Idaho Fly Fishers Blog

Beautiful North Idaho Home in Hope

Beautiful North Idaho Home in Hope
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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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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Moyie River Rainbow

The proverbial and illusive rainbow trout
Big Horn Gator
Somehow, a recent follower's email got deleted from my inbox and I feel terrible. I don't even recall the his name but I do remember his prior inquiry about Moyie River rainbow. I have a very simple answer. There are not that many good rainbow to be had in the Moyie. Rumor has it that there could be a state record brook trout in there, but those which I have caught have been small. I have been lucky enough to catch few really nice bows there and some good cutthroats, but they are few and far between.

There is also a few posts (by others) that below the mouth of Meadow Creek which dumps in about 1/2 way down the Moyie between the Canadian border and the Moyie River Bridge the rainbow fishing really gets good. Well I will tell you there is minimal access and it is hard wading. The water may be cooler, which the bows need in the heat of July and August, but I personally catch mostly cutties and again brookies.

Large saltwater rainbow
If the truth were to be known, in my personal quest for trout, I would float the Kootenai River in July or August hunting for rainbow. Now I don't really know why anyone would have a thing for the bow, but there are really only 3 rivers I know in the upper NW Idaho, Montana, Washington corridor that contains rainbows of significant quantities and sizes. These are the "redband" rainbow waters of the Spokane River and Kootenai River and the Big Horn River. The Spokane is very difficult to wade. The Big Horn is a long way away. And the Kootenai can fish really well or really not so well.

Platte River Brown
Missouri River Brown
The "dog days" of summer, July and August, aren't the best for trout fishing by any standards. So, if you really want a bow, and not some of those terrible brooks or cutthroats, go fish where they are. I would still suggest trying the Kootenai. Not the greatest place to wade, but good wading areas are accessible from the road. And if you are a little more adventurous, buy, borrow or rent a one man float tube (can be hard to escape if you capsize) or cheap inflatable raft or better yet a personal pontoon and float the stretch between the dam below Lake Koocanusa and the Osprey Landing. Perfectly safe to do and much fun. Remember always wear a well fitting PFD and never strap yourself in to any river vessel. Fish the deep runs and rocky shoals. Large dries with chironomid bead head droppers down about 2 feet should do the trick. If not, go with golden stones right on the bottom (9-10 feet) and a black crawler trailer. Use a float. You will catch 'em. 

Good luck, hard takes and tight lines catching those bows and non-bows. Go Idaho fly fishing.

Kootenai Redband Bow

Somewhere Bow
Tags:   Coeur d'Alene River Spring Fling
Cold Water Haunts (Part 1)
     Cold Water Haunts (Part 2)
     Continental Divide for Trout
     Death, Taxes & Fly Fishing 
     Dog Days

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