Idaho Fly Fishers Blog

Beautiful North Idaho Home in Hope

Beautiful North Idaho Home in Hope
A real fishers dream! Gorgeous home on the Hope Peninsula surrounded by nature with incredible views, priced below appraisal, owner financing and deeded lake access.

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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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fishpond

Why I have not written a post regarding Fishpond products is beyond me. In Travel Rods 2014, I did write a paragraph regarding one of their products which I have now owned for quite a while.


fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
Fishpond Rod Tote
"..... 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 9 foot travel rod with great action which I occasionally throw into my Fishpond as well."


fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
Fishpond Duffle w/ Bottom Dry Storage
Well this Christmas, my lovely wife purchased me a Fishpond gear bag. I must admit, I would have preferred a more muted color, but it is quite functional. My original Fishpond travel rod tote was recommended by an IDFFA and fly fishing friend from Pennsylvania. He was right and it is the best tote I have ever seen for 4 piece rods, reels, etc. I have now had mine 3 years and it is quite durable. It is beginning to fray a little on the handles and corners, but once repaired and it has functionally passed away, I will replace with another.

I did own a much larger gear bag again with dry storage for wet boots and waders in the bottom such as this, but the bag weighed 35 pounds without any gear. This one from Fishpond is very lightweight (1.9 pounds) and functional. If not overly stuffed, it might also fit in an airplane overhead as does my rod tote. They are perfect for travel. This one also has a fold out mat on which to sit to change your wet gear when exiting your favorite river. Keeps your gear clean, so all one does when returning home is to lay your stuff out to dry.

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flysFishpond has a lot of really cool gear. Check them out at Fishpond USA.com. Their stuff is a little pricy, but seem durable enough. Once you have all of the basics, ask for a Fishpond piece for each birthday, anniversary and Christmas. You'll have all you need in no time.

Hard takes, tight lines, sore arms, screaming reels and all the fly fishing gear of which you could ever dream.

IdahoAngler@live.com

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
Tags: Big Y Flies
     Chest Packs v. Fishing Vests
     Float Tube Chronicles
     Float Tube Fins
     Fly Line Basics
     Fly Reel Basics
     Fly Rods and Gear
     Fly Rod Basics
    
Furled Leaders by Zen

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Ho Ho Ho!

Did receive a really cool Christmas card from a very good Arkansas fly fishing friend and his wife. Just had to share.

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys

Nice salmon! I do know approximately where they were fishing if interested.

Hard takes, sore arms, bent rods and screaming reels into the New Year.

IdahoAngler@live.com

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
Kodiac Island Humpy 2002
Tags: Alzheimer's Test for Idaho Fly Fishers
     Aruba, Jamaica, ooh .....
     Big Fish
     BITE ME !!!
     Bottoms Up !!!
     Cool Places
     Cool Places II
     Cool Places III          

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Don't Mess with Idaho

2015 Ends
You really don't want to mess with Idaho! Do You? Where clean air, clean water, the smell of evergreens and the sight of eagles, elk, moose and bear make the trout grow HUGE!
 
fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys

 Got to love this tee shirt!
 
Tyrannical governments of the world beware. Welcome to Idaho--where there really is "a gun behind every blade of grass".
 
www.ambushwargames.com
 
Hard takes, tight lines, sore arms and safe rivers to you all.
 
Idaho Fly Fishers Blog

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas 2015

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys


fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flysYou know, I went into a large retail store yesterday looking for Christmas cards. There were almost no "Christmas" cards but there were plenty of "Happy Holiday" cards. What a very sad state of affairs. The birth of Jesus is really not celebrated much in our country anymore, whereas only 30 years ago it was the primary focus for the December holiday. And when was the last time those from the left press or even some of our most powerful politicians attended church?
Back to the point at hand. Thought you might like to see this for it is festive. This is an email ad I received just this morning:
 
http://www.cabelas.com/home.jsp
  
fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flysI know Cabela's has great stuff. I frequent the one near me in Idaho all of the time. But I can tell you. If you act today, you can still get some really neat stuff for your Idaho fly fishing sweetie (whether from Idaho or not) before online shopping ends.

My last post mentioned one of my personal favorites--the autobiography Fly Fishing Through the Midlife Crisis by Howell Raines. But simply go to my "QuickView Blog Post Retrieval" to find many more gift ideas. It doesn't matter whether you are looking to make something very inexpensive for him/her like a Poor Man's Lanyard (parents and friends love homemade stuff) or simply give them a jar of Albolene, which you can find at any drug store, for fly floatation.

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
 
Another wonderful gift for the avid Idaho fly fisher is Longer Fly Casting by Lefty Kreh which is reviewed in my post "A Perfect Gift". The post about "Big Y Flies" has great ideas regarding necessary flies and a great, new technology fly rod for your fly fisher. Try one of my personal favorites, a "Furled Leader" by Jaime which are handmade in southern Idaho. Slightly more expensive, but well worth it, is the "Personal Pontoon Boat". And the ultimate is the 2-3 person inflatable fly fishing rafts at "KVI Rafts".

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flysOr you know there is always the gift of a float trip next summer in on of Idaho's great fly fishing rivers like Randy Dingman at ROW Adventures or David Blackburn at Kootenai Angler. Now your other option is to provide a trip to one of our many very famous wade fishing rivers like the St. Joe, the Moyie, the Thompson, or even portions of the Kootenai or the Clark Fork. Anyway visit our "QuickView Blog Post Retrieval", go to "Fly Fishing Gifts (NEW)" and read your heart out. But hurry, Christmas is almost here.

Have a happy and merry Christmas. Hard takes, tight lines, sore arms, screaming reels and bent 4-5 weight fly rods forever and particularly into your New Year. Make 2016 your Idaho fly fishing year.

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flysIdahoAngler@live.com

Tags: Old Crow Sour Mash Whiskey
     Outcast Stealth Pro - Personal Pontoon
    
RL Winston Company - Twin Bridges, MT
     Rod Weights - 101
    
Travel Rods 2014
     Wading Boots
     Waders

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Great Fly Fishing Gift

"Fly Fishing Through the Midlife Crisis"
http://www.amazon.com/Fly-Fishing-Through-Midlife-Crisis/dp/0060834641%3FSubscriptionId%3DAKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q%26tag%3Dduckduckgo-d-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3D0060834641

One of the best book descriptions I have ever read:

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys"Howell Raines has gone fly fishing with presidents of the United States and legends of the sport, as well as relatives, childhood friends, and his two sons. Casting deep into the waters of his tumultuous and momentous life - his storied career at the New York Times, his painful divorce, his seven-year feud with his father, his memorable friendship with fisherman/philosopher Richard C. Blalock - Raines offers his now-classic meditation on the "disciplined, beautiful, and unessential activity" of fly fishing and the challenges and opportunities of middle age. A witty and profound celebration of life's transitions and the serene pleasures of the outdoors, Raines's memories and observations offer wisdom for the younger man, comfort for the older man, and rare insight for women into the often puzzling male psyche. "Hear me, my brothers," Raines says. "Anything is possible in the life of a man if he lives long enough. Even adulthood."

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flysCourtesy of Amazon.com, you can find this book in paperback for $13.42 or used for as little as $4. I have personally read this book twice and it is my personal favorite. An absolute must read for anyone over 40 who loves to fly fish (and has been married with children). Idaho fly fishing rocks.

Tight lines, bent rods and screaming reels forever.

IdahoAngler@live.com

Tags: Dead Drift - Tight Line Lift  
     Homemade Floatant * * * * *
     Hopper/Hopper - Tamdem Secrets
     Most Economical Floatant
     Pike on a Fly
     Scuba Trout Fishing

Friday, December 11, 2015

Fly Rods and Gear

         

2:37 PM                                     

December 11, 2015 
To: Fly Fishing Glen "Falls From Boats"

Show this message...
fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
"Idaho Angler, my friend needs a suggestion for a rod for the Missouri River this next summer. Please respond."




From: Idaho Angler (idahoangler@live.com )                                
Sent:Fri 12/11/15 2:37 PM
To:Fly Fishing Glen "Falls From Boats" (glen.....@gmail.com)

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flysGlen have your friend go to:

http://www.bigyflyco.com/store.asp/CAME_FROM/ajaxajax

Have him then go to Fly Rods under Gear. 2nd from top left under Big Y Nano click down arrow and click on 590-4 (4 piece, 5 wt., 9 foot nano material graphite rod). This is a GREAT entry level fly rod. I have one and use it ALL THE TIME. Durable and almost unbreakable. Warrantee is as good as the big boys like Sage and Orvis but is much cheaper.
 
While there look at Adams, Amy's Ants, Blue Wing Olives, Bugmeisters, Henry's Fork Hoppers, Half Chernobyls, Purple Haze, Stimulators for dry flies,
Hares ears, Pheasant tails, Caddis pupa, Golden Stoneflies for nymphs,
Black, Brown, Olive, Ginger Buggers for streamers in LARGE sizes (2-8 if available) and purple Moal Leaches for streamers
My friend Harold buys all of his flies here. You will meet him on the Missouri. Great flies and CHEAP. 2 or 3 of select patterns will do. Shipping is FREE with orders over $35.

They also have waders with stocking feet (will need felt sole boots) and wading staffs (which I have used for years in slippery stream to traverse across).

Idaho Angler
 
fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
Hard takes, tight lines, enjoy Idaho Fly Fishing
 
IdahoAngler@live.com
          Fly Reel Basics
          Bull River Hogs - MT

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

One GREAT Fly!

Spring will be here soon for the Idaho fly fisher. Try out this guy for some great times. Fish on top or strip down for a very effective shallow streamer pattern. The fish love it. And for easy wings that float like a charm for your Stinger, go to "Hot Wings".
fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys

The simple "YSF Stinger" is written and tied by YellowStoneFly for the Idaho Fly Fishers blog. The fly was designed because most hoppers and stoneflies are difficult to tie, primarily because of the addition of legs. The hackle here subs for the legs and looks very real to the trout. The YSF is very easy to tie and can be completed in only minutes. An array of colors can be used and I like sizes 6-10 on a long shank hook. The Krystal Flash adds to the visibility. This is a great Idaho fly fishing bug which should produce well for anyone particularly in the spring, summer and fall months.



fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
Tie in Krystal Flash and cut to 1/2 hook bend length.



fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
Now tie in some good hackle. Rust used here.

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
Add foam. This is roughly 1/4" wide with a tail section.

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
Wrap foam around hook. Evenly space.

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
Cut off excess in a round or square fashion.

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
Wrap hackle evenly in thread space.
Tie in wing behind head.
PS-Trim hackle below wing for better lay.

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
Add small clump of elk or caribou behind head.



fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
Half hitch behind eye. Finished fly.




fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
Finished fly!!!

Please feel free to send me comments. I am always looking for ways to improve my patterns.

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flysHappy Idaho Fly Fishing, Hard takes, sore arms, bent rods and screaming reels to you all.


          The Mighty Clark Fork
          The Kootenai River - Idaho's best kept secret!
 

PS - Check out related posts @ YSF Stinger Perfected (fishing techniques) and Hopper / Hopper Tandem Secrets (fishing techniques).

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Stimulator

As I was searching yesterday, I realized I had somehow failed to show one of the most effective flies in the NW for cutthroat trout.

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
#1-Wrap thread length of hook and
add hackle for tail.
fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
#2-Tie in hackle for body wrap.
fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
#3-Body dubbing of choice 2/3rd's
of hook length.
That fly is the STIMULATOR! Here it is tied in the conventional yellow form but I often use gold. And I frequently find this color draws more strikes.
Stimulators mimic either salmon flies, stoneflies or hoppers or all three. Anyway you slice it, it really
is a GREAT fly.


fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
#4-Wrap hackle forward and secure.

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
#5-Add Elk hair past tail &
run hollow hairs forward. Secure
behind hook eye for added floatation.
It can be tied with any color dubbing so look carefully at your local flies particularly in the spring and early summer. But in fact they really work great most of the year.
 
fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
#6-Add more dubbing forward.
Can even change the color
or make two-tone.
fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
#7-Wrap GRIZZLY hackle
forward and secure behind eye.
Whip finish behind eye.
Even in the fall, if you use smaller hooks, the fish believe they are the caddis you see on some warm fall days. Try size #14 nymph hook or smaller for the caddis. Here they are tied on #10 nymph hook which tends to be the optimum spring/summer size. 

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys 
Golden (left) & classic yellow (right).




Good luck and enjoy.
Hard takes, tight lines, screaming reels and huge trout to all.

IdahoAngler@live.com 
 
Tags:  Kootenai Mega Moth

Monday, November 23, 2015

Kootenai Mega Moth

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
Kootenai in Idaho at "Picnic Island"
fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
Nice Kootenai Cutbow

There is a rumor that in October and November the Mighty Kootenai gives rise to a mega hatch of mega "moths" which may or may not be a moth. It looks to me to be a very large caddis or a "mega" caddis. Any way you slice it, the waters have cooled significantly and the flow is back to normal early summer levels of after the sturgeon flush.


fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys
Kootenai below Leonia, ID ghost town.
The Kootenai does hold some huge fish but you do have to work for them. There are few places to wade, so most float. There is, just below a river access, a really good wading area of which few fishermen are aware. Put in at the Leonia, ID ramp. It lies right at the ID/Montana state line just north of US Hwy 2 on the Leonia Road, so you do not need a Montana license. I call the wading spot "Picnic Island".  Leonia is an old ghost town with a cool history, but little is left there but an old bridge, Boulder Creek flowing into the Kootenai and a few hard to find tombstones. The ramp is rough and can be closed this time of year, but is open all summer. Check with Rex, who will also provide to you a shuttle, at the Twin Rivers Campground as to ramp status.

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flysfly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flysAnyway back to the GIANT CADDIS in the fall. There are multiple patterns that will work here but all must be tied on a size #8 hook or larger. One could go with a male adams, adams irresistible, grey wulff, YSF stinger, stimulator or even a purple haze. Just make sure they are BIG and BULKY. Fish them dry with Albolene floatant and drop a midge off--suggest a small San Juan or pheasant tail to start. Exchange out often if not effective.
fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys




Hard takes, tight lines and screaming reels forever.




 
fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys      Chernobyl Ant
     Chironomids
     Cranefly Larvae
     Epoxy Streamer
    
Freshwater Scud   



Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ride the BULL

The Bull River, Montana

The Bull River is a real jewel! High in a beautiful mountain valley above and between the Kootenai and Clark Fork rivers lays a mountain lake of indescribable grandeur. Situated in the Cabinet Mountain Range in Lincoln County Montana is Bull Lake. Spring fed and without a dam and naturally flowing into the Kootenai River, you would naturally think it is the headwaters for the Bull River. Well it is not. The river is actually a very deep, meandering naturally spring fed waterway arising in the mountains just west of Bull Lake. I do not know the exact depth, but locals say it is in excess of forty feet in points despite the fact the average width is only about fifty feet and it sports many shallow riffles.
Bull Cutty caught on a Brown Drake 6/14/2011

The Bull flows for about twenty-five mile due south and ends in the Clark Fork River at the junction of highways 56 & 200 and the Bull River Kootenai National Forest Campground. This is a beautiful stretch of river, but I must caution the last four to six miles is steep and treacherous. This lower section is not really floatable unless you are and expert kayaker. From where the lower section begins at highway 200 and almost up to the lake, there are several access points. Pitch is very gradual after milepost 6 and it is easy to row. Fishing in the spring is in this middle section can be incredible! There are some huge browns and nice cutthroat as well.
I own a twelve foot, two person raft in which I love to use in this river. My wife rows and I fish. Who could ask for a better arrangement? By the way, I bought my raft from Kootenai Valley Inflatables for a lot less than other outfitters and the quality is excellent. Anyway, back to the float. I recommend putting in at the canoe access about milepost 11.5 and float to the eight mile bridge. DO NOT USE THE MORE NORTHERN ACCESS I PREVIOUSLY SUGGESTED AT MILEPOST IN MY POST "BULL RIVER HOGS". IT IS NOT SAFE AT ONE POINT JUST PAST THE MILEPOST 12.5 HIGHWAY 56 BRIDGE. As much meandering as the river does, I would guess the actual float I like is about 5-6 miles and takes a good 4-5 hours to float from the canoe access. The flow is mostly slow here, but it makes for good, easy fly fishing. The take out at the 8 mile bridge is very easy and I can load easily reload my raft directly onto my trailer.

The Brown Drake hatch is unbelievable in the spring. Insects are huge (size 6-10) and the trout are ravenous. The Bull is predominately known for its huge brown trout, but I have personally seen large schools of bull trout weighing on the average five pounds and perhaps more. I have also caught some really nice cutthroat trout in the 16-20 inch range and an occasional nice rainbow. The fishing seems to slow down in the summer with less prolific hatches, but fish can be had. If you see one other boat while you fish there, I would be very surprised. Out-of-the way and a little hard to find, this is really a great spring fly fishing river. Find highway 56 going north off scenic highway 200 along the Clark Fork River just 10 miles east from where it crosses into Idaho. The Bull parallels highway 200. If you can find no other person with whom to fish, call or email me. I will definitely go with you. 
Don’t forget, in the US bull trout are endangered and must be released as soon as caught. You cannot deliberately fish for a bull trout either, but if you do accidently catch one measure quickly, photograph and release quickly. Do not miss fishing this river if you are ever in western Montana in the spring. Now check out our most recent post "Bull River Hogs" for suggested fishing access points and flies. 
Tags: Idaho Fly Fishers Association
          Idaho Fly Fishers.com
         Idaho Angler.com