Our fishing adventures generally begin around the middle of March and run through Thanksgiving.
We provide all Orvis gear free of charge if necessary, including rods, reels, and waders. Please bring your own foul-weather gear. Additionally, know we have plenty of Orvis demo rods and reels for you to try anytime. Guides provide flies, up to a point.
We believe that variety is indeed the spice of life and to that end, our fishing program is incredibly diverse. Our home water here in the northwest corner of Montana is the Kootenai River and all its tributaries. The Kootenai is a big, broad tailwater fishery that is honestly the last un-crowded river in the state. It's best fished with traditional float/wade techniques and features rainbow and cutthroats averaging 10-16 inches. The Kootenai tributaries and headwaters provide tremendous small-stream opportunities. Miles and miles of wilderness-like freestone streams tumble out of the mountains and are full of native rainbows, cutts, and brookies. Early in the season we float the tributaries but usually by mid-July they become walk/wade adventures. For the stillwater enthusiast, alpine lakes and valley ponds are yours to explore and we also spend a fair bit of time on the lower Clark Fork River around St. Regis, Montana and offer it as an option here at home, too. The Clark Fork is also best fished by driftboat; it's a fantastic fishery featuring, on average, 14- to 18-inch rainbows and cutts, and is also un-crowded.
Additionally, LOC spends time around the state fishing different waters during certain times of the year. In March and April we can be found on the Bitterroot and Clark Fork Rivers around Missoula. From mid-May through mid-June we can be found in Craig, Montana on the Missouri River. These early season adventures are awesome and offer some of the most spectacular spring options in the state. Shoulder season, pre-runoff fishing is spectacular! The fish are hungry, the bugs are starting, and the waters are un-crowded.
All information about our diverse fishing program throughout the season can be found in detail on our site.
This northwest corner of the state is not typical big sky country. Instead, it's a place of dense, coniferous forests, a place of lush, green mountains, and lots of water. Our summer/fall fishing season is generally lovely. Nights and mornings can be chilly with average temps in the 40s and 50s and daytime temps with lots of sunny days can average 80 degrees. As always, bring good rain gear just in case, but for the most part this area of the state sees pretty consistent weather through September.
Average water temps early in the year might still be around 50 degrees, so waders are common. After about the middle of July we generally wet wade if you're comfortable doing so.
We have an extended suite of packages ranging from single-day outings to week-long full-service lodge packages. To that end, packages include 4 nights/3 days, 5 nights/4 days, and 6 nights/5 days. Generally speaking, we start the fishing day around 8:30 and end around 6pm. From time to time we adjust and offer fishing days that begin around 2pm and end around 10pm. Depending on where your guide decides to fish for the day, he or she will either pick you up or meet you at our guide shop in Libby, Montana.
We are trout bums and our season revolves around rainbow, cutthroats, browns, and bull trout. Throughout the season we'll fish dries, nymphs, and streamers—whatever it takes to get you into fish. But know this: if you have a preference, we're happy to accommodate.
SUGGESTED GEAR LIST
Linehan Outfitting Company lodge and cabin settings are very casual and no special attire is necessary. Blue jeans, khakis, shorts, casual shirts, and fishing shirts are all common.
Long underwear, top and bottom, at least one pair. Mid-weight, quick drying is most versatile. For cold weather and water, use heavy weight underwear or fleece garments under breathable waders.
FLY FISHING CHECKLIST
Rods and Reels
Leaders and Tippets
Waders and Wading Boots
Other Standard Gear
We have three handcrafted log cabins located in Yaak, Montana. They are well appointed, have everything you need, and are easily accessible off the main Yaak road just beyond the 35-mile mark in the upper valley. Access to the Yaak River and the surrounding Kootenai National forest is immediate, offering easy family activity time if you desire.
Each rental cabin has a queen bedroom, sleeping loft with two twin beds, one bathroom, a full kitchen, and a gas grill on the porch. We want to assure you that they are also well equipped and furnished with all kitchen and cooking utensils and we want your stay here at our Yaak log cabins to be restful, easy, comfortable, and without worries. All you need to bring are groceries and personal items. We provide flannel sheets, down comforters, satellite internet, and stars so bright at night you can practically hear them, all of which make for a wonderful stay here in Yaak.
As another lodging option, and more suitable for groups of up to 8 people, is our Kootenai River Lodge. It’s no exaggeration to say this is an extraordinary piece of property. Situated on 8 acres in Libby, Montana with big, green lawns and right on the bank of the Kootenai River, the lodge is also fully furnished, well appointed, including all kitchen and cooking utensils, and offers spectacular views of the river and the Cabinet Mountains out the front door. Four bedrooms and two baths with a spacious living/dining room help make the lodge a great place for your family or group to base from while fishing or hunting with us here in Kootenai country.
We offer two different packages here at the lodge:
Our full-service fly-fishing package is all-inclusive, with meals prepared by Joanne. Instead of singing the praises of Joanne’s culinary experience, suffice it to say that Joanne would easily be included in a list of the best and most accomplished and praised chefs in the industry. For over 20 years she has been preparing meals for Linehan Outfitting Company guests by cooking with fresh, locally grown ingredients with a dedication to being thoughtful and innovative about meals without being pretentious or over the top. Most recently, Joanne studied and worked in the kitchen with noted Boston chef Gordon Hamersley of Hamersley’s Bistro.
We also offer a package at our lodge without meals. Basically you rent the entire place yourself and do your own meals. Generally speaking, we do not mix parties at the lodge. You are there with your group and that’s it.
Q. Where should I fly?
A. Air travel to and from Spokane, Washington is best. We do not provide airport transportation to and from our operation.
Q. What is a typical gratuity for a guide?
A. Guide gratuities average $80-$100 per day.
Q. How big is the closest town?
A. Libby and Troy, Montana are fairly good-sized towns with grocery stores, hotels, motels, etc.
Q. What else is nearby?
A. Glacier National Park is three hours away from our operation.
Overall: 5.0 / 5 based on 143 reviews
143 of 143 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Clark Fork Rocks -
By: Ipaddulique from Ephrata, WA
My friend Keith and I fished with Tim in early April. Two days - 14 miles each day. The first day was tough (weather: hard upstream wind, snow) but Tim got us into fish. The second day the weather was much better and the fishing improved. Tim Linehan worked very hard both days, long days. He was attentive, great eyes and a lot of fun.
By: Westkootie from Stevensville, MT 59870, USA
My Son and I have fished with Tim the past two years in early spring on the Bitterroot river. Tim is hard working, knowledgeable, patient, and above all has unbelievable unending enthusiasm. Absolute highest recommendation.
Great Day Fishing -
By: charlieflyfish from Lenoir City, T
I had a great day of fishing and conversation. He is a very experienced guide who worked hard to put me on many fish. We shared enthusiasm for conservation and the work of Trout Unlimited and had a very interesting and productive day on the river.
Great fishing and brownies -
By: Tooth123 from Alpine, Utah
My wife and I spent 3 days fishing with Tim and crew last August. We had a wonderful time, caught many fish (20 to 30 daily), met some very knowledgeable and kind people, and saw some beautiful scenery. Most fish are in the 13 to 15 inch range, but some were much larger. We also had shots at bull trout, but were a little early in the season. Be sure to ask for JoAnn's brownies for lunch at least once--they are fabulous!
Great Fishing, Great People -
By: OldDesertRat from Nevada City, CA 95959, USA
Miles of the crystal-clear Kootenai River running wide and swift with only mild rapids made this a great challenge. Excellent guides provide excellent instruction and drift-boat skills help the angler carefully present the flies to wary fish in 200, 300 and even longer drifts. I even spent two hours being educated by fish and guides in the art of midge fishing with fine results. This operation is quality and so are its people -- and Joanne's food and smile is right out of Julia Child!
Most Interesting Outfitter -
By: MostInterestin from Indianapolis, IN, USA
I would assume that the Most Interesting Man in the world does not always use an outfitter to fly fish, but if he did, he would prefer Linehan Outfitting Company. These guys are a class act through and through. My first experience fly fishing with Tim was in 2013, which brought me back in 2014 ... I have been "hooked" ever since. Linehan teaches one everything one could want to know about fly fishing ... and more. Best vacation ever ... he truly provided a wonderful escape from reality. A++
Love Montana -
By: Actonflyfisher from Acton, MA, USA
The Kootenai and the Yaak rivers are spectacular, and Tim & his guides know the waters. This was the most dry-fly fishing I've ever done. Memories and photos of the trip I made in July will sustain me through the long NE winter! Overall, the fishing, food (home-cooked by Joanne!), lodging and location made the trip a great experience.
Another wonderful trip! -
By: troutdvm from north carolina
I enjoyed my second trip to the Kootenai River Lodge and fishing with the Linehan Outfitting crew in September of this year. Once again, all expectations were exceeded. The guides (Tim, Sean, Travis and Steve) were outstanding. All extremely knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. Steve Shaw was especially helpful with his demonstrations and effective teaching of new and better techniques. I already consider all of them as friends. Joanne makes the end of the day a goal in itself with her amazing meals and wonderful company. I feel as if I am among old friends each time I visit and am already planning my next trip out.
Fantastic trip -
By: Billy1528 from Cashiers, NC, USA
Great location, wonderful fishing, hard working guides with winning personalities, food exceptional and we even enjoyed the 3 hour trip from airport. My second time here and will return next year.
Fly Fishing fun in NW Montana -
By: NThielmann from Somerset, NJ, USA
My husband & I returned to the Yaak valley to spend a couple of days fishing with the great guides at Linehan Outfitting Company. We were able to spend a day fishing with Tim Linehan on a mid-section of the Kootenai, and were able to explore the lower Kootenai with Sean McAfee. Fishing with Tim is always such a pleasure - he is so knowledgeable and patient, and I always end the day with a smile on my face! Sean was able to take us to a remote area of the lower Kootenai, which was filled with fabulous birdlife. We caught some beautiful rainbows in the coves and around the rock formations.