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Kootenai River Report | Aug. 17-24, 2016

Posted on Aug 17, 2016 by Dave Blackburn

River Flow: 7,000 cfs 10-16 foot visibility 55 degrees

Inflow from Lake Koocanusa : 7,000 cfs

Hatches: Tiny Winged Ants leading the hatch parade! Pale Morning Duns, Tan Caddis, Little Blue Quills, Blue Wing Olives, Lots of Hoppers and Ants working into the mix. Some Mahogany duns are starting to show in addition to heavy midge activity in the upper river.

Effective Patterns: X-Caddis, Adams, Parachute Adams, Royal Wulff, Red Quill, Purple Haze, Beadhead Prince, Copper johns, Wooly Buggers, Da-Bomb, Small Stonefly nymphs, Olive Stimulators, all hopper patterns, griffiths gnat, ant midges.

Guide report: Kootenai is down to its summer flat flow of 7,000 cfs and all stretches are fishing well. Guide boats are raising anywhere from 20-50 fish during half days on dries. Leader sizes need to be lengthened with the clearing water. Prior to hatch activity, streamer and nymph fishing is productive along with large dries/droppers. There are great caddis hatches, with ovipositing in the evenings. Cooler weather is improving the fishing conditions, with less emphasis towards a big evening, happy hour hatch. Watch for the Ant midges when you can’t see what they are taking! Have fun out there and wade safe; island points and gravels are unstable from the high flows of spring.

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.