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This is some great info and I really really appreciate you putting the time into it. Extremely useful for the trip and I'm sure for my brother down the road.
I did have one quick question. The area you talked about with the island just west of the Idaho line, is it possible to get down to the river from the road and simply walk the banks of any of these spots or is that part of the Kootenai mostly for floating?
Mid-May fishing will probably be best on the Kootenai or Bull Rivers. I personally like the area on the Idaho portion of the Kootenai just west of the old Leonia, ID ghost town and Boulder Creek in May. There is an island just west of the Idaho line where I have caught some really good fish in the spring time on both sides and right at the point (east end) using large streamers like the YSF Assam. This is one beautiful float down to the take out at Twin Rivers Resort. The Kootenai and the Bull may be the two most scenic floats in the west.
Guides on these two rivers are listed below:
1-Dave Blackburn at the Kootenai Angler in Libby, MT
2-Tim Linehan at Linehan Outfitting Company in Libby, MT. Tim has appeared on the History Channel series “Mountain Men”.
3-Kootenai River Outfitters just outside of Troy, MT
These guys also fish other local rivers and will let you know which, they believe, are fishing the best when you arrive. I have fished with both Blackburn and Linehan and are both really good. I have personally never fished with KRO.
Another really good guide is Randy Dingman of ROW Adventures. I have fished with Randy and he tends to fish on rivers farther to the south like the NF of the Coeur d’Alene, Spokane and St. Joe Rivers. Again 2-3 hours away. He will do his best to put you on fish.
Please realize that most western guides are purists and tend to lean more to dries. The Kootenai guys up near the Libby dam will probably try something like a large salmon fly and a chironomid dropper (called zebra midges back east) that time of year—not a bad choice and fun to fish. PS there are some very large bull trout in places on the Kootenai to be had on large streamers. Not supposed to fish for them (endangered) but some guides will.
I know this is a lot to absorb, so if you have any other questions feel free to contact me. Obviously, I love to talk fly fishing. Sorry, no really good rivers near Sandpoint in mid-May. But all of the above are within a 2-3 hour drive. Worth it!
PS—If you ever come back there are also some great rivers in British Columbia 3 hours away.
Idaho Angler (IdahoAngler@live.com)
PS again--My brother form SC comes over for fishing also each year. There are some closer options once snows melt but locally go mostly with small lakes in May. Some good fish though.Good luck. YSF
Sent from iPhoneHey YSF,Asheville is an incredible area of NC, love it up there and I'm sure your daughters do as well.I appreciate the thought on some options for us fly fishing out there. My brother and his wife just had their first kid this past week and that is why we are heading out that way. We all have fishing experience but are just now getting more into fly fishing. Not trying to travel extremely far from Sandpoint but do want to see what some of the better options are. If you think maybe just exploring some areas on our own without a guide then we are considering that as well since I know my brother will be looking to adventure out on his own in the future. Just wanted the opinion from an area local like yourself.Thanks for the help and have a great Saturday..CA
I was in VA Beach for 20 years and have daughters there.CA,
My brother is new to living out in Sandpoint and my mother and I are visiting him in mid May. I wanted to get your recommendation on a guided half or full day trip around that area or nearby. Any good guide or company that you suggest around that area? Thank you!!!!
Recent email correspondence from soon to be avid Idaho fly fisher and hopefully our first NC member of the IDFFA. Remember this is and email correspondence, so just to mix things up start at the bottom. Enjoy and email me any time for Idaho fly fishing suggestions and I WILL respond.