Ask Zimo: Medium fly rod best choice for area trout waters

pzimowsky@idahostatesman.comJune 5, 2014 

Question: My parents recently moved to Boise, and I was looking to purchase a fly fishing setup for my dad. Can you recommend a good setup for the Boise area for fly fishing? (submitted by MATTHEW TOURTELLOTT, email)

Answer: I've been fly fishing in Idaho since way back, like when the cutthroat trout limit was 15. Yup, back in the '60s.

I learned how to fly fish on Eastern Idaho cutts and brookies, which loved big flies and sloppy casts. My choice in flies never got past renegades, hoppers, woolly buggers and Potts hair flies.

I did start off with a second-hand bamboo rod and graduated to an Eagle Claw fiberglass fly rod back in those days. I've got a nice graphite rod and two reels now - one each with floating and sinking line.

To the point: I enjoy fly fishing, but keep it pretty simple. So, I enlisted the help of Idaho Statesman outdoors editor Roger Phillips to answer this question. He's an expert in bass, trout and steelhead fly fishing. He's the owner of about eight fly rods.

He says a 9-foot, 5-weight fly rod is the best all-around one for fishing in the Boise area, especially for trout fishing.

Coincidentally, his father-in-law moved to Boise last fall, and he got him started fly fishing with this outfit:

• Orvis Access rod

• Lamson reel

• Rio floating line

He got the outfit at one of the local fly shops. Any of them will have what you need in the right price range.

"Depending on how experienced he is, or how often he wants to fish, will help you decide how much to spend," Phillips said. "If your father is a casual, occasional angler, a package kit with a rod, reel and line is a reasonable choice. But if he gets more serious about it, then he may replace that rod after a couple seasons because there's a noticeable difference between a bottom-end and mid-priced rod."

If you're looking for best value, Phillips believes Echo rods are about as good as you can get for the money. Another option, he said, is Temple Fork Outfitters, which also makes good rods for a reasonable price.

Consider any rod a long-term purchase and assume you will be fishing with it for many years.

Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors

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