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Instructor Information

Mike Sandifer Mike Sandifer has been a fly fisherman for more than 40 years and has traveled and fished most of the destination rivers of the west.  He has taught fly fishing for the past 20 years in a style and way that fly fishing has been done for more than one hundred years.

Mike has recently opened the Northwest School of Fly Fishing, the only school for fly fishing in Idaho. The school is a place where new fly anglers can go to learn the sport and where experienced fly anglers can go to study the sport. He is also the owner of Merlin's Fly Fishing Equipment, made in Idaho by local fly anglers who understand what an angler needs on the water and how it should be used. 

Mike is also a full time fly fishing coach who teaches every aspect of fly fishing from the beginners level to the most advanced. He enjoys teaching as a way to give back to the sport that has given him so much joy over the course of a lifetime. 

You can read more about him at his website:


If you can't find Mike Sandifer, head to the mountains and check out the fishing holes. Mike is an avid fly fisherman--he's been fishing for 40 years all over the Northwest.

His hobby started years ago when he taught himself how to fly fish as a young teenager, tying flies out of necessity. "Fly fishing has been my vehicle to see the great rivers and mountain ranges of our country," Mike said. "Through these experiences I have gained a tremendous amount of fly fishing learning that I feel compelled to share with others."

That is what brought Mike to Community Education. He has volunteered as a fly fishing teacher around the community for the past twenty years. He says it's a way to give back to the sport some of the joy that it has given him over the course of a lifetime and he hopes to unlock some of the mysteries of fly fishing that may confuse the new angler.

Mike could certainly be labeled an expert. He spends between 100 to 180 days a year (depending on the gas prices) fly fishing all over the Northwest. "I drag my drift boat pretty much anywhere I can launch it into a good trout river," Mike said. "I don't have a favorite place to fish but I do hold my home waters of Southwest Idaho as a little more special than the other famous trout rivers of the Northwest."

Mike is teaching two courses this spring with Community Education "Build a Fishing Rod - Introduction" and "Critical Concepts in Fly Fishing." "Anybody can make their own fishing rod with a little instruction and advice. Rod making can become a lifetime hobby and a great way to beat the high prices you pay for rods at your local sporting goods store."

Mike has been married to his wife Martha for 31 years; they made Boise their home twenty years ago with their two children and now three grandchildren. Mike is the owner of Merlin Rod Co. and Merlin Nets in Boise.