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: 8500 cfs
In-flows from Lake Koocanusa: approximately 4200 cfs
Water temperature at Libby Dam: 50 degrees
Hatches: midge,caddis, pmds, baetis, hoppers, ants, terrestrials, crane flies
patterns: zebra midge, parachute Adams, purple haze, yellow haze, rusty spinner, x-caddis, chubbies, water walkers, tarantulas, crane flies,caddis pupa, perdigons, bh pheasant tail, bh rubber legged stonefly, big streamers in white, pink and olive, circus peanut, black conehead buggers, Uke's Pressure Drop, Rosenbauer's rabbit foot pmd emerger, bh pheasant tail, bh prince nymph, bh copper john, x-caddis, elk hair caddis, ants, beetles, Ukes brown perdigon
The Kootenai River is in great shape and all stretches are fishing equally well.
Water temps are beginning to drop a bit with cooler temps and are now hovering around 50 degrees coming out of the Libby Dam. This generally means the bite will start a little later with best action from mid-morning into the evenings. No rush to get out there at first light. Have another cup of coffee and let the day start slowly.
Beginning October 1 discharge from Libby Dam will start to decrease over several days from the current 8500cfs to the traditional October flows of 4000. What does this mean? Generally it means the bite can be a little inconsistent as fish find new holding water during the decrease. But it also means there will be half as much water so the fish that were unavailable previously since they were down too deep in pools and runs, are now more approachable especially with nymphing rigs and streamers.
Dry fly action is still solid. If bugs are active, and we're still seeing caddis and pmds and spinner falls, you will see rising fish. Dry/droppers are a good way to go this time of year if you don't feel like nymphing. Think #10 purple chubby with a perdigon or hard bodied ant about three feet below. Look for fish along banks with good current, drop offs, and runs three to four feet deep. Lately it seems mornings are a bit slower most likely due to cooler temps. This time of year it's not uncommon for afternoons and evenings to offer best dry fly action especially if you're fishing hoppers in deeper water.
The Linehan Outfitting crew has been nymphing again after a long layoff during July, August, September. Set indicators about 4-5 feet from the first fly. Perdigons, pheasant tails, pmd and caddis stuff are all in play. Add a single BB if necessary and you will have good success.
Streamer rods are rigged and ready for action daily this time of year. Big fish are on the prowl and looking for a big meal. Depth Charge sinking tips are perfectly good and stick with soft runs three to ten feet deep. The streamer bite has been a day by day thing. Cloud cover will help. Don't expect numbers and if you get a couple or a few you've done well.
In Boston Red Sox news it breaks my heart to say there will be no October baseball for the Sox. As I write the Sox are finishing the season with a series against Tampa Bay and finish the season in Baltimore with a four game series. After firing GM Chaim Bloom there were also rumors that manager Alex Cora may be gone too. But Cora and the Red Sox have assured us all that he will be back as the skipper in 2024. And as soon as they fill the GM position, things will start moving forward in the trade department. Right now rumor has it that Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani might be interested in joining the Sox. I'll be watching October baseball and checking the Red Sox website for any developments.
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