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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Thursday, June 30, 2016

My Fly Fishing Life

Ellisport Bay, ID - Late October
Ellisport Bay, ID - Late October

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Humpy in Kodiac, AK
My Fly Fishing Life - Began when I was about 12 years old. Using an old parabolic 9 foot fly rod and Pflueger reel, Mr. Charlie Rambo, one of my dad's acquaintances, would take me fly fishing in the summer for bream on his little 3 acre lake in Columbus, GA. The fish were small but plentiful and small, colorful popping bugs were the ticket. We would even occasionally get a whopping 14" largemouth bass. It was great! "Mr. Charlie" was very old; like about my current age.

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Nantahala Rainbow, NC
Now, having to drive about 2 hours from my work in Washington state to my vacation home in Idaho, I have lots of time to think and take in all the changes that fall brings. Thoughts of all of the things that have brought me happiness, like my wife, my kids (when they were small), my grandkids, those huge fish both landed and that got away and our rare summertime family tent camping trips to the Great Smoky Mountains. We would even get to go tubing down a freezing "Deep Creek" near Bryson City, NC. Not having much money, I remember these things and times as some of the best in my life. And, by the way, there were no cell phones and our black and white TV only aired 3 channels and poorly at that.

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Fernie BC, Canada Bull
Idaho does not have a lot of deciduous trees, but the colors are still incredible. The oaks, birches and cottonwoods are all yellow and red. The tamaracks have turned golden. The gentle breezes now have a coolness signifying that winter will soon be blowing in. There is a light fog over the lake and one can barely see the boats out fishing for the lake trout and mackinaw. They must be biting, for there are dozens of boats and trailers at the ramps. You can also hear the sounds of the non-fishermen as they get their limits of ducks or a deer or an elk. 

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Kenora Smallie
I say 12, actually my fishing memories began much earlier with my brother and I fishing with worms for bream to take home to mom for dinner. I also remember the bass stealing my grandmother's cane pole as she sat snoozing next to Lake Hartwell--I was about 8. We did fish a little during elementary and high school, but most is a blur now. I was more concerned with my social life, my 1949 Dodge with its hole in the passenger side floor board through which my male friends would relieve themselves, football and of course GIRLS! Then there was college and our many trips to local lakes for whatever we could catch and the rare trip to the cold clear mountain streams of north Georgia for the brook trout and occasional rainbow. In those days, I had evolved to the fiberglass spinning rods and open faced reels and Mepps spinning lures. The fish were few, but really fun if we didn't fall in and freeze our a _ _ _s off. Couldn't afford waders.

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Bow on the Big Horn
After grad school, my fly fishing memories really began. Except for an occasional off shore trip in Virginia and North Carolina with down riggers and the rare excursion to the intercoastal waterways for yellow perch and crappie with spider rigs, I started fly fishing again on our annual trip to the White River in Arkansas. Here the rainbows, cutthroats and browns were ravenous. They would hit hair's ear nymphs and pheasant tails mostly, but I do remember the rare really good dry day. Once I started making a living with really hard work and long hours, I was fortunate enough to be able to buy some decent waders, boots, rods and reels. My fly fishing life really began.
Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
White River Bow

Kenora Canada afforded some excellent smallmouth bass, one of my favorites sports species, that would really gulp down streamers and mouse pattern floaters, The Bahamas and Florida had red fish, tarpon and bonefish--boy, talking about work. And the salmon in Alaska, well you had to work not to foul hook them. I did catch a 24" bow in Kodiac, AK only to have it stolen off my line. The streams of Colorado, Utah, Montana and Idaho though have been the BEST! Oh, and I almost forgot the Canadian rivers in British Columbia where the cutties and bulls are abundant. 

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Grande Ronde Steelhead
Try throwing to some of the 20+ inch browns on the Big Horn in south central Montana: or catch and release the 24" bulls on the Kootenai in northwest Montana. There are huge cuttbows which I have caught in a river in western Montana as it exits into Idaho. The St. Joe and north fork of the Coeur d'Alene have really good dry fly opportunities for large cutthroat almost all year. Oh yeah, don't forget some of the hidden gems like the Moyie, Thompson and Vermilion.

Now, I work part time and spend most of my days, when not teaching the younger generation my trade, researching my next Idaho Fly Fishing trip. When the fall and winter come, after the occasional day snow skiing (knees are bad, so don't ski as much as I used to), I am searching the net for rivers, new flies and new equipment. Winter days are otherwise spent tying flies and writing articles for my blog. Don't build many rods anymore for it takes too much time. Oh and the flies I tie are generally larger than a #20, because I can't see the smaller ones anymore, even with magnification. I still really love to fish though and I still only catch and release. Believe me when I say  the thrill is still there. 

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
N. Platte Bow
Why fly fishing for trout? I find them much smarter than most other species for they are certainly hard to catch. Oh the feeling of catching even a small bow or cuttie on a light fly rod which you built and with a fly you tied by hand yourself. Better yet a fly of your own personal design. There is no better sport on earth. The peace and tranquility of a mountain stream, whether you catch fish or not, is beyond words.

Come and fly fish with us in Idaho soon. You will not regret the experience. There are enough waters here to last two lifetimes.

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Nice Coeur d'Alene Cuttie
Hard takes, tight lines, bent rods, sore shoulders and huge, colorful trout to you all.

PS-take pictures for your fly fishing memories. There are plenty of farm raised fish at the grocery to eat, so save the ones in the wild for future generations. Sorry for the length of this post. It is raining today and cold and I was bored.


Tags:   Kootenai River - Idaho / Montana
     Missouri River - Montana
     Moyie River - Idaho
     Moyie River - Spring 2014
Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
  Big Horn Rainbow
     Nantahala River - NC
     Priest River, ID
     Snake River - ID / WA / WY
     St. Joe River - Idaho

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