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: 26,900cfs
In-flow from Lake Koocanusa: 42,000cfs
Water temperature below Libby Dam: 49 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
The Kootenai River is actually in pretty good shape at the moment. The second pulse of Sturgeon flows have started but for now the river is perfectly fish-able at 18,000cfs. That’s still a bit on the high side and so wading is not really much of a option. Float fishing is the way to go right now and will be for a while until runoff has abated a bit.
Water temps have risen nicely what with some sunshine and 49 degrees is good enough to stimulate some activity in the way of feeding fish. With sunshine and warmer days tributaries will kick color into the main stem but water conditions should remain pretty good from here on.
Nymphing is the way to go if you’re interested in best bet. Fish are likely still busy spawning so numbers may seem scarce for now. But rig up with 2 BB split shot and ser your indicator about 6-7 feet from first fly. Look for fish in softer runs and tail outs for now as they’re likely not in fast water and are still in late winter/spring habitat.
streamers are also a good bet and on cloudy days the note has been decent. Roll with at least a sink tip since it’s important to cut through the top layer of current and get down in the zone. Look for fish in cover and boulder gardens.
Expect a nice week of weather with partly sunny skies and fair days. Water temps will continue to rise and caddis should start popping a bit in the near future which may provide some dry fly opportunities.