kootenay river fishing spots
There are a number of area fly shops and on-line retailers that publish Kootenai River fishing reports. Prime floating conditions occur with river flows between 8000-12,000cfs. Autumn weekends are ideal for visiting here. Recent fishing regulations changes should help in getting fish populations and sizes up, as all rainbow trout between 13-18 inches must be released. A convenient take out point is located just above the falls. Traditional dry fishing techniques can be useful in catching rainbows in high quantity during summer. Learn more about these dedicated fishing rafts. Running between mountains, through canyons and over falls, the Kootenai also has some of the most varied and beautiful scenery of any river in western Montana. More info about inflatable fishing kayaks. With its peak flows being during the summer, fly fishing tactics are somewhat different than found on other Montana rivers. Below the falls, the Kootenai River runs through two miles of moderate whitewater, the severity of which depends on the river levels. Because the flow of the river can vary dramatically, it is very important to pay attention to water level reports, especially if you plan to wade in. The sheer size of the river also intimidates many anglers who lack a boat. A few to check out are listed below. The best fishing in the Kootenai will begin just below Libby Dam. The true monster fish, for those with the patience to chase them, are typically found within a mile or two downstream from Libby Dam. The Sea Eagle 350x Inflatable Fishing Kayak is ideal for solo anglers who need a boat that can run rapids and is easy for flat water paddling. Fishing usually begins in the Kootenai in March or early April. Most of the larger fish in the river will be caught by hopping them along the bottom. A 9-foot 5-wt fly rod with floating line is perfect for fishing dry flies and small nymphs on the Kootenai River. A fifth area to look for, particularly when flows are high in July, is submerged structure on the shoreline. While there are some opportunities for wading along the length of the river, fishing from the boat will provide the most success in the Kootenai. Discover waterways in Utah with interactive maps containing recent catches, fishing spots, and reports of the latest fishing activity. For anglers who aren’t interested in chasing after the trophy-sized trout that are found in the Kootenai River just below the dam, the Kootenai River has excellent populations of rainbow trout that average in the 12-15 inch range. Unlike many other rivers in Montana, the holes on the Kootenai River are usually not all that obvious at a casual glance. These large fish feed not only on flies and other fish, but the chopped up remains of the various fish that get caught in the turbines of Libby Dam. Northwest Montana has long, cold, cloudy winters, and a March fishing trip in this part of the state is unlikely to be a warm one. As a result, it is easier to locate shore and submerged structure that provide holding waters for trout. Two miles below the rapid, the Kootenai River goes over Kootenai Falls and then enters a gorge. This is the spawning period for the river’s large rainbow population, and the clear cool water will present plenty of chances. For the first twenty-five miles below the dam, only small riffles and waves exist. Smaller flies are also more effective in catching the larger rainbows than then large, bushy flies commonly used on other Montana rivers. A highway (Hwy 37) runs along much of this portion of the river, and there are plenty of access points available, many of which are boat ramps (shown on map above). A floater contemplating running the gorge should expect to encounter at least 3-4 class IV rapids and 2-4 class III rapids. Recent Activity in Utah Shared catches, fishing spots and reports ... Weber River. The water will still remain relatively cool even in the middle of August, and this time of year can present some real opportunities for catching some of the very large trout in the Kootenai. The first dry fly fishing of the year begins in May, with the best dry fly fishing occurring during the summer. This rapid is long and, depending on river flows, can provide a rough ride for inexperienced floaters or parties in canoes. Below Kootenai Falls, the fishing in the Kootenai River is still good, but fish populations drop off somewhat. Just below China Rapids, the Kootenai River flows over Kootenai Falls, a thirty-foot waterfall that requires a portage of all boats except for advanced paddlers in whitewater kayaks. It will be updated frequently or as conditions change. Just remember that to catch these monster trout requires patience. Followers 67 Catches 72 Spots 0. Gingerly plopping a dry fly into one of these slow water stretches is an excellent way to catch a large rainbow. Be aware Waterloo Eddy A few kilometres south of Castlegar, near the community of Ootischenia is the Waterloo Eddy, found in a small bay on the east side of the river. Regulations. Additionally, the China Rapids, just upstream from Kootenai Falls, provides excellent fishing in the deep holes found among the rocks and boulders. The Parachute Adams, Blue Winged Olive and the Pale Morning Dun are very effective dry flies to use when fly fishing the Kootenai River during the summer, in sizes ranging from 16-22. The Kootenai River is a daunting river for fly fishing. As a result, fishing pressure on the Kootenai River is generally moderate and is certainly nothing like what is found on the Missouri River or the Madison River. The true monster fish, for those with the patience to chase them, are typically found within a mile or two downstream from Libby Dam. Instead, massive streamers—up to five inches long—are the flies of choice when chasing these trophy trout. Inflatable fishing rafts are portable, relatively inexpensive and excellent boats for fly fishing in Montana. The Bureau of Reclamation has extensive camping and park facilities below Libby Dam, allowing for easy shoreline access. Example: Yes, I would like to receive emails from Linehan Outfitting Co.. (You can unsubscribe anytime). It is unlike many of the more popular blue ribbon rivers in Montana, but it provides some of the best opportunities for trout fishing in the entire region. The Kootenai River, as Libby Dam regulates it, flows erratically. Copyright 2020 DIY Fly Fishing, all rights reserved. However, for those who choose to brave the elements, the best fishing for large rainbow trout (other than the trophies found just below Libby Dam) can be had during this time. The Kootenai River begins in Kootenay National Park in British Columbia. Four miles below the dam, a short class III rapid, called the Jennings Rapid, can either be floated through or easily portaged. The Kootenai River also holds the state record for mountain whitefish at more than five pounds, which was also caught just below Libby Dam in 1987. For larger nymphs and streamers a 9-foot 6-wt with a sink tip fly line makes life easier. All of these tributaries provide an excellent fishing … Just below the falls, the river flows through a gorge that has extensive whitewater sections. The best fishing on this section is found above Kootenai Falls. Additionally, as it runs through a gorge, there is no way out once you commit to it. Just be careful where you hop. A tapered 9-foot leader, with tippet size 3X to 6X to match the flies you are throwing, is pretty standard. It may not be the typical blue sky experience of Montana fishing, but this river may have even more to offer anglers who are up for the challenge. However, it is the area below Libby Dam that presents the best fly fishing experience, and that is the portion of the Kootenai on which we will focus this article. The river is just so large and fast, that often by the time you recognize a hole you have little or hope of rowing over to fish it in time. The town of Libby also has several access sites. Since the water is fed from Libby Dam, the water also tends to remain cool. The best rainbow trout fishing on the Kootenai River is found above Kootenai Falls, although the lower river of the Kootenai is making a comeback due to recent changes in fishing regulations. The latest Kootenai River Fishing report with current water conditions, hatches, best times and more. These two factors, along with no water diversions for irrigation, combine to allow the Kootenai River to avoid the “dog days of August” that often plague some other fine Montana trout streams. Fishing pressure on this section of the Kootenai River is also less than found further upstream. Below the gorge, the Kootenai River continues on towards Idaho, with only a few riffles and small waves to deal with, and should not pose any problems for a floater of any skill level. This section of the Kootenai River travels for seventeen miles. Just park your car along the road and hop into the river. Hopper imitations (sizes 4-8) are very effective when fished in the flooded shoreline vegetation found on the Kootenai River in July. After emerging from the gorge, the Kootenai River continues on, with only small riffles and waves, to the Idaho border, which also is the lowest point of elevation in Montana. Lots of patience. In fact, some of the biggest fish ever pulled out of a Montana river have come from the waters of the Kootenai, and there are tons of opportunities to catch prize-calibur rainbow trout here. Successful fishing can begin on the Kootenai River as early as March for those willing to tolerate the elements. Columbia Lake is near the center and the Kootenay River flows from the upper right into the foreground. Experience a different kind of drifting as you meander west, in the slower flowing waters of the West Arm of Kootenay Lake. If there is ever a good time to wade fish the Kootenai River, this high water period is it.

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