Linehan Outfitting guide Lucas Jones | Fly Fishing Guide in Montana

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 5000cfs.  Flows are expected to remain low through end of February and likely beyond until runoff.  During the winter months it's possible to experience fluctuations in flows.  Call Libby Dam 406-293-3421 for daily discharge schedule.

In-flows to Lake Koocanusa: 1,900cfs

water temperature: 40 degrees

hatches:  midge

patterns:  zebra midge, bh prince, soft SJ worm, bh pheasant tail, bh rubber legged stonefly, big streamers in white, pink and olive, circus peanut, black conehead buggers

Flows remain low here on the Kootenai River, the days are getting longer and generally warmer as well.  While it's never written in stone, discharge from Libby Dam should remain around 4000cfs through April and until runoff starts.  It's only the first of March but spring conditions are here.

Water temperatures are still chilly to say the least and that will not be changing anytime soon.  But in another week or two, provided daytime temps stay in the 40s, hatches of March brown and blue winged-olives will begin.  That means in spite of cold water temperatures, trout will become more active and start to feed more substantially on nymphs and dry flies.

For now, nymphing is still the best bet.  You don't need a bunch of junk and with low flows you really don't need that much weight either.  Set your indicator about 5 feet from the first fly and start with a single BB splitshot.  Concentrate on walking speed current and 4-6 feet of water.  Boulder gardens and softer currents will hold fish.  Trout are less likely to be in faster water or riffles this time of year.

Streamer action has been picking up.  As I always remind you, don't expect big numbers. You will not hook up as often compared to nymphing, but you may hook up with a significantly bigger fish.  Keep the fly down and fish it slowly.  Make sure it stays near or at the bottom for as long as possible.  You can even dead drift a streamer this time of year with success as well.  15 foot depth charge sinking tips are best.  Full sinking lines are not really that necessary during periods of low flows.  White deceivers, circus peanuts, and purple will move fish.

Let's see...the Boston Red Sox have officially started Spring Training.  It's a new year with just a few familiar faces on the field but manager Alex Cora is excited to begin working with new talent and feels the team has enough to compete well.  GO SOX!

Call immediately if you need more details or have questions about rods, reels, flies or want to book a trip with Linehan Outfitting.  406-295-4872


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