Idaho Fly Fishers Blog

Big Y Fly Company

Big Y Fly Company
Sale ><> Sale ><> Sale ><> Sale ><> Sale ><> Sale ><> Sale ><> 100% Money Back Guarantee <>< Sale <>< Sale <>< Sale <>< Sale <>< Sale <>< Sale <>< Sale

About Me

My photo
Discussing fishing flies, trout flies, salmon flies, fly fishing gear and equipment, Idaho and Montana fishing rivers, NW rivers, fly tying and fly fishing trips. Over 50 years experience in fly fishing, best flies, fly tying, fly fishing techniques, fish stories, directions to rivers and lakes and great fly fishing tall tales with special communications from area guides.

Blog Usage and Invitation to Join

GUIDES GET FREE ADVERTISING - Submit stories and photos from your
guide/personal trips which will ALL be placed on our "GUIDES' / FISH
" and "EMAIL QUESTIONS". Allow for some editing and don't forget your
contact information.
1 - The same blog header appears on each page, so please scroll down.
2 - If you like the Idaho Fly Fishers, JOIN OUR BLOG AT TOP OF RIGHT HAND
3 - Check the box below each post and click "comments" to add your
4 - Go to our QuickView Blog
Post Retrieval
page for easy catogorized access to all of our
posts (CLICK HERE).
5 - For GREAT fly fishing photos go to Photo Headers
or Fly Fishers Photos.
6 - If you would like to have posts emailed without joining, enter your email
into the box direcely below revolving globe (right hand column). Your email
will not be shared!
7- AND PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT! As we write more posts, it may be difficult
for you to find what you want. In the upper left is a blogger search box. Type
in your search desire, such as "Bull River
" and see where it takes you.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Moyie River Rainbow

The proverbial and illusive rainbow trout
Big Horn Gator
Somehow, a recent follower's email got deleted from my inbox and I feel terrible. I don't even recall the his name but I do remember his prior inquiry about Moyie River rainbow. I have a very simple answer. There are not that many good rainbow to be had in the Moyie. Rumor has it that there could be a state record brook trout in there, but those which I have caught have been small. I have been lucky enough to catch few really nice bows there and some good cutthroats, but they are few and far between.

There is also a few posts (by others) that below the mouth of Meadow Creek which dumps in about 1/2 way down the Moyie between the Canadian border and the Moyie River Bridge the rainbow fishing really gets good. Well I will tell you there is minimal access and it is hard wading. The water may be cooler, which the bows need in the heat of July and August, but I personally catch mostly cutties and again brookies.

Large saltwater rainbow
If the truth were to be known, in my personal quest for trout, I would float the Kootenai River in July or August hunting for rainbow. Now I don't really know why anyone would have a thing for the bow, but there are really only 3 rivers I know in the upper NW Idaho, Montana, Washington corridor that contains rainbows of significant quantities and sizes. These are the "redband" rainbow waters of the Spokane River and Kootenai River and the Big Horn River. The Spokane is very difficult to wade. The Big Horn is a long way away. And the Kootenai can fish really well or really not so well.

Platte River Brown
Missouri River Brown
The "dog days" of summer, July and August, aren't the best for trout fishing by any standards. So, if you really want a bow, and not some of those terrible brooks or cutthroats, go fish where they are. I would still suggest trying the Kootenai. Not the greatest place to wade, but good wading areas are accessible from the road. And if you are a little more adventurous, buy, borrow or rent a one man float tube (can be hard to escape if you capsize) or cheap inflatable raft or better yet a personal pontoon and float the stretch between the dam below Lake Koocanusa and the Osprey Landing. Perfectly safe to do and much fun. Remember always wear a well fitting PFD and never strap yourself in to any river vessel. Fish the deep runs and rocky shoals. Large dries with chironomid bead head droppers down about 2 feet should do the trick. If not, go with golden stones right on the bottom (9-10 feet) and a black crawler trailer. Use a float. You will catch 'em. 

Good luck, hard takes and tight lines catching those bows and non-bows. Go Idaho fly fishing.

Kootenai Redband Bow

Somewhere Bow
Tags:   Coeur d'Alene River Spring Fling
Cold Water Haunts (Part 1)
     Cold Water Haunts (Part 2)
     Continental Divide for Trout
     Death, Taxes & Fly Fishing 
     Dog Days

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Spider Fly Tied

Here it is! A very old (new) pattern. The Spider. 

Bead Head onto # 16 hook.

Black thread starting at bead, back, tie in pheasant tail
then forward almost to bead.

Wrap pheasant tail strand 2/3 of way.

Add in small amount of gray dubbing loosely.

Tie in grizzly hackle in front of bead. Make sure
fibers are about hook length.

Wrap sparsely (2-3x) and half hitch. Add small
amount of head cement. DONE.

Guaranteed to produce hard takes and tight lines.

Tags:  Kootenai Mega Moth
Montana Sparrow
     Montana Stonefly Nymph
     One GREAT Fly!
Parachute Wings (Made Easy)
     Pheasant Tail Nymph
     Prince Nymph
     Purple Haze

Friday, December 30, 2016

Ready to Rumble in 2017

Dust off the gear and let's go Idaho fly fishing.

My raft on December 30th!
My raft on January 11th! Notice any difference?

Spider Fly

Thanks to IDFFA member Larry (Professor), I am going to try a new pattern this summer. I say new but in fact it is not a new, but rather a very old, pattern. If you look up the history, this fly was apparently used during Roman times and soft hackle flies had a resurgence also in the late 1600's. Charles Cotton actually wrote about them in Compleat Angler 1676. And then, in 1816 G. C. Bainbridge wrote about them again in The Fly-fishers Guide. "Another 60 years were to pass before three more  valuable works featured soft hackled flies."

"W. C. Stewart wrote The Practical Angler; W. H. Aldham A Quaint Treatise on Flees and the Art of Artyfichall Flee Making in 1876; T. E. Pritt Yorkshire Trout Flies in 1886 (which was re-titled North-Country Flies in a later edition). All these books featured extensive writings on soft hackled flies. But in 1857 the greatest influence on using these patterns in England occurred. W. C. Stewart was a renowned fly fisherman from the Scottish Border area and it was Stewart that put 'spider' patterns in the fly box of all the north of England fly fishers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries" Above quotes from:

Actually, these patterns are not too commonly found in fly shops here, but outside the US they are sometimes the only flies fly fishers use. The current going name is the "Stewart Spider", but online, you may see multiple other imitations and names as well.
Fly tying instructions will follow in a future post and in fact this is a very simple fly to tie. By the way this "spider" does not mimic a spider, but rather, depending on colors and fishing methods, it does mimic many of the other emerging nymphs out there. How many times have I stood in a stream and said to myself while fishing "man, they are hitting emergers and not nymphs (or dries)"? Kind of makes me wonder if renowned Yellowstone fly fisher Charles Brooks in the 1970's wasn't right when he said "The best flies were those which look the same from EVERY angle."
I have fish soft hackles while Idaho fly fishing on numerous occasions and I now, after writing this post, wonder why I don't use them more often--and I may! Techniques are simple and many recommend a dropper as shown:
High sticking the fly is very important
but perhaps the most important thing is the drift and lift. How many times have you caught a fish on the "swing"? Swinging these soft hackles IS very effective as a nymph emerges.
Anyway, I'm going to stock up on soft hackles and use them more often. Hopefully, this will afford more hookups. More to come about my success. Hard takes and tight lines and huge, numerous trout to you all.
Tags:    Freshwater Scud
     Freshwater Shrimp
     Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear
     Grey Wulff
     Grizzly Wulff


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Kootenai River in August

Since the IDFFA will be having one of the 2017 excursions on the Kootenai River this coming September, I thought I would share some research. This should be one of the best fly fishing times of the year on the Koot. Flows will be around a near perfect 6,000 cfs and color should be "gin clear". Water temperature should be around 55 degrees--again ideal. This will also be pre-spawn for big browns.

The Montana state record rainbow was caught on this massive river just below the Lake Koocanusa Dam located only about 20 minutes north of Libby, MT. "Koocanusa" per an IDFFA member Kevin "Shotgun" stands for "Kootenai-Canada-USA" since this lake is shared by the our two countries. There are some HUGE bull trout also just below the dam for which you cannot legally fish in the US but you can in Canada. The Kootenai receives little pressure year round because it is not easily accessible. The closest Airport is in Kalispell, MT and is 2 hours away. Missoula, MT and Spokane, WA are each about 3 1/2 hours out. So getting there is not that easy.

There are also few guide services but the two I have personally used are Kootenai Angler and Linehan. Both have excellent guides and know the river well. They will put you on fish. Also, the fall brings out very large caddies flies and usually there are some sporadic hoppers as well. Browns deep will be hitting Wooly Buggers and very large Streamers. Some will select droppers of chironomids, off of large dries since this is a tailwater just below the lake. Some nymphs will work as well depending on conditions. Another good reference site is Big Sky

The locals recommend fishing the end of island where the flow is less and the large rock boulder fields which are common lateral to the deeper channels. Here is a list of fly suggestions for the early fall on the Kootenai (some spell it  "Kootenay"):
Orange/Tan Stimulator
Parachute Adams
BH (Bead Head) Hare's Ear
BH Prince
Wooly Bugger (Olive or Black) w or w/o BH
Assam Dragon
Golden or Yellow Stonefly (Also use Yellow Stimulator)

Enjoy the Kootenai this coming fall. Close enough for Idaho Fly Fishing. Hard takes and tight lines.

Tags:    Big Horn River - MT
     Bitterroot River Valley Skwala
     Bull River Hogs - Montana * *
Bull River Montana Alps
     Cancun Rainbow?
     Coeur d'Alene (NF-Revisited)
     Elk River - Fernie, BC, Canada