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.

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!
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Monday, April 28, 2014

More to Life Than Fly Fishing ???

Is there "More to Life Than Fly Fishing?" These Idaho Fly Fishers Association Members believe there is; but not much.

Idaho Fly Fishers Association
Pheasant Tail Nymph "Fudgepacker"?
Idaho Fly Fishers Association
IDFFA Member "Pilgrim" on recent outing

Idaho Fly Fishers Association
The "Fudgepacker's" Pend Oreille Bull

Idaho Fly Fishers Association
Idaho Spring Rabbit Sculpin
Idaho fly fishing can be the best anywhere. Come and see what "Hard Takes and Tight Lines" really means.
     Kootenai River - Idaho / Montana
     Missouri River - Montana
     Moyie River - Idaho

Friday, April 25, 2014

Royal Wulff (The)

Royal Coachman
THE Royal Wulff was designed, not by famous author and fly designer Lee Wulff (1905-1991), as many think, but rather as a derivation of the late 1800's fly the Royal Coachman. Lee actually designed the Gray and White Wulff during his stay in the Adirondacks (NY) during 1929. Q L Quackenbush (late 1800's), one of the early members of the Beaverkill Trout Club above Lew Beach in NY state, is credited with designing the Royal Coachman hair wing dry fly. This is however actual the fly from which the Royal Wulff was designed.

The Royal Wulff has undergone some changes over the years and was originally tied with a white calf tail wing and tail but was otherwise was very similar to what you see below (CLICK TO ENLARGE). YellowStoneFly has not changed much except for the addition of a small white foam wing for improved buoyancy. Comments and questions go to IdahoAngler@live.com.

No one really knows why this fly is so effective. Even though it was designed for NY, it is and will remain a great western fly as well. Effectiveness has probably to do with the multiple colors of black, orange, green, red, brown and white. Don't know for sure but I personally have stood on a Montana river in the early morning below a rapids and caught time after time 14"-16" cutthroats on almost every cast with this fly. 

Royal Wulff
1. Burnt orange golden pheasant
tippet for tail. Black thread.

Royal Wulff
2. Peacock herl (lower body).

Royal Wulff
3. Red thread / floss midsection.

Royal Wulff
4. Midsection should be fairly thick.
Royal Wulff
5. Peacock herl for upper body.
White foam wing.

Royal Wulff
6. Brown hackle wrapped
fore and aft of wing.

Royal Wulff
THE Royal Wulff

CDA cutthroat trout
CDA cutthroat
Great and very effective fly for Idaho fly fishing. Come on out and try it. Rivers and streams still fairly high, but high mountain lakes are good and the trout are hungry.

     Sticky Ferrules
     Wade Fishing

     "YSF Stinger" Perfected
     YSF Forever Strike Indicator

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Desktop Photos

Was blindly staring at my computer this morning and realized that I have accumulated some really nice desktop photos (not just fly fishing) over the years that should be shared. So here goes. A few of  these you have seen; most you haven't. Enjoy. More to follow in later posts. Comments to YellowStoneFly of the Idaho Fly Fishers Blog. HAPPY EASTER and GOD BLESS! Check out the Roman Colloseum photo below.

Sun Valley, ID
Colloseum - Rome, Italy

Bavaria in South Germany
Cashiers, North Carolina
Kitzbuhel, Austria

Bavarian Alps south of Fussen, Germany

Maine Coastline
Lake Pend Oreille, ID repast.

Bitterroot Mtns - Kootenai R., ID
Mountain butte in Montana
Try a guess!

Only three of these are from the great state of Idaho. Want to know where the others are from, email me. Come and fly fish Idaho this season. Not as much snowfall this season which is probably going to make for some really great dry fly fishing.

Hard takes. Tight lines.


Rock Creek, MT
Tags: Fly Line Basics
     Fly Reel Basics
     Fly Rod Basics
Lanyard - Poor Man's *
     Rod Weights - 101

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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)

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Look carefully in each picture for the cat as it makes its way down from the roof to the dog. Then check the explanation  I have no idea from whence this originally came, but it was sent to me by my father-in-law.

The story behind the pictures is this:

Every day - at the same time - she (the dog) waits for him (the cat). Sometimes she needs to bark for him; sometimes he just knows she's there. He comes; they rub and greet each other and they go for a walk. They have done this for 5 years and no, they don't belong to the same owner. Their owners didn't even know this was happening until neighbors, seeing them together so frequently, said something to the cat's owner, who then followed the dog home one day and found it lived some distance away.

How it started no one knows but it is amazing. Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way we cope with it is what makes the difference. It is what we do with our lives that makes the difference

A wise person once said ..."There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but being happy."
What really should make you happy is family, friends, sunsets, laughter and Idaho fly fishing.
May you life be filled with hard takes, tight lines and huge (catch and release) fish. Come and fly fish Idaho this year. Make it a to do now "Bucket List" thing.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Wade Fishing

A few beautiful photos from IDFFA member BO and the link from which they come --> River Men Rod and Gun Club. These should really make you want to go Idaho fly fishing.

Come and fly fish Idaho very soon. The weather is really starting to turn.

Hard takes, tight lines and huge trout.


Tags: Big Fish
     BITE ME !!!
     Cool Places
     Cool Places II
     Cool Places III
Dog Goin' Fly Fishin'

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


YellowStoneFly had one very unusual day yesterday. I had one of those rare opportunities to snow ski in the morning at Schweitzer Mountain and fly fish on the Clark Fork River in the afternoon. What a wonderful day! Oh the life of an Idaho fly fisher!

And if you believed the Cancun rainbow post, I've got another for you. Is this is a Back Bay rainbow?

Or is this a Back Bay rainbow?

Hard takes and tight lines. Come and fly fish Idaho very soon. Weather is much improved. If you dont't have anyone to go with, email me.


Tags:  Clark Fork River - Idaho / Montana
     Coeur d'Alene - Idaho's Year Round Fishery
     Flathead River System - Montana
     Kootenai River - Idaho / Montana

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bitterroot - Spring - Skwala

The Bitterroot River, MT in the spring means trout on a Skwala. Photos courtesy of IDFFA member "Pilgrim". Someone on this trip had a little trouble with their spelling. Take a guess where I have been.


Come fly fish Idaho. Should be an early season this year. Get those dry's ready.
Skwala Stone Nymph
Skwala Stone Adult