Big "Y" Flies

Big "Y" Flies
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Discussing fishing flies, trout flies, salmon flies, fly fishing gear and equipment, Idaho and Montana fishing rivers, NW rivers, fly tying and fly fishing trips. Over 50 years experience in fly fishing, best flies, fly tying, fly fishing techniques, fish stories, directions to rivers and lakes and great fly fishing tall tales with special communications from area guides.

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Here is the scoop. We will also be going on some shorter side trips this summer as well. They will be posted here. If you live in Montana, Idaho or Washington state, you may want to contact IdahoAngler@live.com for details. You'll meet some really great fellow fishers!
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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Kootenai River in August

Since the IDFFA will be having one of the 2017 excursions on the Kootenai River this coming September, I thought I would share some research. This should be one of the best fly fishing times of the year on the Koot. Flows will be around a near perfect 6,000 cfs and color should be "gin clear". Water temperature should be around 55 degrees--again ideal. This will also be pre-spawn for big browns.

The Montana state record rainbow was caught on this massive river just below the Lake Koocanusa Dam located only about 20 minutes north of Libby, MT. "Koocanusa" per an IDFFA member Kevin "Shotgun" stands for "Kootenai-Canada-USA" since this lake is shared by the our two countries. There are some HUGE bull trout also just below the dam for which you cannot legally fish in the US but you can in Canada. The Kootenai receives little pressure year round because it is not easily accessible. The closest Airport is in Kalispell, MT and is 2 hours away. Missoula, MT and Spokane, WA are each about 3 1/2 hours out. So getting there is not that easy.

There are also few guide services but the two I have personally used are Kootenai Angler and Linehan. Both have excellent guides and know the river well. They will put you on fish. Also, the fall brings out very large caddies flies and usually there are some sporadic hoppers as well. Browns deep will be hitting Wooly Buggers and very large Streamers. Some will select droppers of chironomids, off of large dries since this is a tailwater just below the lake. Some nymphs will work as well depending on conditions. Another good reference site is Big Sky Fishing.com.

The locals recommend fishing the end of island where the flow is less and the large rock boulder fields which are common lateral to the deeper channels. Here is a list of fly suggestions for the early fall on the Kootenai (some spell it  "Kootenay"):
Orange/Tan Stimulator
Parachute Adams
BH (Bead Head) Hare's Ear
BH Prince
Wooly Bugger (Olive or Black) w or w/o BH
Assam Dragon
Golden or Yellow Stonefly (Also use Yellow Stimulator)

Enjoy the Kootenai this coming fall. Close enough for Idaho Fly Fishing. Hard takes and tight lines.


Tags:    Big Horn River - MT
     Bitterroot River Valley Skwala
     Bull River Hogs - Montana * *
Bull River Montana Alps
     Cancun Rainbow?
     Coeur d'Alene (NF-Revisited)
     Elk River - Fernie, BC, Canada

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