Picabo Angler

Pee-Ka-Boo is a Native American word meaning "Shining Waters."

Picabo Angler is a destination: A full-service fly shop & outfitter located on the banks of world-renowned Silver Creek

August 28, 2016

August 28, 2016


Well, we’ve now shifted into a period where you really, really need to be observant when you fish the Double R. The two bugs of general consequence are the Tiny Blue Winged Olive (about a size 22) and the Callibaetis (about a #16), both duns and spinners. Members are also starting to score with hopper imitations, in the brown and tan shades. One Member landed a nice 18 inch Brown trout in the morning by fishing the hopper pattern left on his leader from the prior afternoon. Depending on the morning and your luck of the draw location, you might even run into some straggler Trico action, as I did the other morning when relatively large black male Trico spinners were on the water, just enough to get the fish podded up but not enough to drown your fly in too many naturals. Give ant and beetle patterns a try on calm afternoons if the hopper patterns are not working. There have also been a smattering of #18 Pale Morning Duns flirting with us. 


I ran across “Whitefish Ed” for the first time when I was essentially living at the “Point of Rocks” fishing access site on Silver Creek. It was a chilly night in the middle of the annual Brown Drake hatch with upwards of 80 vehicles parked in the two campgrounds and along North Picabo Road. By that time I had grown weary of the crowds and only fished the Brown Drake during the day when one can encounter sparse hatches, warmer temperatures and experience a modicum of solitude. Anyway, this dude comes up to me and asks if he could borrow a pattern or two as he had left his Brown Drake box where he was staying somewhere up the valley. He guy was dressed in a pink hued tie dyed shirt, a maroon jacket and topped it off with a ball cap which said “Whitefish Unlimited.” So, what the hell, I gave him a half dozen Drake imitations, including my Brown Drake Hatch Matcher and realistic nymph, and he had a nice night. Later that evening Ed dropped by my trailer, thanked me and offered to return those of my flies which he had left. I told him to keep them as he might need them the next day.

Several years later I was stuck in my float tube along the banks of the Henry’s Fork. Due to my then daily chronic debilitating back pain I lacked the ability to get out of the water, much less negotiate my way across the ditch paralleling the Fork right above the fishing access site at Last Chance. I didn’t know what I could do other than rest in the water for an hour, regain my strength and try again. But, how was I going to get over the ditch? Then a pink-maroon life form of unidentified origin appeared in the horizon. Whitefish Ed! He wasn’t wearing his signature hat but seemed to recognize me and I eventually realized it was Him! He helped me upright, herded me across the ditch and sat me down while he retrieved my truck. He mentioned that it was just karma, thanked me again for the Brown Drake flies and departed.

Over the years I have run into Whitefish Ed at various favorite fishing venues. Other Fish Nomads have mentioned Ed’ travels in my conversations with them. I have often wondered how he is doing these days, as it seem like all the other Fish Nomads have gone on to the Stream in the Sky. This spring he dropped by my trailer on the Double R during the Brown Drake hatch. The crowds were not his liking and he was heading over to the Henry’s Fork where, like Bob from Vermont, Ed would spend much of the trout season. If you see a guy dressed up in shades of pink-maroon in an old van wearing a rather distinctive ball cap, it is very likely to be Whitefish Ed, a national treasure.

Doug Andres, Stream Keeper, Double R Ranch