YellowStoneFly's recent email response (with minor editing) to a new Idaho fly fisher moving from Dillon, MT to Bonners Ferry, ID for his work.
"Thanks for the recent email. I have been in Idaho for almost 17 years and semi-retired out here in 2010.....The smaller lakes I find most productive in the spring while snow melt messes with the rivers and streams. This usually lasts until early to late June, but with a scarcity of snow this year, I expect most streams to clear by late May unless we get a dump in late March or April."
"The Bull fishes well in the spring before July. There is a great brown Drake hatch on certain areas of the Bull. These are very large flies (10-14) and when you are ready I’ll tell you where to find the fish..... Float tube or pontoon boat are your best choices here. This is not a wade fishing river."
"The Kootenai can fish well from May through October..... My favorite..... The Yaak to Moyie River float is 17 miles (7-9 hours), but one of the prettiest floats you will ever do. Absolutely NO fishing pressure here. Definitely requires a drift boat or large raft. There are multiple places to get out and wade when the water recedes."
"The Moyie is definitely one of my favorites. Spring snow melt makes wading tough and drift boat or raft is the best choice. After about June 1 it is okay to use a pontoon, raft or float tube. The wading areas begin to appear about this time. By late July, the fishing tends to really slow down due to warm water, although fish can be found in certain places."
"As far as flies, here are my favorite choices:
The Bull – Large Brown Drakes and hoppers or YSF Stingers in the spring.....
The Kootenai – In the spring my personal favorite is the YSF Assam which is simply an Assam Dragon with a marabou stinger (again olive seems to be the best color & add flash). Sink tip line here. In summer large stones.....like golden stone nymphs (skwala here-tie with gold dubbing) and black crawlers. Always keep a number of olive and grey or tan BWO (16-20) and Adams dries in your box as well.
The Moyie – Spring time dry stones are really good. Try an YSF Stinger (12-16). It works great mimicking a minnow if you will strip down at the end of a drift. River is fairly shallow, so use a floating line. Early summer, I dead drift golden stones and black crawlers with good results."
"Wishing you hard takes, tight lines, screaming reels and sore arms when fly fishing Idaho."