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Kootenai River Report | September 9, 2016

Posted on Sep 09, 2016 by Dave Blackburn

River Flow: 6,500 cfs 10-16 foot visibility 57 degrees

Inflow from Lake Koocanusa : 5000 cfs

Hatches: Blue-wing olives, Pale Morning Duns, Tan Caddis, Little Blue Quills, Tiny Winged Ants, Lots of Hoppers and Ants working into the mix. Some Mahogany duns starting to show. Starting to see heavy midge activity in 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 moving into its fall conditions, with the colors starting to change and super clear water. 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. Have fun out there and wade safe, island points and gravels are unstable from the high flows of spring. There are great caddis hatches, with ovipositing in the evenings. Cooler weather is improving 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! Good BWO activity on overcast days.

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.