Living in Idaho or for that matter the Northwest we are graced by many rivers that we can choose to fly fish. I’m one of those guys that likes to fly fish them all and yet have never been able to do them all in one season. I often say I fly fish like I golf, by the end of the season I want to have golfed all the courses in my area. However it’s rare that that ever happens. It’s not so much a goal as it is a journey. I don’t know many fly fishermen who have that need on their agenda nor is this something that motivates them. The point is I like to fly fish as many rivers as I can throughout the season and experience different adventures along the way.
This type of fly fishing requires that you do some planning. I just don’t say “I think I’m going to fly fish the Big Wood River this weekend” and then pack the truck and go. That’s a recipe for disaster for me. However, I do say that I am feeling like fishing the Owyhee River tomorrow and just go. I do just that because I know the Owyhee River better than most and I need no further information. If I don’t know what river I want to fly fish but I just want to fly fish it takes some research before I make the final decision on which river to fly fish. The USGS River Flows Idaho is the first step in making the right decision on which river to fly fish. The information I get from the USGS site alows me to know real time what the river flows or the Cubic Feet per Second is on all the rivers I like to fish. River flows are important especially in the Spring and Fall. Too much water in the Spring or not enough water in the Fall are key factors on when and where I plan on fishing in the near future. This is especially true during the drought years which we frequently have in the Northwest. For a fly fisher there is not a lot worse than arriving at a river that is either too low or too high to fly fish effectively. What the USGS site does is allow me to make a good decision based on river flows. This opens the door for me to look at all my options for the rivers I may have in mind narrowing down my list or rivers to the one that clearly has the water levels I’m looking for.