Kootenai Creek is where my obsession with fly fishing solidified last year. It was only my second time out and prior to that I’d only caught one fish. A friend and I got on Kootenai super early one morning and within an hour had stopped counting the number of fish to hand. It’s chock full of beautiful little trout, the hike in is extremely scenic and not too difficult, and it’s in close proximity to Stevensville, MT, home to Blacksmith Brewing. It became my go to spot instantly.
A few weeks ago, Shannon and I headed down to see how the water levels were as I was hoping to take my Dad there for Father’s Day. At the time, things were still a bit too high to do any real fishing. Today, while the water was still moving, some pockets have begun to show themselves and as long as you’re cautious a bit of wading can open up even more water.
While Shannon and her sister did some hiking, I threw a parachute adams in the water and had a successful morning. Enough blabbing, on to some pics.
The skies looked a bit ominous but, the weather would be kind to us and hold off until our drive back to Missoula.
The first half mile is through private land. No fishing, which is painful as there are some amazing pools. Wonder if I could convince the land owner to let me in, just one time… But after the sign, it’s game on!
The hike in really is a lot of fun. It’s pretty heavily trafficked so the trail is in great condition and it has some nice little inclines like this one to punctuate the level spots where you can just enjoy the scenery.
Still moving pretty good. A few spots I would’ve loved to hit I thought better of, didn’t feel like going for a swim.
First catch of the year on KC. A little camera shy but a greedy little fella. Went after a size 12 parachute adams.
Shannon and Kathleen had a great morning for hiking. Not too hot and just overcast enough to keep the trail users to a minimum.
Trout number two came out of the spot in the upper right of this photo. A little more cooperative with the camera this time.
And shortly after, number three. Minutes later I’d run into Shannon and Kathleen on their way back down. I hit a few more spots, getting into some bigger fish, probably in the 8″ range, the Soyokaze handled one in particular that was trying to run down a fall very nicely.
The short rod actually allowed me to bow and arrow cast under the log in this pic and have two fish on the line. It was a ridiculous spot to try to land anything but it was fun to try. I did end up getting a bit tangled but it was easy enough to reach.
Shannon was in charge of the camera for the rest of the hike out. I got into another little guy, as seen in the video below. The bigger fish, which are by no means huge in this creek, seem to be holding in water that is still just a bit too difficult to get to safely. I had two in the 8″ range on the hook that released themselves right as I was landing them and then another one or two in the same range that hit the hook but I missed the set. I’ll be seeing those ones again soon once the water levels come down a bit more.
We popped in to Stevensville for lunch at the Stevi Cafe, super good and cheap food. Will be stopping again in the future. And then had a beer and filled a growler at Blacksmith.
An excellent Tuesday morning to be sure.
Happy angling all!