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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Saturday, November 18, 2017

My Bucket List

Nantahala River, NC
I am not a great fan of either, but I must say Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson did a great job in "Bucket List" the movie. I have personally almost completed my personal fly fishing bucket list which I would like to share with you and I suggest you consider doing the same. The younger the better but just do DO IT! I will begin in New England then cross the country.

Big Horn, MT Brown

The Ausable River in New York is a great summertime river. Also check local fly shops for guides and suggestions.

The Upper Delaware River and Yellow Breches Creek in Pennsylvania can be really good in the spring time.

The Shenandoah River in Virginia can be great for smallies in the spring and early summer mornings.

For my personal eastern favorite, they the Nantahala River in the Smoky Mountains below Asheville, NC.

Georgia, definitely the Chatooga River stands out above the rest. .

The Little Pigeon River near Gatlinburg, TN is rocky but full of great little rainbow and brookies.

Kodiac, AK Humpy
Have never fished them, but I hear the Kentucky Lakes are really great fly fishing lakes.

In the midwest, you cannot beat the White and Norfork Rivers. They are a fly fisher's tailwater paradise.  The original owner of Woodsmans, now deceased, was a very close personal friend for 30 years.

The Rockies are full uf great rivers. Try the ArkansasBoulder and Gunnison rivers in Colorado. The Green River in Utah is one of the best tailwater fisheries, if not the best, in the country. The San Juan, Taos and Los Alamos rivers in New Mexico and the Salt/Verde river section of Arizona is also a must add and are on my personal list.

Kootenai, MT Bull
The golden trout of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and the artic greyling trout of British Columbia should be on all Idaho Fly Fishers trout species bucket list. Remember, in the US, bull trout must be released as soon as possible once caught. Take a quick photo and measurements the get a nice plastic mount made for your trophy shelf. I do know where bulls can be caught on the Kootenai and Flathead rivers in Montana, but if you go to the Bull River in BC, they are legal. If you are going to Kimberly, British Columbia (a really cool, old western town) anyway for bull trout, you might as well fish the Elk River and Michelle Creek too. Huge cutthroat, bull and rainbow are in each!

Alaska's Kodiac Island has the best salmon and I hear taimen trout in Siberia and the browns in Patagonia will take your arm off. If you are a bird hunter as well, there are combo hunt/fly fishing trips available in Argentina and Chile.

The last thing on my personal "bucket list" would of course be trout fishing New Zealand.

White River, AR Rainbow
I have done many, but not all of the waters listed here. If I am able to fly fish all of these rivers and countries, I would be a very luck man indeed. Begin your list today and go for it. If you have time to research all of these links, you should at least be on Idaho Fly Fishers Blog for a while. That's good, because we need the business.

PS - In Idaho and Montana, try guide Randy (The Solution) Dingman at ROW Adventures and my persopnal favorite trout river to date is the Big Horn. Also, consider a membership in the Idaho Fly Fishers Association. Just drop me an email at the address below or visit the IDFFA's website. It's free to all and you might even meet a few new Idaho/Montana/Washington fly fishing friends.

Hard takes and tight lines 'til the end.

St. Joe, ID Cutty
Tags:  Missouri River - MT
           Moyie River - ID
           Snake River - ID
           St. Joe River - ID
           Vermilion R. - MT

Monday, November 13, 2017

2018 Trips

Email to IDFFA members on 11/12/2017. Join and come and join us.

Hey guys,

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Speaking of which, I have been doing some research on next year's outings. When you have a chance, go to this link and read. Our numbers are growing and so are member interests. I can use suggestions.  

Please reserve soon for dates listed. Let me know in which you might have an interest so can add you to the Trip Page list. Please remember to try and pair up. 

I also plan short trips to the Lochsa, NF Coeur d'Alene and St. Joe next summer. They may not be listed on the IDFFA Trip Page, so if you think you may have an interest, email or call me. WARNING: Cell is not working so good since we moved, so be patient &/or text. By the way, the Bow River is still a work in progress. Would love to have you on any or ALL. 

Our newest member David (MO $) from Missouri told me last week that Barry just had knee surgery and we all wish him our best and a speedy recovery. Harold and Russ, I hope the 2018 location choices are to your liking.

My best to all and Happy Holidays,


Hard takes and tight lines and screaming reels.

     Flathead River System - Montana
     Get Ready to Rumble - Fernie, BC, Canada
     Grande Ronde River - Idaho
     Kelly Creek, ID
     Kootenai River - Idaho / Montana

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veterans Day 2018

Flynavy88 has created a chart documenting the total U.S. casualties suffered in each of these wars. 

The citizens of this country seem to sometimes take for granted the sacrifices our soldiers have made for our liberties and freedoms. I am sorry, but ALL lives really do matter and the races, religions, colors and beliefs of all of these men and women who have died and been wounded should matter to us all. Were it not for these brave souls, we might all be living in a communistic, socialistic and oppressive country. We here at Idaho Fly Fishers Association honor you and your sacrifices.

A little more searching produced this very interesting article courtesy of NEWS / US NEWS

Wounded Veterans Find Peace Through Serenity of Fly Fishing 


About a dozen years ago Navy veteran Ed Nicholson was in Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, for cancer treatment when he saw the young people around him severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.
From then on, Nicholson had an idea.
“I am going to go out and fish. I bet some of these guys would like to join me,” he said.
That was the beginning of "Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing," an organization that teaches the sport to wounded veterans. Now with more than 200 chapters, Healing Waters has built of community of support for wounded warriors.
Retired Staff Sergeant Robert Bartlett lost half of his face and one eye to an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Iraq. He finds a special serenity in fly fishing.
“You just get a chance to reset and just not think about the future, not think about the past, but just fish for a bit.”
David Folkerts, now the chief operating officer for Healing Waters, first discovered the program while recovering from an IED blast himself
“It got me away from thinking about all the negative things and all the things I couldn’t do quite as well. It lifted that dark cloud and helped me move forward.”
“This is my recreational therapy,” said Captain Alvin Shell. “It gives me calm, it relaxes me.”
Bartlett, like many of the vets in Healing Waters, has found joy in catching and in the camaraderie.
"I don’t know how many friends I’ve got that had 45s (handguns) in their mouths. Getting them into one of these programs saved their lives," he said. "I can share with another vet, they don’t judge me, they’ve been there themselves and we move on." 
Come and join us at the Idaho Fly Fishers Association. We honor our veteran members, and we invite you all to join our organization. Come join us on one of our 2018 trips. We'd really love to have you.

Hard takes, tight lines and our best to you all.

Tags:  Memorial Day 2011
     Memorial Day 2013
     Memorial Day 2017
     Old Army Veteran
     Our US Constitution and the 2nd Amendment
     Pearl Harbor - 10:48 am PST December 7, 1941
     Pearl Harbor - 10:48 am PST Dec 7, 1941 - Page 2

Friday, November 3, 2017

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.

Tags:  Westslope Cutthroat Trout       
           Furled Leaders by Jamie
           Mash Whiskey

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Wooly Bugger

1-Black thread on a 1-0 long shank hook.
Try in olive or black. Great colors!

2-4 tufts of barbs (20+) off the rachis.
2 black, 2 white.
Alternate placement.
"The Skunk" wooly bugger tied and published by YellowStoneFly of the Idaho Fly Fishers Blog, but not an original YSF fly. I first used this fly on a drift trip on the middle portion of the Colorado River in the late 90's. It was very effective then and is now as well. After fly fishing my entire adult life, I am convinced that using a large, foreign fly in new waters will often bring trout to the net when conventional flies won't. Springtime is a good time to try different large flies when waters are off color, high and fast.

3-Add grizzly hackle. Tie in small end.

5-Add wire for weight and 
wrap almost to eye.
4-Tie in large black chenille at bend.
What happened here, on a recent Memorial Day float in my pontoon boat on the Bull River in Montana, I was doing a little experimenting. In my usual "honey hole", nothing was hitting on top. I had tied up a skunk pattern to use on a June/July float on the Kootenai River with friend and fellow Idaho Fly Fishers Association member, Paul (Hopper). Paul is a new convert to Idaho fly fishing and we frequently fish together even though he lives in PA. I was hoping this new/old pattern might catch some good Kootenai rainbow, brown and maybe a bull. The results of my experiment were two cutties over 16 inches then a break off. That to me is a successfly 1 hour float.

If you are a used to tying wolly buggers, this is a very easy pattern to tie. Instructions are as follows. PS-Paul, I'll have plenty of these ready for you and the Kootenai.

6-Wrap chenille forward and
tie behind eye.
If you have questions please email me at Also if you have any secret, old patterns join our blog or add your email to our mailing list (right had column just below spinning globe). Your email will not be shared with anyone. Happy, successful Idaho fly fishing.

          YSF Stinger
7-Wrap hackle forward and tie in
behind eye.
Multiple wraps for head, half hitch then
add head cement. Done!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Nymph

The Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Nymph. Great fly for just about any water!

Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Nymph tied by YellowStoneFly for the Idaho Fly Fishers Blog. Another great fly for fly fishing Idaho, this pattern represents a wide range of aquatic insects but primarily emerging mayflies or caddis flies. It is a fairly easy fly to tie using the right materials. You will see variations from fly shop to fly shop, but they tend to only vary slightly. More info, read on.

Tie in multiple strands of pheasant tail.

Add a gold wire to back half of shank as shown.

Add hare's ear dubbing to shank, then wrap wire
forward, secure and snip excess wire only.

Add more hare's ear dubbing for thorax as shown.

Swing pheasant tail over thorax for wing, secure,
snip off excess and glue head.

Tie off. Then tease dubbing under thorax for legs. Done!
Not a trout, but caught on a fly!

I prefer sizes 12-18 with my most hook-up success on about size 14. I suspect that is probably because the caddis pupa I see in western streams are quite large. True story! I was fishing with a guide on the middle portion of the Colorado River north of Dillon once, when I saw a really nice riffle off the main river. Reminded me of the small streams I used to fish in western North Carolina. After stripping, at his insistence, Wolly Buggers all morning, my arm was tired. Put on a little weight and a Hare's Ear and slayed over twenty really nice rainbow in a hour. We then had lunch and proceeded down the river again stripping Wolly B's again at his insistence. His only comment to me at lunch was, "Gee, I never seen anyone throw nymphs on the Colorado before!" Made me wonder if he knew how to fish anything other than streamers. 
Alaskan Humpy

Enough rambling. Come fly fish Idaho and try out this remarkable fly. I have personally had success with this pattern from Georgia to Virginia to New Hampshire to Tennessee to Arkansas & Missouri to Idaho and Montana. Quite a range!

This is the Idaho fly fishing blog. Come back soon.

Tags: Multiple Fly Fishing Articles Here
          Idaho Fly Fishers Assoc. (