A friend and I had the privilege of fly fishing the Kootenay River in northwestern Montana last weekend. The Kootenay, a freestone river, has decent numbers of cutthroats, rainbows and bull trout. Most of the river is big water with strong, swift current at this time of the year, so it’s not a particularly friendly fishery for fly fishermen. But several fishable riffles and eddies can be accessed from the bank or by wading in shallow water. In April, the weather is still pretty cool and unpredictable with the temperature dropping to the 30s each night but the sun warmed up the day reliably. The fishing itself was not great but the scenery was fantastic. The blue-green waters of the Kootenay were encased by rugged, rocky canyons bursting with evergreens. If you go, you’ll need to bring a supply of patience, an appreciation of gorgeous scenery, and a warm sleeping bag.