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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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Outcast Stealth Pro

Outcast Boats.com Slide Banner

I have owned a one person, personal pontoon boat for over 15 years. It has served me well. These are really great for fishing small lakes and streams in Idaho fly fishing country. Their downsides, in my opinion, are many. One, they are not designed really for fishing; they are designed to move. Where do you put your rod if you need to change a fly or take off a larger fish? Where do you set your oars while fishing? Why don't they maneuver better?

Two, they are difficult to inflate/deflate and carry around. The frame does come off, but they can be a pain to put back together and on to the inflatable pontoons.  The valves do work, but not very well--particularly after a few years. Why do they not carry any more load than they do? Where do I put my flies? Where do I put my anchor? Why do I always feel as though I am going to fall out? Three.....

Locked down oars.
Well, I am here to tell you the Outcast Stealth Pro is the best personal raft I have ever seen! A bit pricy, but in my opinion almost ALL of the major issues have been resolved. This personal pontoon (it really has a "V" shaped hull) is fast, durable (with its PVC material design), has only one piece of metal (the footrest which detaches easily), weighs only 35 pounds, has a fly bag built in and many accessories which are easy to mount and fairly inexpensive. Oh yeah, IT'S FRAMELESS. And get this; the oars quickly and easily lock down so you can move and fish at the same time. There are even arm and bow pads into which fit "Scotty" anchor and devices such as rod holders and anchors. These are also movable so you can place them where most convenient for you the Idaho fly fisher. The ONLY downside I see is it is difficult to lift "on fish" over the footrest bar, so I carry a small ORVIS "catch and release" net.

Inflation takes exactly 10 minutes. I would recommend a foot pump, for electrics just don't seem to have enough ump to inflate. Maybe there is a 12V out there which can do, but at least the  bellows style foot pump you can always take with you and takes up little space. Deflation takes about 5 minutes and the device folds up quickly into a 2 foot cube for easy storage. DON'T STORE WET.

This is the portable for those of us that fish a lot. Even with a PFD, I personally would not take it on BIG water, I have a KVI 12 footer for that purpose. But for most small rivers and lakes it is PERFECT! Try it out.

Mfg. Specs:
Bellows Style Foot Pump

1.      Length x Width x Height: 8' x 57"
2.      Tube Diameter: 16.25"
3.      Weight: 35 lbs.
4.      Load Capacity: 450 lbs.
5.      Aire Chambers: 2
6.      AIREcell Material: Urethane
7.      Fabric Denier x Material Weight: 500 pvc / 30 oz.
8.      Seam Construction: Welded
9.      Valve: Summit II
10.   Warranty: 5 Years

Hard takes, tight lines, screaming reels and sore arms from paddling your Outcast Stealth Pro.


Tags:  Canon Elph 110 HS Camera
     Outcast Stealth Pro
     The Perfect Fishing Raft
     ZEN Outfitters Floating Furled Leaders
     ZEN Outfitters Sinking Furled Leaders

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Irresistible (Mouse)

Irresistible fly patterns (like the Adams) have been around for many years. Any hollow animal body hair, pardon me PETA, will do; but the hair MUST be large and hollow. You may not want to hear this, but these flies float just as well as modern day foam flies, like the YSF Stinger, if tied properly. Yes, you may occasionally have to add a little floatant like Albolene, but even the foams can use this every now and then.

If you really look, you may find a few irresistible flies online or at your local outfitter establishment. Most of these flies though are tied on large hooks and resemble terrestrials--crickets, hoppers and adult stoneflies. I contest that you can tie flies at least down to size #18 as irresistibles as well and they are very effective. The big problem is that these pelts can be found in limited dyed colors. You can see in the first photo below the most common colors. But there are enough colors here to tie a multitude of flies including the BWO, Adams, Stingers, Ants, Hoppers, Stoneflies, weighted Streamers and many more. Just use your imagination.

Elk and Caribou body hair make really good irresistible flies. Stay away from other body hairs like whitetail deer, skunk and muskrat. Personally I love muskrat pelts, for they are just about the softest out there next to mink, but these just don't flare properly when stacked and "pulled tight". You can of course dye your own body hair, which I have not yet tried but I may.

See our irresistible tying instructions below. I originally set out to just explain tying irresistible fly bodies, but I thought what the heck, I might as well get a fly out of it. So, I tied a mouse pattern on a large hook so everyone could easily see the results. Actually this type of large mouse pattern is a really GREAT one for bass and large trout. Try it out. If you have questions, please email.

The Irresistible Fly (Mouse)

PS-If you really want authentic, you can glue a small plastic eye just in front of ears.
Great fly tying. Try out Idaho fly fishing. Hard takes and tight lines to all our avid fly fishers. Spring is here. Caught about 20 nice cutties 4 day ago on a high mountain lake stripping a small nymph.
Tags: Montana Stonefly Nymph     
     Parachute Wings (Made Easy)
     Pheasant Tail Nymph
     Prince Nymph
     Purple Haze

Clark Fork River, MT

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Few, The Proud, The Idahoans

Very few are fortunate enough the live, breathe and experience Idaho. Ask anyone in the city if they have visited Idaho and I bet most (80+ %) will tell you no. What a shame and what a personal loss. Come and try Idaho Fly Fishing and see for yourself.

Yesterday - Snow on top, horse barn below and spring rainbow in between. (My personal view)
Besides this view,

Another personal view angle.
and this.....
Fall view in Ellisport Bay
Idaho also has some.....

absolutely incredible.....



of course.....

Idaho Fly Fishing.

For fly fishing Idaho questions or anything else regarding this great state, please email and we WILL respond.

Hard takes, tight lines, screaming reels and huge fish always! Life is short! Carpe diem!


Tags:   65
     Bucket List for Fly Fishers
Fly Fishing's Bucket List
     Great Idaho Fly Fishing Day
     Life and Aging

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Zen Scores Again

ZEN Sinking Furled Leader
Zen Outfitters scores again with Jaime's new sinking furled leaders which was undoubtedly the best I have ever used. Jaime was kind enough to recently send me this 60" dark olive dun leader which, guess what, I was actually able to use yesterday in a local lake that had just thawed. Much like his furled floaters, these leaders lay out wonderfully even with the heaviest fly and virtually never knot.

Note furled loop and tungsten ringed tip

I was fishing Antelope Lake above Clark Fork, ID. The road was of course terrible due to the early spring thaw, but the fishing was good. I was able to try out my new toy, an Outcast OSG Stealth Pro single man pontoon. (Stay tuned for my soon to appear "Product Review" of this new FRAMELESS boat.) I will tell you it is light, smooth and fast. I have added a Scotty fly rod holder to mine and it comes with a really nice storage bag. They are a bit pricy but in my opinion worth every penny. All I do with mine is throw it into the back of my truck bed and deflate.

Kootenai River, ID
Sorry, I got a little side tracked, so back now to Jaime's really great leaders. As with his floaters, they have a prefect sized loop for your fly line attachment and a tiny tungsten metal ring on the tapered end for your tippet. I tried multiple sizes of weighted flies with really excellent results in presentation. Yesterday, the lake was only about 12 feet at its deepest point, so I used the leader on a floating WF 6 weight line. Using black and brown Chironomids and Black Crawler as a trailer and with a slow lift, I scored well with decent cutties and one really nice rainbow.

Spring offers few hatches due to the cold. Try out this new Zen product when you are streamer fishing for those hungry "break out trout." You will not be disappointed.

Hard takes, tight lines and huge spring catches to you all.

NF CDA cutthroat

Tags: Antelope Lake, ID
     Sinclair Lake - Idaho
     Spar (Big) Lake - Montana
     Spar Lake MT Revisited

Monday, March 9, 2015

Email reply to JW

Email from blog follower JW@yahoo.com:

Hi there (YellowStoneFly),
Montana Brown

I stumbled across your website and liked the vibe right away.  I have a timeshare at Stoneridge a Resort (near Spirit Lake, ID) that I have never visited.  I've always used it as a trade. I'd love to explore the area and do some fly fishing anywhere nearby (50 mile or more radius). Any suggestions? I would welcome recommendations for guides in the area too!

Thanks so much!  I rode my bike through Glacier and Watertown National park many years ago when cycling from Jasper Alberta to Steamboat Springs CO. Great memories of Idaho!!

Take care.....
Jefferson R. near Twin Bridges, MT

Dear JW,

You are not located that close to the action at Stoneridge, but I can make some suggestions. Probably the best would be for native redband rainbow on the Spokane River. The river is hard to fish by wade due to massive boulders. The guides like to fish the Spokane-Rathdrum aquifer which begins directly behind the Spokane Valley Mall. A really great guide for the Spokane is Randy Dingman.

The only other fair river within your driving range would be the Priest River, but I would fish it down near the mouth where it dumps into the Pend O'Reille River just east of the town of Priest River. In July/August the water is too hot if you fish up near the lake. Some really good, cold water rivers past your 50 mile range would be the NF of the Coeur d'Alene, the St. Joe, and my summertime favorite is the Montana/Idaho section of the Kootenai.
Kootenai R. Cutbow

Randy Dingman is a great guide for the NF of the CDA and the St. Joe. For the Kootenai I would recommend Dave Blackburn. If you will look in the upper left of each of my blog pages, you will find a search box. Simply type in any Idaho fly fishing subject you need and enter. We have subject matter from fly tying and favorite flies to your favorite rivers and lakes. Enjoy.

Hard takes, tight lines, bent rods, screaming reels and sore shoulders to you always.


Tags: YSF Assam
Spokane R. Rainbow
     YSF Black Caddis
     YSF Humpy
     YSF Nuclear Ant
     YSF Salmon Slayer
     YSF Stinger