Boise Valley Fly Fishers
Since 1971


Dave’s Strategy Session - The Flow of Fly Fishing

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!

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