Name: Mike Idell
Location: San Francisco, CA
Target Species: Trout, steelhead, stripers, carp, sharks… you name it!
When did you start fly fishing and who taught you?
High school. I thought I knew what I was doing with a fly rod for about a year or so (turns out, I didn’t) and then I went off to college in Colorado where a couple seasoned buddies of mine showed me the ways. They had grown up fishing in Wyoming and Alaska so whenever we went out for a day, I was like a kid in a candy shop soaking up every bit of information I could get. The rest is history.
Why do you fly fish?
I’m consistently impressed and amazed by how smart and unpredictable fish can be. That challenge and reward for getting it right every now and then is what keeps me going. In the last few years though, I’ve learned that it’s a lot less about outsmarting fish and a lot more about learning something new every time, and enjoying the time you have out there altogether. Cliche, but it’s true.
If you were only allowed to fish with one fly for the rest of your life (regardless of species), what would it be?
The Gurgalator because those who know, know!
What is your most memorable fishing experience that didn’t involve the fish?
I guided out in Wyoming for a summer after college and was lucky enough to spend most days with awesome clients that were just happy to be outside in such remote places, regardless of the fish. It really put things in perspective for me at the time. When you get to fish a lot like I did in college, you get numb to how lucky you are to be out there at all. All of those days as a guide on the river without a fly rod in my hand but with people that were just stoked to be out there were just as memorable as any fish I’ve ever caught, and I’ve honestly learned to appreciate all my time on the river a whole lot more because of them.
What is your favorite Red Truck Rod and Reel, and why?
My Red Truck fiberglass 7’6″ 4 wt with a 4wt Red Truck diesel reel. Most fun rod to cast on the planet, hands down. I could cast that thing all day without seeing a fish (and I have) – it’s a blast.