Kootenai River Montana Fishing Report 7-29-2019

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: 7,000

In-Flow From Lake Koocanusa: Approximately 13,800 cfs

Kootenai River water temperature below Libby Dam: 54 degrees

Water Clarity: Clear and in good shape

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

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 7,000 cfs will remain steady throughout the month of July.

Caddis and pmd hatches are pulsing each day and dry fly action is becoming more consistent.  Cloud cover will surely make dry fly action better.  Look for fish in slick pools, flatwater, and off current areas since faster water is easier to fish this time of year.   Attractor patterns like Wullfs and parachutes are best bets for top water action if you’re prospecting.

Pmd spinner falls are now in play in the mornings over long riffles.  Some are rusty colored and some are pale yellow.  For the most a size 16 parachute pmd or rusty spinner will work.  The water is now gin clear so it’s time to lengthen the leader a bit especially if you’re fishing the glassy pools and runs.  A ten foot 5x leader is the ticket when fishing small dries.

We’re starting to poke around with big bugs and are seeing hoppers and other terrestrials along the banks now.  Fish are not really keying on big bugs in earnest therefore it’s a still a hit or miss proposition.  Soon enough hopper action and foam will be in play and it’s a good idea to try some big stuff in faster water 3-6 feet of depth.

Indicator nymphing is most productive during the mid-day especially under bright sunshine. 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 and if there are any caddis popping you’ll find fish in the riffles as well.

This time of year streamers can bring some really big fish to the net since as well. 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. 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.

10 Day Weather Update:

It seems we’re now in full summer mode weather with high pressure and sunshine expected for the foreseeable future.  We are still experiencing some thunder storms especially in the evenings but for now expect lots of blue sky and daytime temperatures in the 80s.

Boston Red Sox News:
The Sox just finished up a terrific 4 game series with the Yankees and took three out of four games by trouncing the bombers with lots of runs.  Bats are hitting the ball and we’re finally moving runners around the bases led by stellar offense featuring a red hot Devers. Pitching by starters Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, David Price and Eduardo Rodriquez has improved dramatically.  The offense is firing on all cylinders now and the bats of Andrew Benetendi, Mookie Betts and rookie Michael Chavis are producing runs! It’s long season and I have faith. Go Sox!

two boys holding rainbow trout
Frank and Dom C. laying up perfect casts into the weed mat for a daily double!