Kootenai River Fishing Report 8-2-2020

This Kootenai River fishing report is brought to you by Orvis Endorsed Outfitter Linehan Outfitting and provides current Kootenai River and fishing conditions. It will be updated frequently or as conditions change. Linehan Outfitting Company is the best local source for all information 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:  Flows from Libby Dam will remain at 9,500cfs through the middle of September.

In-Flow From Lake Koocanusa: Approximately 10,900 cfs

Kootenai River water temperature below Libby Dam: 59 degrees

Water Clarity:  Water clarity is terrific.  The river is not gin clear this time of year and we actually like it this way.

Hatches: midge, caddis, pmds

Patterns: parachute Adams, purple chubby, red chubby, parachute pmd, rusty spinner, spent caddis, elk hair caddis, Blooms caddis, caddis pupa, prince nymph, soft hackle pheasant tail, Pat’s rubber legged stonefly, SJ worms, Orvis bead head pt, Orvis bh copper john, red bh copper john, big bunny streamers and deceivers in red, pink and white, and white circus peanut

Discharge from Libby Dam is now 9,500cfs and the river is in great shape.  Water temps are terrific.  Bugs are hatching and we are set up for one of the best seasons in many years.

Dry fly action is outstanding throughout the entire day.  Caddis and pmds continue to pop throughout the day.  If you see bugs, you’ll likely see rising fish.  Make a good presentation and they’ll eat a size 14 parachute Adams or an elk hair caddis perfectly well.

You could surely run a dry/dropper rig all day if you wanted.  Depending on what stretch your fishing, you will see bugs.  A size 12 purple chubby, or bugmeister with a size 16 bh pheasant tail or caddis pupa will roll nicely if that’s your preference.

If you’re looking for the best dry fly action be on the river in the morning and again from 7 pm-dark.  Caddis and pmd spinner falls have been consistent and fish are looking up.

Nymphing the Kootenai River will bring even during high sunshine and mid-day.  Look for fish in faster runs 2-6 feet deep and especially in boulder gardens and deep riffles.  The last couple days have been very good.  Water temperatures are perfect at 59 degrees and trout are feeding aggressively.  Remember to get bugs down and keep them down.  Keep a keen eye on your indicator and if you notice even the slightest change in speed, lift.

Look for fish in slower currents, buckets, tailouts, and especially around cover and down rocky runs. Slip your bugs above and especially below boulders in the cushions as fish will be concentrated in soft pockets. Also, water temps will likely be a few degrees warmer as you get downstream from the Libby Dam.

Be brave and confident.  Get out the bigger rods and throw streamers. This is actually a great time of year to pick up a big fish.  Fish streamers slowly with a pulse now and again to make them look like struggling baitfish.

7 Day Weather Outlook:  Expect mostly sunny days and temperatures in the 80s.

woman fishing from driftboat on river
The Kootenai is in great shape and caddis activity has been terrific!