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 2500 cfs
Water temperature at Libby Dam: 37 degrees
Hatches: midge, baetis
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,
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 high 30s-40s. 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.
Water temperatures are still very cold so don't expect a bang up day with big numbers of trout on dry flies. They're still pretty lethargic. Any meal they may want to eat will have to bump them on the nose.
There are always a few midge hatching especially up below the Libby Dam. But don't expect much in the way of dry fly action. Stick with nymphing and streamers. 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 has seen excellent snowpack so far this winter. Snow came early and it come big. We are currently sitting at approximately 80% snowpack (water equivalency) which is pretty good since there's a lot of winter left. 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 it's time for spring training and all is getting right in the world. Pitchers and catchers have arrived at spring training facilities and the world feels right again knowing the baseball season is almost here. Sox finally have a fully healthy Chris Sale again and hopes are high that he can pitch at least well enough to give the Sox a good boost. Return stars Kike Hernadez and Rafael Devers will hold the infield together and there's a buzz around Japanese star Masataka Yoshida signing with expectations about his left field prowess and batting strength. As I write opening day is only about a week away! 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//linehan-outfitting.myshopify.com