fly fisherman holding rainbow trout on Montana's Kootenai River

This Kootenai River Montana fishing report is being brought to you by Orvis Endorsed Linehan Outfitting.  This report will be updated weekly to provide current conditions, weather, hatches, patterns, and flows to our local waters and across the state.

Flows from Libby Dam: 4000 cfs

In-flows from Lake Koocanusa:  approximately 2000 cfs

Water temperature at Libby Dam: 38 degrees

Hatches: midge, baetis, March browns

patterns:  zebra midge, parachute Adams,  soft SJ worm, bh pheasant tail, bh rubber legged stonefly, big streamers in white, pink and olive, circus peanut, black conehead buggers, perdigons, Uke's Pressure Drop, midge cluster, Griffith's gnat, parachute Adams, BWO hackle stacker, Rosenbauer's rabbit foot bwo emerger, parachute bwo

Early winter drawdown of Lake Koocanusa has been completed.  That means discharge from Libby Dam will be stable through at least the middle-end of April.  That also means conditions are perfectly good for some winter fishing.  Low flows means the entire river is wade-able, access is great, and float fishing is good too.

Expect cloud cover and light precipitation through the weekend and into next week with daytime temperatures in the 40s, hopefully reaching 50s.  Water conditions will remain good for the foreseeable future since nights are below freezing and there is no runoff to speak of at this time.

Depending on the day and weather, hatches of midge, blue-winged olives and March browns have increasing steadily.  Don't expect to see much insect activity until afternoons since water temps are still chilly.  During calm overcast days hatches have been significant.  Look for fish in soft seams, inside slicks, down the middle of long runs and pools.  Dy fly fishing has been terrific when the right conditions prevail.

Stick with nymphing and streamers early in the day.  And did I mention streamers?  This time of year big fish are on the prowl and looking for a big, easy meal.  Get out the sink tips and start swinging the big stuff.  Keep it low and slow and keep in mind fish don't want to move very far or very fast when the water is cold.  This time of year look for fish in pools, deep runs, softer currents, and around structure. 

In other news, the Kootenai River basin received good snowpack this winter and we're having a lengthy and cooler than normal spring.  That means the snowpack will hang in there for a while.  The Kootenai River basin is currently sitting at approximately 80% snowpack (water equivalency).  This means we're already expecting good water conditions for the fishing season.

I also wanted to extend an invitation to all you reading this to join us for a spring trip.  Late March/April can offer great fishing here on the Kootenai River and then when runoff begins and the Kootenai River gets too big to fish, the Linehan Outfitting crew heads over the Missouri River for May and early June. 

In Boston Red Sox news,  the Sox just dumped a series with Tampa Bay which is tough to stomach but still, the offense and defense has been solid so far this season with help from Kike Hernandez, Verdugo, Devers, and Adam Duvall.  It's still wicked early in the season but sure is good to have baseball especially with the new rules to make the game move along more quickly.  GO SOX!

Give a call anytime if you need more Kootenai River details or information on any of our hunting or fishing adventures.  And please check out our e-commerce site for all Linehan Outfitting branded soft wear and hats and all Orvis gear as well. https//

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