Tim Linehan 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: 20,000 cfs

Schedule below provides Libby Dam discharge schedule for balance of summer season.  Keep in mind schedule is always subject to change.


- Libby Dam outflow will decrease from 20.0 kcfs to 15.0 kcfs on Tuesday, June 14th, starting at 00:00 AM MDT over two hours.

- Libby Dam outflow will decrease from 15.0 kcfs to 13.0 kcfs on Wednesday, June 15th, starting at 00:00 AM MDT over two hours.

- Libby Dam outflow will decrease from 13.0 kcfs to 11.0 kcfs on Tuesday, June 16th, starting at 00:00 AM MDT over two hours.

- Libby Dam outflow will decrease from 11.0 kcfs to 9.0 kcfs on Friday, June 17th, starting at 00:00 AM MDT over two hours.

- Libby Dam outflow will decrease from 9.0 kcfs to 8.0 kcfs on Saturday, June 18th, starting at 00:00 AM MDT over two hours.

- Libby Dam outflow will decrease from 8.0 kcfs to 7.0 kcfs on Sunday, June 19th, starting at 00:00 AM MDT over two hours.

- Libby Dam outflow will decrease from 7.0 kcfs to 6.0 kcfs on Monday, June 20th, starting at 00:00 AM MDT over two hours.

-Libby Dam outflows will gradually decrease from 20 kcfs to 6 kcfs and continue the refill of Lake Koocanusa. Flows will be increased to 9.0 kcfs beginning on July 1st.


In-Flow To Lake Koocanusa:  52,400 cfs

Water temperature at Libby Dam: 48 degrees

Hatches: midge, baetis

patterns:  zebra midge, parachute Adams, parachute pmd, Rosenbauer's olive rabbit foot emerger, purple haze, purple chubby, red chubby, olive sparkle dun,bh prince, soft SJ worm, bh pheasant tail, bh rubber legged stonefly, big streamers in white, pink and olive, circus peanut, black conehead buggers

The Kootenai River is about as big as it can get right now.  Libby Dam is running at almost full powerhouse capacity.  But that's all about to change.

 for the better.  Be sure to have a close look at the above Libby Dam discharge schedule for the balance of the summer season.  Flows will be decreasing and it looks like we'll have 9000cfs for the entire summer which is a great flow.  It's going to be a great season!

At the moment the river is fishable.  Tributaries are kicking in color due to rain but there's plenty of clean water to fish down the other bank and below midstream islands.  Until the flows decrease under 15,000 it's pretty much a floating game.

Dry fly fishing is minimal but caddis should be popping soon.  Water temperatures are still a bit chilly and will remain under 50 degrees until we get some consistent sunshine.  When will that happen?  Who knows.  This is a spring from the past.  Lots of rain and cool temperatures and plenty of summer snowpack in the high country.  Keep in mind that means good conditions for the summer

Nymphing has been solid and due to high water fish are concentrated in soft areas,  back eddies, and long banks.  Look for fish in walking speed currents and not in riffles or heavy water.  Cover will also be important under these conditions.  Set indicators about six or seven feet from the first fly and make sure you get down.  We like at least a BB split shot depending on where you're fishing.

Streamer fishing is also productive this time of year especially since bigger fish will be hungry after laying low for a couple months during the dead of winter.  Keep in mind they will not necessarily want to move too fast or too far to get a meal.  Get your streamers down and fish them slowly and erratically.  Nothing like a wounded minnow to get a big rainbow interested in at least a sniff.  Stick with banks and boulder gardens and places where bigger fish can ambush prey.

The Boston Red Sox have gained momentum over the last couple weeks and are now at least consistently putting up more wins after a dreadful start to the season.  Run production has finally increased led by Rafael Devers, JD Martinez, Kiki Martinez and Trevor Story.  Late inning relief has also finally stepped up and closing games in a more substantial style.  It's still early but every W counts.  We're hoping this momentum continues since we're currently 3.5 games out of first in the very competitive American League East.  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 swag and Orvis gear. https://linehan-outfitting.myshopify.com/

We look forward to hearing from you.  406-295-4872

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