3 FLIES YOU WANT FOR IDAHO February 9, 2021 – Posted in: Community, Learning, Vedavoo – Tags: flies, idaho
Vedavoo Torchbearer JR Maggard share’s some of his favorite winter flies for Idaho.
Our favorite local river for brown trout is a tailwater located in the middle of a high desert canyon. Flows can range from ~260 cfs in the summer to ~40 in the winter, which makes it a popular wading river. Mayflies are the most common hatch throughout the warmer months. Here are three flies that we wouldn’t hit the water without:
Nymph: Split back mayfly: Despite many dry fly purists that visit our river, I would argue that nymphing is the most productive way to fish. Whether you are throwing an indicator rig or one off a hopper during hot summer months, this particular fly has been our most consistent producer over the years. You can get it in PMD or BWO colors depending on the current hatch reports, but we prefer to stick with the PMD version. It has a more natural (brown) color variation that matches the mayflies, but could also match other random bugs that might be in the water system. We usually keep it around sizes 16-20.
Streamer: Meatwhistle: While nymphing is the most productive, we would consider streamer fishing to be the most exciting for our brown trout because of the aggressive takes you will get. A meat whistle is usually the first thing we will strip/swing though a pool or ripple to see if there are any players that will eat. If a fish is around that will eat, you will usually know it within a few casts. If nothing happens then we typically switch to the nymphing rig and come back to the streamer periodically to “retest” the spot after it has reset for a bit. We DO NOT beat up a hole with a streamer nonstop. The jig style design of this streamer helps us be able to fish it in slow or fast water without getting snagged. The relatively light weight also helps make it easier to get distance with roll casts on banks where you don’t have a great back casts. While there are multiple common colors of this fly, we hardly ever deviate from white. Not only has it produced more, it helps the angler keep track of it visually so you can see those great eats.
Dry Fly: Extended body parachute mayfly: When the hatch is on there is no real debate that it is tough to beat casting dry flies to rising fish. Since we’ve already established that our river is a mayfly river, it’s no surprise that a mayfly dry would be our go to. Like the nymph we suggested, this we usually carry this fly in PMD and BWO colors. We like this particular design because they are durable, seem to float better, and the parachute helps with the visibility of the fly during your drift. This is especially important when you go to the really small sizes, which is another reason we like this particular pattern. In our experience, if you go to sizes 20 or 22 the BWO version of this fly can be thrown as a midge or even a trico which make this very versatile.
Author: Vedavoo Torchbearer JR Maggard is a native Idahoan and avid fly fisherman and Tier. The only thing he loves more than catching big fish is his beautiful wife, and daughter. When he’s not loving on big fish and his wife, he enjoys kicking back in the outdoors and enjoying his favorite local IPA, Sockeye Dagger Falls.