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

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Big Brown Trout Expert Max Blume always shows up when the Mouse Fishing is HOT!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - September 6, 2017

A slow cool down is headed to the Mountains. With this we should expect to see the first big changes from our summer fishery to our fall fishery. In the meantime all the same bugs and techniques we’ve used over the past few weeks are still in play this week!

Silver Creek is beginning to see more and more Baetis activity. A sure sign fall is coming. The Trico Spinner Falls begin to wane as the Baetis cranks up. Expect to see a few Callibaetis Spinners mixed into the morning show as well. The afternoon activity continues to percolate with Callibaetis activity. Expect this to remain strong as long as the heat continues. The Hopper action on the Creek remains outstanding and the fish are also still looking for Damsel Flies. The evenings on the Creek are a smorgasbord of bugs, and we are quickly approaching the best Mouse fishing time of the season.

The Big Wood continues to impress as the fishing remains excellent. Parachute Adams in a variety of sizes is a great choice as well as Hopper patterns. A Dave’s Hopper on the Big Wood is a deadly fly this time of year. It is also time to start putting the Western Red Quill in your fly box and a few October Caddis also.

The Upper Lost is also impressive with fish being caught throughout the system. It doesn’t seem to matter where you fish. Flying Ants, Royal Trudes, Parachute Adams and Hoppers are all good choices. Anglers may see a few Trico takes in the morning as well. It’s just a matter of finding flat enough water for a big fish to eat them!

The Lower Lost has been slightly underwhelming as the Hopper bite continues. The Nymphing has been o.k. with Copper Johns and small Tungsten patterns. The Crane Fly action is still happening, and skating flies remains one of the most fun ways to fish the river!

The South Fork of the Boise remains stuck between optimum wading flows and optimum boating flows. Smaller boats will have an easier time on the river and the wade fishing anglers will find things slightly more manageable. Hopper, Flying Ants, Pink Alberts and be sure to have October Caddis in case this bug shows early this year!

It’s a good time to fill your fly box for fall. Upcoming hatches include Fall Baetis, Mahogany Duns, Western Red Quill and October Caddis.

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fly Fishing Report - August 30, 2017

Our late summer heat wave continues and with it means all the same late summer bugs. The rivers continue to drop and as they do the fish are filling in the voids left by the falling water. Areas that looked fishy a week ago, but had not fish are going to start filling with fish as the flows decrease and allow more dispersal. Expect a lot of fish movement in the coming weeks on all our area waters.

Silver Creek is just a gem in the afternoon right now. The Callibaetis show when the wind is down is incredible. The action starts after lunch and peaks before dinner. The Hopper action remains strong, although the fish are getting wiser and not eating as aggressively. Be sure you let the fish take the fly well, and then set the hook hard. Try to fish across the current as much as you can to get the best hook setting angle. Facing downstream and casting can be effective, but you inevitably will be pulling the fly upstream out of the fish’s mouth. The morning on the river is decent with Trico Spinners, Baetis and some Callibaetis. Expect more of the same great action in the coming weeks!

The Big Wood and the Upper Lost Rivers continue to change as flows abate. The fishing is fabulous on both rivers. Hoppers are peaking, and small attractors are taking fish. Parachute Adams and Royal Trudes are hot flies, as well as Flying Ants. Trico action is a possibility in a few areas where the water is flat enough, although the high water has taken most of the Trico action away.

The Lower Lost River is fishing pretty well with Crane Flies, Hoppers and Nymphs. Small Zebra Midges in Red and Black are a good choice as well as Copper Johns in Red and Copper. Fishing these two patterns in tandem can be very effective under a strike indicator.

The South Fork of the Boise has been dropped to nearly wadable flows, but just not quite. Small boats can still make the float and a bit more wading action is available, but do it with caution. Expect to see a few Pink Alberts and a large amount of Hoppers. Some Nymphing around the boulders and in the riffles can be effective. Small Pheasant Tails and Copper Johns are a good choice as well as a Red Squirrel Nymph.

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fly Fishing Report - August 30, 2017

Our late summer heat wave continues and with it means all the same late summer bugs. The rivers continue to drop and as they do the fish are filling in the voids left by the falling water. Areas that looked fishy a week ago, but had not fish are going to start filling with fish as the flows decrease and allow more dispersal. Expect a lot of fish movement in the coming weeks on all our area waters.

Silver Creek is just a gem in the afternoon right now. The Callibaetis show when the wind is down is incredible. The action starts after lunch and peaks before dinner. The Hopper action remains strong, although the fish are getting wiser and not eating as aggressively. Be sure you let the fish take the fly well, and then set the hook hard. Try to fish across the current as much as you can to get the best hook setting angle. Facing downstream and casting can be effective, but you inevitably will be pulling the fly upstream out of the fish’s mouth. The morning on the river is decent with Trico Spinners, Baetis and some Callibaetis. Expect more of the same great action in the coming weeks!

The Big Wood and the Upper Lost Rivers continue to change as flows abate. The fishing is fabulous on both rivers. Hoppers are peaking, and small attractors are taking fish. Parachute Adams and Royal Trudes are hot flies, as well as Flying Ants. Trico action is a possibility in a few areas where the water is flat enough, although the high water has taken most of the Trico action away.

The Lower Lost River is fishing pretty well with Crane Flies, Hoppers and Nymphs. Small Zebra Midges in Red and Black are a good choice as well as Copper Johns in Red and Copper. Fishing these two patterns in tandem can be very effective under a strike indicator.

The South Fork of the Boise has been dropped to nearly wadable flows, but just not quite. Small boats can still make the float and a bit more wading action is available, but do it with caution. Expect to see a few Pink Alberts and a large amount of Hoppers. Some Nymphing around the boulders and in the riffles can be effective. Small Pheasant Tails and Copper Johns are a good choice as well as a Red Squirrel Nymph.

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Nathan Nelson isn't going to let a little eclipse keep him off the water!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - August 16, 2017

Picabo Angler would like to apologize for the gratuitous use of the word “Hopper” in the following report…

The Hopper madness continues on all our area rivers. If you enjoy big foam flies and big fish coming to the surface for them, then you are going to enjoy the next few weeks of fishing! The Tan or Pink colored Hoppers are the ticket. Fish them solo, or with a dropper, although most anglers are reporting their dropper flies are being ignored, as fish move aggressively to the Hopper Fly.

Silver Creek continues to show why it is the most incredible river in the U.S. as we continue to see amazing displays of Trico, Baetis, Callibaetis, Damsels and Hoppers. The morning show begins early with a small Callibaetis Spinner Fall. Around 9:00 a.m. the Trico is in full swing, and the Baetis mix in and continue to bring fish to the surface after all the Trico are gone. The afternoons are dominated by Damsel action and an ever increasing amount of Callibaetis. Anglers can fish Hoppers when the wind blows, or when the sun comes up until it goes down.

The Lost River system continues to impress as more and more fishable water opens up. Anglers are catching big fish below the dam using Crane Flies skated on the surface, as well as some Baetis and Trico imitations. Hoppers are working really well also. The Upper Lost is Hoppers and small Attractors, Fish your favorite Streamers if the fish won’t come up. Stay on the move and cover a lot of water for the most success.

The South Fork of the Boise is still fishing well from boats with big foam Hoppers. Some Pink Albert imitations in the afternoon and a few Crane Fly patterns in the evening hours will keep the fun happening! Walk and Wade fishing will happen on the South Fork this fall, but it will still be awhile before they turn the flows down.

The Big Wood is just a whole lot of fun right now. With so many new pockets and runs to explore, it is a joy to be on the water with a new expectation! The little holes and pockets showing up as the water drops leads to all kinds of fun fishing scenarios and new memories of big Rainbows coming out of dark green waters! Hoppers all day on the Big Wood will bring up fish. If you want to move slower and catch a few more, put a Dropper fly on!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - August 8, 2017

We have waited a long time for a good Grasshopper season. We now have a GREAT Hopper season underway! One of the greatest joys in fly fishing, is without question, “The Hopper Take”! We wait months and months and months as fly anglers for the opportunity to throw the big bug. We see the Brown Drake early season and the Salmon Fly on a few rivers and get the opportunity to cast big dry flies. Then every few years we get Hoppers in fantastic numbers. When it happen it seems to happen on all our rivers.

This season the South Fork of the Boise set the bar high early with Hopper action practically ties to the Salmon Fly hatch. The Hoppers continue to grow and be eaten on the South Fork. Drift Boats are the way to go if you want to cover a lot of water with a big foam Hopper. We carry the Morrish Hopper in Pink and Tan.

The Hopper / Dropper rig on any river right now is not a bad way to go. On Silver Creek, think pure and forgo the Dropper so you can see the big “Inhale” on the flat water! Silver Creek is still fishing well with Damsels when the wind is down. The Stalcup Damsel in Blue or Tan is the fly these fish really want to eat. The Callibaetis hatches and spinner falls seem to be growing again, as the size drops to nearly an 18. Try to find small size 16 patterns or big 18s. Tricos continue to bring up pods of fish if you are in the right place. If it’s 9:00 a.m. and you aren’t seeing fish podded up, think about trying a completely new area.

Both the Upper and Lower Lost rivers are fishing well with a Hopper, or Hopper / Dropper set up. The downriver flows are still challenging, but the tributaries like the North and East Forks are fishable. The flows on the Lower Lost are still challenging to wade while staying in the river channel, but some Crane Fly action and some Nymphing will catch fish. In most runs the Hopper is a great searching pattern.

The Big Wood is providing anglers with broad smiles as everyone learns new spots and new runs that the fish have also learned and love! Those medium sized attractors both wet and dry are the way to go. Oh, and HOPPERS!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

 

 

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - August 1, 2017

When everything is fishing well, it is easy to get spread out, and the past week on the local rivers showed that. Great fishing is happening in so many areas right now that angler numbers in any one area have dropped dramatically. Anglers are exploring all the new runs on all the rivers that were “rebuilt” during this year’s epic spring run-off. Anglers are beginning to boat as the water drops during a time of year when rivers are normally becoming too low to float! The end result is great fishing with fewer anglers.

Silver Creek just continues to impress as the Trico spinner falls continue to build and move upstream. When the wind stays down in the morning the show has been starting around 8:00 a.m. The Baetis and Callibaetis are on the water in the morning as well. This action has been lasting until almost lunch time. Anglers that are willing to go back after lunch are finding days of epic Damsel Fly activity. The Hopper action is building quickly!

It’s Adams Season on the Big Wood these days. A complete line of Adams Flies can take an angler through a day or week of fishing on the Big Wood right now. Parachute Adams, Adams Irresistible, and Standard Adams are producing fish. The Irresistible Adams fished in large sizes is a great searching pattern, while the Parachute and Standard Adams in a variety of sizes work wonderfully on rising fish. If things get slow, hang a Prince Nymph from a Royal Stimulator and search all the water you can.

The Upper Lost continues to come into shape. Large dry flies, Streamers and Nymph rigs are all working throughout the system, but with the falling water, anglers have a great chance to cast large, bushy dry flies to big fish. The flows on the main Lost are still high enough to be dangerous, so be careful on the main. The flows in the tributaries are reasonable and wade-able.

The South Fork of the Boise is Hopper central these days, with some Cicadas and Pink Alberts in the mix as well. Anglers staying late are seeing a nice evening rise, as many fish are refusing to play in the bright sun! The river is still at boating levels and things have changes some, so if you haven’t floated this year, be hyper aware of these changes.

With another hot week upon us, expect the fishing to remain hot as well!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - July 25, 2017

We are halfway through our summer fly fishing season in the Sun Valley area. What a summer it has been! We knew with 200% snow pack that we would be in for a special season and a delayed start on many waters, and both have transpired. The influx of water made for an incredible June and July on Silver Creek. With the Creek being the only game in the state of Idaho at times, we were blessed with great hatches, cold water, good currents and anglers willing to work together to make sure a good time was had by all!

We move toward August now with all our area waters beginning to fish very well. Anglers are enjoying the Big Wood River while relearning it after a massive spring runoff. Green Drakes are winding down, but there are plenty of hungry fish out there looking for Stoneflies and Hoppers or your favorite attractor pattern! The water remains high with plenty of volume, so be aware and be careful.

The upper Lost continues to come into shape. The East Fork has seen plenty of angler pressure and modest catch rates, but as the water continues to fall the North Fork, Wild Horse Creek and the Main Lost should begin to produce some fun days on the water.

Silver Creek continues to be remarkable, and with all the area waters beginning to fish the angling pressure on the Creek is minimal. The Trico Spinner Fall in the morning continues to gain steam. Fish are still locking on Damsel Flies in the afternoon and the Hopper action is really gaining steam. We should be in for an epic late summer Hopper fishery on the Creek! The evenings are a grab bag of insects that include PMDs, Baetis, and Callibaetis. The Mouse fishing has remained productive and should pick up steam as the fall approaches.

The South Fork of the Boise is fishing well with Hoppers and Cicadas fished out of a driftboat. Pink Alberts are hatching in the afternoons and the magical evening hour on the South Fork always seems to bring fish to the surface.

The Lower Lost remains high and it will be awhile before we are fishing there. Magic Reservoir has been very good lately, with low light hours being particularly productive. Anglers are floating the Salmon River and catching fish from boats. Finally, the Little Wood River is coming into shape, but the mosquito factor is a 10 right now!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Picabo Angler Guide - Cody Catherall put his guest on this Giant Brown a few nights ago!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - July 5th, 2017

The rivers are becoming fishable! There is still a ton of volume on our area waters, but the clarity is pretty well there. The rivers will become more and more fishable with each passing day from this point on, but be aware they are still dangerous. Good decision making is a must. There are no fish worth getting hurt over.

If you decide to explore rivers other than Silver Creek, please leave your dog at home. Fish with a friend. Wear a wading belt tight. Don’t take small children with you, and do not try to cross a river that is pushing you.

If you head out on our freestone streams like the Big Wood or Upper Lost take large attractor dries and drop big bead head nymphs below them. You may have to walk or drive some distance between spots, but exploration can be a fun part of the sport! Streamer fishing can also be a great way to fish high water, as it allows anglers to cover more area in a short amount of time. Double nymph rigs under a strike indicator can also be productive.

The South Fork of the Boise is mostly open again. The boat ramps are open and there are a few campsites still closed, but the fishing is getting better and better. Salmon Flies, Cicadas and Hoppers are all in play. We have had reports of logs fully crossing the river below the Cow Creek Bridge and in the Canyon stretch. If you float, make sure you scout, make sure you have the skill set to deal with these obstructions.

Silver Creek continues to produce great fishing. The Trico has been coming and going on the lower river in the morning hours and we’ve even had a 3rd reoccurrence of the Brown Drakes at Point of Rocks. This may last until the weekend if we are lucky. If nothing else it shows what an odd year we are having, but also how productive the Creek has been with the influx of more spring water! Callibaetis, Damsel Flies, Ants and Beetles are all still good afternoon and evening bets. The afternoon action has been starting around the noon hour. The Baby Hoppers are growing fast and they should come into play in the next week or two.

Sullivan’s Slough on the Nature Conservancy property is beginning to fish better and better as the Callibaetis action continues to grow. It is a great place to check in if the river fishing is slow.

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Chuck Huber and a gorgeous Brown Trout from Silver Creek, Idaho

Chuck Huber and a gorgeous Brown Trout from Silver Creek, Idaho

 

 

 

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - June 30, 2017

It has been a long time since we reported on rivers with decreasing flows...We are knocking on the door to some pretty good fishing, as things finally begin to normalize. We are not there yet, as some rivers are clearing but the volume still means very little holding water and places to cast a fly. Other rivers are on the cusp of being explored in areas, and trust us, there is going to be plenty of exploring to do as the rivers runs and holes have most likely changed big time! Caution is still a must, and please continue to leave your dog at home when approaching these local rivers. We should be fishing on almost all our area waters in the coming 2 weeks, with a few exceptions. In the meantime Silver Creek continues to produce and fish well and the Trico spinner falls continue to garner steam!

CFS  - Cubic Feet per Second

Silver Creek - 132

South Fork of the Boise - 3000

Big Wood - 1890

Lower Lost River - 1610

Upper Lost River - 1410

Little Wood - 454

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report 06/21/17

Summer begins anew in Picabo and Sun Valley this week as daytime highs are warm, the wind is finally coming down some and there is no return to spring like conditions in the forecast. Silver Creek continues to fish very well, despite the inconsistent weather we’ve had the past few weeks. With some consistency we should see the Creek really turn on as hatches stabilize and we see some rhythm to it all.

Currently we are seeing the Brown Drake come back to life in the Willows. This action could pick up as we head toward the weekend. It’s hard to say. It could fade away again quickly, but I know there is only one way to find out…

Green Drakes are a daily occurrence on the upstream reaches of the Creek like the Silver Creek Preserve. Some days the fish are on them and others they are being ignored. In any case, there again is only one way to truly find out…

The PMD and Callibaetis action remains strong and we should definitely see more consistent hatches and spinner falls of these bugs this week. Damsel Nymphs remain among the best subsurface flies anglers have been casting when the hatches don’t show. The adults will start getting eaten more as the weed beds reach the surface of the Creek in the next few weeks.

The flying ant remains the best fly on the river for the slowest times and for catching the biggest fish. We have heard and seen of more incredible fish being caught on ants than on any other bug thus far this season.

With the weather warming quickly, it’s time to put Tricos in your fly box and begin to watch for this incredible spinner fall in the mornings. You don’t want to be on the river when the fish lock in on this bug without some quality patterns.

There is not much else to report this week. We are waiting for the Forest Service to reopen the streamside areas and boat ramps on the South Fork of the Boise. There is good Green Drake and Brown Drake action on the Henry’s Fork. Watch the Big Wood north of Ketchum as it clears, but remain wary of strong flows and leave your dog at home until the CFS comes way down. Magic Reservoir is still worth a look near the dam and the surrounding shallow water bays.

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - June 14, 2017

THE SUN IS OUT! A slow return to summer temperatures means we can expect a slow return to the epic fishing we saw on Silver Creek the first two weeks of the season. Plan on seeing a large variety of bugs and plenty of rising fish with each warming day.

Anglers should expect to see quite a few Green Drakes on the Creek this week. The Brown Drakes are all but gone for the season, but with the warmth, if we saw a freak occurrence some nights this week, we would not be surprised. The PMD “Pale Morning Dun” should also begin to come off in force this week. The Callibaetis action remains strong as well as the small Baetis “Blue Winged Olive” hatches and spinner falls.

Terrestrials are still a great bet and a few Damsel flies should appear with the sun. Baby Hoppers have made their way onto the scene and we should be able to cast smaller patterns in the next few weeks. The Streamer action on the Creek has been really good under the cloudy weather, but bright sun is the forecast, so this action may drop off a bit.

Elsewhere, our freestone rivers, the Big Wood and Upper Big Lost remain really high and really dangerous. Flows should increase all week. Stay away from this water, and be sure to keep your dog miles from this mess! If you want to swim them, take them to a local lake, pond or reservoir.

The South Fork of the Boise flows have been dropped some. The outflows below the dam could increase if the flows coming in increase, so keep your eyes on the CFS before you make the commitment to go. If the flows haven’t been stable for a day or two, it’s probably not going to fish well. If the flows remain constant, we may begin to see the Salmon Flies on the lower river.

Reaching way out, the Henry’s Fork and the Owyhee are two outlying rivers from our area, but they are at least fishing. For up to the minute reports on the Owyhee you can check out Idaho Angler in Boise, and the Trout Hunter in Island Park can fill you in on everything Henry’s Fork.

Magic Reservoir continues to fish well and it is a nice alternative and change from fishing the same areas until the waters drop on our local rivers. Finally, we are blessed in the sense that we may not have a lot of places to fish, but Silver Creek has been a world class fishery since opening day!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

 

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley short term fishing forecast.

Silver Creek, Idaho short term fishing forecast. The dark clouds, the wind, the cold, are all still with us today. Things should blow through tonight. By tomorrow we should see the late morning sun and a slow warm up to normal summer temperatures. When this happens expect the PMD action and Green Drake action on the Nature Conservancy to really ramp up. We should see good hatches throughout the system including Callibaetis, Baetis and Ants. If you are fishing today, think about casting Streamers, as the dark skies will have the biggest fish out in the open looking for bait fish.

Everyday is a good day to fish! Get out there!

 

 

Brown Drake Update 06/08/17

The "Big Show" may be gone for the season as last nights action began to isolate into smaller sections. Anglers will continue to find Drakes and see big events for the next 7 - 10 days, but those will be the anglers in the right place at the right time, or those aggressive enough to pursue the hatches and spinner falls morning and night. The good news is, the Creek continues to percolate with bugs of all kinds and the fishing has never been better! Keep chasing the big brown bugs. We will stop updating the Drake today, but we will continue our reports on the Creek. Thanks everyone for a great time during one of our favorite times of the season!

Brown Drake Update 06/07/17

The Drakes revved back up again last night. Anglers in the Silver Creek East and West access points were treated to a big spinner fall. Anglers closer to Picabo were greeted with fewer bugs, but plenty of rising fish and all the elbow room they wanted! Tonight should be even more epic in the same upstream areas as last night. There are still bugs from top to bottom and fish eating them, so don't hesitate to spread out, if it's fish you are after. If you want see "The Show" stay closer to Highway 20! See you later today!

Brown Drake Update 06/06/17

The Brown Drake hatch continues to move up river. Last night was a slower night for most, with the exception of some upstream areas closer to the HWY 20. The storm two nights ago was enough to set things back a bit. There is a lot of chatter that the hatch is winding down, but we should wait for the next two hot days to make that call. It was cold last night and the combination of that with the previous storm may have slowed things down. We could easily see things perk back up. Regardless there will still be bugs through Silver Creek East and West tonight!

Brown Drake Update 6/5/17

Last night was an epic evening of Drakes! Stormy weather drove the bugs and anglers off the water early, but not before a lot of nice fish were caught. The action continued to turn off and on all night, and there is no reason we shouldn't expect another great event tonight. Things will most likely ramp back up over the next few nights, with many more BIG events to come this week. A lot of the crowds have left and anglers can expect more room on the river. Get ready for a wonderful week of Drake action!