Boise Valley Fly Fishers
Since 1971



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  • 04 Jul 2024 12:02 PM | Brian Martin (Administrator)

    Hackle Bender Editor and Publisher – Each January, April, July, and October 1, publishes the Hackle Bender using MailChimp or another Board approved platform, receives and edits articles from individuals to include in the publication, produces articles, stays abreast of BVFF activities by communicating with committee chairpersons and publishes noteworthy information, etc.

    Access Committee Chairperson - oversees all activities/projects assigned by the Board, sets monthly(?) meeting dates, reports monthly to the Board on progress for each activity/project, directly manages or delegates projects, researches and determines all public fisheries in the Boise River watershed and assesses current access and access needs, etc.

    Education Committee Chairperson - oversees all activities/programs for our Education mission and as assigned by the Board, sets monthly(?) meeting dates, reports monthly to the Board on progress for each activity/program, directly manages or delegates programs, researches educational topics and opportunities, and develops programs beneficial to our members and the public, etc.

    Outings Committee Chairperson - oversees all monthly outings, the Yea Buddy/Member Meetup program, and any other outing assigned by the Board, sets monthly(?) meeting dates, reports monthly to the Board on progress for each outing and needs, directly manages or delegates outings, ensures that all outings are posted to the BVFF website in a timely manner, researches new fisheries for outings, plans outings well ahead of time (one year suggested), timely communicates the planned outings with the Monthly Membership Meeting Presentations/Demonstrations Lead to coordinate presenter topics with the upcoming outing, etc.

    Communications Committee Chairperson – oversees IT/AV, Publications (Quarterly Hackle Bender and Monthly Member Update (except when Hackle Bender is published), Marketing (BVFF Website, Expo Website, Social Media Outreach/Postings) and any other related items assigned by the Board, sets monthly(?) meeting dates, reports monthly to the Board on progress and needs, directly produces content or delegates responsibilities, etc.

    Individuals to participate on each established committee – participates in monthly committee meetings, manages/completes activities/projects assigned (they volunteer to do this rather than be assigned?) by chairperson, etc.

    Substitute Instructors for Fundamentals of Fly Fishing Program Classes – teaches one of the four classes that have been developed for this program. Communicates with the class developer to obtain class syllabus and maintain consistency in materials/information presented. Primary instructors who developed a class and the classes are:

    Brady Kallas – Equipment - Rods, Reels, Fly Line, Leaders, and Tippet

    Troy Pearse – Entomology (and Imitative Flies)

    Joy Knickrehm – Fishing Knots

    Tom Governale? – How to Fly Fish (Now that I know all this stuff, what do I do with it? Where do I find the fish and how do I catch them?

  • 04 Jun 2024 4:22 PM | Troy Pearse (Administrator)

    When headed out fishing, it is helpful to understand the weather and water conditions, so you can be prepared as well as make smart and safe decisions.

    For weather, I find NOAA’s forecasts the most accurate for our area and includes forecasts for the “Dreaded W”. I use the app “NOAA Weather Unofficial” which gives an hour-by-hour temperature, “W” and precipitation forecast that is very useful. Here is an example that shows when a recent storm is expected to stop raining. (Update: Looks like this is an Android only app--sorry. Here is a link to the app developer's page.)

    Another handy tool for checking the weather is the Bureau of Reclamation’s Hydromet website which includes weather sites at many dams and rivers. For example, in the winter it’s nice to see when the air temperatures got above freezing the last few days, and it’s always good to see how much rain the Owyhee got before you head over, as larger rain events can cause a dry side canyon/creek to blowout.  

    One tip about fishing in “the W”: It can be difficult, but river canyons like the SF Boise and Owhyee have protected areas that make it easier to cast, depending on the direction of the wind. Make a “W Plan” by paying attention to how much grass and tree movement you see when you’re driving along the river and make notes of these areas.

    Understanding water flows and water temperatures is also very important. Spring runoff can make rivers dangerously high to fish and rainstorms can bring flows up on freestone rivers. The NOAA River Forecast page will give you an idea of how the river might come up from forecast precipitation and how the current river flows compare to the average (median) flows. Upcoming changes in dam outflows are also shown in the river forecast, which will let you know when flows are expected to change. Here is an example that shows when the Middle Fork of the Boise River will drop after our recent heavy rainstorm.

    There are some good apps to track river flows. I like “Rivercast” and “Riverflows”. BVFF’s “Local Waters” web page is extremely helpful as it includes links to river flows, forecasts and water temperatures. As well as reservoir levels and Bureau of Reclamation’s Boat Ramp page that lets you know if you’ll be able to launch at your favorite boat ramp.  Bookmark it and make a habit of checking it before you head out on your fishing trip.

    You can also sign up for USGS “Water Alerts” and get notifications for changes in water conditions based on thresholds you choose. For example, I have a water alert set for the SF Boise to let me know when flows have gone above or below 600cfs (note, to avoid duplicate notifications I set it for flows that are greater than 400 and less than 500 ft^3/s – daily). Similarly, I have an alert set on the Owyhee river for “Discharge is greater than 75 and less than 100 ft^3/s – daily”.

    Knowing water temperatures can help you anticipate what bugs are hatching and help you choose where you want to fish. For example, in the early summer fishing the lower end of the MF Boise will have warmer water temperatures and better fishing. But by mid summer the lower MF Boise can get too warm for fishing and you’ll have better luck moving upstream to cooler waters. For more details on how to use water temperatures to improve your fishing, see this previous blog article .

    Showing up at a river when it’s not in prime condition can ruin your fishing day. Spending a few minutes checking the river flows and forecasts will make you a more effective fisherman.


  • 03 Apr 2024 9:47 PM | Brian Martin (Administrator)

    Dave’s Strategy Session

    The Flow of Fly Fishing

    By Dave Shuldes

    “The more I know, the less I understand. All the things I thought I knew, I’m learning again.”

    Don Henley, The Heart of the Matter

    The other day I nearly lost out on a memorable fish by giving up too soon. I was standing in a familiar drift on the Boise in town, tight line nymphing with a reliable #18 midge pattern. The technique and fly I was using had results for me in this run at this time of year countless times. I worked the run hard, several dozen drifts, and my busy mind told me it was time to move on.

    Fortunately, I needed to add some tippet. While digging around in my sling,  a fly sitting on my foam pad stood out to me. It was a #14 caddis pupae pattern. Chartreuse and black “Houdini weave” abdomen with a green Ice Dub thorax.

    I paused and relaxed for a minute. My first thought was “March… it’s still too early for caddis”…. (Pick up the story here) But then my intuition drifted to the recent weather pattern – a lot warmer than normal for this time of year. Well, it seems futile but why not? The first drift through the exact some run was just as the previous dozen casts… BAM! A heavy fish took me deep into the reel, almost to the backing. A delightful battle on what would never have happened had I acted on my habitual thought.

    Whether it’s fly fishing, or nature in general, often what I think I know stands between an impatient move and allowing the flow of the situation – the river, the weather, the season, what I’m seeing and hearing – to guide the next decision. Being in a hurry to make things happen is all too frequently my frame of mind. I’m learning slowly in fishing (and in life) that slowing down can have good results.

    Regarding strategy, I’ll always start my plan with my past experience and instincts. But flexibility is paramount – especially in shoulder seasons where entomology cycles are evolving. Weather changes and transitions in time of day also can change the game. As I write, runoff time is almost here, and the river flows are coming up. Other than our freestone streams, it’s time to gear up for spring stillwater season. Hope you enjoy the warming weather and all the options that Southwest Idaho fishing has to offer!

  • 02 Apr 2024 12:58 PM | Brian Martin (Administrator)

    That time of the year is coming. You know what I'm talking about. The fish are getting more active and eating regularly and often. So too are the anglers (well, at least the getting more active part).

    You arrived early at your favorite spot on the Owyhee and... someone else is already there. So you move on to your second choice and... same thing. Third choice... more of the same!

    What a conundrum. You've driven all this way to fish and the fish are rising everywhere you look. There's also an angler behind every rock and in every good drift. What do you do?

    The simple answer is to either fish less desirable water, wait for another angler to be done fishing, or head home with the plan to return another day (arrive at dark thirty to get your spot or wait until the afternoon/evening after others have gone home).

    Following is information from BVFF's Conservation mission:

    Boise Valley Fly Fishers Creed

    1. Take care of the fish.
    2. Respect other anglers.
    3. Leave it better than you found it.

    Find more information regarding Angling Etiquette and Ethics HERE.

    Be safe out there and please avoid confrontation with another angler. A fish isn't worth getting hurt over!

  • 04 Feb 2024 10:21 AM | Brian Martin (Administrator)

    The Western Idaho Fly Fishing Expo (WIFFE) was held on Friday, January 5th, and Saturday, January 6th. This is BVFF's largest fly fishing educational public event and is considered the kick-off expo of each new year. Fly fishing experts and fly tyers from the Rocky Mountain Northwest converge on Boise to educate, demonstrate, and present their knowledge, skills, and techniques.

    WIFFE is wholly supported by volunteers. All proceeds, less operating expenses, are used to fulfill our 3 core missions of fly fishing Education, Conservation, and Access. Without the dedication and generosity of our volunteers, this event wouldn’t have happened. We are so blessed and grateful for each of their efforts.

    The attendance was 2,582 outside attendees (paid adults, children, and VIP tickets) and an additional 270 each day counting presenters, exhibitors, volunteers, fly tyers, etc. Our net profit was $21,163, which is well above our goal and the highest on record! We know this would not be possible without the volunteer help we receive, so thank you again for being a part of our success.

    Planning for WIFFE 2025 has already begun and Bert Williams will chair the committee. As we reflect on the 2024 show and are planning for 2025, we’d welcome your suggestions, thoughts or comments. Also, please consider volunteering on the organizing committee.

    If you’d like to share comments or your talents with the Expo 2025 committee, contact Bert Williams at Collectively, we strive to improve each year, so feedback really helps.

    We are planning a volunteer thank you party in conjunction with the club’s July 11 member picnic, so put that on your calendar. In the meantime, we wish you a healthy and prosperous year, with many days on the water included!

    Kind Regards,

    2024 WIFFE Volunteer Committee

  • 27 Oct 2023 8:06 AM | Brian Martin (Administrator)

    Our first casting clinic in quite a while was held in Ann Morrison park on Friday the 13th (what were we thinking?). Thankfully, it went very well. Joy and Don Knickrehm are leading our Education mission and this is the beginning of what we plan to be a benefit to our members as well as public educational opportunities regarding fly fishing. The weather was terrific aside from the slight breeze that was blowing leaves off of the trees.

    The clinic's purpose was to indetify individuals interested in helping others develop their fly casting skills. We are using a newly developed program by Fly Fishers International (FFI) that allows fly casters to test their skills at 4 different levels - Foundation, Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Each level gets progressively more challenging and the skills called for segue nicely onto the rivers and stillwaters.

    We had 19 individuals cast the Foundation and Bronze level courses. All did exceedingly well and their feedback was much welcomed and appreciated.

    Future casting clinics are in the works. Keep an eye on for upcoming dates. Aslo, our 2024 Western Idaho Fly Fishing Expo will have 2 FFI certified casting instructors presenting this program and demonstrating the casting skills. Go to the EXPO 2024 website at for more.


  • 03 Aug 2023 10:30 AM | Brian Martin (Administrator)

    Joy and Don have proposed to the Board of Directors two areas of fly fishing education to begin our journey toward providing additional member benefits to you. As these are established, more will be added based on input from you as to what you would like to learn. The two areas are:

    1. Beginner Fly Casting Skills Development
    2. Fly Tying Techniques and Skills

    These two areas will add to our existing educational opportunities that include the Western Idaho Fly Fishing Expo; monthly member meeting guest speaker presentations and fly tying/fly fishing related demonstrations; the quarterly Hackle Bender; monthly Member Update; and seasonal classes such as nymph fishing techniques.

    Excerpts from Joy and Don to the board,

    “We are very excited to be leading the BVFF Education mission, and view this as a tremendous opportunity to give our knowledge and experience to the members of the club. Understand that we believe that anything worth doing is worth doing well. To accomplish this endeavor, we will need help from others within and outside of the club, and it will take time.”

    “We have learned that BVFF has added many new members, many (if not most) of whom are enthusiastic, but inexperienced. Our proposal is to initially focus our BVFF education programs on those newer members, and their need for coaching (education).”

    “We are suggesting this focus as a first step. If we try to address all issues at once, we will fail. We must be focused on our purpose, and we must proceed with patience. There will be other programs for more experienced fly anglers as we develop the entire program.”

    The Beginner Fly Casting Skills Development will be based on the Fly Fishers International Fly Casting Skills Development Program (click Here to view the program). This program has four levels: Foundation, Bronze, Silver, and Gold and can be completed at your own pace; however, if you’d like to turbo charge your learning curve, our educational opportunity will help.

    To accomplish the fly casting education, Joy and Don will need help from members who would like to become casting coaches. In either August or September an event will be held to introduce you to the FFI casting skills program. We have a list from May of this year of members who are interested, and we will be reaching out to you. For all of our members, keep an eye out for an announcement for this event.

    The Fly Tying Techniques and Skills will likely begin this Fall/Winter and include beginner as well as advanced classes. Joy and Don will need volunteers to lead these classes.

    If you have an interest in helping with either casting or tying programs, please email

  • 31 May 2023 7:32 PM | Brian Martin (Administrator)

    Long-time BVFF members, Joy and Don Knickrehm, have decided to accept the role of leads in further developing and growing the educational opportunities available to BVFF members and the general public. We are excited and blessed to have them bring their decades of fly fishing knowledge, experience, mentoring, and teaching to BVFF.

    (Don and Joy pictured after an enjoyable day fly fishing the Owyhee River in Oregon)

    We asked Joy and Don to tell us a little about themselves and their deep connection to fly fishing. Following, they tell us in their own words:


    I learned to fly fish over 37 years ago. Since then, my husband Don and I have traveled many parts of the U.S. and the world in search of fly fishing adventures. In 1993 we founded the Idaho Anglers Fly Shop in Boise, Idaho with partner Ken Pursley. We are proud of the Shop’s support of fly fishing and conservation.

    I was FFF (Federation of Fly Fishermen) certified as a casting instructor by Doug Swisher in 1995 in Livingston, Montana. I was also certified as a casting instructor by the Joan Wulff School for fly casting instructors, by Joan herself in 1996.

    I have served on the Board of Directors of the Boise Valley Fly Fisher’s Club and was their first woman President; and served on the Board of Directors of the industry organization American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA).

    Over the years, with the help of my gracious fly fishing women friends and generous business and club support, I have conducted many shop sponsored “Women Only” programs, including beginning fly fishing and casting seminars; fly fishing outings and a “Tying Bee” (twice-monthly fly tying sessions which continued through the winter months every year for over 25 years).


    Don graduated from Idaho State University in 1967 with a B.A. degree, and then attended and graduated from the University of California, Berkley Law School in 1970 with a Juris Doctor degree. He returned to Idaho and worked as a law clerk for the Idaho Supreme Court and then a Deputy District Attorney General for the State of Idaho, before entering into private practice. He continued to practice until he retired at the end of 2015, specializing in real estate, finance, and business law.

    Early on, Don met John F. Croner (an avid and skilled fly fisher and tier, now deceased), who some of you knew. John taught Don to cast and tie, and a life-long friendship and passion for fly fishing began.

    Don has taught fly casting (beginning to advanced) and fly fishing classes since his 1995 FFF certification. He also led the effort (ably assisted by Rick Williams and Tim Mansell), to bring the Fly Fishing International (formerly FFF) annual “conclave” to Boise, Idaho in 2018 (for the first and only time it was held in Boise).

    Don continues to support many conservation organizations and efforts, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Henry’s Fork Foundation. He has also served as Counsel for AFFTA.

    THANK YOU! Joy and Don for your dedication to the art of fly fishing and to BVFF.

  • 14 Apr 2023 10:43 AM | Jim Kazakoff (Administrator)

    Jon's presentation (in PDF format) from April 2023 meeting is posted HERE

  • 29 Mar 2023 11:12 AM | Jim Kazakoff (Administrator)

    Attention to water temperature is both important to your angling success, and to the health and safety of the fish you are catching.  Trout and the insects they are eating, are both responsive to the water temperature of their environment.

    Fly Fishing Magazine has published a nice temperature chart that gives some guidance on water temperatures and strategies for fishing those conditions.

    The chart can be found HERE

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