Jump to content


Photo

Irene is here and I'm in Montana


  • Please log in to reply
2 replies to this topic

#1 jneedles

jneedles

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 34 posts

Posted 03 September 2011 - 06:56 PM

Forutnately for me, I was in Montana during the tropical storm. 42k CFS on the Main Stem is outrageous. Does anyone recall the flows during the '96 flood?

I was in Libby, MT in the northwest part of the state on the Kootenai River and its tribs. They had huge runoff in MT this year from excessive winter snows, so the rivers didn't get into fishing shape until late July. I was lucky to have planned an August trip months ago to visit family.

The Kootenai fishes as a tailwater below the Libby Dam. The water release policy is restricted to a certain CFS increase per hour. The temperature in the river is also highly controlled as the dam has release gates at various levels.

I only had time to fish 2 days, but found cooperative trout on both. I drifted the Kootenai from the town of Libby to a point a few miles above Kootenai Falls. This is the location where some of the whitewater scenes in The River Wild with Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon were filmed (it's a good movie to use if you're playing 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon).

I was hoping to land at least one cutthroat, but had to be content with all rainbows and 1 brook trout (obviously the brookie was not native). Fish tend to be smaller than average on the Kootenai. I landed somewhere between 25-30 fish during the float with at least as many misses. Most fish were between 10-13 inches and one topped out at 15". My guide believes that the quality of minerals in the river impacts fish size and claims that downstream in Idaho, minerals have been introduced to the river which has yielded larger fish. However, the state record rainbow (46 lbs.) came out of the Kootenai just below the dam. It must have been gorging itself on various fish which had been chewed up by the turbines.

We started with a Crane Fly and PMD (pale morning dun) emerger dropped behind. Fish were up on both flies. Eventually, we swapped out the crane fly for an elk hair caddis and fished it with a PMD for most of the day.

My years on the Delaware made fishing the Kootenai easier. The fish aren't as picky and leaders don't need to be as long or as thin. There are simply more fish and less pressure.

On the second day, I walked a few miles in a small tributary and found many fish in the cut banks. I fished a hopper for most of the day. In each bend in the stream, there were beautiful deep green/blue pools of fast water. Perfect rainbow habitat. In the cut banks, I would often throw within 24" of the bank and get a nice drag free float without rising any fish. I would then make the same cast but get within 12" which was enough to stimulate a rise and usually a hookup. In the deeper pools, a downstream presentation into a shallow area worked well. Letting the hopper drift from the skinny water over the cutoff into the deeper water was a winning strategy.

In many ways, the wading trip was more rewarding than the float. I had to work harder which made each fish sweeter. Many eagles, ospreys and even an occassional big horn sheep added to the experience. I returned to NYC 2 days after Irene to typical city noise (jack hammers, ambulance sirens etc...) and a good deal of culture shock.

Pictures at www.janccs.com/montana2011

Jonathan


#2 SPINNER78

SPINNER78

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 474 posts
  • LocationWoodsburgh, NY and Denning, NY

Posted 03 September 2011 - 07:56 PM

Forutnately for me, I was in Montana during the tropical storm. 42k CFS on the Main Stem is outrageous. Does anyone recall the flows during the '96 flood?

I was in Libby, MT in the northwest part of the state on the Kootenai River and its tribs. They had huge runoff in MT this year from excessive winter snows, so the rivers didn't get into fishing shape until late July. I was lucky to have planned an August trip months ago to visit family.

The Kootenai fishes as a tailwater below the Libby Dam. The water release policy is restricted to a certain CFS increase per hour. The temperature in the river is also highly controlled as the dam has release gates at various levels.

I only had time to fish 2 days, but found cooperative trout on both. I drifted the Kootenai from the town of Libby to a point a few miles above Kootenai Falls. This is the location where some of the whitewater scenes in The River Wild with Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon were filmed (it's a good movie to use if you're playing 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon).

I was hoping to land at least one cutthroat, but had to be content with all rainbows and 1 brook trout (obviously the brookie was not native). Fish tend to be smaller than average on the Kootenai. I landed somewhere between 25-30 fish during the float with at least as many misses. Most fish were between 10-13 inches and one topped out at 15". My guide believes that the quality of minerals in the river impacts fish size and claims that downstream in Idaho, minerals have been introduced to the river which has yielded larger fish. However, the state record rainbow (46 lbs.) came out of the Kootenai just below the dam. It must have been gorging itself on various fish which had been chewed up by the turbines.
Suttlebut is the flows were much lower in 96, then again I dont recall 9 inches of rain in 96????? and the water table would have been much lower in 96 we have had a very wet spring/summer, most creeks that are dry by Aug 1 are still runing one washed out Edwards/Marsh Road along side the sink just below bridgeville. 8-10 feet missing, repaired in 2 days-THANKS Falsburg fire and......

We started with a Crane Fly and PMD (pale morning dun) emerger dropped behind. Fish were up on both flies. Eventually, we swapped out the crane fly for an elk hair caddis and fished it with a PMD for most of the day.

My years on the Delaware made fishing the Kootenai easier. The fish aren't as picky and leaders don't need to be as long or as thin. There are simply more fish and less pressure.

On the second day, I walked a few miles in a small tributary and found many fish in the cut banks. I fished a hopper for most of the day. In each bend in the stream, there were beautiful deep green/blue pools of fast water. Perfect rainbow habitat. In the cut banks, I would often throw within 24" of the bank and get a nice drag free float without rising any fish. I would then make the same cast but get within 12" which was enough to stimulate a rise and usually a hookup. In the deeper pools, a downstream presentation into a shallow area worked well. Letting the hopper drift from the skinny water over the cutoff into the deeper water was a winning strategy.

In many ways, the wading trip was more rewarding than the float. I had to work harder which made each fish sweeter. Many eagles, ospreys and even an occassional big horn sheep added to the experience. I returned to NYC 2 days after Irene to typical city noise (jack hammers, ambulance sirens etc...) and a good deal of culture shock.

Pictures at www.janccs.com/montana2011

Jonathan

scuttlebut is the flows in 96 were much lower. I dont recall 9 inches of rain in 96????? and the water table should have been much lower in 96 we have had a very wet spring/summer. Creeks that run dry mid July are still running one on Edwards/Marsh Road along the Neversink just below bridgeville remove a 10 foot section of the road . Repair in 2 days, THANKS to the ROCK HILL Fire Dept.

#3 Dr V

Dr V

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 35 posts

Posted 04 September 2011 - 10:51 AM

I fished the Koot myself last year in June and had a blast (also the Yaak).




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users