Angler's Blog

Your #1 online resource for fly fishing education and knowledge

 I once asked a well-known fly fisherman, a former guide for years on the Owyhee River, to come to Northwest School of Fly Fishing and do a presentation on fly fishing the Owyhee River.  He politely refused, arguing that he did not want to give away any secrets on the Owyhee River. I thanked him for considering the offer and that was that. I have been known for telling folks where to fly fish in the Northwest and have been criticized for giving away secret locations. I guess I’m guilty of that to some degree.

However, most if not all the places I send folks to are not known secrets, in fact most if not all of these places are as well-known as the back of your hand. The internet, fly fishing forums, Google Maps, Instagram/Facebook, and Youtube has done the job quite well thank you, yet gets no grief for it. This being said, there are no “secret spots” on the Owyhee River anymore. There are now hundreds if not over a thousand Owyhee River experts today and they are well deserved. I can almost say the same for the Boise River in Town and the SF Boise River below Anderson Ranch Reservoir. The “Good ole days”, or “Back in the day”, are over for ever on these rivers.

The other day someone came by the shop to buy some flies.  When I asked him where he was going to fly fish he said it was a secret and wanted to keep it that way.  I pressed him, promising I would not, in any circumstances, give away his secret spot. He told me, I thanked him, reminding him I would not give away his “secret spot” before he left. Alone in the shop again I started giggling to myself because every fly fisherman I know and probably most that I don’t know not only know of this “secret spot” but also fish there often.

To say there are not any rivers without any “secret spots” would not be correct. Take for example, the NF and the SF of the Payette Rivers are full of “secret spots”. I know most of them. The reason they are “secret spots’ is because nobody fly fishes these rivers and I do all the time. So, if I recommend someone to fly fish a section of the SF Payette a mile or so east of Banks is that giving away a “secret spot”? I could go on and on, however this is where this “secret spot” thing gets really muddy. There are places and rivers where I fly fish that I don’t talk about or write about, but does that make these places a “secret spot”?

I’m more confused now than before. I suppose, as much fly fishing as I do, I am bound to be standing in a river in somebody’s “secret spot”.  I guess you can file this whole “secret spot” thing away in its own folder and then put it away in a file cabinet drawer marked “Debatable Things in Fly Fishing”. I’m on my way to a “secret spot” on the Owyhee River this weekend but I better leave real early in the morning because I want to get there before anyone else.  Just saying……………Mike Sandifer

More Blogs

Good old Riley Creek

If there is one stream or creek somewhat close to my home that I have many memories of it has to be Riley Creek south...

Read More

Secret Spots

I once asked a well-known fly fisherman, a former guide for years on the Owyhee River, to come to Northwest School of Fly Fishing and...

Read More