Its name is “bacon.” Good name. Everyone loves bacon: Toddlers, college kids, balding thirty-something guys (like me) and pretty much all members of AARP. Fishermen often order huge plates of it, next to eggs, while in relaxing in restaurants after early-morning fishing trips. But I’m not talking about wonderfully-greasy slices of meaty heaven. I’m talking about a fishing fly.
Recently, I went on a business trip to Boise, Idaho. I decided to extend my stay and try fly fishing on one of the beautiful rivers located in this gorgeous state. I met up with some friends-of-a-friend Rob Brownfield and Jeff Lewerenz. These two seasoned fishermen have fly fished together for over 15 years. Rob owns their drift boat and Jeff ties the flies – a perfect team. The two enjoy spending many summer days together drifting down the river catching and releasing huge trout. Never having cast a fly before, I was felt lucky to tag along for a day to learn how they do it.
In just 1 minute of riding in the truck with these guys – I knew I was going to like them. As soon as we left the hotel parking lot, Rob pulled the rig over and stopped. Rob then turned to me, “OK, we know you’re an outdoor writer. If you reveal any of our secrets – I will kill you.” Jeff laughed nervously from the back seat. “OK, now that we have that over with, would you like some sunflower seeds or an apple?” Rob continued politely, acting like nothing violent just happened. Jeff laughed, more nervous than before. Yep, nothing starts out a fun day of fishing better than a good old-fashioned threat. This was going to be a good day.
After the hour-long truck ride, we arrived at the river. Jeff and Rob always lock up a bike with flat tires at their exit spot. It gives them more realistic reason to beg for a ride when trying to hitchhike back to the launch ramp to get the truck. “Hey man, can you give me a lift? My bike has a flat (well, two flats that originally happened back in 1998)”.
At the launch, Rob must have forgotten his scary threat to kill me if I shared their secret fishing spot with NAF readers, because he allowed me to take a photo of the huge, clearly-labeled map of the exact location of the public boat launch.
Once on the water, I learned that Rob and Jeff’s favorite, secret, homemade fly had a name. Its name is “bacon.” Good name. They say all fish in Idaho love “bacon.” It has caught almost everything that they cast at. Out of fear for my life, I can’t show it to you, but I can say Rob caught a fat pig using “bacon.” (Hey Rob, here’s a tip for you – if you feel the need to threaten people’s lives, so that they don’t tell the world about your “secret fly,” then you may want to remove it from your hat when they take a photo of you for FishingClub.com!)
The “bacon” is a large, brown weighted fly on a line rigged with strike indicators (floats). We cast it along the shorelines while drifting down the river. But throughout the day, we often stopped to get out of the boat and creep our way to pools and eddies casting into them.
Final totals? Well, the guys did pretty well (but slower than expected). They caught and released about a dozen fish, several were big pigs. It was my first day fly fishing, but I did O.K. I caught a fish while drifting, but it got off the line before I could bring it in. Then at the last minute, I caught a nice one near the boat launch while Rob was hitch-hiking back to the truck. I really got lucky on that one.