The Kootenai River is one of the great undiscovered rivers of America. Located in the extreme, northwest corner of Montana, it is well off the radar screen for most fly fishermen. We work with the best outfitter in the region, Linehan Outfitting Company whose professionalism and hospitality bring a Montana fly fishing trip to a new whole new level. If you have never fly fished the northwest corner of Montana, it is time you did. This area is truly far less traveled than other, more famous parts of the state and it’s extraordinarily beautiful. More like a rainforest, this is not typical “Big Sky Country.” Instead, it is a place of steep, rugged, heavily forested mountains and lush, green valleys. This is a place where the people are friendly, where you are made to feel welcome, and where you can get away from it all.
The Kootenai River Lodge is located on the banks of the Kootenai River in Libby, Montana.
The Kootenai River is one of the great undiscovered rivers of America. Located in the extreme, northwest corner of Montana, it is well off the radar screen for most fly fishermen. The Kootenai is a large tailwater river, whose best runs are easily accessed by drift boat. Once there, you may choose to fish from the boat or get out and wade one of the many mid-stream islands or riffles. The target here is primarily rainbows ranging from 12-16 inches in length, with the opportunity to catch larger fish each day. The Libby Dam provides consistent, steady water flows and temperatures throughout the lengthy mid-June through mid-November season.
Four, five, and six weights rods with floating lines will do the trick. Because of the location west of the Continental Divide, they generally don't get much wind. Kootenai rainbows are wild and the native redband strain are known to be some of the hardest fighting trout in the state, so be prepared!
Small Stream Fishing:
There are also small stream opportunities on some of the Kootenai's tributaries as well. The tributaries are incredibly scenic and full of wild trout averaging 6 -10 inches. Fishing the tributaries is more about fishing and less about catching lots of big fish. However, every year we're surprised by the occasional fish up to 18 inches. Most often the tributaries are fished with lighter rods like three and four weights and usually all you need is an attractor dry fly like a Royal Wulff or stimulator. Tributaries are most often wade trips and the best fishing is early in the season from about mid-June to the middle of August.
There are numerous lower elevation and alpine lakes and ponds in the area that also offer entertaining angling opportunities. Most of these lakes are fished from float tubes although occasionally drift boats are used when accessible. The scenery and isolation of these alpine lakes is simply spectacular, and you may see all kinds of wildlife. Most waters are teeming with westslope cutthroat trout 6 -10 inches. Several of these lakes also offer opportunities for larger rainbows as well.
In addition to guided fly fishing, just about anything you can imagine as part of a Rocky Mountain vacation can be arranged for you, or non-angling members of your party. With over 2 million acres of pristine, mountainous National Forest & designated Wilderness Area, outdoor activities are on the top of the list:
Hiking, mountain biking, self guided wade fishing wildlife viewing & photos - Located in the Kootenai National Forest, many trail heads & primitive roads spring from Yaak River road. Day hikes reward our guests with memories, stories and the photos to back them.
Golf - Cabinet View Country Club, Libby, MT www.cabinetviewcountryclub.com
Driving tours - Day trips to Glacier National Park, Ross Creek Cedars, and Kootenai Falls just to mention a few.
Winter activities - Downhill skiing is available locally at Turner Mountain www.skiturner.com Cross country skiing, snowshoeing, back country skiing are recommended activities.
This is a great for a family holiday get away or company retreat. Montana's "banana belt" has a lot of nice days in the winter and if you don't mind throwing streamers and nymphs, the fishing can be very good.
Accommodations and Meals:
Yaak Valley Log Cabins:
Located on a hillside and bordered by the Kootenai National Forest, the cabins offer a secluded getaway, just minutes from the Yaak River and just one hour from the Kootenai River. Each cabin offers a quiet and private retreat. All cabins have one bedroom with a queen bed, full kitchen, sitting area, bathroom, sleeping loft with two twin beds, and a gas grill on the porch. They are well equipped, including a coffee maker and grinder, toaster, pans, and oven, so all you need to bring are groceries and personal items. Towels and lines are supplied.
Kootenai River Lodge:
This four bedroom / two bath spacious home is located on a very private 8 acres just 2 miles from Libby, Montana. The Kootenai River is right out the front door! The lodge is well equipped so all you need to bring are groceries and personal items.
Special “full service” packages can be arranged for a party of 4 or more guests at the Kootenai River Lodge with advanced notice.
Day 1: Arrive Missoula, MT. Rent a car and drive to Libby
Days 2-6: Full days of guided fishing
Day 7: Depart lodge
2020 Rate: $3,185 for a 5 night/4 day package for 1 or 2 anglers at the Yaak Valley Cabins
*Variable length stays are welcome, please call for rates.
Included: Guided fishing, daily stream side picnics and river house lodging
Not Included: Alcohol, Montana accommodation tax, meals, fishing licenses, and guide/staff gratuities
Species: Rainbow trout, Westlslope cutthroat trout
Season: July – Mid-November
Capacity: 16 anglers
Map: Libby, MT
Time: The time in Montana is Mountain Daylight Time.