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Fishing Lake Koocanusa

AKA: Koocanusa Reservoir

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By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Lake Koocanusa, MT

Popular Fish Species Lake Koocanusa, MT

Lake Koocanusa Popular Fish - Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout Fishing

Lake Koocanusa is stocked annually by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to maintain a healthy population of trout. Gerrard Rainbow Trout are one commonly stocked strain of rainbows. This year, fishing for rainbow trout in Lake Koocanusa continues to be very productive for local anglers. Fish for rainbow trout here with worms, salmon eggs, prepared baits, small spinners, spoons, jerkbaits and small crankbaits in vibrant colors to mimic their preferred prey. Additionally, floating or sinking flies, such as nymphs, streamers, or dry flies, are popular choices for fly anglers targeting rainbow trout. Trolling with lures or flies behind a boat, casting near shoreline structures, or still fishing with bait can all yield success. Adjusting lure size, color, and retrieve speed can enhance chances of enticing these colorful and spirited fish.

Lake Koocanusa Popular Fish - Kokanee Salmon

Kokanee Salmon Fishing

Sockeye salmon which remain landlocked, never migrating to the ocean, are called kokanee salmon. On-going stocking of kokanee salmon by the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks helps to maintain a nice population for the fishery. Typically kokanee average one to two pounds. As one of the premiere kokanee fishing lakes in Montana, Lake Koocanusa delivers plenty of fish above normal averages. These tasty fish school in lakes at depths which remain at ideal temperatures of between 48 and 58 degrees. Once this depth is identified, use a fish finder to locate schools. Use small lures trolled at the appropriate depth. The can also be caught using corn, but the main way they are caught is using flashy lures which they attack when the lure intrudes their space.

Lake Koocanusa Popular Fish - Brook Trout

Brook Trout Fishing

While brookies prefer streams and creeks, the fishing for brook trout in Lake Koocanusa is quite good and popular with locals due to the abundance of these delectable trout. Brook trout spawn in the Fall, rather than the Spring, and they are quite prolific spawners. Brook trout can be easily caught on flies, small spinners, worms, maggots and wax worms.

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, brook trout, pumpkinseed sunfish, yellow perch, kokanee salmon and northern pike at Lake Koocanusa in Montana.

Lake Koocanusa Fishing Video

Lake Koocanusa, situated along the Montana-Canada border, is a stunning reservoir that offers excellent fishing opportunities amidst breathtaking natural scenery. Spanning over 90 miles and covering approximately 30,000 acres, it is a popular destination for anglers seeking a variety of fish species.

Over half of Lake Koocanusa is in Montana, the remainder of the lake is in Canada. Along the USA shores are scattered camping areas. The lake boasts 28,800 surface acres and approximately 150 miles of shoreline.

One of the popular fish species found in Lake Koocanusa is the rainbow trout. The lake is known for its healthy population of rainbow trout, which can be caught using techniques such as trolling with lures or flies, spin fishing, or bait fishing. Anglers are drawn to Lake Koocanusa for the opportunity to catch these feisty and acrobatic fish.

Kokanee salmon is another sought-after species in Lake Koocanusa. These landlocked salmon provide an exciting fishing experience, particularly during their spawning runs. Anglers often target kokanee salmon by trolling with downriggers or by casting with spoons or lures. Lake Koocanusa's kokanee salmon population offers anglers the chance to reel in these hard-fighting fish.

Lake Koocanusa is also home to a variety of other fish species, including bull trout, cutthroat trout, and northern pike. Bull trout, known for their size and strength, provide a thrilling challenge for anglers and are often caught using trolling techniques with large lures. Cutthroat trout can be targeted using fly fishing techniques or spin fishing with lures. Northern pike, with their aggressive nature and impressive size, offer anglers another exciting fishing opportunity.

Anglers visiting Lake Koocanusa should be aware of fishing regulations and obtain the appropriate licenses. It's important to follow catch limits, size restrictions, and specific rules regarding certain fish species to ensure the sustainability of the fish populations and the preservation of the lake's ecosystem.

With its expansive size, diverse fish species, and stunning landscapes, Lake Koocanusa offers anglers a memorable fishing experience in Montana. Whether it's targeting rainbow trout, pursuing kokanee salmon, or casting for other popular fish species, Lake Koocanusa provides a picturesque and rewarding angling adventure amidst the natural wonders of Montana.

This fishery is located in the northwest corner of the state. There various areas accessible for fishing from the bank, but many of the better fishing areas can only be reached via boat. Several boat launch ramps are located on either side of the lake. These water are teeming with healthy populations of bass, trout, sunfish, perch, kokanee and pike. Fishing success is enhanced annually with stocking of trout. And, because the lake is in a remote area, it does not get the fishing pressure other Montana lakes receive.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Montana

Primary fish species residing in Lake Koocanusa

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Rainbow trout Cutthroat trout Brook trout Pumpkinseed Sunfish Yellow Perch Kokanee salmon Northern pike

Lake Koocanusa Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: YES

Today's Weather & Forecast

Boating is a popular activity on Lake Koocanusa, and anglers can launch their boats from various boat ramps along the lake. The reservoir allows for motorized boats, providing anglers with the opportunity to explore different areas of the lake and access prime fishing spots. Whether it's trolling for trout or cruising along the scenic shoreline, boating enhances the overall fishing experience on Lake Koocanusa.

Fishing Boat Rentals

Abayance Bay Marina
Rentals: Pontoon boats and kayaks
406 297-0566

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Abayance Bay Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, east side, off Mariners Drive, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Barron Creek Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest section of the lake, off NF Road 333, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Libby Dam Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest corner of the lake, at the west end of the dam, off Souse Gulch Road, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Peck Gulch Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, east side, off Peck Gulch Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Rocky Gorge Campground Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, east side, off State Route 37, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Tobacco Plains Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, east side, off Sophie Lake Road, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with paved parking.


Abayance Bay Marina
290 Abayance Bay Drive
Rexford MT 59930
406 297-0566

Fishing Guides On Lake Koocanusa

Lake Koocanusa Fishing Charters - trout, salmon

If you offer fishing guide services on this lake, please contact us for a free listing, to be posted here.

Fishing License

Click here for a Montana Fishing License.

Camping facilities are available near Lake Koocanusa, offering anglers the chance to extend their fishing trips and fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area. Campgrounds provide amenities such as picnic areas, fire pits, and restrooms, making it convenient for anglers and their families to enjoy the peaceful ambiance of the lake.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Rexford Bench Campground - 406 296-2536

Peck Gulch Campground - 406 293-6211

Rocky Gorge Campground - 406 296-2536

McGillivray Campground - 406 293-7773

Yarnell Island Campground (via boat) - 406 293-7773

Tobacco River Campground - 406 293-6211

Swisher Lake Campground - 406 293-6211

Blue Mountain RV Park - 406 889-3868

Lake Koocanusa MT Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Lake Koocanusa
Koocanusa Resort & Marina
23911 Scenic Hwy MT-37
Libby, MT 59923
406 293-7474


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