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Little Blue Quill Hatch | Kootenai River, Montana

Posted on Mar 07, 2016 by Dave Blackburn

Here on the Kootenai River, we see our first significant hatches in March and April. The water is cold, the rainbow trout are spawning in the main river, and you can expect some discoloration in the water as a result of runoff from tributaries entering the Kootenai River below the dam. On sunny days, we do see that dry fly action that’s been dormant for over 4 or more months. We get little blue quill, chironomid, blue winged olive, and tiny olive stone hatches throughout March and April depending on the flow and weather conditions. Check out this little blue quill hatch we had a few years ago in April!




About dave

Dave Blackburn started tying flies and fly fishing at the age of 10 and has been fishing and guiding the Kootenai River in Montana for more than 25 years. He graduated from West Virginia University with a BS in Forest Resource Management with an emphasis on water quality and aquatic ecology. He traveled westward and ended up in Montana on the banks of the Kootenai in 1981 where he now resides with his wife, Tammy. He is on the board of directors of the Kootenai Valley Trout Club. He has been a past director of the the Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana and the Montana Council of Trout Unlimited. Dave chaired the Upper Kootenai River Preservation Society, which was instrumental in defeating the Jennings Rapids Dam project. Dave is a FFF-certified casting instructor and a contract tyer for Umpqua Feather Merchants. He teaches fly tying and fly fishing at Flathead Community College. His photos and articles have appeared in Flyfisherman, Fly Rod and Reel, and The Flyfisher magazines.