Better To Be Lucky – by Trevor Sheehan

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Many of us are trapped inside and I’ve been keeping myself busy by sitting behind the vise tying flies and consuming news about this crazy time that we’re living in. With the extra time on my hands I’ve been trying new tying techniques and have been playing with a new minnow fly pattern. I’m shooting for something big enough that a big brown trout might see it as a worthwhile meal, but not so big that it scares away your average Boise River rainbow (let’s be honest, we love any trout willing to eat a fly.) At 1-½” long it’s not the heavy artillery that a lot of streamer fishers (including myself) are throwing but it can pay to mix things up!

    I love to throw streamers from a boat, so with the recent beautiful weather and the Boise River in town running at a comfortable 740cfs I convinced my parents to join me on a float from the boat ramp at Willow Lane park down to Westmoreland park by Glenwood bridge. This is a great float to do on a weekday afternoon by the way. It only takes a couple hours so it’s a great thing to do after work. We hit the river armed with a couple nymph rigs and my streamer rod rigged up with a size 4 Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow and my experimental minnow trailing 2 feet behind it. I like to fish a double streamer rig where it’s legal with two flies of contrasting size, color, and/or action to see what the fish are looking for. In this case it was a sunny day so I thought a bright flashy fly would attract some attention and the smaller minnow would seal the deal if a trout wouldn’t go for the 4 inch Sparkle Minnow.

I offered to row until we got to the section I wanted to hunt with these flies. My parents both nymphed up a couple beautifully colored rainbows and a few whitefish before we swapped places and it was time to try out my new fly. As we were coming around a bend in the river where a riffle drops off into a deep run and a cut bank rimmed with woven tree roots was screaming at me for a cast the boat came scraping to a halt in a shallow section of the riffle. With my thoughts of a monster trout coming out of those snags briefly interrupted, I let 20 feet of my sink tip line swing in the current and stepped out of the boat to help push us back into deeper water. I was entirely focused on pushing the raft when it happened. My flies had swung under a half sunken root ball and a vicious strike bent my rod sharply. The line was tight so the fish hooked itself when it turned (which was lucky because I wasn’t paying attention.) A minute later I pulled in a gorgeous buck rainbow and stuck in its kiped jaw was the small baitfish!

It just goes to show you, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than to have a good plan! If we hadn’t gotten the raft stuck I wouldn’t have put my flies in front of that particular fish. My dad is taking full credit for this fish because it was due totally to his “advanced” boat handling that we had this experience.

Thank you.

-Trevor Sheehan