Fishing Season: Year Round (Prime: June 1 - October 31)

Kootenai River - MT

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Linehan Outfitting's Tip of the Week

Stick with duck hunting until further notice.

Directions open in app

Map of Kootenai River

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby

Linehan Outfitting Company

5-Day Outlook as of 1/17/22

It looks like Libby Dam will be releasing big water for the forseeable future. Expect rain and snow, dark skies, and marginal fishing conditions due to high flows.

Techniques & Tips as of 1/17/22

Streamers and nymphing are best bets under high water conditions.

Local Species Available Year Round (Prime: June 1 - October 31)

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    westlope cutthroat

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    bull trout

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    mountain whitefish

Linehan Outfitting's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Sparkle Dun standard 18
Adams Parachute Dry Fly standard 16
Rosenbauer's CDC Rabbits Foot Emerger olive 16,18
Royal Wulff standard 14
Pat's stonefly brown 10
purple chubby purple 12
Bead Head Prince standard 14,16,18
Flashback Baetis Nymph standard 18
big bunny streamers white, red, black 6
white circus peanut white 6

Sparkle Dun

A must-have in every box of trout flies

Linehan Outfitting's Recommended Gear

Description: About Kootenai River

Linehan Outfitting Company and the Kootenai River are located in the far Northwest corner of Montana. The Kootenai River runs through the towns of Libby and Troy before heading into Idaho where it turns north and flows back into Canada. This is not typical big sky country. Instead this is a place where the Pacific rainforest ecosystem crashes into the spine of the northern Rockies. It's a place still off the beaten path and a place where you can stand in a riffle at dark and have the whole place to yourself. The Kootenai is a big tailwater fishery and below Libby Dam we have about thirty miles of fishable water. Rainbows averaging 12"-16" on dry flies are pretty much the name of the game here throughout the season as well as the possibility of a huge bull trout if you feel like throwing bugs bunny all day. The Kootenai is big and broad and most efficiently fished from a drift boat in classic float/wade style and access to mid-stream islands and riffles provides easy wading in prime locations.

Nearest Airport:

Missoula, MT, Kalispell, MT, or Spokane, WA


midge, baetis

Best Time to Fish:

During daylight hours

Best Stretch:

The entire river is good shape and all stretches are fishing well.

Best Access:

All access points and launches are in great shape.