Kootenai River Montana Fishing Report 8-27-2019

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 9,200 cfs

Kootenai River water temperature below Libby Dam: 58 degrees

Water Clarity: Clear and in good shape

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

Patterns: parachute Adams, Orvis purple parachute Adams, zebra midge, olive emerger, chubbies, parachute hoppers, ants, 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 for the rest of the month.

Caddis and pmd hatches are still pulsing each day and dry fly action is pretty consistent. Cloud cover will surely make dry fly action better and early mornings and evenings will offer better action as well.  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 and trico spinner falls are in play in the mornings over long riffles.  It’s not like full blown clouds of spinners but here on the Kootenai it doen’t take many to get fish looking up.  Pmds are rusty colored and some are pale yellow. For the most a size 16 parachute pmd or rusty spinner will work.  Stick with a size 18 parachute Adams for the tricos.  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.

Hoppers and droppers and other terrestrial patterns are providing some great dry fly action lately.  Fish big bugs with droppers in fast walking speed currents, tailouts, and riffles.  Fish a #16 beadhead pheasant tail as a dropper and you’ll have success.  The Kootenai River is gin clear this time of year.  Wait until fish actually have the fly in their mouth.  Don’t jump the gun.

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.  You can always jerk a streamer through these soft areas of cover as well.

7 Day Weather Update:
Perfect weather and conditions will continue through the end of the month.  Expect sunny and partly sunny skies each day with temperatures in the 70s.  It’s been an excellent summer with no fires and no smoke.

Boston Red Sox News:  I hate to say this but the Sox are struggling with pitching this season.  We’ve had moments and games where it looked like things were going to turn around but inconsistent outings make it difficult to maintain any significant gains.  Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, and David Price are giving it their best shots every game.  But the only consistency offered has been by Eduardo Rodriquez.  Our bats are red hot and offense led by Andrew Benitendi, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogarts, Christian Vasquez, and JD Martinez has been putting men on base.  Unfortunately we’ve been stranding them while opponents gain runs.  There are about 40 games left in the season so we’ll enjoy what’s left and take the wins as they come.

man flyfishing and holding rainbow trout
Jerry J. with a handful of Kootenai River rainbow trout.