Kootenai River Montana Fishing Report 6-15-2019

This Kootenai River fishing report is brought to you by Orvis Endorsed Outfitter Linehan Outfitting Company 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: Present discharge from Libby Dam is 20,000 cfs.

In-Flow From Lake Koocanusa: Approximately 24,600 cfs

Kootenai River water temperature below Libby Dam: 51 degrees

Water Clarity:  For now, the river is still in great shape.

Hatches: midge, caddis

Patterns: parachute Adams, Orvis purple parachute Adams, zebra midge, green goblin, olive emerger, elk hair caddis, caddis pupa, Bloom’s parachute caddis, headlight caddis, soft hackle pheasant tail, Pat’s rubber legged stonefly, SJ worms, pt soft hackle, 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

The Kootenai River is in excellent shape and flows of 20,000 cfs make wading a bit difficult but are perfect for floating.  All the channels are full of water and there’s good current along banks.  The season is officially under and conditions are terrific.

Best techniques and tips:

Dry fly fishing is picking up with caddis now in play.  Hatches are increasing as a result of warm days and warmer water temperatures.  Look for fish in slick pools, flatwater, and off current areas.  Attractor patterns like Wullfs and parachutes are best bets for top water action if you feel like prospecting.  Fish an elk hair caddis or soft hackle pupa as a dropper and you should move fish especially in the evenings.

Indicator nymphing is most productive at the moment. Stretches that offer boulder gardens, varied currents, and other cover are holding fish. Additionally, look for trout in runs that are 4-6 feet deep with walking speed current. It’s a good idea to use yarn indicators this time of year as well since strikes can be soft and are often more difficult to detect.

This time of year streamers can bring some really big fish to the net. Be sure to use a heavy sink tip line and make sure you get the fly down. Don’t expect numbers. Throwing a streamer is definitely more about quality and not about quantity. Fish are lethargic when water temperatures are still chilly therefore they will not move very far to feed so don’t expect lots of chases or action.  But the reward will be worth the effort.

Above Libby there are some stretches that offer good spring fishing opportunities. There is some great nymphing water between Libby and the Kootenai Falls that offers pocket water on steroids with boulders as big as the bed of a pick-up truck. Fish will tuck in around boulders so seams and cushions above and below the boulders are always good places for fish to hold. You can always jerk a streamer through these soft areas of cover as well.

Weather update for the week:

Expect pretty fair weather throughout the week.  Partly to sunny skies with daytime temperatures in the 70s make for terrific conditions on the Kootenai.  Evening dry fly fishing should be good.

In Boston Red Sox news, the Sox are holding thier own in the American League East and are now 6 games out of first place.  Pitching has really taken a turn for the good after a shaky start to the sesaon.  Starters Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, David Price and Eduardo Rodriquez are firing on all cylinders now and the offense and bats of Andrew Benetendi, Mookie Betts and rookie Michael Chavis are producing runs!  Things are looking good at this point.  It’s long season but we’re headed in the right direction now.  Go Sox!

photo of small stream in Montana
Small streams and creeks are in good shape right now.