Big "Y" Flies

Big "Y" Flies
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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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Saturday, September 22, 2012


This Moyie rainbow (Mo-Bow) was caught yesterday by YellowStoneFly of the Idaho Fly Fishers Blog. This beauty was caught above Meadow Creek where rainbow are not supposed to survive in the summer due to warm water temperatures. This 21" bow was caught above a very deep hole in about three feet of water using a sinking tan San Juan. She was feeding actively in 65 degree rapids. I admit, mostly I catch brookies in these waters in the summer, but bows can also grace us in northern Idaho in both spring and autumn on this river.

The Moyie flows south from BC where there is a dam allowing overflow water, thereby the warm summer water temps. Brookie survive well, but in the deeper holes I have personally seen enormous fish. Some would probably exceed 10 pounds. The fish counts are not high, but this girl provided about ten minutes of very exciting action. Always remember, release summer fish quickly after the fight to ensure their survival and try not to touch them. Their slim coating can be easily damaged, subjecting them to disease and demise.

Bussard Creek
Mostly a spring rafting river, the Moyie's large stoneflies can provide some great action in the spring. So, do not overlook this beautiful piece of Idaho. Rarely do I see Idaho fly fishers trying their skills here, but they really should.

Happy fishing and keep those flies in the water with a good drift. You will not be disappointed.


Tags: Moyie River - Idaho
          Big Horn River - Montana
          Kootenai River - Idaho / Montana

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Orvis "B" Wear

Orvis B-Wear is brought to you for your viewing enjoyment by YellowStoneFly of the Idaho Fly Fishers Blog. Note the perfect accessories for these hip waders. If you look closely, you may also be able to see the fly this Idaho fly fisher has chosen to catch those big rainbow on this perfect trout lake. Just look at that beautiful water!

Orvis B-Wear --> NEW!
Really nice water!
 Happy Idaho fly fishing. Like our blog? Join our readers and leave your comments today.
          Parachute Wings (Made Easy)


Monday, September 10, 2012

Lanyard - Poor Man's / Economical / Functional

The Poor Man's Lanyard

I went to Cabelas the other day for I had lost my tippet lanyard, thereby stimulating this discussion; the Poor Man's Lanyard by YellowStoneFly at the Idaho Fly Fishers Blog. A fly fisher's neck lanyard at Cabelas was $30, very pretty, and you could put a lot of things on it. It even had a mini-fly box hanging in the middle. So I thought for a minute about exactly what I needed one for and being the cheap guy that I am, I decided to try and make my own.

Square knot to connect ends.
If you go to your local tack or army surplus store, you can buy usually three 1/8th inch wide and 36 inches long leather pieces for a couple of bucks. Now granted, you only need one for your lanyard, but the other two make great shoe or boot laces. So take your leather strip and tie at the length you desire around your neck. Use a square knot in order to prevent slippage.

Large ball bearing swivel.
Now find a couple of large swivels for the fishing tools you most commonly use. (I like the ball bearing swivels for they are more sturdy and seem to last longer but are slightly more expensive). Add them and your tippet spools to your leather strip. Wallah, you now have a $3 lanyard which is just as functional as the one for $30 at Cabelas. You can easily add or subtract extras as you see fit for only about $1 per tool. Even if you want to add a mini-foam fly box, you could do so for only about $5.

Every Idaho fly fisher needs one of these. Use your ingenuity to make one as fancy as you like. 

Happy Idaho fly fishing and remember to always keep those fly lines tight and release what you can catch for the next generation of fly fishers.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Montana Grand Slam

The Montana Grand Slam- Brought to you by YellowStoneFly of the Idaho Fly Fishers Blog. Central Montana is a trout water haven. This post will breifly discuss the opportunities for Idaho (Montana) fly fishing in the central Montana area just east of the continental divide. For those of you who are not familiar with this area, the following rivers are all within a stones throw of eachother:
Jefferson + Madison = Missouri
The Dearborn
The Jefferson
The Gallatin
The Madison
The Missouri
The Yellowstone

The following are west of the continental divide, but again within very close proximity to the others listed above:
The Bitterroot
The Blackfoot
The Clark Fork
The Flathead
The Kootenai
The Rock Creek

Gallatin just before the Missouri
Some of these have been the subject of prior blog posts, but to get a complete listing visit our QuickView Blog Post page. All are premier trout rivers and should be visited by all avid fly fishers. I will attempt to map out for you trips which will not hurt you pocket books and will allow for fishing on multiple rivers with each pass. The central Montana Grand Slam discussed here, in my opinion, consists of fishing the Jefferson, Gallatin, Madison and Missouri. The headwaters of the Missouri actually begin just north of Three Forks, MT where the Jefferson and the Madison come together with the Gallatin merging in only about a quarter mile below this. The best fishing on the Missouri however is below the Canyon Ferry dam and is a GREAT tailwater fishery. In my opinion, fall provides the best consistent fishing. Spring is good, but the waters can be quite swollen due to the snow melt. Summer fishing is generally slow due to the warmer waters but can still be good below the dam.

Jefferson River whitefish
Getting there, well there are numerous guides for the Three Forks area located in Bozeman, Mt. But for my taste, I would fly into Helena, rent a car and drive to them all. Helena has an airport which is mostly served by Delta out of Salt Lake City. If you are going to drive, go east on I-90 to I-15 from the west. Driving from the south, definitely take I-15. If you are coming from the east go I-90 to Three Forks, fish the first three, then take Highway 287 up to I-15 at Helena. All are actually very easy to access.

Missouri River scenery
Accommodations can, along with guide services, be located in Bozeman, Three Forks, Helena and even Great Falls. The Gallatin is tough to wade, so you'll need a boat. The Jefferson and Madison have accesses all along the way, so you can decide for yourself. The Missouri below the dam has limited wading access but can be done. You would however be better off with a guide in a drift boat or renting a pontoon.

Enough about these for now. There will be more to come so tune in. Happy Idaho fly fishing and don't forget about our neighbors to the east.


Tags: Big Horn River - Montana
          Big Wood River - Idaho
          Bull River - Montana

Jefferson River N. of I-15 / S. of I-90