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: Current discharge from Libby Dam is 8,000cfs.
water temperature at Libby Dam: 54 degrees
hatches: midge, caddis, pmds, nocturnal stoneflies,
patterns: zebra midge, parachute Adams, yellow haze, parachute pmd, Rosenbauer's rabbit foot emerger, KPPT, water walker, purple haze, purple chubby, red chubby, bugmeister, x-caddis, caddis pupa, Bloom's caddis, tan sparkle dun, purple chubby, bh prince, soft SJ worm, bh pheasant tail, bh rubber legged stonefly, big streamers in white, pink and olive, circus peanut, black conehead buggers
Right now the Kootenai River is in great shape and flows are 8000cfs. Depending on Koocanusa Reservoir refill flows may stay at 8000 cfs through Labor Day. But that all depends. If in-flows to the reservoir continue to drop dramatically, and based on recent heat it looks like that will be the case, flows may drop again to around 7000cfs. Regardless, 7000-8000cfs from Libby Dam is a good place to be for the season.
Let's see...pmds and caddis are hatching daily and we're now also seeing spinners and spent caddis in certain runs and riffles primarily in the mornings and again later in afternoons and evenings.
Dry fly action is pretty darn good considering the heat we're having to endure. Dry/dropper rigs will carry the day with no problems. We're starting to fish big bugs like hopper patterns and chubbies with good success. It's early for foam but on some days it's been working. Look for pulses of pmds later in the afternoon and snows of caddis over faster water as well. If you really want consistent dry fly action hit the river for last two hours of daylight.
Nymphng is very strong and if you want consistent action roll with one BB and four-five feet to an indicator. Stick with faster water and cover and fish are even moving into riffles once a few bugs start showing up.
Bright, sunny, and hot days are not necessarily what you would consider good streamer conditions. That said, we've been pleasantly surprised and believe it or not the streamer bite has been exciting to say the least lately. With flows at 9000cfs we're pretty much just using floating lines and concentrating on 2-4 feet of fast water and boulder gardens. Some days are better than others but streamers have been sticking a few bigger fish.
Expect hot, sunny days with temperatures in the high 90s. Get on the water early and enjoy good action until the day really heats up around 3:00 pm.
All access points and boat ramps are clear. Don't forget from Libby Dam downstream to the mouth of the Fisher River is closed this time of year for spawning. Wading conditions are great under low flows especially below between the Kootenai Falls and Bighorn Terrace boat ramp. Nymphing in this stretch and through China Rapids section has been very productive lately.
In other news, the Boston Red Sox are currently lead the American League East and are 2.5 games up on the second place Tampa Bay Rays. Life is good. The pitching staff has started to come together and the names of Rodriquez, Eovaldi, Perez, and Barnes are starting to become known across MLB. We're eagerly awaiting the return of Chris Sale who has been throwing consistently again in hopes of getting back on the mound for the second half of the season. Bats have been making contact and putting runners on base as offensive led by Kike Hernandez, Bogarts, Gonzalez, Martinez, Dalbec, Verdugo,Devers and Verdugo has really stepped up run production. Go Sox!
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