Fly Fishing and Car Show

Normally I’m not much of a “car” gal. But when it was decided we’d head to Libby, Montana to fish the Kootenai River, hang out with some of our best buds, and check out the car show the Libby Igniters Car Club puts on, I was pretty excited to go.

The Kootenai River

The Kootenai River lies in the northwest corner of Montana. It dips into the United States from Canada and travels through a lake, river, and gorges before arriving briefly in Idaho. From there, the Kootenai retreats to Canada before joining the Columbia River on its quest west to the sea.

The Libby Dam holds back the Kootenai River at Lake Koocanusa. The lake straddles both the US and Canada. Koo-Kootenai, Can – Canada, and the USA,  create the lake’s unique name. The Libby Dam pauses the flow long enough to generate power and send cold river water flowing, creating great trout habitat.

We floated a short, 4-mile section from the dam to Blackwell Flats Campground for this trip daily. Daytime temps soared between 90 and 100 degrees each day of our trip, so a short float was about all we could handle. It was unusually hot and, at times, downright miserable between 3 and 6 pm.

The river is incredibly strong and powerful. During our trip, the river flowed at 12,000 CFS. The water was a balmy 58 degrees. Even small trout in the Kootenai put up quite a fight. To survive here, you must be a strong swimmer and a competitive eater.

Tim with a Kootenai Rainbow Trout

Tim with a Kootenai Rainbow Trout

Lisa and Belle hooking into a Kootenai Rainbow Trout

Lisa and Belle hooking into a Kootenai Rainbow Trout

Flies We Used

August is hopper season! We used a variety of hoppers and small droppers such as pheasant tails and perdigons. Pale Morning Duns seemed to come off all throughout the day with the best action in the morning and evenings.

We used 5 weight rods plus we had a streamer rod set up, but unused.

If you go, our good friends Tim and Joanne Linehan run a top-notch operation offering guided fly fishing, grouse hunts, big game hunts, and lodging nearby. They can set you up for success!

Kootenai River Below Libby Dam

Ignite The Nites Car Show

The Igniters Car Club in Libby puts on a fun show. They convert the main streets of the rural Montana town into a scene out of Grease where cars cruise and chirp tires and onlookers admire the gasoline era and old car styling.

Live music and DJs entertain the crowd while folks dress up in 50’s fashion and competed for prizes. Cars come from all over the northwest and Canada for this fun event.

Igniters Car Show Libby Montana

Ignite The Nites Car Show

Video of Libby Trip
August 2022

The Best Part

Maybe the best part of all the trips we take is the time spent with friends or family.

It was miserably hot, but we made the best of it. Parmenter Creek flowed through Woodlands Campground where we all camped. We brought our chairs, a table, and cocktails to the small stream. Here we sat and laughed every afternoon while we waited for the air to cool.

In the creek, we picked rocks, saw a snake, and cringed as a bat flew over. We caught grasshoppers, crimped their wings, and sent them to their death as they were gobbled up by hungry trout just a few feet downstream.

These are the good days.

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