this time of year for a big meal.  7 weights will also help get the gear in the right place.

Expect a terrific weekend with partly sunny skies.  Mornings will be crisp and cold and in the 30s.  By afternoons daytime temps will be in the 50s.  Winds will be light and variable.  It should be great weekend.  Get on the water and enjoy these late fall days here on the Kootenai River.

Chow time on red and white streamer for this Kootenai River rainbow

 

 


Fall Action-Kootenai River Montana Fishing Report 10-2-2017

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 guides available and we’re the local source for all things surrounding the Kootenai River.  Give a call anytime if you have any questions about the Kootenai River or anything about Montana fly fishing or fly fishing in general.

Discharge from Libby Dam: the Present discharge from Libby Dam is 4000cfs

In-flow from Lake Koocanusa: 4600 cfs

Kootenai River water temperature below Libby Dam: 50 degrees

Water Clarity: summer time clear

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

Hatches:  baetis, midge

Patterns: parachute Adams, purple parachute Adams, midge cluster, green meanie midge, purple chubby, red chubby, tan parachute hopper, royal Wulff, zebra midge, green goblin, olive emerger, pt soft hackle, bead head pt, bh copper john, red bh copper john, big bunny streamers and deceivers in red, pink and olive.

Strangely the smoke and fires of the late summer now seem in the distant past.  It’s fall here and the aspens, cottonwoods, and larch have started turning.  The Kootenai River is in excellent shape, we’ve got boats on the water, and we’ll have boats on the water for a while longer.

Dry fly action is still pretty darn good.  Summer and early fall hatches have clearly ended.  Black caddis are still around and hovering in certain riffles and runs up and down the river and fish are still apt to grab a small Goddard from time to time during the late afternoon or evening.  Baetis are popping in good numbers nearly every day and fish are up and eating.  With low fall flows, and gin clear water, get out the 6x and slide the small stuff into their nose without any drag and you’ll have success in mirrored water.  Attractors like royal Wulffs are likely bets in 2-3 feet of quick current as well as bigger parachute Adams.

There are gobs of 10″ rainbows in the system this year which has made for great dry fly action regardless.  If it’s calm, 4 weights have been best tool for the job on most days this season for dry fly fishing.  If you’re looking to move consistently bigger fish in the 12″-14″ range or maybe better, stick with a big bug, roll longer, and cover water.

Nymphing is moving some bigger fish but they’re deep and holding in tailouts and around cover.  Don’t expect to find trout in skinny riffles much during the day unless bugs are hatching.  Look for fish in deep, blue water and in depths of 5-10 feet.  Two BB split shot will help and be aggressive on moving indicator up and down depending on depth.  Trout are moving a great deal this time of year and under these conditions.  Specifically they’ll head for faster water to feed and then fall way back into blue water to the pools and tailouts to hold.  Get bugs down, fish every inch of the river, enjoy catching whitefish, and you will find some thicker rainbows too.

Streamer action is heating up and with flows at 4000 cfs big pools and runs are now very penetrable.  Get out the 250 grain sink tips.  Hook up a big white or olive bunny pattern and pound away.  If you do it long enough, you’ll likely get a donkey.

In other news, the Boston Red Sox have won the AL East and are going to the playoffs!  It’s October and the fishing is great and so is the baseball action!  Go Sox!

LOC guide Sam Stevenson with a bright, fall Kootenai bow.

Terrestrials-Kootenai River Montana Fishing Report 9-5-2017

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 guides available and we’re the local source for all things surrounding the Kootenai River.  Give a call anytime if you have any questions about the Kootenai River or anything about Montana fly fishing or fly fishing in general.

Discharge from Libby Dam: the Present discharge from Libby Dam is 6000cfs

In-flow from Lake Koocanusa: 5,900 cfs

Water temperature below Libby Dam: 59 degrees

Water Clarity: summer time clear

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

Hatches:  hoppers, caddis, pmd mayflies, crane flies, midge

Patterns: pmd adults, pmd spinners, 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, chubbies, hoppers, ants

It’s a bit smoky up here in Kootenai country at the moment.  There are a couple fires in the immediate area but the Kootenai is still in great shape and fishing pretty well.  The upshot of smoke and haze is faux cloud cover and happier fish.  All boat ramps and river access sites up and down the river are still open and no restrictions to that end are in place at the moment.

Caddis and pmd activity is definitely about over.  They are still around and caddis are still bouncing in certain riffles and runs up and down the river and fish are still apt to grab a small Goddard from time to time during the late afternoon or evening.  Attractors like royal Wulffs are likely bets in 2-3 feet of quick current as well as bigger parachute Adams.

Hoppers and droppers and terrestrial patterns are totally in play now.  Over the last week big bugs have been the ticket.  Foam will work, but in glassy, slick water keep in mind natural materials are often better here on the Kootenai River.  Think Schroeder’s parachute hopper, bugmeisters, even stimulators and fish them with at least a 10 foot leader.  5x will help.  But often times big bugs will spin 5x tippets so you’ll have to play that as it comes.  Some days it seems bread and butter Kootenai River rainbows are looking up all day and eager for a big meal.  Other days not so much.  And interestingly enough, droppers aren’t really moving that many fish.  Most of the LOC guides are running two dry flies for that matter and small hoppers or chubbies with a caddis pattern or emerger are moving fish.

There are gobs of 10″ rainbows in the system this year which has made for great dry fly action regardless.  If it’s calm, 4 weights have been best tool for the job on most days this season for dry fly fishing.  If you’re looking to move consistently bigger fish in the 12″-14″ range or maybe better, stick with a big bug, roll longer, and cover water.

Nymphing is moving some bigger fish but they’re deep and holding in tailouts and around cover.  Don’t expect trout the be in riffles much during the day and especially since bug activity has decreased.  Look for fish in deep, blue water and in depths of 5-10 feet.  Two BB split shot will help and be aggressive on moving indicator up and down depending on depth.  Trout are moving a great deal this time of year and under these conditions.  Specifically they’ll head for faster water to feed and then fall way back into blue water to the pools and tailouts to hold.  Get bugs down, fish every inch of the river, enjoy catching whitefish, and you will find some thicker rainbows too.

Again, the smoke has made for dark days and streamer action has picked up a bit and will only get better as the fall deepens.  Think 250 grain sinking heads and big, really big white streamers.  We have had some success early and late which is best bet for pulling junk anyway.

Expect daytime temps to remain in the low 90s but with smoke and shorter days it just doesn’t feel that hot.  There is a chance of t-storms and or showers on middle of the week.  Mornings are refreshingly cool and shadows are sliding across the river earlier in the evenings.

In other news, the BOSTON RED SOX are holding on to first place in the American League East and just keep winning in the late innings.  Young blood and rookies are have made a huge and exciting impact on the team lately and even though there’s lots of baseball left the Sox are playing well.

LOC guest Sue U. with a dandy Kootenai rainbow trout.

 

 


Cool Days-Kootenai River Montana Fishing Report 8-21-2017

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 guides available and we’re the local source for all things surrounding the Kootenai River.  Give a call anytime if you have any questions about the Kootenai River or anything about Montana fly fishing or fly fishing in general.

Discharge from Libby Dam: the Present discharge from Libby Dam is 9000cfs

In-flow from Lake Koocanusa: 5,900 cfs

Water temperature below Libby Dam: 59 degrees

Water Clarity: summer time clear

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

Hatches:  hoppers, caddis, pmd mayflies, crane flies, midge

Patterns: pmd adults, pmd spinners, 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, chubbies, hoppers, ants

Hallelujah!  Finally daytime temperatures are more normal and the oppressive heat is gone.  We’re even getting high cirrus cloud cover some days and conditions here on the Kootenai could not be better at the moment.It’s not smoky up here but we are getting a bit of haze from fires to north and south of us.  Presently we don’t have any local forest fires and we’re clicking along day to day here at Linehan Outfitting Company.  The haze has created faux cloud cover making for much better fishing conditions and breaking up bright sunshine.

Dry fly action has been pretty steady the last few days.  Pmd spinner falls are still sputtering along in various places up and down the river around 10:00 am.  If you happen to be in the right place at the right time, get out the 6x and give them a good drift.  Some days they’re happy to eat a purple haze.  Other days they’re snooty and you better have a down wing, low riding pattern.  The good news is that they’re on top, you can see them, and target rich environments should continue for a few more mornings.  If you get lucky and happen to be in riffle, the success will be better.  In glassy, mirrored water like up near the Libby Dam, you better have your best game on because with high sunshine the fish will be a bit more spooky.

Caddis activity is definitely starting to slow down.  They are still around and still bouncing in certain riffles and runs up and down the river but for the most part the caddis action has been late in the evening, right before last light, and mostly about a happy hour scenario.  Goddards, x-caddis, and Bloom’s caddis are all good patterns that will still move fish.

Hoppers and droppers and terrestrial patterns are totally in play now.  Over the last week big bugs have been the ticket.  Foam will work, but in glassy, slick water keep in mind natural materials are often better here on the Kootenai River.  Think Schroeder’s parachute hopper, bugmeisters, even stimulators and fish them with at least a 10 foot leader.  5x will help.  But often times big bugs will spin 5x tippets so you’ll have to play that as it comes.  Some days it seems bread and butter Kootenai River rainbows are looking up all day and eager for a big meal.  Other days not so much.  And interestingly enough, droppers aren’t really moving that many fish.  Most of the LOC guides are running two dry flies for that matter and small hoppers or chubbies with a caddis pattern or emerger are moving fish.

There are gobs of 10″ rainbows in the system this year which has made for great dry fly action regardless.  If it’s calm, 4 weights have been best tool for the job on most days this season for dry fly fishing.  If you’re looking to move consistently bigger fish in the 12″-14″ range or maybe better, stick with a big bug, roll longer, and cover water.

Nymphing has been solid throughout the day.  We’ve found ourselves fishing dry flies in the morning and then scratching away during the afternoon with nymphs.  Don’t expect trout the be in riffles during heat of afternoon under sunshine and hot temperatures.  Look for fish in deep, blue water and in depths of 5-10 feet.  Two BB split shot will help and be aggressive on moving indicator up and down depending on depth.  Trout are moving a great deal this time of year and under these conditions.  Specifically they’ll head for faster water to feed and then fall way back into blue water to the pools and tailouts to hold.  Get bugs down, fish every inch of the river, enjoy catching whitefish, and you will find some thicker rainbows too.

Bright, sunny days aren’t necessarily the best streamer weather but if you’re inclined, think 250 grain sinking heads and big, really big white streamers.  We have had some success early and late which is best bet for pulling junk anyway.

Expect daytime temps to remain in the low 80s and there is a chance of t-storms and or showers on middle of the week.  Bring it on!  possible thunder storms as well.  Mornings are refreshingly cool and shadows are sliding across the river earlier in the evenings.

In other news, the BOSTON RED SOX are holding on to first place in the American League East and just keep winning in the late innings.  Young blood and rookies are have made a huge and exciting impact on the team lately and even though there’s lots of baseball left the Sox are playing well.

Pano shot of Kootenai River under clear skies.

 


Hoppers-Kootenai River Montana Fishing Report 8-11-2017

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 guides available and we’re the local source for all things surrounding the Kootenai River.  Give a call anytime if you have any questions about the Kootenai River or anything about Montana fly fishing or fly fishing in general.

Discharge from Libby Dam: the Present discharge from Libby Dam is 9000cfs

In-flow from Lake Koocanusa: 7,400 cfs

Water temperature below Libby Dam: 64 degrees

Water Clarity: summer time clear

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

Hatches: caddis, pmd mayflies, crane flies, midge

Patterns: pmd adults, pmd spinners, 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, chubbies, hoppers, ants

At the moment we’re getting a bit of smoke, more like haze, from fires to north and south of us.  But presently we don’t have any local forest fires and we’re clicking along day to day here at Linehan Outfitting Company.  Actually the haze has created faux cloud cover making for much better fishing conditions and breaking up bright sunshine.

Dry fly action has been pretty steady the last few days.  Pmd spinner falls are still sputtering along in various places up and down the river around 10:00 am.  If you happen to be in the right place at the right time, get out the 6x and give them a good drift.  Some days they’re happy to eat a purple haze.  Other days they’re snooty and you better have a down wing, low riding pattern.  The good news is that they’re on top, you can see them, and target rich environments should continue for a few more mornings.  If you get lucky and happen to be in riffle, the success will be better.  In glassy, mirrored water like up near the Libby Dam, you better have your best game on because with high sunshine the fish will be a bit more spooky.

Caddis activity has been pretty good lately as well.  During the day there are times and water types where you might find adults emerging and popping and you many even have some nice trout crashing around during high sunshine and during the heat of the day.  For the most part the caddis action has been late in the evening, right before last light, and mostly about a happy hour scenario.  Goddards, x-caddis, and Bloom’s caddis are all good patterns that will move fish.

Hoppers and droppers are also very much in play now.  Big bug action has not necessarily been red hot every day.  Some days it seems bread and butter Kootenai River rainbows are looking up all day and eager for a big meal.  Other days not so much.  And interestingly enough, droppers aren’t really moving that many fish.  Most of the LOC guides are running two dry flies for that matter and small hoppers or chubbies with a caddis pattern or emerger are moving fish.

There are gobs of 10″ rainbows in the system this year which has made for great dry fly action regardless.  If it’s calm, 4 weights have been best tool for the job on most days this season for dry fly fishing.  If you’re looking to move consistently bigger fish in the 12″-14″ range or maybe better, stick with a big bug, roll longer, and cover water.

Nymphing has been solid throughout the day.  We’ve found ourselves fishing dry flies in the morning and then scratching away during the afternoon with nymphs.  Don’t expect trout the be in riffles during heat of afternoon under sunshine and hot temperatures.  Look for fish in deep, blue water and in depths of 5-10 feet.  Two BB split shot will help and be aggressive on moving indicator up and down depending on depth.  Trout are moving a great deal this time of year and under these conditions.  Specifically they’ll head for faster water to feed and then fall way back into blue water to the pools and tailouts to hold.  Get bugs down, fish every inch of the river, enjoy catching whitefish, and you will find some thicker rainbows too.

Bright, sunny days aren’t necessarily the best streamer weather but if you’re inclined, think 250 grain sinking heads and big, really big white streamers.  We have had some success early and late which is best bet for pulling junk anyway.

Expect weekend daytime temps to hover around 93 degrees with possible thunder storms as well.  By Monday a much welcome cooler air flow will enter the area and daytime temps will finally normalize and be in the 80s through the remainder of the week.  Let’s hope they stay that way for the rest of the month.

In other news, the BOSTON RED SOX are in first place again and keeping the American League East race very exciting.  I have a feeling we’ll be watching the Red Sox here in Kootenai River country late into October.  But we’ll see.  LET’S GO RED SOX!

Orvis Greenville fishing manager Mark White snipes a Kootenai River rainbow.

 

 


Cold Water-Kootenai River Montana Fishing Report 8-2-2017

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 guides available and we’re the local source for all things surrounding the Kootenai River.  Give a call anytime if you have any questions about the Kootenai River or anything about Montana fly fishing or fly fishing in general.

Discharge from Libby Dam: the Present discharge from Libby Dam is 9000cfs

In-flow from Lake Koocanusa: 9,600cfs

Water temperature below Libby Dam: 60 degrees

Water Clarity: summer time clear

Best Time of day:  Dry fly action is best early and late.  Nymphing is solid all day.

Hatches: caddis, pmd mayflies, crane flies, midge

Patterns: pmd adults, pmd spinners, 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, chubbies, hoppers, ants

It’s hot out there each day but we have plenty of cold water here on the Kootenai River and for the most part the Kootenai River is in good shape.  At the moment we’re getting a bit of smoke, more like haze, from fires to north and south of us.  But presently we don’t have any local forest fires and we’re clicking along day to day here at Linehan Outfitting Company.

Dry fly action has been pretty good for at least a few hours each day.  Pmd spinner falls are happening in various places up and down the river around 10:00 am.  If you happen to be in the right place at the right time, get out the 6x and give them a good drift.  Some days they’re happy to eat a purple haze.  Other days they’re snooty and you better have a down wing, low riding pattern.  The good news is that they’re on top, you can see them, and target rich environments should continue for a few more mornings.  If you get lucky and happen to be in riffle, the success will be better.  In glassy, mirrored water like up near the Libby Dam, you better have your best game on because with high sunshine the fish will be a bit more spooky.

Caddis activity has been pretty good lately as well.  During the day there are times and water types where you might find adults emerging and popping and you many even have some nice trout crashing around during high sunshine and during the heat of the day.  For the most part the caddis action has been late in the evening, right before last light, and mostly about a happy hour scenario.  Goddards, x-caddis, and Bloom’s caddis are all good patterns that will move fish.

Hoppers and droppers are also very much in play now.  Big bug action has not necessarily been red hot every day.  Some days it seems bread and butter Kootenai River rainbows are looking up all day and eager for a big meal.  Other days not so much.  And interestingly enough, droppers aren’t really moving that many fish.  Most of the LOC guides are running two dry flies for that matter and small hoppers or chubbies with a caddis pattern or emerger are moving fish.

Nymphing has been solid throughout the day.  We’ve found ourselves fishing dry flies in the morning and then scratching away during the afternoon with nymphs.  Don’t expect trout the be in riffles during heat of afternoon under sunshine and hot temperatures.  Look for fish in deep, blue water and in depths of 5-10 feet.  Two BB split shot will help and be aggressive on moving indicator up and down depending on depth.  Trout are moving a great deal this time of year and under these conditions.  Specifically they’ll head for faster water to feed and then fall way back into blue water to the pools and tailouts to hold.  Get bugs down, fish every inch of the river, enjoy catching whitefish, and you will find some thicker rainbows too.

95 and sunny isn’t necessarily the best streamer weather but if you’re inclined, think 250 grain sinking heads and big, really big white streamers.  We have had some success early and late which is best bet for pulling junk anyway.

In other news, the BOSTON RED SOX are in first place again and keeping the American League East race very exciting.  I have a feeling we’ll be watching the Red Sox here in Kootenai River country late into October.  But we’ll see.  LET’S GO RED SOX!

Orvis Pittsburg’s Sam Presutti with a bread and butta Kootenai River rainbow

 


Cutthroat Trout-Kootenai River Montana Fishing Report 7-19-2017

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 guides available and we’re the local source for all things surrounding the Kootenai River.  Give a call anytime if you have any questions about the Kootenai River or anything about Montana fly fishing or fly fishing in general.

Discharge from Libby Dam: the Present discharge from Libby Dam is 9000cfs

In-flow from Lake Koocanusa: 13,400 cfs

Water temperature below Libby Dam: 59 degrees

Best Time of day: mornings and evenings

Hatches: caddis, pmd mayflies, crane flies, midge

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

We’re hitting our stride here on the Kootenai River and water conditions could not be better.  Kootenai River flows are currently at 9000 cfs and the Kootenai River is in great  shape.  Water clarity is good and there’s still a hint of glacial milk color to the River which we actually like.  Soon enough the Kootenai River will become gin clear so it’s nice for now to enjoy early season water conditions.

Caddis have become very active the last few days largely due to warm, sunny days.  Pmds are popping as well later in the afternoon as well and dry fly action is solid especially early and late.  During hatches dry fly action has been good.  Light pmd spinner falls are happening in various riffles up and down the river in the morning between 9:00-10:00 am.  And adults are sporadically coming off during late afternoons as well.  If you see fish rising, think pmd or caddis for the most part.

Nymphing has been steady throughout the day and trout are starting to settle into summer runs.  The Kootenai River is still coming into shape so some runs are full of fish and others are the Miller Lite runs.  They taste great but are less filling.  That’s to say you think and know they should be full of fish but actually aren’t, yet.  Fear not.  In the coming days boulder gardens, riffles, and runs will fill in with hungry trout.  The times they are a changin.
All stretches of the Kootenai River are in good shape.

Streamer action has been a bit slow but that’s to be expected under such sunny skies.  However, if you stay with it, you may just be rewarded.  We’ve had some anglers giving it a shot from time to time and have indeed found some bigger fish.  Get out the 250 grain, get the fly down, and white has been the color for the most part.

It’s all coming together nicely here and conditions and fishing are heating up daily.  Literally.  Expect high sunshine and daytime temperatures in the high 80s and 90s for the next seven to ten days.

And speaking of hot, the Boston Red Sox are currently on fire and leading the American League East in first place!  Young guns are smoking and pitching has been super solid.

Give us a call if you need any Kootenai River information or if you want to get on the water with us anytime.  800-596-0034.  www.fishmontana.com

LOC guest David W. with a great native westslope cutthroat.

Dry Fly Fishing-Kootenai River Montana Fishing Report 7-4-2017

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 guides available and we’re the local source for all things surrounding the Kootenai River.  Give a call anytime if you have any questions about the Kootenai River or anything about Montana fly fishing or fly fishing in general.

Discharge from Libby Dam: the Present discharge from Libby Dam is 11,000cfs.

In-flow from Lake Koocanusa: 27,000 cfs

Water temperature below Libby Dam: 52 degrees

Best Time of day: afternoon

Hatches: caddis, pmd mayflies, crane flies, midge

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

Happy 4th of July.  We’re hitting our stride here on the Kootenai River and water conditions could not be better.  Kootenai River flows are currently at 11,000 cfs and the River is in great  shape.  Water clarity is good and there’s still a hint of glacial milk color to the River which we actually like.  Soon enough the Kootenai River will become fin clear so it’s nice for now to enjoy early season water conditions.

Action has been getting better by the day but it’s still early and water temperatures are chilly but warming by the day.  If you’re wet wading expect an ice cream headache for the first few minutes as you acclimate to early season conditions.

Caddis have become very active the last few days largely due to warm, sunny days.  Pmds are popping as well later in the afternoon as well and dry fly action is picking up.  Top water action is not on fire yet but getting better by the day.  We really need water temperatures to enter the high 50s and low 60s in order to get trout metabolisms in gear.  They’re eating, but just not focused on seriously looking up yet.  When will they decide to eat on top?  Any day.  Stay tuned and stay dry.

Nymphing has been steady throughout the day and trout are starting to settle into summer runs.  The Kootenai River is still coming into shape so some runs are full of fish and others are the Miller Lite runs.  They taste great but are less filling.  That’s to say you think and know they should be full of fish but actually aren’t, yet.  Fear not.  In the coming days boulder gardens, riffles, and runs will fill in with hungry trout.  The times they are a changin.

All stretches of the Kootenai River are in good shape.  Keep in mind the farther you go downstream, the warmer the water temperatures will be which may mean more active fish.

It’s all coming together nicely here and conditions and fishing are heating up daily.  Literally.  Expect high sunshine and daytime temperatures in the high 90s fo the next seven to ten days.  Yup.  Going to be hot.  And that’s not necessarily bad since we’re looking for help to raise water temperatures.

And speaking of hot, the Boston Red Sox are currently on fire and leading the American League East in first place!  Young guns are smoking and pitching has been super solid.  Heading into the All Star break this is as good as it gets for Sox Nation.

Give us a call if you need any Kootenai River information or if you want to get on the water with us anytime.  800-596-0034.  www.fishmontana.com

Awesome shot by LOC guide Sam S. releasing a Kootenai River rainbow.

 

 

 

 

 


Caddis Flies-Kootenai River Montana Fishing Report 6-15-2017

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: 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

Hatches: caddis

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.

Kootenai rainbow trout