My Favorite River

My favorite river, the South Fork of the Snake, produces big fish. This I know for a fact. The biggest I have landed there was a 25" fish with a 14" girth that estimates at 6 pounds. That, it turns out, is just a baby. There are much bigger fish in the river. Idaho's state record brown trout until 2007 was a 26 1/2 pound fish caught there in 1981. I have tangled with a couple fish here that I would have just liked to get a look at before they busted me off. Both pulled like a freight train and made runs that were impossible to stop. Running upstream while our boat drifted downstream, I could only watch as line peeled off my reel, then shake my head when the *pop* came and 100 feet of slack line flew back over my head.

A post on Outdoors International today sent me daydreaming again of another float trip through "the Canyon." The fish pictured below was apparently released alive and well after being shocked up in a round of surveys by the Idaho Fish and Game this year. My crack staff is currently analyzing the data and should have the GPS coordinates nailed down by next summer.

(photo from Outdoors International)


Why I really want to go to New Zealand...

A Video from an Idaho guy from his trip to New Zealand. Unbeleivable. Someday I gotta get there.


Dreaming of the Southfork Salmon Fly Hatch

Well it was a lazy Saturday so I spent the day dreaming of the Southfork of the Snake River in July. Dry fly bonanza with nothing smaller than a size 6. Here are a couple fly's I tied up:

If it doesn't blind em it may catch em

A More Standard Stimulator Pattern

Then I decided to try something different. Another fly meant to simulate the Giant Salmon Fly, and tied according to a pattern in a recent issue of Northwest Fly Fishing magazine called Dave's Dream Stone. I didn't do this great pattern justice, and I made many, many mistakes in my first try at this fly but I think it will work. We will see. Remember I am a rookie tier still. It is my first try and the hatch won't go off on the Southfork for another eight months so I will have some time to perfect the pattern. It is one I look forward to using come the middle of July.
A fish's perspective of the fly from the bottom

Side view

Another look at the bottom, this fly just looks fishy to me.


In the Heart of the City of Boise...

...there is a River that bears the same name. It's a pretty special trait to have such a gem running through the capitol city of Idaho, and I decided to take advantage of it's proximity today. I did a little hiking up the Greenbelt Trail to get away from the more highly trafficked areas and found a little bend in the river that pulled away from the trail. Other than the sound of the Boise State University Marching band practicing only a half mile away in Bronco Stadium, I could have sworn I was miles from civilization.

The fishing on the Boise River, in my experience, can be a bit hit and miss but there is a good population of Rainbow and Brown trout and there are some fish in this river that grow quite large. Besides trout, the Idaho Fish and Game releases several truckloads of hatchery Steelhead that are trapped below Hells Canyon Dam, where they reach a large barrier to any further migration, into the river offering a little extra sport each fall. The first truckload this year arrived this last Thursday and so I decided to get out and put a few of the Steelhead flies I have been tying recently to use.

I tied on an Egg Sucking Leach (I love Steelhead Fly names) and some split shot to get it down deep and wore out my arm working a very good looking, deep hole. I only had a couple hours to fish before I needed to get over to the Stadium and reserve some seats in the General Admission section for the Boise State football game for our group.

It was a beautiful crisp fall morning and the marching bands dull thumps in the background only confirmed this is the greatest time of year. When else are you going to try and catch a steelhead all morning then walk a half mile to the stadium and take in a great college football game. Ahhhhhhhhh Fall! By far my favorite season.

As I flung my fly into the slowly churning water over and over again my eyes began to wander up and down the river as they will often do when there is not much action on the other end of my line and I noticed a group of geese just up stream that were cleaning themselves and really playing around in the water. I took out my camera and tried to see just how close I could get and they played along and humored me for a couple photos.

Yes, I did get skunked. No fish, but I have to say the day was a success. As you can see the river that runs through the middle of Boise, is a keeper.


My First Tied Fly

A Woolly Bugger of course


Owyhee River 11/1/08

My Brother Todd with his first fly caught Owyhee Brown

My typical catch for the day was much smaller than usual.

Well my brothers and I went out for a day fishing on the Owyhee River this weekend. It was a fun time as usual but the fishing was slow. The morning was especially slow. Many of the Browns are spawning this time of year but there were plenty of fish off the redds feeding in the long slow stretches. I was frustrated all morning by a midge hatch with fish so finicky I nearly deemed them impossible to catch. Finally about 2:30 in the afternoon I got into a pod of fish feeding on a very nice BWO hatch and managed to land several fish but they were all much smaller than I usually see on the Owyhee. In the last hour I managed to pick off four 12-14 inchers during the hatch and called it a day. It was a fun time out on the river with my brothers even with the fishing being slow. Todd landed his first Owyhee Brown on a fly, a nice 18 incher that gave him a good fight, and Tom landed the most fish on the day.