Beautiful North Idaho Home in Hope

Beautiful North Idaho Home in Hope
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About Me

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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.

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Here is the scoop. We will also be going on some shorter side trips this summer as well. They will be posted here. If you live in Montana, Idaho or Washington state, you may want to contact for details. You'll meet some really great fellow fishers!
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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Lochsa River Cutthroat Trout

Try this out. Come and join us on the Lochsa in July/August. Go to the Idaho Fly Fishers Trip Page for more details. Should be a great time!

Hard takes, tight lines, and screaming reels. Summer 2018 fishing is almost here!

Elk River - Fernie, BC Bull

Tags:   Bull River - Montana * * * * * * *
     Bull River Montana Means HOGS
     Clark Fork River - Idaho / Montana
     Coeur d'Alene - Idaho's Year Round Fishery
     Coeur d'Alene (North Fork)
     Cutthroat Byway 
     Elk River - Fernie, BC, Canada

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Real Men

Real Men
“Wear Stetsons, jeans and boots
Walk with a swagger
Smoke stogies
Drink sour mash & beer
Eat meat
Hunt big game
Work with their hands
Horseback ride
Fly fish in remote spots
Have callouses on their hands
Swear only when necessary
Treat women with respect
Make love the old fashion way”

Monday, February 5, 2018

2018 IDFFA Fishing Trips


Hey guys,

I will make this brief. It is now February and time to start thinking about our group fishing trips. Go to the Idaho Fly Fishing Association Trip Page for the 3 trips currently planned this coming summer. NOTICE DATES. There are still some specifics that still need to be worked out though.

Fernie, BC is set. I will be staying at the Fernie RV Resort on the river. My kid brother at the Fernie Best WesternGuides are all listed on the Trip Page. This is August, so book early. Don’t forget BC licenses online. These are “Protected Waters” so fishers must have a daily permit from the Province for all of these waters.

The Bow in Calgary, AB is more problematic. Area will have a lot of tourists even after Labor Day. I will be staying at the Foothills Lions Campground on the Sheep River. Sheep and Haywood Rivers are right there. Rooms are also close, but the Black Diamond Hotel (currently undergoing renovations) looks interesting. Don’t forget you can rent RV’s from Cruise Canada in Calgary if you want. Dave Brown Outfitters in Fernie has Bow River guides and many other local guide services are available as well. Alberta fishing license required.

Dan (nMilo), Larry (OK $), Kevin (shotgun) and I are going to the Lochsa River probably in July (DATES NOT YET SET). This will be a wade only trip for cutthroat. We will be camping on the river below Lochsa Pass. Cabins available just below the pass. A beautiful river and not that remote. Simply go to YouTube and type in “Lochsa River Fly Fishing”. Idaho fishing license required which can be obtained online at: Idaho Game & Fish.

Please verify all dates before booking. Fernie is a T/F/S trip. Calgary is a W/T/F trip. Lochsa undetermined. Please let me know if you are coming on any or all.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Nano Fly Rods (2 in 1)

Aventik IM 12 Fly Rod with butt extension
NF of the CDA River, ID
In my recent post Fly Fishing Rod History, I mentioned that for my $$$ I would purchase a nano rod v. any other out there. This technology was developed around 2008 and now even the big boys are branding and selling nano rods. I find them to be more durable than the old graphite rods and they fish like a charm! They are usually made in either Japan or China (like everything else), but I can’t begin to tell you how much better they fish than the more expensive rods which you can easily find anywhere out there online or at your local fly shop.

Ronnie "Big Chief" on the Clark Fork River, ID
Now the resale may not be that great, but who cares? Also, they have a pretty good warrantee as well but you probably want need to use it – they rarely break. For the price, they are essentially throw away rods for your can buy 3 or 4 or more for the price of one of any of the name brands. Well cared for and stored properly, my rods last me for years.

Nanos are stiffer but very light. The action is great! You will not wear out your arm casting even with larger streamers. Currently they are being sold as 3/4 or 5/6 weights. The lengths are a little funky, but it really makes no difference. Also, the reel seats are a little chintzy too but can be changed out if you want – for a price. My kid brother Glen (Falls From Boats) and good friend Harold (Stretch) both have one and they love them.

"BO" on the Snake River, ID
Now here’s the biggie! They are now coming with a butt extension which changes your dry fly rod in to a longer nymphing rod very quickly. This is for the increasingly popular “Euro” or “Czech” method of nymphing. This method is easy to learn and works really well in those variable current streams. Simply look on YouTube for the latest videos.

I personally have targeted the Aventik 2 in 1 IM 12 Nano fly fishing rod currently selling on Amazon for $105. I am shooting for the 9’2”-10’6” 3/4 weight rod. I normally like a 5 weight rod but with these being a little stiffer, I believe this weight will be perfect. I am sure the 9’-10’4” 5/6 weight would be sweet as well when casting for those big fish with big flies. I am particularly looking forward to mastering the Czech method, for I really believe it will increase strike recognition and hook-ups. By the way, if legal on your water, a 2-3 fly tandem should work very well.
"BO" on Hawk Lake, Ontario, Canada

So don’t delay, get yourself a nano for your birthday, anniversary, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas or just because you deserve one. I do not believe you will be disappointed. If you are, please let me know and I will pass on to my readers. PS – I don’t sell these rods.

Hard takes, tight lines and happy fly fishing. 

     Flies - Low Prices & GREAT Quality
     Float Tube Chronicles
     Float Tube Fins Forward
     Fly Casting Technique Book - Best Ever Written
     Fly Fishing Rod History

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Feeling Guilty

When my brother Brud "HVAC Guru" and I were little boys we lived just outside of Atlanta, GA. At least once each summer, we vacationed in the Smoky Mountains and visited the Cherokee Indian Reservation. These were some of the most memorable trips of my young life.

We would camp in Bryson City, NC and float literally all day in the freezing cold waters of Deep Creek. When we weren't tubing, we would convince our mother to take us into Cherokee. There we would pan for rubies, swim in the Oconaluftee River, go to the night time outdoor play "Unto These Hills", watch in awe as a few native Americans danced in full garb around tepees in town and visit the hundreds of cheap souvenir shops located in Cherokee. Invariably we would convince Mother to buy us a headdress and bow and arrow. Guess what? They were fun, made in China and would last about a week.

As all young boys, we would be tired of these toys anyway in a week and we always knew they would break soon after purchase. All of the "Made in China" toys did. It was simply expected.

Now unfortunately, more and more things are made in Asia--particularly Japan, China and Korea. Why they are made there is a political and economic discussion for another day. Needless to say unions, wages and benefits have a lot to do with why "American Made" is almost a thing of the past.

Virtually all of the above familiar logos on items we use every day are now household names. The primary difference between items made in Asia today is that now the quality is quite good and they are CHEAPER! And guess what? They are made to last longer as well.

Take the "Gentleman's Sport" golf as a for instance. People who play golf today only buy the best. They are so proud of their clubs and balls (golf balls), I believe some may even sleep with them. Well guess what again? Most of their prized golfing possessions are made in China. That's right. China! At least many components of their sporting fantasy are.

So why should fly fishing be any different? I did felt somewhat GUILTY when I recommended a rod made in Asia <Nano Fly Rods (2 in 1)>, but darn if it is not a better fly rod and much less expensive than the American made ones. Just like golf, I predict that nanotechnology, mostly developed in Asia, is the way of the future in the fly fishing industry. So get on board.

I am sure many of my readers will not agree with these facts--so be it! If you disagree, simply drop me a line and I will make sure your comments are posted. Better yet, post them yourself.

Hard takes, tight lines and go try out a nano fly rod for yourself.

Tags: Lanyard - Poor Man's *
     "Longer Fly Casting" by Lefty Kreh
     Most Economical Floatant
     Most Economical Floatant Reply
     Nano Fly Rods (2 in 1)
     Nano Fly Rods - NEW!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Fly Fishing Rod History

Paul Hightower/Phillipson split bamboo 3/2 fly rod.

I am getting ready to list some of my refurbished rods on eBay. I therefore wanted to jump start these listings with some fly rod history. I found these articles quite interesting. If you would like to get ahead of these listings go to "Fly Fishing Collectibles" and email me. The asking prices are readily visible. Some are "wall hangers" but most are fish-able. Enjoy. At some point, I have a 17-19 footer made in the 1890's of multiple wood types. It has brass etched ferrels which are amazing!

The History of Bamboo | Headwaters Bamboo › The History of Bamboo
Split bamboo trout 3/2 fly rod.
“From Wood to Bamboo”
“Early fly fishing rods, prior to the 1830s, were made of wood and were generally in the range of eleven feet long.  It took a great deal of strength and endurance to cast these mighty beasts, especially if a person were doing it repetitively for any length of time.  Not only were these fly rods unwieldy and difficult to manipulate, but the tips were rather breakable and they had a tendency to warp over time.”
“It is believed that in 1846 Samuel Phillipes, a gunsmith from Pennsylvania, made the first 6 strips designed tip from Calcutta Cane and that his son, Solon, built the first complete hexagon rod from split cane in 1859.” Although many believe that split bamboo fly rods first developed 5 to 7 years earlier in Central PA, by hand.”
“1950s when fiberglass became the predominant material for fly rods.”

Terry Ackland split bamboo 2/2 fly rod.
“In the '60s, a few companies such as Winston, Orvis and Hardy started making fiberglass fly rods that could compete with bamboo. As a result fiberglass rods soon started to take market share away from bamboo. Fiberglass rods could be mass produced using less skilled workers.”
“Fly fishing gained huge popularity in the 19th century. ... The breakthrough that brought them to modern front was graphite fly fishing rods hit the market for the first time in 1973 (Fenwick and Hardy both claim to be the manufacturers of the first graphite rods).”
Heddon split bamboo 3/2 fly rod.
“The biggest improvement to fly rods in 2011 is likely attributable to tiny round silica particles less than a nanometer—one billionth of a meter—in diameter. You’d need a powerful electron microscope to see a single one of these minute spheres, and if you gathered half a pound of them, you’d see a fine white powder that would dissipate in the slightest breeze.”

“May 26, 2016 - According to Chief Executive Leigh (Perk) Perkins Jr., Orvis sold 10,000 of the $750 rods in that recession year, making it the company's best-selling product, and one of the most noteworthy fly rods in recent history. Matrix Resin is also cured with heat, but owes its strength to the nano-silica particles in the ...”

For my money $$$$$ I would go today with a nano. They fish great! They are durable and light. They rarely break even if dinged. And they are 1/2 the price or LESS! You can find them at eBay or Amazon for sometimes as little as $100. That's versus $500+ at other stores.

Hard takes, tight lines and go to eBay for my YellowStoneFly listings. I will try to remember and put a link to these on my blog when they appear.
c. 1930's flies based on patterns and colors.

Tags:  Nano Fly Rods - NEW!
     Old Crow Sour Mash Whiskey
     Outcast Stealth Pro - Personal Pontoon
     Perfect Vision 
     RL Winston Company - Twin Bridges, MT
     Rod Weights - 101
     Travel Rods 2014