Western Idaho Fly Fishing Expo

29 March 2006 By Dan Bachman • Other • Comments (1)

Western Idaho Fly Fishing Expo I had planned on spending just an hour at the Western Idaho Fly Fishing Expo this past Saturday and then heading over to the South Fork of the Boise for some fishing. It didn’t turn out that way for 2 reasons. First, Mother Nature unleased her fury with a hail and rainstorm that had to be experienced to be believed. And second, the Expo was much more interesting than I had thought it would be.

I cast bamboo rods, watched a couple Mike Lawson presentations, talked with the guide I hired for a steelhead trip to Stanley in a couple weeks and spent hours in the fly tying section watching different patterns being created. I kept mostly to the trout and dry fly tables, but there was something for everybody including bass and saltwater flies.

The admittance fee of $5 was money well spent. I came away with nearly 2 dozen flies, none of which I think I will ever actually use on the water. Most are going in a shadow box on my den wall. Thanks to everybody that shared their knowledge and flies with me.

Randy Flynn Lady Mite in progress Lady Mite

Randy Flynn of Hailey demonstrates weaving of a Lady Mite.

The amount of time that Randy spends on each of his woven flies is amazing. Weaving the hackle and the body of a mite is a very lengthy process, but the results are beautiful. Yes Randy, they are works of art.

Mike Lawson tying Lawson's no-hackle BWO

Mike Lawson tying a no-hackle BWO

Mike Lawson was the featured tyer at the Expo. His table was extremely crowded as you can imagine. I went back a couple times before I was able to find a spot close enough to actually see what he was doing. He was kind enough to share one of his creations with me.

Paul Stimpson tying Emergent Sparkle Pupae

Paul Stimpson from Ogden, UT tying a LaFontaine Emergent Sparkle Pupa (Caddis)

Paul is extremely passionate about the Gary LaFontaine patterns and ties them for The Book Mailer. It turns out that Paul and I have both fished the same quiet little river in Utah.

Bill Heckel tying a tape-wing Caddis Bill Heckel's Tape-Wing Caddis

Bill Heckel from Franklin Park, Illinois tying a tape-wing Caddis

I can’t believe that Bill would travel all the way to Idaho from Illinois for a one day fly fishing show. Bill uses tape on the underside of the caddis wing to ensure it keeps its shape and doesn’t twist your line when casting.

Harley Reno #26 Extended Body Mayfly #6 Orange Sedge

Harley Reno from Rigby, Id, his #26 Extended Body Mayfly and #6 Orange Sedge

If anybody fits the part of the rugged outdoorsman better than Harley, I haven’t seen him. I really like his tiny Extended Body Mayflies and his hat.

Ron Steinberg tying up a reverse drake Ron Steinberg's reverse drake

Ron Steinberg from Livingston, Montana tying up a reverse drake

Ron uses a very unique approach when tying mayflies. His drakes are tied ‘backwards’ on the hook which puts the parachute over the bend of the hook (the center of gravity for the hook) to help it land level on the water.



  1. 1 April 2006 Craig

    Dan – I really wanted to attend this but I was moving into my new place. I had hoped I would have an hour or two to swing by but it didn’t happen. Thanks for the report and as usual the great photos!

Back Cast
Feed: Back Cast