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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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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wading Belts

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flysAs promised below, a brief post regarding another Idaho fly fishing safety tip - wading belts. Once, when in college, some friends and I went to North Georgia fishing one unfortunately rainy, wet and cold weekend. Sadly, I slipped and fell in the first night. I got out quickly, but my gear didn't dry out for 2 days.

On the last day, my best friend fell in to rapidly moving water in a pair of waders and literally almost drowned in 2 feet of water. He was rapidly being swept downstream and as he floated past me, I grabbed his wader strap and pulled his head out of the water. The force of the flow was so great, his waders filled as soon as he fell and were so heavy, he could not lift up his chest and head. He was saved.

Now this was before the time of wader belts, and they really are a great idea. They are really cheap and well worth the meager $ amount one has to pay for them. Now when you first put them on, you look like the Michelin tire man due to the air trapped in the waders, but that is just the point. You float as a result.


Bass Pro Ad

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Maximize your comfort and safety in fly fishing waters with the RedHead® Wader Belt. Made of lightweight and rugged nylon webbing, this easy-to-use 1-1/2" belt prevents waders from quickly filling with water if you accidentally slip into moving waters. Easy-to-use quick-release buckle. Adjustable design fits waists up to 52". Imported.
  • Easy-to-use wader belt
  • Prevents waders from filling with water after slips and falls while fly fishing
  • Lightweight and rugged 1-1/2" nylon webbing
  • Adjustable design fits waists up to 52".
Bass Pro $5.99

A very small price to pay for safety!
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Some waders now have built in wading belts like the ones I use - Dan Bailey's. As a side, most guides out west also use these waders. These are very easy to adjust, and I find to be a little more comfortable than conventional wading belts.

Hard takes, tight lines and many trout to all our Idaho Fly Fishers.  Be SAFE! And as the billboards and TV ads say: "Wade Responsibly".

IdahoAngler@live.com

Tags: Fly Casting Technique Book - Best Ever Written
    
Fly Line Basics
     Fly Reel Basics
     Fly Rod Basics
    
Fly Rod w/ Guarantee
     Furled Leaders by Zen

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Good Things Come to Those Who Wade (Not Always)


fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys


fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
One of those sayings which applies to easterners who come out west in July, August and September to Idaho fly fish out western waters. However today March, the only thing that would come to "those who wade" would be an early watery grave. I frequently in this blog attempt to discussed water safety tips like the wearing of PFD's (Personal Floatation Devices). Today we will discuss the thing that scares me the most and that is the RIVER STRAINER (submerged strainer pictured above).

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flysThe rivers in Idaho are overflowing right now due to heavy snow melt, active rain and warmer (I won't say warm simply warmer) temperatures. Water is pouring off the mountains with no sign of letting up. Wikipedia defines a strainer as a sieve or sifter "a device for separating wanted elements from unwanted material". In the case of a wade fly fisher, a strainer is submerged tree limbs from winter deadfalls which separates you (the wanted element) from the unwanted material (the moving river water) and leaves in the strainer only you. But unfortunately you are frequently in your waders, under the water and unable to get out of the tree limbs in which you are trapped due to the torrential springtime river flow. Therefore, you DROWN. And, as in the photo atop, rescuers must come out and retrieve your DEAD body for your wife and kids, who are usually quite PISSED.

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
It makes no difference how good a swimmer you are, you are not strong enough to get out of a strainer when currents are raging. In the next to the last scene in the movie "The Grey" with Liam Neeson, one of the costars Dallas Mark Roberts fell in to a rapidly moving stream and drown. This movie is quite exciting and wade fly fishers should view this scene to understand what can happen.

Lastly, please be careful when wading and Idaho fly fishing this and any time of year--but be particularly careful in the spring. Many die each year due to these. See the PS below for 2 examples.

Get out there and have fun and be careful. Hard takes, tight lines and screaming reel to all.

IdahoAngler@live.com

PS-From Adventure Risk Report January 2012

"Four dead from fly fishing? Not considered a particularly a high risk activity, this past summer rocked the fly fishing world when within one week two accidents killed two people each. All four deaths happened on guided trips. What is interesting is the denial of the elephant in the room.
 
In Whistler, B.C., a client on a guided wading fishing outing slipped while landing a fish in knee deep water. She swept her partner of his feet and both were carried into the deep channel and out of sight. The guide could only watch helplessly. Both bodies were found further downstream, one with a reported obvious head contusion (story here).
 
A second incident in Montana involved a 73 year old well known guide on a float trip. His raft was carried into a sweeper and flipped. The guide and one client drowned, while a second client swam free and survived (story here).
 
The fall out from this has focused on wading belts (and one could easily add PFD's to this list), as of the five people in the water in these stories only the person that survived was wearing one."
 
Wading belts are to be the subject of a future post. (SEE ABOVE 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Bull vs. Brook

It is very important to know the difference between a Bull trout and a Brook trout. Realize that both are actually chars and not trout. The Bull is endangered courtesy of the U.S. Endangered Species Act (1998) and fishing for or keeping a Bull trout could subject one to fines &/or imprisonment. While the limit on KEEPING Brook trout may be as many as 50 per day in some states. Both are of the salmon family and there are some physical differences which are important to know if one wants to avoid jail time. Much of this information is courtesy of Wikipedia. Remember this is a free online resource which survives mostly because of donations, so give generously.

Artist Sketch of Brook Trout
"Like other species of char, the fins of a Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) have white leading edges. Its head and mouth are unusually large for salmonids, giving it its name. Bull trout have been recorded measuring up to 103 cm (41 in) in length and weighing 14.5 kg (32 lb). Bull trout may be either migratory, moving throughout large river systems, lakes, and the ocean, or they may be resident, remaining in the same stream their entire lives. Migratory bull trout are typically much larger than resident bull trout, which rarely exceed 2 kg (4.4 lb). Bull trout can be differentiated from Brook trout (S. fontinalis) by the absence of distinct spots (or wavy black lines) on the dorsal fin, as well as yellow, orange, or salmon-colored spots on the back as opposed to red spots with blue halos on the brook trout. Bull trout lack the deeply forked tail fin of lake trout (S. namaycush, another char)."

Best example of a Bull I've ever seen!
Bull trout are native to the northwestern US and are actually legal to fish for and catch in our neighbor Canada. There is actually a "Bull River" in British Columbia which flows in to Lake Koocanusa which should not to be mistaken for Montana's Bull River. And really, the Bull in Montana has far more large Cutthroat trout than Bulls. I have actually never caught a Bull trout there. I understand though the Canadian Bull River (closest town Fernie, BC) is loaded with large migratory Bull trout in October. "Historically, S. confluentus (were at one time) known as the "Dolly Varden" (S. malma), but was reclassified as a separate species in 1980." They are probably NOT the same.

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Artist Sketch of Brook Trout
Now the Brook trout, also a char, is prevalent all over small streams in the US, ergo usually not a slot limit. The Brook trout does have distinct spots (or wavy black lines) on the dorsal fin. "The Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) is a species of freshwater fish in the salmon family Salmonidae. It is native to Eastern North America in the United States and Canada, but has been introduced elsewhere in North America and to other continents. In parts of its range, it is also known as the eastern brook trout, speckled trout, brook charr, squaretail, or mud trout, among others. The Brook trout is the state fish of nine states: Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia, and the Provincial Fish of Nova Scotia in Canada."

Hope you have learned something new. By the way, small Brookies are tremendous fighters. They are much fun on a 3 wt. fly rod. Hard takes, tight lines and screaming reels to all.

IdahoAngler@live.com

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
Could Be Anywhere Native Brook Trout
Tags: Cutthroat Byway
Huge Cutthroat
Rainbow
Ride the BULL
Vermillion Rainbow, Brook, Cutthroat
Westslope Cutthroat




Monday, March 6, 2017

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Thought you might be interested. Thanks for looking. Hard takes, tight lines and dreams full of hot women and huge trout. Come and fly fish Idaho this season.

IdahoAngler@live.com

Tags: BITE ME !!!
     
Death, Taxes & Fly Fishing
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Friday, March 3, 2017

The Way To A Man's Heart.....

..... Is Through His Fly.

A truer saying has never been spoken. But of course I am speaking of fly fishing.

Spring is springing. Snow is melting. The thaw is finally coming. I can't wait!!! We can actually begin to see the ground (without snow on it). Soon the rivers and creeks will be flowing high and hard (and muddy). Then, right behind this, comes the fish. Let's then get out and fly fish Idaho.


Western Cutthroat Trout
I live on a small river called L.....ing Creek. It flows north to south and ends in a very large, yet beautiful Idaho lake. Rocky? Well of course it's rocky, but it is a free-flowing spring creek. Until July, when the water warms, it is a great place to hunt for native cutthroat (and brookies and a few bulls). How did the cutthroat get here and elsewhere?--the cutthroat byway of course.

Can be quite large!
By all rights, the cutthroat is a gorgeous fish. They can be quite beautiful with the white to light golden brown body and dark spots. Many of the larger cutties have red on the gill flaps and ventral body. The hallmark of the cutthroat though is the orange/red lines just below each lower jaw. They are ravenous and will eat most flies. The most fun is when there is a salmon fly or hopper swarm and they usually smash the fly as it floats by. The takes are dramatic!

If you are really lucky, you might just catch a cutbow. These are a hybrid made by the mating of a rainbow and cutthroat. There are no standard colors. This trout is just as ravenous, but I always catch the most on large streamers. It may look like a rainbow or cuttie or any combination thereof. The best way to identify is though by the orange/red lines under the jaw. These also a really fun to catch and may again be quite meaty. I find they are most hungry in the spring.

So grab your gear and get out there and go hunting. Be very careful though when wade fishing in the spring. There is always a lot of flow and it can be very misleading. There is nothing wrong with wearing a PFD (personal floatation device) on top of your waders. You always want to make it home so your wife/girlfriend can get to your heart any way she wants.

Hard takes, tight lines and early spring cutties to all.

IdahoAngler@live.com

Tags: Spider Fly Tied
     Spring High Water Winner
     Spring Perfection
     Stimulator






Friday, February 17, 2017

On Fire

Fly fishing can be "on fire" some days but not others. It's still winter in Idaho and there is a lot of ice fishing, but not a lot of trout fishing in the steams yet. It was 44 degrees this afternoon and although there is still quite a bit white out there, the possibility of stream/lake fishing is just around the corner.

Idaho Fly Fishers BlogThe snow will be melting soon so water is and will be high, but lake/stream fishing will be rapidly upon us. As soon as the lakes thaw, the chironomids will be out in mass. Some of the small mountain lakes will soon be boiling with fish and it will be time to dust off the rod and the pontoon boat. This time of year, I begin to think of floating a black crawler or chironomid deep and giving an occasional twitch. This technique will frequently initiate strikes, but they may be quite subtle.

Idaho Fly Fishers BlogAction though can be dramatic and the fish, once active, can be quite large. They will put up quite a fight and are usually thin, but give them a few weeks. They will fatten. If you are fishing streams/river, be careful of the "strainers" (trees that fall from snow and ice) for they may not be that visible sitting just under the surface. Always wear a PFD (personal floatation device) and never strap yourself in to your float tube or personal pontoon.

So go out there and catch 'em soon. Hard takes, tight lines, screaming reels and huge trout to all.


IdahoAngler@live.com

Idaho Fly Fishers BlogTags:    Antelope Lake, ID
     Moose of the Day
     Sinclair Lake - Idaho
     Spar (Big) Lake - Montana