Kootenai River Fishing Report

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The Kootenay (spelled Kootenai in the U.S. and historically called the Flatbow) is a major river in southeastern British Columbia and flows through Montana and Idaho.
 
The Kootenai River trout fishery begins below Libby Dam and stretches approximately 40 miles to the Idaho border. Above the Libby Dam, Lake Koocanusa Reservoir extends over 100 miles into the Canadian Rockies. The Kootenai’s wild and native rainbows are strong, hard fighters and are known to spool line off your reel only to put on a display of adrenaline pumping jumps. Streamers, fished deep produce native Bull trout up to the 10 pound range on the Kootenai. The Kootenai River is a classic dry fly fishery with long runs and flat pools that are perfectly suited for drifting a fly.
 
The Kootenai River is a bit off the beaten path, which make this the perfect getaway for those that enjoy a bit more solitude. Rainbow trout up to 33 pounds have been taken on the river. Hatches are prolific throughout the season and a steady release of water from the Libby dam provides for even flows. The Kootenai contains a native strain of rainbow trout, called Columbia Redbands and with 1500-2500 trout per mile there are plenty of fish that come to your fly. While waterflows can be an issue on other rivers during hot summer months, a steady supply from Lake Koocanusa keeps the local fish population of the Kootenai happy and cool.
 
Featured Fishing Trips
Guided Fishing Trips
$
225
-
$
385
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 3 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
4 hours - 1 day
Fishing Waters:
Destination:
White River Trout Fishing Since completion of the big Bull Shoals Dam in 1951, the Arkansas White River has developed into one of the most famous trout fisheries in the United States. ... moreLimit catches of rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout are common-place throughout most of the year. The size trout can grow to in these cold, clear waters is truly amazing, as the many records the White River has produced attest.

The water in the White River below Bull Shoals Dam is so frigid that even during the warmest summer months one can remain comfortably seated in a chair and feel a nice cool breeze coming off the water. As far as we know, there is no other fishery in the U.S. where you can take a continuous 4-day float trip and fish for rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout each day. As a convenience to our patrons, we stock all types of lures on which these fish are caught. Our experienced guides are always ready to recommend the baits, lures, or flies most likely to be effective at the time of your visit.
$
185
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$
335
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 3 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
4 hours - 1 day
Fishing Waters:
Destination:
$
300
-
$
475
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 3 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
4 hours - 1 day
Fishing Waters:
Destination:
The White River is a truly world class fishery like few others anywhere in the world and our home waters below Bull Shoals Dam is the finest of this river's 3 tailwaters. Its reputation ... moreas a brown trout fishery is well deserved, producing some monster "once in a life time" fish, but also holds good numbers of 19"- 24" fish. Chasing these trophies can be an immensely rewarding challenge. The White River is also heavily stocked with 12"-14" rainbow trout to provide consistent sport all year round on all water levels for all skill levels. Some rainbows, and cutthroat, can be still found well over 20", truly remarkable captures. Few tend to talk about the beauty of the White River as it glides past hill and holler: the soaring limestone bluffs, the dogwoods and redbuds of spring, the subtle mists and lush green banks of summer, the reds and gold of fall, and the stark gothic tones of winter.

FISHING THE WHITE
The White River is best known as a nymphing water, with consistent year round midge hatches and a plentiful supply of scuds and sowbugs plus bigger fare. Less well known are the increasingly strong hatches of Caddis (March-May), Sulphurs (June-July) and Terrestrials which can offer superb dry fly fishing depending on the water flows. These first two hatches can also add some nice variety to the nymphing. Want to know more? read the detailed hatch info on our Articles page. Our team is also seriously streamer addicted, as the best way to chase a genuine White River Trophy with a fly rod and we pride ourselves on our knowledge and gear selection. On low flows the White is easily waded, on higher flows there is still a surprising amount of fishing available for those on foot. But the White also offers tremendous watercraft based fishery on all water levels.

Being a fly fishing guide isn't just a way to earn a living. The best guides we know or have met have one thing in common, a burning passion, even obsession with the way of the fly rod. The ones who might guide you all day, then slip off to the river to fish of an evening; who schedule family holidays around fly fishing destinations and who climb out of bed in the middle of the night to tie that latest idea. There are plenty of guides on the White River system to "show you where the fish are" but fewer who can find the fish, know the rigging and tactics for changing conditions; have the right rods, lines and fly boxes for any eventuality; can teach you how to double haul, or single spey with a trout rod. Who share your passion. Our guide team, which also makes up most of our shop ownership and staff, are these guys. They go through waders and boots like others wear out jeans and tennis shoes, have fished 4 continents and North America from Alaska to The Keys. Regular folk would probably think them "not right". Our tailwaters can be some of the most complex to deal with anywhere, given the enormously varied water conditions you could face on any day. There aren't many places you can start the day wading at 50 cfs, and by midafternoon, be drifting on 20,000 cfs, and our guys will still have you catching fish and having fun.

These are the guys you want to make your fly fishing holiday one to remember for all the right reasons and keep you coming back season after season. The team offers wade, drift boat and river boat trips. They are state-licensed, properly insured and totally professional. They also happen to be a lot of fun.Bring your favorite rods or use our guide rods, at no extra charge, just give us a heads up when you book if you need gear. We can also arrange you to trial that next rod on your shopping list during your guide trip.You need to have appropriate clothing for the conditions, sunglasses, hat and sunscreen. Waders are optional on higher flows, essential on low water.

Our full day trips include lunch, which could range from sandwiches, cold meats, southern fried chicken, fajitas or bbq. Generally as standard we don't do cooked "shore lunches" which eat into your fishing time. But if your party would like a fish fry, bbq or other cooked lunches we are more than happy to arrange these services for an additional fee. Please let us know if you have any dietary requirements or serious dislikes, we can give the guide a heads up, particularly for soda choices alongside our standard bottled water.
Additional Information
Tributaries:
Palliser River, White River, Bull River, Elk River, Fisher River, Tobacco River, Lake Creek
Source:
South flank of Castle Mountain
Mouth:
Columbia River
Length:
485 miles
Basin:
19,420 sq miles
Current Forecast
Water Flow
River Water Temperature
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Best Fishing Report
Best fishing report I found on the Kootenai. This is a great river to fish on. Always catch lots of fish.
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