Big "Y" Flies

Big "Y" Flies
><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> ><> Great equipment and flies for you and yours. <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><

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




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!
----------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GUIDES GET FREE ADVERTISING - Submit stories and photos from your guide/personal trips which will ALL be placed on our "GUIDES' / FISH STORIES PAGE" 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 click "SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG" @ TOP OF RIGHT HAND COLUMN !!!
3 - Check the box below each post and click "comments" to add your thoughts.
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 & videos go to Photo Headers, Fly Fishers Photos and Great Fly Fishing Videos (NEW)
6 - If you would like to have posts emailed without joining, enter your email into the box directly below the world map (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 Montana" and see where it takes you.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cool Places III

"Cool Places III" by YellowStoneFly from the Idaho Fly Fishers Blog would like to share with his fellow Idaho fly fishers some more photos of beautiful places. There is more to life than fly fishing; not a lot more, but a little!

Fusion, Germany - High Mountain Lake

Kitzbuhel, Austria - Atop chairlift.

Bar Harbor, Maine

Some more photos for Idaho fly fishers to enjoy. Happy Idaho fly fishing!

          BH Zebra
          FW Shrimp

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Most Economical Floatant

"Most Economical Floatant" by the YellowStoneFly of the Idaho Fly Fishers blog has discovered the best, most economical floatant available. It is NOT FLAMMABLE and is available in bulk at most pharmacies. This is not an original idea, but will make your Idaho fly fishing trips easy and economical.

ALBOLENE is a cream which contains paraffin, mineral oil and petroleum. You can buy a 12 ounce tub at pharmacies like Walgreens for $11.99. It will last you for  years. It makes a great floatant for all of your dry flies and you need do nothing to use. If you find in the winter that you need to thin slightly, just add some mineral oil. The mixture is very safe and is NOT FLAMMABLE. Should you need another usage, simply coat onto those areas where you have unwanted fat and wrap with saran wrap while you fly fish Idaho and you can lose unwanted pounds as well. Or at least that is what it is used for at the local health club.

I take mine and place into a pill box which you can buy for about a buck, and I then place the box in a plastic baggie in my vest. You can spoon the Albolene directly into your pill box or, what I find to be easier, is to microwave a glob in a red solo cup until melted (several minutes on high) and pour into the pill box. Pour the leftovers back into the tub. Don't forget to bring along some "Top Ride" desiccant for when your fly begins to sink, and unfortunately it will eventually. The only other advice I have is to not coat your flies too heavily with the Albolene. Like all the other floatants, it will cause the hackle to stick together. Try it out. You will not be disappointed and it is very cheap.

Happy Idaho fly fishing.


Tags: Great Photo Headers
          Snake River, ID
          ID Fly Fishers Assoc.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Skwala Stonefly

The Skwala Stonefly is written and tied by YellowStoneFly for the Idaho Fly Fishers blog. This is a really great spring, green stonefly for a lot of the Northwest's big waters. Simple to tie and very effective. This one is almost unsinkable.

Idaho Fly Fishing
.020 lead wire entire length. Olive thread.

Idaho Fly Fishing
Brown grouse biots for tail.

Idaho Fly Fishing
Red D-Rib.

Idaho Fly Fishing
Dark olive dubbing to mid-section.

Idaho Fly Fishing
Evenly space D-Rib.

Idaho Fly Fishing
Add brown & black hackle + olive ostrich herl.
Brown grouse biots for antenna.

Idaho Fly Fishing
Dark olive dubbing forward to antenna.

Idaho Fly Fishing
Tie in and whip finish.
Take a look at our "Hot Wings" post. Hard takes, tight lines and huge fish to all. Idaho fly fishing is the best.
           Idaho Fly Fishers Association
           Tellico Nymph
           Idaho Fly Fishers.com

Homemade Floatant

Gink (15 ml's)
Cabelas $3.99
I am updating this post because it is one of my most popular and, although this homeade is great floatant, it is very FLAMMABLE and I personally prefer ALBOLENE (See "Most Economical Floatant"). It is much safer to work with and at only $11.99 for 12 ounces, a jar from your local pharmacy, will last you almost a lifetime. I would like to warn you though, as with ALL floatants, store in a tight container or in your cooler, for they will leak all over your vest in the heat of summer if you don't. They all melt easily.

"Homemade Floatant" made from red (label) mucilin & lighter fluid and written by YellowStoneFly at the Idaho Fly Fishers Blog. My favorite guide on the Big Horn suggested a mixture of red mucilin and lighter fluid on day when I was complaining about the cost of Gink. Now there are different ratios, but I find that 3:1 lighter fluid to mucilin works the best. And just so I want forget, THIS FLOATANT IS HIGHLY FLAMMABLE. Because mucilin is basically paraffin, if this solution gets onto your vest or shirt it stays for a long time. If you then light a cigarette or your favorite cigar, be very careful for you could ignite.

Red (label) mucilin - Cabelas $4.79
Now here's what I do. Take a red solo cup (check out Toby Keith's new song) and empty the contents of the mucilin container (about 15 ml's). Then take your lighter fluid and fill up the mucilin container three times with your lighter fluid. Dump into the red solo cup containing your mucilin. Now you have to mix. I use a kitchen knife to scoop the contents from the mucilin container and mix with the lighter fluid; don't tell my wife for she would be pissed. The mixing process takes a while. Now remember do not heat (IS FLAMMABLE) to melt the paraffin mucilin. It usually takes me about 15 minutes of continuous stirring to get the mucilin dissolved.

Ronsonol lighter fluid -
Amazon.com (5 oz.) $2.08
I will admit, this does make a very good floatant for your dry flies. It makes about 60 ml's of floatant, which should last you at least a couple of seasons depending on how much you fish. The total expense is about $8.96 for 60 ml's. Four bottles of Gink would cost you almost twice that. So you be the judge. I do not think it is any better as a floatant than Gink. So if you have already bought your red (label) mucilin and do not want to risk burning down your house, save it for fly line dressing (subject of an upcoming post).

Solo cup - $0.10 
3 oz. bottles Walgreens's $1.99
Regardless of you fishing skills, your fly will eventually get wet and sink unless you break a lot of them off on fish or trees. So I would suggest "dressing" your dry flies with something before they ever hit the water. After they have been used, make sure you dry them very well before you apply any floatant. PS - A floatant can be used on a fly over and over again. This will not ruin the fly unless you use too much floatant and mar the hackle feathers.

Top Ride Desiccant
Sierra Trading Post
Lastly, even if you dress with a good floatant, you will still have to attend to the fly you have been using all day, if it is still usable, when it is the only one you have and all that the fish are hitting. I still use "Top Ride Desiccant" by Loon. A 2 ounce bottle lasts me all season and is only $4.50 and well worth it. Simply dip the fly into the bottle and shake after closing the lid. Your fly will come out white, but one dip into the water will fix that and it will continue to float high and dry for sometime thereafter. The process may have to be repeated from time to time, but keep 'em dry when you have to.

Please submit your Idaho fly fishing questions to:


Or better yet, join our blog and follow along. Don't forget to fly fish Idaho as often as possible. This is the most beautiful state in the lower 48.

Tags: Aruba, Jamaica, ooh.....
          Bull River, Montana
          Winter Doldrums

Pearl Harbor - 10:48 am PST Dec 7, 1941 - 71 Years

Pearl Harbor - Page 2 is posted by YelllowStoneFly of the Idaho Fly Fishers Blog today, Pearl Harbor Day. 71 years ago today, these photos were apparently taken by a GI in Honolulu on that fateful day. Supposedly they were found in an old foot locker in a "Brownie" camera. Amazing! The destruction was incredible! The photographer is unknown or I would gladly give him/her the proper credit. If you would like to also see the photos from my Dec. 7, 2011 post, go to Pearl Harbor - Page 1.

The figures vary significantly, but one source claims the US military deaths during WWII were 416,800. About 600,000 of our soldiers were wounded in action as well. These men and women fought for our freedom. We should never lose sight of their sacrifices under any circumstances--military or political. Socialism is not the way. Just look at what happened to the USSR and now to many European countries. They are being destroyed from within due to their socialistic "big governments".   
Come and fly fish Idaho soon. Hard Takes & Thight Lines.
          Worth Sharing

Priest River, ID

Click on map to super-size!
Priest River, ID is written and posted by YellowStoneFly of the Idaho Fly Fishers Blog. Going to try out this spring when the snow melts. At that time will post my opinion of the river and fish quality. Have found Idaho fly fishing to be a wonderful, almost full time, job. The following represents some research I have done and potential fishing spots which I have found to explore once the season gets underway.

Don't forget to purchase your 2012 state fishing license before you go out. Click on any photo to enlarge. I have heard that the fishing slows in the summer due to the fact the water can get really warm but that the spring is pretty good. I will let you know in April.

If any Idaho fly fishers have an opinion about these waters, please let us all know. But you have to admit, the river looks very inviting. Have heard that early in the season there are some good fish in the Priest. Water and flow are good and supposedly rainbows abound and they can be quite large. As the season progresses though, the river is spawned by top water from Priest Lake, and the water tends to warm. The trout are there, but much less active. You might want to try down near the mouth where the Pend Oreille cools the water somewhat. Makes me wonder what the brookie population is like though.

Happy Idaho fly fishing! Hard takes and tight lines to all.


Tags: ID Fly Fishers Photos
          A "Perfect" Fly
          Fly Reel Basics

Cool Places II

"Cool Places II" by YellowStoneFly of the Idaho Fly Fishers Blog has some other great places to visit when you are not fly fishing Idaho.

Sandpoint, Idaho in the summer.
Yellowknife Canada's northern lights

Idaho / Washington border.
Fire rainbow in winter - very rare!
Come fly fish Idaho and see some really amazing sights besides getting in some great fishing.

Clark Fork River, Montana
          Flathead River
          Big Wood River

Monday, January 2, 2012

Rod Weights - 101

Yellowstone Cutthroat
"Rod Weights - 101" by YellowStoneFly at the Idaho Fly Fishers Blog is written because I left out a very important element of Fly Rod Basics. The type of Idaho fly fishing you do dictates the rod weight you need. The lower the number, the smaller the fish you expect to catch. In other words, if you are fishing for small trout in small streams, you want a shorter rod and a lower weight line for those short casts. A 2-4 weight rod, 6-7 feet in length is perfect for those small streams with overhanging shrubs. But if you are fishing for salmon or steelhead trout on large western rivers, you may opt for a 10-12 weight rod 10-12 feet in length. You may even prefer a spey two-handed rod at a higher weight and longer for those heavier streamers, weighted flies and longer casts.

Brook Trout
The problem with the smaller, lighter weight rods is that they very brittle and break easily. The longer, heavier rods for spey casting require special knowlegde of techniques that are totally foreign to the conventional fly caster. Personally, I prefer an all purpose rod. The weights and lengths I feel are the most versitile are 5-7 weight and 8-9 foot lengths.

Bull Trout
A 9 foot, 5 weight is perfect for fairly, large 8-10 pound fish on those 20-22 dry flies even in large streams. You can also fish fairly large streamers and weighted nymphs with ease. 6-7 weight rods can handle sinking lines with large streamers for those 10-12+ pounders even in fast water. Throwing a large steamer on a 7 weight sinking line will wear your arm out, so give yourself a break with a 5 weight dry from time to time. If I have my choice, I'll take the 5 weight and even with a sink tip line any day of the week.

Westslope Cutthroat
One other pearl is you can fish a 4-6 weight line on a 5 weight rod. You can go up or down one line size on any fly rod without significantly effecting its action. So the rod weight is up to you, but for versitility go with a 5 weight minimum and a 7 weight maximum for the ideal Idaho fly fishing rig. Whether you agree or disagree with these suggestions, please comment freely.


Tags: Fly Rod Basics
San Juan Worm
          Fly Reel Basics
          Montana Sparrow