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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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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bull River Hogs

The Bull parallels MT Hwy 56
"Bull River Hogs" was composed by YellowStoneFly at the Idaho Fly Fishers blog; the site for current NW fly fishing information. Took a quick trip into Montana on April 15th, tax day, to check out several rivers. My last visit was to the Bull, one of Montana's premier freestone streams. The flats are flooded from rain and snow melt, but the river water is beginning to receed back into the river bed. The water is obviously 1-2 feet below the crest of a week ago. It is definitely floatable in a raft or drift boat. 

11.5 mile raft / canoe access
I do not know what the ideal cfs flow rate is for this river but, if the rain stops, there should be excellent fishing soon. This is great Montana fly fishing. You will not find a more beautiful high mountain valley anywhere and it is right smack in the middle of the Cabinet Mountain range. For directions go to blog post "The Bull River, Montana" or send me a note or comment for more specific directions if needed.

Typical valley vista - Easy float
In the spring, I would try a Brown Drake (absolutely the best Bull dry), Clouser minnow or black/olive wooly bugger. Sometimes golden stones and large hare's ear nymphs will bring success as well. Whatever you fish make it big. A little flash would not hurt either. There really are some large bulls, browns and cutthroats in this river. Make sure you do not keep the bulls. Oh yeah, it is a new year so do not forget your 2011 Montana fishing license. There is a C-store approximately 3 miles east of the river on Montana highway 200 that sells licenses. Out-of-state licenses are now $70 for the year.

South facing from 8 mile bridge
So why does a north Idaho fly fishing nut enjoy the Bull River? As I have already mentioned, the scenery is incredible! The area I like to fish is from the canoe access at milepost 11.5 down to the ramp (I use that term loosely but you can get a trailer in with only modest difficulty) at the 8 mile bridge. Do try fishing near the bridge for I have seen some hogs beneath it. This is a very easy, relaxing float that takes 4-5 hours and you have basically few rapids to fight. If you need a shuttle or a guide for the day, try Dave Blackburn at the Kootenai Angler or the Kootenai River Outfitters located at the north end of highway 56. They are great people and very knowledgeable about the local waters.  

North facing from 8 mile bridge
If you want to make your visit into a few days or an entire week, talk with these guys about the Kootenai, the Moyie and the Clark Fork. All of these rivers are within an hour or two of the Bull. Another really good, but wade fishing only river, is the Thompson River. It is only a stone's throw of the Bull just east of Thompson Falls, MT. Water level there was perfect on tax day.

Enjoy your trip and come try out the fly fishing in Idaho and NW Montana.

Idaho Angler (IdahoAngler@live.com

          Idaho Fly Fishers.com
          YellowStoneFly.com

Bull River Cutty caught on a Brown Drake 6/14/2011


2 comments:

  1. Great post! i want to start flyy fishing

    and i seen this combo
    its a shakesphere flyfishing combo
    its has everything in it
    should i get it? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry for the delay. Inexpensive but functional. Okay for beginners but would try 5 weight rod if you can. Will probably not last you too long, but will work.

      Delete