Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Kootenai River - below Libby Dam - Montana

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midge Afternoon 18-24 Zebra Midge
February Midge Afternoon 18-24 Zebra Midge
Stoneflies All Day 6-10 Pats Rubber legs
March Midge Afternoon 18-24 Zebra Midge
Stoneflies All Day 6-10 Pats Rubber legs
Blue Wing Olives Afternoon 14-20 Pheasant Tail
April Blue Wing Olives Afternoon 14-20 Pheasant Tail
Skwala Stonefly All Day 8-12 Skwala Adult
May Blue Wing Olives Afternoon 14-20 Pheasant Tail
Salmon Flies All Day 6-8 Salmon Fly Dry
June Green Drakes Afternoon-Evening 10-14 Green Drake Dry
July Pale Morning Dun Afternoon 16-20 PMD Dry Fly
August Caddis Evening 14-18 X-Caddis
Hoppers All Day 6-10 Parachute Hopper
September Caddis Evening 14-18 X-Caddis
Mahogany Duns Afternoon 16-20 Mahogany Dry Fly
October Midge Afternoon 18-24 Zebra Midge
Blue Wing Olives Afternoon 16-20 Pheasant tail
November Midge Afternoon 18-24 Zebra Midge
December Midge Afternoon 18-24 Zebra Midge

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Kootenai River below the Libby Dam offers impeccable spots perfect for fly fishing enthusiasts. Experience the thrill of fishing in the clear, cold waters renowned for a diverse range of aquatic life. Here’s a brief on some of the best spots:

  • Libby Dam Tailwaters: This place offers year-round fishing just downstream from the dam.
  • The Idaho-Montana border: Particularly the region around Troy, renowned for big rainbow trout catches.
  • Leona’s Bridge: An ideal location with easy river access and a high concentration of fishes.
  • Kootenai Falls: A hotspot for fishing enthusiasts due to its scenic beauty and teeming life.
  • Pipe Creek: It’s a restful spot near the confluence with Kootenai River, abundant with a variety of fishes.

Remember to always check local regulations before fishing at any location to ensure you’re adhering to all appropriate rules and guidelines.

Best Access Points

The Kootenai River in Montana is an excellent spot for fly fish enthusiasts, especially below the Libby Dam. There are three key access points:
  • Troy Bridge: This is the most convenient starting point below Libby Dam. With nearby parking and easy river access, it’s ideal for a full day of fly fishing.
  • Osprey Landing Boat Ramp: Located just a few miles downstream of Troy Bridge, this site features plenty of parking and a well-maintained boat ramp. Recommended for both float and wade fishing.
  • Yaak River Confluence: This is perfect for more experienced anglers who prefer quiet and secluded fishing spots. Access is from Highway 2, then by foot through public land to the river.
Plan your trip based on your experience and the river conditions to ensure a safe and enjoyable fly fishing adventure on the Kootenai River.

Local Fish

  • Rainbow Trout: These colorful fish are a favorite among fly fishers as they’re plentiful and put up a good fight.
  • Brook Trout: Due to their splashes of red and orange, these fish are easy to spot in the clear Kootenai River.
  • Mountain Whitefish: Found in abundance in the Kootenai River, these fish provide a steady source of action for fly fishers.
  • Westslope Cutthroat Trout: Native to the area, these stunning fish are thrilling to catch on a fly rod.
  • Bull Trout: One of the larger species targeted for fly fishing in the Kootenai River, these are eagerly sought after by anglers for their size and strength.
  • Brown Trout: Though not as common as other trout species, the thrill of catching a sizeable brown trout keeps anglers returning.
  • Northern Pike: These aggressive predators can be a challenge to catch on a fly rod, but the effort is well worth it.
  • Smallmouth Bass: They provide an exciting fishing experience as they put up a strong resistance when caught on a fly rod.

About The River

If you’re fascinated by rivers with rich historical roots, then you must learn about the Kootenai River below the Libby Dam. This captivating river is a lifeline in the northwest corner of Montana.

The Kootenai River was originally home to the Kootenai Tribe, who relied on the river’s bounty for sustenance. Its crystal-clear water was also used for transportation and trade.

  • Epicenter of the Fur Trade: During the 1800s, the river became an important route for the fur trade, playing an essential role in the European and local economies.
  • Installation of Libby Dam: In the mid-20th century, the iconic Libby Dam was built over the Kootenai River, drastically altering its course. This modification has been a source of interest for many environmental and historical researchers.

Currently, the picturesque Kootenai River is a beloved destination for fishing, wildlife viewing, and other recreational activities. Its compelling past only adds to its allure!

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