Forest Fires-Kootenai River Montana Fishing Report 8-18-2018

This Kootenai River fishing report is brought to you by Linehan Outfitting Company and provides current Kootenai River and fishing conditions. It will be updated frequently or as conditions change. We have guides available and we’re the local source for all things surrounding the Kootenai River. Give a call anytime if you have any questions about the Kootenai River or anything about Montana fly fishing or fly fishing in general.

Discharge from Libby Dam: Summer discharge has been leveled off and will remain in the 9,000 cfs range through end of August.

In-Flow From Lake Koocanusa: approximately 8,100 cfs

Kootenai River water temperature below Libby Dam: 61 degrees

Water Clarity: Water clarity is excellent.

Best time of day: Conditions are terrific all day at the moment. Sure, mornings and late evenings will provide better and more consistent dry fly action but fish are eating in specific water types all day. Nymphing is strong throughout the day.

Hatches: midge, caddis, pmds, crane flies, hoppers and ants

Patterns: parachute Adams, purple parachute Adams, pmd spinner, parachute pheasant tail, midge cluster, green meanie midge, elk hair caddis, caddis emerger, pmd dries, pmd emerger, Bloom’s caddis, purple chubby, red chubby, hoppers, royal Wulff, zebra midge, green goblin, olive emerger, Pat’s rubber legged stonefly, pt soft hackle, bead head pt, bh copper john, red bh copper john, big bunny streamers and deceivers in red, pink and olive.

Forest Fires you ask?  Yup.  It’s that time of year here in the west and as most of you know we’ve got some forest fires and some smoke.  Locally and here in Kootenai country we feel pretty lucky at the moment.  There are some fires in the area and indeed they’re contributing to some of the smoke.  But big fires in Idaho, Washington, and California are largely responsible.  It’s not that thick here.  It’s mostly a haze and from time to time you can smell it.

There is no immediate danger if you’re headed this way to fish with us or to vacation in the area.  We prefer to stay positive.  And the hazy, gauzy, conditions are providing faux cloud cover each day and I’m thrilled to report that the Kootenai is fishing extremely well.

Dry fly action has been terrific!  And it shouldn’t change much anytime soon.  Fish are happy and looking up and are now really tuned into big bugs.  Hopper fishing has been excellent the last few days and while our bread and butter rainbows will always be 12″-13″ we’re putting up some bigger fish lately in the 14″-20″ range.

Right now, we don’t need no sticking indicators.

Roll off the ramp first thing in the morning with a big bug.  Keep in mind here on the Kootenai River we don’t always fish right on the bank.  Look for thicker fish in faster current and runs with 3-6 feet of depth and cover like boulders and weed mats.  Color changes and buckets are also holding bigger fish.  It’s doesn’t take much.  Just a slight change in the water from light blue to deep blue with a drop off will hold fish.  Don’t be afraid to fish your hopper with movement.  Every twenty feet it’s a good idea to skitch it.  Not too much motion, but just enough to make it vibrate and move an inch or two.

Water conditions are great and dry fly action is solid.  Give a shout anytime, we’ve got guides available, and we’d love to get you on the water.

I have to confess this next bit of news is always the best part of this blog.  The Boston Red Sox are crushing it!  We are still leading the American League East by 9 games and are on a tear.  The pitching staff led be Chris Sale and Rick Porcello has been nothing short of awesome.  And offense lead by Mookie Betts and JD Martinez continues to put up runs.  Go Red Sox!

Orvis Downington manager Dan Ogren and guest Wendy F. with Kootenai River rainbow trout.