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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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dear Travis

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."

Tags:   Hackle (Parachute)
     Hackle (Stacked)
     Hackle (Vertical)
     Hot Wings


Friday, January 23, 2015

January on the CDA (Coeur d'Alene)

MLK email from IDFFA member and local area fly fishing guide extraordinaire.
Dear YSF,
We had a wonderfully Lucky trip down the CDA River to January 19, 2015. We found a bunch of nice fish. The water is high and muddy so it takes a little magic to get them to hit the streamer patterns.. The local rivers are fishing well ... Book now for spring and summer months...
Will send the photos your way (when available). 
Randy Dingman


Randy is a great local area guide. He guides through two area outfitters. Have fished with him before and he will do everything he can to make you next float productive and enjoyable. You can contact Randy directly through his personal email at rdingman91@yahoo.com . Book today. He fills up spring, summer and fall fast.
Hard takes, tight lines, screaming reels and sore arms to you on your next Idaho Fly Fishing trip.
Tags: ID Fly Fishers Annual Mtgs:
     Idaho Fly Fishers Association Members

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Texas Fly Fishing Anyone?

You know, I used to think that if I got caught out on the road when a tornado or other severe weather storm hit, I’d crawl into the nearest culvert…..

A Texas Power & Light crew, putting in the lines for an addition to Hallettsville Airport found the following in a culvert they were using…..See the two photos below:


The gator was 18’2” long and the rattlesnake roundup totaled 87.

WOW….. Best stay out of those Texas culverts!

Not to worry, we have none of these in northern Idaho. I will admit to a few rattlers in the southern part of the state though.

Hard takes and tight lines without gators and rattlers to you all.

Come and fly fish Idaho soon.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Before the Fishing Begins in North Idaho

Before spring Idaho Fly Fishing begins, we have to live through the ugly winters. CLICK TO ENLARGE:

Won't be long before hard takes, tight lines and huge trout besiege us all. Welcome to Idaho Fly Fishers Blog. Thoughts, comments and suggestions please click below.


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    Tuesday, January 13, 2015

    Cutthroat Byway

    Recent email from IDFFA member and fly fishing friend Larry the Pilgrim. Enjoy
                      This creek divides the US connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

    The Panama Canal is not the only water line connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. There's a place in Wyoming—deep in the Teton Wilderness Area of the Bridger-Teton National Forest—in which a creek splits in two. Like the canal, this creek connects the two oceans dividing North America in two parts.

    Yes. You read that right: North America is divided in two parts by a single water line that—no matter how hard you try not to—you will have to cross to go from North to South and vice versa.
    The creek divides into two similar flows at a place called the Parting of the Waters, pictured above. To the East, the creek flows "3,488 miles (5,613 km) to the Atlantic Ocean via Atlantic Creek and the Yellowstone, Missouri and Mississippi Rivers." To the West, it flows "1,353 miles (2,177 km) to the Pacific Ocean via Pacific Creek and the Snake and Columbia Rivers."

    Of course, unlike the Panama Channel, you can't navigate these waters—unless you are a fish:

    At Parting of the Waters, water actually covers the Continental Divide such that a fish could safely swim from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean drainages. In fact, it is thought that this was the pass that provided the immigration route for Cutthroat Trout to migrate from the Snake River (Pacific) to Yellowstone River (Atlantic) drainages.

    I don't know about you, but I find this to be pretty darn awesome!


    Huge takes, tight lines, screaming reels and sore arms forever. Come and fly fish Idaho this year. Make it one of those "Bucket List" things.


    Fernie BC, Elk River Cutthroat
               Furled Leaders by Jamie
               Most Economical Floatant
               Old Crow Sour Mash Whiskey

    Saturday, January 10, 2015

    Fun Bumper Stickers

    Idaho Bumper Stickers
    Here's what living in Idaho brings to you:

    New as of yesterday.

    Come and fly fish Idaho soon.
    Exciting takes, tight lines, bent rods and screaming reels to you all.
         Grande Ronde River - Idaho
    Kootenai River - Idaho / Montana
         Missouri River - Montana
         Moyie River - Idaho
         Moyie River - Spring 2014


    Friday, January 9, 2015

    YSF Humpy

    YSF (YellowStoneFly) Humpy - Classically tied with yellow dubbing, but you can use any color you want and they ALL work! Purple is used here for illustration purposes (photographs better). I personally find yellow, orange and golden (like the stonefly) tend to work the best. What I have done here is basically simplify the tying of this fairly difficult fly pattern. This one is tied with a parachute hackle, which is my personal preference. It is much easier to tie as illustrated here than by using  the conventional method. Try it, works GREAT and floats like a dream with a little floatant!
    Elk (preferred) hair tail slightly longer than hook bend.

    Wrap strands vertically, then back and over towards tail.

    Add dubbing to suit.

    Finish dubbing near eye.

    Wrap off and flare hollow elk behind eye.

    Tie in two grizzly strands for parachute. Whip finish.

    Clip top of wing to preferred length--about 1/3 of fly length..

    Finished bottom.



    Try multiple colors.


    Tags: Fishing Buddies
         "Fishing Trip Up Lightning Creek" - 1921
         Floods, fires, tornadoes, heat and hurricanes
         Fly Fishing - A Hobby?
         Fly Fishing is Life

    Monday, January 5, 2015

    BWO (Blue Winged Olive) - Stacked Hackle

    Again a may fly, this BWO (Blue Winged Olive) is tied with a stacked hackle. This is definitely one of my summer favorites. Tied on a #14 hook here for illustration purposes, I mostly use #18's and #20's which I tie exactly the same was as pictured here.

    Tie on & secure olive thread.

    Tail length of hook curve. Grizzly Hackle.

    Olive dubbing 2/3 way forward.

    Tie in bright colored foam wing.

    Wrap hackle as parachute.

    Now flip wing and hackle forward. Secure wing vertically.

    Add more dubbing as desired.

    Clip wings shorter. Whip finish head. Add cement if desired.

    Finished fly. Add floatant. Floats and works GREAT!


    Tags:  Kootenai River - Idaho / Montana
         Missouri River - Montana
         Moyie River - Idaho
         Moyie River - Spring 2014
         Nantahala River - NC