Smoke and Rain-Kootenai River Fishing Report 8-26-2018

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 5,300 cfs

Kootenai River water temperature below Libby Dam: 60 degrees

Water Clarity: Water clarity is excellent.

Best time of day: Conditions are terrific all day at the moment.  Trout are happy and feeding morning, noon and night.

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.

Smoke and rain is the name of the game here in Kootenai River country due to forest fires but we’re holding out for a change in the weather and hopefully a day or two of rain Monday and Tuesday.  There is no immediate danger if you’re heading this way to fish or recreate.  Most of the smoke is actually coming from CA, ID, WA, and BC.  We do have some local fires but the Forest Service is fighting them hard and surprisingly they’re not really contributing to the smoke and haze we see each day.

We prefer to stay positive.  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 fishing has been nothing short of excellent.  Trout are looking up all day.  Mornings have been cool and all about 5 or 6x and a size 14 or 16 parachute Adams.  Fish it well with no drag, target rising fish, and they will eat.  Afternoons have been providing some of the best hopper action we’ve seen in years.  Look for fish in walking speed current, runs, and especially tailouts and don’t be afraid to fish the big bug with some action.  A little skitch goes a long way.

As mentioned above, we’re hoping for a change in the weather beginning tomorrow.  Expect a bit of rain or at least showers beginning tonight and through Tuesday morning.  We could surely use the moisture.  What might this do to the fantastic dry fly fishing we’ve been experiencing.  Hard to say.  My guess is the cold front might actually put fish down for a day or two.  Unless we get a late pulse of pmds.  That could make things very interesting.  Olives you wonder?  Likely too early for that.  It’s still only August.  The cold front and rain is supposed to pass quickly and by Wednesday daytime temps will be lovely and in the mid 70s with partly sunny skies.

And now for Boston Red Sox news!  While we dropped a couple to the Rays over the last two days we’re still in first place by 8 games and playing well.  Hard to believe it’s almost September when things really start to get interesting and playoff thoughts start to germinate.  Red Sox pitching staff has been great throughout the summer led by Sale, Porcello, and David Price.  Mookie Betts and Andrew Benitendi have been shredding the leather off the ball and batting streaks continue.  Go Sox!!!

Len B. and Tim with a handful of Kootenai River bread and butta.