Kootenai River Outing

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Kootenai River Outing (Float & Wade Fishing)
 Date: September 9-11, 2022

Host: Dan Wight

 For those that have not been on an outing to the Kootenai River in Montana the options are many and all are good. At this time of the year I like to run the upper section which is just below the Libby Dam.

Directions: For those of you that haven’t driven through Sandpoint for a while, they finished the road construction in Sandpoint so that you don’t have to drive through south out of Coeur d’Alene. Stay to the main highway and it will lead you up over the railroad after you cross the long bridge as you come into town. There are two routes to Libby.

Route #1: Drive through Sandpoint on the main highway and north to Bonners Ferry, crossing the river there continuing north until you reach the junction, turning right on highway #2 and traveling east through the valley to Troy and on then to Libby.

 Route #2: This route takes you from the new interchange north of Sandpoint on highway 200 around the north shore of Pend Oreille Lake with some spectacular scenery through the town of Clark Fork,

Idaho. You will drive past the Cabinet Gorge Dam continuing upriver to the Bull Lake Road which turns left or North and intersects with highway #2 just east of Troy Montana. Here, you turn right or east and continue on your way past Kootenai Falls to Libby. On California Ave. which is the highway #37 intersection, turn left or North through downtown and follow the river north toward the Dam. We will do our own shuttles.

 Campgrounds: There are two campgrounds below the Libby Dam both free and have paved boat launches. The campgrounds are well cared for and have nice toilets and are level and on the riverbank. I will be staying at the lower of the two campgrounds which is the Blackwell Flats unit which is accessed by way of National Forestry road #228 which is on your left a few miles upriver from the forest service headquarters center just before you cross the Fisher River Bridge. This road runs up the west side of the lake behind the dam. If you cross the bridge you have missed the turn off to the campground and if you look across the river to your left you can see it. The second campground is a mile or so up the road and on your left, on the east side of the river.

For those that do not camp out (I’m sorry about that.) there are motels available in Libby which is about 20 miles from the Dam.

 Note: The last stop for groceries is Libby. BRING DRINKING WATER as the campgrounds don’t have wells, but are great otherwise. The free camping will pay for your out of state license which is inexpensive. Fishing licenses can be acquired on line or in Troy or Libby. There is a tackle and fly shop a short distance north of Libby on your left.

Spokane Fly Fishers LLC www.spokaneflyfishers.com October, 2019

 Note: For questions call me, Dan Wight at 509 447-2881 or wightshop@yahoo.com I always go over one or two days before the outing starts to get the site I like for the base camp.

 Food: We will have a potluck dinner on Saturday night.

 Float Trip: You will need a drift boat or a pontoon boat. Float tubes will not work here. There are several places to wade or fish from the bank. Bring your life jackets.

 Flies: Elk Hair Caddis, Prince Nymphs, Black Chernobyl Ants, Pale Morning Dun, Stimulators, Pheasant Tail Nymph, Parachute Adams, Emergers, Rusty spinners, all forms of caddis, Bead Head Pheasant Tail, Stoneflies and Prince, San Juan worms, Wooly buggers, Ants, Hoppers and Tarantulas. It has been recommended that you use Royal Ruffs, PMDs and Hoppers, as these usually work well on this river. Also recommended is a bead head rubber leg Stone nymphs they make a great lead fly with a lightning bug or smaller nymph behind it below an indicator.

 ADVANCED SIGN UP REQUIRED:  Sign up is online. Go to https://spokaneflyfishers.com. Log in.  Go to “Events”. Go down the page to Kootenai River Outing and click the image.  Go down to sign up form and sign up.  You are done. 

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A photo of the Kootenai River.
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