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Our Kootenai River fall fishing report finds a stunning autumn in full swing. It just doesn’t get any more beautiful out there, and the fishing is as good as it gets. Winter is coming and it’s the last call to fatten up. That means trout have their feedbags on, and likewise, we have our flies on the water. Read on for more details, and be sure to check out some of our images on our Instagram gallery here.
Flows & Temps
The river has been flowing at 6,000 cfs out of Libby Dam since early September, and water temps are ideal for active trout at 58 degrees. Because the Kootenai River is such a large body of water, ambient temps are slow to influence water temps.
Much more important is the temperature of the water coming out of the reservoir, and where the dam engineers draw it from. Even as low as Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho, seventy miles downstream from the dam, water temps are fluctuating only a degree or two in either direction of the dam temps in a 24 hour period.
Weather & Bugs
It’s a classic September in terms of weather so far. Lows are in the 30’s and 40’s and highs are in the 60’s and 70’s. Cool, cloudy and drizzly weather is bringing on nice hatches of Blue Winged Olives and Pseudos throughout the system, and we are seeing October Caddis on the lower river. The big bug terrestrial game is still in play river-wide as well, and is bringing up nice fish.
There’s a decent run of Kokanee Salmon in the lower river at this time, their end destination the Kootenai falls. We don’t specifically target the Kokanee, but they bring a nice splash of color to the crystal clear water and we have on occasion taken them on the fly.
Off the Beaten Track
Kootenai River fall fishing means working out of the boat in the big river a lot. That said, it’s also prime-time for getting out into the back-country. This is the forest at its most spectacular. There are innumerable lakes and streams where jewel-bright Westslope Cutthroat and brookies can be found. Spunky wild trout made to test that pet two-weight, and where we’ve yet to see another soul. All in all, it’s a really special time to be outside in Kootenai Country. Click here to contact us!