Big "Y" Flies

Big "Y" Flies
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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 IdahoAngler@live.com for details. You'll meet some really great fellow fishers!
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sandpoint Idaho Fly Fishing

View of Lake Pend Oreille from Schweitzer Mountain
YellowStoneFly of the Idaho Fly Fishers Blog proudly presents for your pleasure the coolest town in the northwest--Sandpoint, ID. Voted this year as the most beautiful town in the lower 48 by USA Today and Rand-McNally; you have got to see this town! There is easy access by car from I-90, I-80 and I-15 or by plane directly into Spokane, WA from many major hubs. You can even take the AmTrak directly into town if you prefer. But I must warn you, once you have experienced the “Long Bridge Effect” you may never want to leave.

Nice North Idaho Buck
The effect of which I speak is the breathtaking, panoramic view once you cross Lake Pend Oreille. This is a glacial lake which has a small hydroelectric dam on the Pend Oreille River on the west side. Reliable maps put the maximum depth at 1158 feet at its deepest near Whiskey Point to the south. A must see in the summer is the Bayview section to the south with it sailing regattas and houseboat village.

Sandpoint itself is small and quaint with great shoTpping, restaurants and wine tasting. While you are there, don’t forget to go up to Schweitzer Mountain ski area and see why it is rated #9 for tree skiing and #21 overall  in the US. It is now Thanksgiving Day and they have already received 77” of powder. PS-Schweitzer is a great mountain bike destination in the summer as well.

Lake Pend Oreille Kamloop
Now how about the fishing? Well, if trolling for large lake trout is your thing, go and catch some of theirs. The Kamloops can be huge and put up quite the fight. There are several guide services available to show you a really great time. But what about the fly fishing?

The fly fishing Idaho season is now open year round in the north. There is some good nymph and streamer fishing when it’s cold, but you will have to wear neoprene waders and stop frequently to kick the snow off your boots. The season for hatches and hoppers is generally April until late October. Rivers within a 2 hour drive of Sandpoint include the: Bull with its own special brand of “hogs”, Clark Fork, Flathead, Kootenai, Moyie and Vermilion rivers. And you really should not forget some of the smaller, yet very productive creeks like: Grouse, Lightning and Rapid Lightning creeks that are all only a stone’s throw from Sandpoint.

Kids Tubing Down the Moyie R.
Don’t miss this jewel located in the panhandle section of the state. Breathe the scent of the evergreens, take in the vistas and relax in the temperate climate. You can cool off in the summer and warm up in the winters. Come fly fish Idaho with us. Sandpoint should be on everyone’s “Bucket List” if you consider yourself an outdoor person. Oh yeah! I almost forgot! The hunting is incredible too.


Tags: Moyie River - What, where, when.
Wildlife Galore
          Westslope Cutthroat         
    US Departments of Game & Fish

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Nymph

The Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Nymph. Great fly for just about any water!

Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Nymph tied by YellowStoneFly for the Idaho Fly Fishers Blog. Another great fly for fly fishing Idaho, this pattern represents a wide range of aquatic insects but primarily emerging mayflies or caddis flies. It is a fairly easy fly to tie using the right materials. You will see variations from fly shop to fly shop, but they tend to only vary slightly. More info, read on.

Tie in multiple strands of pheasant tail.

Add a gold wire to back half of shank as shown.

Add hare's ear dubbing to shank, then wrap wire
forward, secure and snip excess wire only.

Add more hare's ear dubbing for thorax as shown.

Swing pheasant tail over thorax for wing, secure,
snip off excess and glue head.

Tie off. Then tease dubbing under thorax for legs. Done!
Not a trout, but caught on a fly!

I prefer sizes 12-18 with my most hook-up success on about size 14. I suspect that is probably because the caddis pupa I see in western streams are quite large. True story! I was fishing with a guide on the middle portion of the Colorado River north of Dillon once, when I saw a really nice riffle off the main river. Reminded me of the small streams I used to fish in western North Carolina. After stripping, at his insistence, Wolly Buggers all morning, my arm was tired. Put on a little weight and a Hare's Ear and slayed over twenty really nice rainbow in a hour. We then had lunch and proceeded down the river again stripping Wolly B's again at his insistence. His only comment to me at lunch was, "Gee, I never seen anyone throw nymphs on the Colorado before!" Made me wonder if he knew how to fish anything other than streamers.
Alaskan Humpy

Enough rambling. Come fly fish Idaho and try out this remarkable fly. I have personally had success with this pattern from Georgia to Virginia to New Hampshire to Tennessee to Arkansas & Missouri to Idaho and Montana. Quite a range!

This is the Idaho fly fishing blog. Come back soon.


Tags: Multiple Fly Fishing Articles Here
          Idaho Fly Fishers Assoc. (IDFFA.com)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Idaho Fly Fishers On The Move

Idaho Fly Fishers blog has gone global. This map represents our ever growing popularity by countries worldwide. Brought to you by YellowStoneFly at the Idaho Fly Fishers blog. We now have over 2,700 page views per month. Not too bad in view of the fact we spend absolutely nothing on marketing. Most of our hits are directly from internet search engines and from the referrals of fellow fly fishers like you; and we truly thank you for your patronage. Our audience consists of people looking to possibly someday fly fish Idaho and wanting to know the latest information.

The following is a list of our blog's popularity based on the number of page views by each country: There are obviously other countries having an interest in Idaho Fly Fishers, but those listed are the ones most frequently looking at our information.

United States
United Kingdom

Now you can explore the Idaho fly fishing adventure at Idaho Fly Fishers. Mark this site and come join our ever growing fan club. Simply join blogspot or begin your own blog and add us to your favorites. Come fly fish Idaho with us. If you don't want to join our blog, simply enter your email address below the revolving globe in the right hand column and you will receive all our posts as soon as they are issued. We would however love to have you as a follower. Even if you do not fly fish in our state, you can give to our other members pearls which they can use to increase their "hook-ups" in the future. Thanks for participating and remember, Idaho fly fishing ROCKS.

Question of the day: What is a westslope cutthroat?

Idaho Angler aka "YellowStoneFly" (IdahoAngler@live.com)
         Bull River - Montana
         Big Wood River - Idaho

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Parachute Wings (Made Easy)

Parachute Wings by YellowStoneFly of the Idaho Fly Fishers Blog seem to be difficult to tie, but in fact are quite easy. Summertime Idaho fly fishing is mostly dry fly action, so I like them because the parachute wing helps the fly to float very naturally and high. Like any dry fly, parachutes occasionally have to be dressed with floatant and they make floatant application easy without feather clumping.

This tutorial should help you particularly if you are a beginner tyer. In this illustration, I have used foam for the verticle portion of the wings and in fact I use it often for this purpose due to the fact it floats very well. You can also trim foam easily to whatever shape you need and it comes in highly visible colors; this is important when tying very small flies. The parachute is rooster saddle hackle which you can buy at outfitter stores and online in multiple sizes and colors. It is very inexpensive in bulk. Good luck and please email me with questions or suggestions.

Tie in hackle 2/3-3/4 way down shank. I don't trim end.

Secure verticle wing material on top of hackle.

Erect verticles w/ thread and wrap hackle as indicated.

Tie off hackle under parachute w/ half hitch knots.

Trim hackle end and continue w/ body towards eye.

When tying parachute wings, place them about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way down the dubbing you are placing on the shank for the fly's body; then after securing finish running the dubbing. This aids in the natural float of the fly, makes it easier to secure behind the eye and gives your fly a more natural look.

Sun Valley, ID Golf Course
I live in one of the most beautiful areas in the world. Be it winter or summer, the scenery is breathtaking and the fishing incredible. Come fly fish Idaho and see for yourself. Please contact us with questions, suggestions or concerns.
Clark Fork R., MT Moose

           Fly Fishing USA
           YSF Stinger
           Westslope Cutthroat

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Montana Sparrow

Tied in 1 hour while watching TV
This "Montana Sparrow" is YellowStoneFly's version of a popular local fly tied for Idaho Fly Fishers Blog. It is a very simple pattern to tie and is a very effective streamer. I find it particularly useful when fishing for trout in streams and rivers in the early spring and late fall. They also tell me it is used by the locals in large sizes for steelhead when running. I personally have never tried it though. Well, here goes and try out this one when fly fishing Idaho this fall.

One thing, when tying this particular fly use very soft feather barbs. This is a soft hackle streamer and the softer barbs make the fly look more "alive" in the water as you float and strip it across the current. I like turkey breast feathers for my Montana Sparrows. The flies you see here are tied on a long shank 1-0 hook so they will be more of a local minnow meal for the larger trout. I use either brown or gray dubbing and a heavy gold wire for weight in order to get them down to the bigger fish.

Tie on "tail", I use pheasant tail, and copper wire.
Add dubbing densly packed in a "cigar" configuration.
Wrap gold wire to eye and secure.
Add multiple soft feather barbs and half hitch head.
This is a superb streamer. It is very effective for big fish and extremely easy to tie. Give it a whirl. You can tie it in any size down to a #10 or #12, but I wouldn't go smaller. Fish any emerging nymph trailer onto this fly and you'll find yourself using this combination frequently. Happy Idaho fly fishin


Tags: Suggested Links Page
         Time Saving Fly Fishing Links
         YSF Stinger Foam Terrestrial
         Perfect Terrestrial Wings