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Kootenai River Report | May 31 – June 6

Posted on May 31, 2016 by Dave Blackburn

River Flow: 17,000 cfs 8-12 foot visibility 51 degrees

Inflow from Lake Koocanusa: 31,200 cfs

Hatches: Grannom Caddis, Little Blue Quills, Blue Wing Olives, Silver Stripe Caddis, Little Olive Stone, some flights of Carpenter Ants, assorted stoneflies coming into Kootenai from Fisher 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.

Guide report: Water temps on the Kootenai River are on the rise, due to the warmer weather. Sturgeon Flows are done for the season and the river is gradually dropping to its flat projected flow for June; (9-12 kcfs). The Upper river opens June 1.

Prior to hatch activity, streamer and nymph fishing is most productive, WADE WITH CAUTION, THIS IS A HIGH FLOW AND WATER IS EXTREMELY COLD.

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.