Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Best Flies for Idaho 4 - Parahopper - a Blackfoot River Must Have for July-September

  • Hook: 2x long dry fly hook like Tiemco 2312, size 6-14
  • Body & Thorax: Tan Superfine or other dry fly dubbing
  • Wing: Turkey Tail treated with flexible cement
  • Legs: Pheasant Tail fibers, knotted. (1 on each side)
  • Parachute Post: White Poly Yarn
  • Hackle: Grizzly Saddle Hackle
For the Blackfoot River, a gray body and thorax is the best - sizes 6 & 8. For smaller Idaho streams (Tincup, Stump Creek, Upper Warm River, Moose Creek, etc.) carry some size 14 hoppers during the summer months and you'll likley catch 40-50 fish (6-12") in a few hours. The larger hoppers rarely hook any of these smaller fish even though they will try like crazy to take the fly.

I am still working on a better thorax/body that will allow the fly to remain on the surface when fished with a dropper. This pattern after a few casts tends to sink when fished with a dropper even when floatant is used. Anybody have any ideas or success stories on keeping the hopper on the surface? Let me know if you do.

Enjoy the last few weeks of fishing - if you enjoy wading through 6 inches of snow and battling sub-freezing conditions!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Best Flies for Idaho 3 - Bead Head Hares Ear


Hook:# 8-18 heavy nymph
Bead: 1/8-5/64th gold bead depending on hook size
Thread: Red 6/0 uni thread
Tail: Guard hairs from Hares mask or ear
Rib: Small gold Ultra wire
Abdomen: Hares ear plus dubbing (natural Hares –ear)
Wing case: Turkey tail feather
Thorax: Hares ear plus dubbing (natural Hares-ear)

A bead head hare's ear is a must have for any Idaho fly box. It imitates most nymph patterns and works as a prime dropper pattern off a hopper, terrestrials, wooly worms, etc. Fish will often pass the top fly only to hit the dropper hare's ear as it passes. I recommend keeping at least 8 of these in your box with sizes between 12-18 (mostly in the 14-16 range).

Good luck with your fishing!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Best flies for Idaho 2 - Adams

Size #10-#20 (or any standard dry fly hook)
Thread: Grey or black 8/0
Wing: Grizzly hackle tips (hen)
Tail: Hackle fibers~grizzly/brown/grizzly
Abdomen: Muskrat underfur
Hackle: Grizzly and Brown (rooster/neck)

The Adams is great overall mayfly imitation that works just about any time of the year when there is a mayfly hatch. All trout varieties in Idaho will take the Adams. Sizes 16 and 18 seem to the most common sizes for most Idaho streams.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Best Flies for Idaho - Muddler Minnow

Hook: Size 2-10
Bead: Brass bead head sized to fit (can be tied without a bead but the weight is nice)
Weight: 6-10 wraps of lead wire
Thread: Tan 8/0
Tail: Mottled turkey wing
Body: Flat silver tinsel
Under wing: Grey squirrel tail hair, orange Marabou, pearl Krystal Flash (in order)
Wing: Mottled turkey wing, paired
Head/Collar: Spun deer hair (natural color), trimmed cone head style)

The Muddler Minnow is a great all around streamer for most Idaho streams and rivers. The Muddler is especially effective in the Salmon River Drainage when fishing for trout (i.e. 24+ inch Bull Trout). I have also caught fish in the Snake River Drainage on Muddler Minnows.