The Boise Trip Part II

The day after the films, I went fly fishing at the Boise River running right through downtown Boise.  After attending some conference seminars in the morning, I headed off to a local fly shop called the Idaho Angler to buy some flies and a license.  As usual, I got lost en-route and had to stop at a local bike shop to ask for directions.  Much to my surprise, the bike shop owner was an avid fisherman.  Noticing my fly rod and reel, he asked, "Bro, is that a Sage?"  "Do you have a Lamson?"  Laughing, I explained my preference for Scott rods.   "Bamboo is the best anyway," he responded.  The guy gave me directions and some advice for fishing the Boise River.  

After arriving at the fly shop, I got some supplies and chatted with the guys about the local fishing.  They told me that though Idaho does not get the same press as Montana, Oregon, and Utah, the trout and steelhead fishing can be phenomenal.   Next time I'm there, I will be sure to fish the Owyhee, which is supposed to be similar to the Green River of Utah.  This trip, I only had a chance to fish the river in town. 

Though I did not catch anything in two hours at the river, I could tell that Boise was a fishing town.  Between the film audience, the bike shop owner, and the plethora of fly fisherman squatting over the prime water, it seemed as if everyone in the city fished.  

The Boise Trip Part I

Finally, the long awaited post on Boise, Idaho.  The trip began rather inauspiciously.  My friend Andrew and I spent over 3 hours in Washington, D.C. traffic on the way to the Baltimore airport.  Driving my pickup truck, a manual, in stop-and-go was not very fun.   We finally arrived at the Grove Hotel in Boise at 1:30 am, only to find out that the fine establishment had given away our previously reserved room.  Though "it was a policy he disagreed with," the attendant explained that the hotel purposely overbooked rooms to plan for cancellations.   The Grove decided to put us in "murphy bedrooms," box suites overlooking the local hockey stadium.  

The first day I attended all the conference events, trying to schmooze with other historians and learn from the presentations.  After the second day, however, I got a chance to attend the Fly Fishing Film Tour.   My father, who was also in Boise attending a conference, joined me.   What surprised me most about the event was the level of enthusiasm.  Over 200 people, ranging from young kids to retirees, attended the event in a stadium style movie theater.   It was a very different age range than the skiing films I have attended.  Only a few of the films were shown in their entirety.  River Poets and Equilibrium documented the threat posed by the Pebble Mine to the ecosystem near Katmai National Park.  The film tour also showed the trailer for Red Gold by Felt Soul Media.  I heard some boos when the preview showed the mine's spokesman trying to defend the enterprise.   If you have not done so already, please take action to stop the Pit Mine at www.savebristolbay.com.  

Something else that impressed me about the films was the focus on conserving wild species. In fly-fishing's history, this sentiment is very recent.  During the 1920s, for example, game managers at Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park replaced the native greenback cutthroat with introduced rainbows and brook trout.  Anglers from the East favored these species over the natives.  The AEG Film River Wolf features fly-fishing for the largest trout species in the world--the Taimen.  Taimen are only found in Mongolia and can grow up to five feet long.  Destinations covers an expedition into Slovenia to catch Marble Trout, a rare pearly white species.  Hopefully these films will cultivate angling interest in native species  so that they are not replaced by imports or harmed by habitat loss.  


No Fishing :(

Unfortunately no striper fishing occurred this weekend.  Out of pure stupidity, I planned the trip going out of Norfolk Virginia when I wanted to fish in the D.C. area.  Between torrential rain and the prospect of a three hour drive, my friend Mike and I decided to bag it and try again in May.  Our guide, Tommy Mattioli, was kind enough to let us cancel.  

In other news, I will be leaving soon for the Environmental History Conference in Boise, Idaho.  While there, I will visit the fly fishing film tour and report on what I see.  Hopefully when I return to Charlottesville, the brookies will be out in full force.  The streams have been helped by the recent rain and warm weather.  


Striper Fishing

I'll be leaving the computer at home for a three day weekend up with my friend Mike in Washington D.C.  We will be fishing for Chesapeake Bay stripers all day on Sunday.  I'll post pictures and stories when I return late Sunday night.  Hope everyone is enjoying the nice weather! 


Rapidan River

Today was the "day off" between my comprehensive exams for a Ph.D. in U.S. History.  Given that I wrote about Herbert Hoover yesterday, I thought it fitting to go fishing today at the Rapidan River.  Hoover, upon assuming the Presidency in 1929, wanted to set up a retreat to escape Washington D.C heat and politics.  As a fly-fisherman, the Rapidan was a natural choice.  The river was and is cooler in the summer, devoid of mosquitoes, and full of brooktrout.  Hoover frequented the area and built a luxurious cabin near the headwaters.  I called up my friend Paul after handing in the first two exams and headed out.

With temperatures in the high 60s and sunshine, the Rapidan was gorgeous.  The fish are still a bit lethargic.  I had the best success dead drifting weighted nymphs upstream and swinging soft hackle while fishing downstream.  Since the Rapidan is only accessible by a fire road, I had a chance to try some off-roading in my pickup truck.  It was pretty impressive.  Tomorrow, I return to the exams.