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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Monday, May 26, 2014

Coeur d'Alene River (North Fork)

Dear Randy,

Thanks for the great guide trip on the CDA this past week. FP and I had a really wonderful time! The cutties were colorful and active. You really were a gracious host and we really appreciated your efforts in putting us on the fish.

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
YSF Stingers
As promised, I have tied up a few YSF Stingers for you and will be sending them after I return from my trip to visit family in Georgia/North Carolina. Hopefully your novice clients will enjoy them. They are almost a guaranteed fish producer with little effort and experience. Have them cast as a dry, then strip when they begin to sink like a shallow streamer. Either technique will draw strikes. If there are hoppers on the water, color with permanent marker for even better results. They will also accommodate a small dropper nymph without difficulty like a 22 zebra or small pheasant tail.

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
FP on the CDA
Also included is my post about Albolene floatant and the link to Zen Outfitters. Jaime at Zen will treat you right with his furled leaders and other cool fly fishing accessories. Just mention my name and he will make sure you get whatever you need. Personally, I am like you, I believe furled is the only way to go.

Hope to see you again soon and good luck with the season. Perfect casts, hard takes, tight lines and bent rods (and tired arms) forever!


Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Smokey - Lateral Decubitus View
What IS he doing?
TagsFurled Leaders by Jamie
     Most Economical Floatant
     Old Crow Sour Mash Whiskey

To go fly fishing with Randy:
 Work at ROW Adventures email
Personal email
Cell Phone: 208-755-4403

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Speaking of Old Idaho Fly Fishers

"Old Idaho Fly Fisher" was not written by YellowStoneFly from the Idaho Fly Fishers blog. Rather, it was borrowed from a friend's email who belongs to the Idaho Fly Fishers Association. The author is unkonwn. It is a gentle reminder that the next time you see an 'ole codger in his patched waders, with his Sears Roebuck beryllium copper fly rod and his one small fly box fishing in an Idaho trout stream, maybe, just maybe, you should politely go over and ask him what is in that one (1) little fly box. Enjoy the story and come fly fish Idaho soon.

"An old prospector shuffled into town leading an old tired mule.  The old man headed straight for the only saloon to clear his parched throat.

He walked up and tied his old mule to the hitch rail. As he stood there, brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger stepped out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other.

The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying, "Hey old man, have you ever danced?"

The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, "No, I never did dance.. never really wanted to."

A crowd had gathered as the gunslinger grinned and said, "Well, you old fool, you're gonna dance now," and started shooting at the old man's feet.

The old prospector - not wanting to get a toe blown off - started hopping around like a flea on a hot skillet. Everybody was laughing, fit to be tied.

When his last bullet had been fired, the young gunslinger, still laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon.

The old man turned to his pack mule, pulled out a double-barreled shotgun, and cocked both hammers.

The loud clicks carried clearly through the desert air.

The crowd stopped laughing immediately.

The young gunslinger heard the sounds too, and he turned around very slowly. The silence was almost deafening.

The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old timer and the large gaping holes of those twin barrels.

The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old man's hands, as he quietly said, "Son, have you ever licked a mule's ass?"

The gunslinger swallowed hard and said , "No sir..... but... I've always wanted to."

There are a few lessons for us all here:
Never be arrogant.
Don't waste ammunition.
Whiskey makes you think you're smarter than you are.
Always, always make sure you know who has the power.
Don't mess with old men; they didn't get old by being stupid.
I just love a story with a happy ending, don't you?"


Idaho fly fishing is waiting for you. All of my favorite Idaho rivers are now open all year like the Moyie River  and western Montana streams and rivers open always the third Saturday in May each year like the famous Bull River. Check 'em out.

Hard takes, tight lines and may you every fish be huge! Idaho Fly Fishing makes life worth living.

Tags: Adams Male
     A "Perfect" Fly
     BH Zebra Nymph

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Travel Rods 2014

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Look at the length of that rod!

One cannot discuss the travel rods of today without some historical rod discussion. I personally have been fly fishing for over 1/2 of a century (OMG!) so I have seen quite an evolution just in my lifetime. At one time I collected antique fishing equipment and still have quite a collection.

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Beautiful Split Bamboo Rod
If you look at old fly fishing photos and drawings, one will notice initially the length of the fly fisher's rod. I own a bamboo rod (c. 1890) which is 17' long and made of bamboo sections with ebony tips and an oak butt. The ferrules themselves were huge brass (etched) tubes and the butt section alone weighs about 4 pounds. Needless to say this rod was not made for casting.

Idaho Fly Fishers BlogAfter that you had a real evolution into split bamboo with a few novelties thrown in like steel and Sears Roebuck even made telescoping beryllium copper fly rod which must have weighed at least 8 pounds; I know for I own one of these as well. Try fishing one some time and see if your arm lasts longer than mine. I think it was about 30 minutes smallie fishing on the New River in West Virginia.

Then came the thick, heavy old solid fiberglass rods of the 50's. These were much improved and even though still heavy, they were very flexible and forgiving. Their big advantage was that they almost never broke. But when they did, you had to be careful not to impale yourself with fiberglass slivers. When hollow fiberglass came along, oh what a difference! They were a little easier to break, but probably half the weight. They had great flexibility and you could throw your line what seemed like a mile. The only problem was that they did not flex at the ferrules very well which hindered action.

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Modern Day Graphite Fly Rod
That brings me to modular rods of today--hollow graphite and highly flexible. The two types of ferrules and the thin design make them very light weight with incredible function! You can cast forever and look like a pro even if you are not one. All of the manufacturers have evolved and now there is very little difference between them except for cost. If you are a collector, go with Sage or Orvis or Thomas. But if you just like to fish and throw a nice long, accurate line to your fish, I just purchased a Scott 6 wt. (4 pc) for nymphing and I also own a 5 wt. RL Winston (4 pc) that I would put up against any rod out there. Besides, their service is great! 

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
My Fishpond Travel Case
Well, I guess I got somewhat sidetracked with the history. To my original premise; the travel rods of today are superb. I can tell little difference in functionality almost regardless of the manufacturer or number of pieces or ferrules. I have gone almost exclusively to 4-piece fly rods for the purpose of travel. In a Fishpond travel case I can get three 4-piece rods up to 9 1/2 feet, multiple reels, a rain jacket, leaders and 2 pair of sunglasses and it fits into just about any airplane overhead. Beats getting a rod broken by a baggage handler (the airline will NOT replace for cost) or lost before you reach your destination. I even have a 7-piece travel rod with great action which I occasionally throw into my Fishpond as well.

So do not hesitate about buying a multi-piece travel rod. Go for the price and bring your new rod up for some superb Idaho fly fishing this summer.

Perfect casts, hard takes, tight lines and bent rods (and tired arms) forever! I am sure you Idaho fly fishers will have some questions or comments about this one so fire away.


Tags: Fly Fishing Equipment:-     

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Big Horn 2013
     Fly Line Basics
     Fly Reel Basics
     Fly Rod Basics
Lanyard - Poor Man's *
     Rod Weights - 101

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Just In

Photos from Idaho Fly Fishers Association Members FP and YellowStoneFly. Enjoy!

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Old timer (see the grey) eating Spring buffet.

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Really nice lake trout FP.
Hard takes and tight lines to all our readers often. Idaho Fly Fishing. Fly Fish Idaho


Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Big Horn Brown
Tags:  Priest River, ID
     Snake River - ID / WA / WY
     St. Joe River - Idaho
     St. Regis River - Montana
     Vermilion River - Montana

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Idaho Welcome

This bumper sticker pretty much says it all.

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog

Come Idaho fly fishing soon. Lakes are hot. Rivers are beginning to recede. Small streams are almost there.

Hard takes, tight lines, dream of Idaho fly fishing.


Tags:  Prince Nymph
     Royal Wulff
     San Juan Worm
     San Juan Worm (Alternative)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Antelope Lake, ID

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Antelope Lake, ID
Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Above Clark Fork River

Antelope Lake, ID is located 1.6 miles past the Mosquito Creek bridge which is on the east side of Clark Fork, ID on scenic Highway 200. Just as the road veers away from the Clark Fork River and just past the concrete barriers, the road up is on your left. It is hard to see, so drive slowly. Once you make the turn onto the gravel road, you’ll see the Antelope Lake sign. It is about a 20 minute trip up to the lake and the road is very rocky and rough. Keep to the right.

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Above Clark Fork River Valley
When you run into the lake you will find a pristine high mountain lake. It is about 1000-1500 feet above the Clark Fork River valley. The lake is maintained by Avista utilities and there is an area to launch canoe, pontoon boat or float tube, but nothing more than paddles, fins or trolling motors. There is a restroom at the launch area. I would guess the lake itself is about 20 acres.
Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Antelope Lake,ID

It is situated at an elevation of about 3,500 feet. The lake is maintained by Avista utilities and there is an area to launch canoe, pontoon boat or float tube, but nothing more than paddles, fins or trolling motors. There is a restroom at the launch area. I would guess the lake itself is about 20 acres.

Good luck and happy cuttie fishing. Hard takes and tight lines.

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Antelope Lake, ID

Tags: Dead Drift - Tight Line Lift  
     Homemade Floatant * * * * *
Hopper/Hopper - Tamdem Secrets

Friday, May 2, 2014

Sinclair Lake, ID

Selkirt Mountains and Percell's Trench in North Idaho
Up past Bonners Ferry, ID and the Selkirk Mountains
Decide to go up near the Moyie River below Eastport, ID for some lake fishing yesterday due to river water still being a little too high for my fake knees and wade fishing. Now I must admit, a lot of the appeal to heading up to Eastport is the drive up through Purcell's Trench (formed by ancient glacier) and the Kootenai River Valley. Breathtaking!

Selkirt Mountains and Percell's Trench in North Idaho
Along the through the Kootenai River valley

Travel is up scenic US Highway 95 through Bonner Ferry and over the mighty Kootenai River--great Idaho fly fishing here once the waters recede and the spring sturgeon flush is over. By the way, Twin Rivers Campground and their Kootenai boat launch will be reopening as of May 23, 2014. Follow 95 up and over the mountains to the Good Grief Tavern, approximately 3 miles south of the community of Eastport. Turn south on the Moyie River Road. Drive down about 2 miles over the first Moyie River bridge to Sinclair Lake; on right just before your first railroad crossing. You can't miss it.

Moyie River fly fishing
Along the Moyie River

The lake is only about 3-4 acres with lily pads in the summer. Train occasionally goes by to break the silence. When I first arrived, I was unloading my pontoon boat at their really nice ramp (No motors), when I hear a very large splash. An osprey had just retrieved a small fish in its talons, and then I hear a loud screech. I look up and see an eagle chasing the osprey; I would assume in an effort to have him drop his prey so it could be stolen by the chaser.

Moyie River fly fishing
Sinclair Lake
The lake is small, but the fishing good. Using chironomids, I manage to catch and release 8 decent rainbow the largest about 15 inches. I must admit that all appeared to be stockers except the largest that had great natural color. This was only about 2 hours of fishing, but it was our first really gorgeous spring day this year.

Sinclair Lake Idaho fly fishing
A small north Idaho fly fishing jewel
Come and fly fish Idaho soon. I may go back and try Antelope Lake today. A couple of weeks ago, did pretty well catching cutthroat up there. Again I was using chironomids, which I will probably go with today as well. Remember those little buggers comprise roughly 40% of what trout ingest in the spring in high mountain lakes.

Hard takes, tight lines and great luck spring high mountain lake fishing for Idaho trout.


Sinclair Lake Idaho fly fishing
Worth the occasional train
Tags: A "Perfect" Fly
     BH Zebra Nymph
     Black Crawler
     Black Ants (Summertime)