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

Sun Valley / Picabo Area Fishing Report - June

 Anglers in the Sun Valley area are coming out of a week of tough weather, although very good fishing. The coming week should be warmer and new opportunities should be presenting themselves daily. With the freestone streams clearing and dropping ever so slowly, new areas and new hatches will present themselves.

The most anticipated hatch is the Green Drake. We have been seeing them on Silver Creek for several weeks already. When we see them on the Big Wood and Upper Lost it is almost always accompanied by a hot day. Chances are the first really true hatches will begin this coming week. There is still a danger to fishing the Wood right now at the current volume but use common sense, fish with a friend, keep your wader belt tight and leave your dog at home! You should be able to find some fishable water in side channels and along shorelines with good riffle water. The big back eddies are worth fishing as well, especially with a nymph dropper.

Expect a variety of Stoneflies and Little Yellow Sallies on the water as well. If you want to run a dropper rig of your big dry flies, the Epoxy Back Green Drake is a solid choice. Fish this beneath a Colorado Green Drake or Picabo Royal Stimulator!

The South Fork of the Boise is on the cusp of the Salmon Fly hatch and the Cicada action is as good as it has been in years. Expect to see a few Mormon Crickets and a lot of Caddis in the evening. The flows are at good boatable levels, with limited wade fishing opportunities where you find them.

Silver Creek remains the best place to fish this week. The Baetis hatches have been outstanding. They come and go throughout the day, so if the fish aren’t rising, fish the sloughs and check back in on the river periodically. Green Drakes are still in play on the Upper Stretches of the Nature Conservancy. PMD and Callibaetis are making daily appearances as well.

The Baby Hoppers have hatched this week and it is apparent we are in for another outstanding Hopper season! We are still a month away from fishing the adult Hopper, but it has been hard to keep these flies in stock the past few seasons with their abundance on the rivers, so if you’re in Picabo Angler grab some patterns now. We are currently well stocked with a lot of great Hoppers!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - June 14, 2018

Time to switch Drakes! Brown Drakes are winding down for the season on Silver Creek. With that said, a warm day at Silver Creek West and anglers could still expect to see some Brown Drake action. A few Green Drakes have been hatching most days and that’s all it takes to get the fish interested in them. The Green Drake on Silver Creek is a much brighter color green than the Drakes you would find on the Big Wood and Upper Lost. We like to use the Renee Harrop patterns on the Creek because of this. Once the Big Wood is fishable, the Green Drakes here should show up in huge numbers. Patterns like the Colorado Green Drake, Green Drake Cripples, and the Epoxy Back Green Drake Nymph are awesome flies on these rivers.

Silver Creek is also fishing well with PMDs, Baetis and Callibaetis on the hot days in the slow water sections. In addition anglers can cast Ant and Beetle patterns. The Mouse fishing at night has been productive for those late night sessions! There aren’t many anglers around between now and the 4th of July, so it’s a great time to come down to the Creek and get some quiet days. If you’ve never fished the Creek, now is the time to give it a try! The fish are still happy to eat, the hatches and great and the angler numbers are at a minimum.

The Big Wood and the Upper Lost have come down a lot with the cooler weather early in the week. Watch the color as well as the flows. The color is the most important as we look for the glacier green run-off. That is the first sign that the river is about to unlock. The fish will be hungry when the rivers do finally drop. Green Drakes, Stoneflies, Salmon Flies, Yellow Sallies, and Crane Flies are all “must haves” in your fly box!

The South Fork of the Boise is fishing pretty well for driftboat anglers. Small stoneflies and some Cicadas are in the mix. The flows have dropped to normal boating levels. Be ready as the Salmon Flies are the next bug to appear here. We are probably a week to two weeks away from this event, depending on what section of the river you fish. Odds are that the next few warm days down there will get the Salmon Flies in the Canyon Section going strong.

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - June 7, 2018

For the second year in a row, we got a several day Brown Drake tease, with just a few bugs on the water each night and each morning. Anglers can expect this action to continue through the weekend. The best hatches and spinner falls will slowly move upstream. By the weekend, the epicenter of the action should be all the way up to the Hwy 20 Bridge.

There is plenty of room for everyone out there as long as we all remain kind to one another! Please keep this in mind, especially if this is your first Drake experience. Peace, Love and Drakes is what we celebrate here. Please take this to heart and help your fellow angler whenever you can!

During the daylight hours on Silver Creek the fishing has been fantastic. PMD and Baetis are hatching and the Callibaetis action should grow quickly with the heat. The best surface action has probably been on Black Ants. When the wind comes up anglers have been fishing Ants and PMD’s in tandem. This seems to work well, if there are no specific targets to cast at.

Moving forward expect to see the Green Drakes on the Nature Conservancy waters with the warmer days. This can be an incredible pattern to fish on the Preserve waters, so be sure not to go to the river without a few!

When the Big Wood clears and comes into shape the Green Drake is going to be a great hatch. Be sure to get your fly box full. The Colorado Hair-Wing Drake is among our favorites, as well as the Cripple Patters. The Green Drake Epoxy Back Nymph is also a deadly fly on the Wood and Upper Lost once they clear. Fish this fly underneath a Picabo Royal Stimulator and you’re in business!

The Mormon Cricket is showing up on the South Fork of the Boise. If you see them in the water, you can try to imitate them. Some of the fish care for this bug and some could care less. It is a really big, hard bodied bug that takes a big fish to eat it. Warmer days on the South Fork also means the Salmon Flies should be coming. They are generally in the Canyon Section of the river by the second week of June!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

 

 

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - June 1, 2018

The Brown Drakes will make a strong showing over the next few nights. Expect things to ramp up into Sunday and Monday. Those are days you probably don’t want to miss. Where you fish shouldn’t matter by then. The weather has caused just a trickle of bugs over the past 48 hours. With the sun out and high pressure rolling in, expect things to go back to the normal low light activity we are all use to.

Most importantly when fishing the Drake – Please Be Kind! The Drake hatch is as much about kindness as it is fishing. Watching the show with friends and helping those that need it is the essence of this hatch. It’s an opportunity to make someone’s memory banks for a lifetime. Make memories on this river, not enemies! Peace, Love and Drakes!

Elsewhere on Silver Creek, the PMD, Baetis, Callibaetis and Beetles are still making a strong showing. Fishing reports up and down the river have been very positive. Plan on ramping up your stealth with the bright light and think about Finesse Leaders as the fish wise up over the coming week.

Enjoy the weekend. Stop by the shop for flies and beverages. We’d love to see you!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report – May 14th, 2018

The countdown is on! In less than two weeks, Silver Creek opens up for the 2018 season. The creek looks great, with flows at 130 CFS and plenty of healthy fish around.

With the opener fast approaching, now is the time to stock up on essential flies. In particular, you’ll need Blue-Winged Olives, PMDs, Callibaetis, ants, beetles, and of course, Brown Drakes. We are starting our daily Brown Drake watch and anticipate seeing bugs shortly after the season opener on May 26th.

Spring is the season at Picabo Angler when all the new gear arrives! Here’s a sample of what’s new in the shop – Helios 3 rods from Orvis; Cheeky reels; rain jackets, waders, and wading boots from Orvis and Simms; Snake River Nets; gear bags and packs from Simms; fish gaiters and fly boxes from Montana Fly Company; men’s and women’s technical clothing from Simms and Orvis; leader and tippet from Orvis, RIO, and TroutHunter; and hats from RepYourWater, 208 Headwear, and Simms. Come check it out!

While most local fisheries remain closed, fishing on Magic Reservoir is really picking up. Rainbow trout, brown trout, perch, and smallmouth are being caught by savvy anglers, and a variety of flies are effective. Streamers, leeches, crayfish patterns, Clouser minnows, chironomids, midges, and small nymphs are all productive. Check out areas like Myrtle Point, the Narrows, Hot Springs Landing, and the bay at the dam.

The Picabo Angler Opening Weekend festivities are on track to be bigger and better than ever. Starting on Friday night at 5PM, we’ll have live music by Hillfolk Noir and storytelling by Hank Patterson, “your world-renowned fly fishing guide!” Sawtooth Brewery will be on hand to provide great local beers, and the kitchen staff at Picabo Angler will be preparing some of their favorite sandwiches. On Saturday, we start all over again with a free BBQ starting at 11AM. Throughout the weekend, numerous vendors and local resource agencies will be here to talk about new products and our local fisheries. It’s a great time to stop by the shop to meet our guides and staff, pick out some of your favorite flies, and cast some of the new fly rods in stock. We’ll be here rain or shine, so be sure to come see us!

Happy Fishing Everyone!
 

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - April 24, 2018

The fish have been rising on Silver Creek, the Rainbows are coming off of spawn and the days are getting warmer. Time to get ready for Opening Day! Here is a quick list of things you may want to consider before the season goes into full swing.

Check those waders for leaks! Put on those waders and go stand in the water. Then make one of three decisions. You are good to go for the season with nice dry waders. It’s time to fix the small leaks in those waders or it’s time to throw those nasty old, leaky waders in the garbage and start the season warm and dry!

Check your wading boots. Do you need new laces? New soles? New boots? Keep invasive species in mind and consider a rubber sole bottom with cleats. Ditch the felt sole, the new rubber soles are just as good once you make the mental adjustment.

Check your fly line. Is it cracked? Is the tip sinking on your floating line? Is it full of memory coils? If any of these are true, treat yourself and get a new line. It will add joy to your fishing day. We promise!

Check your reel. Do you need to lubricate any of the parts? Are all the screws tight and flush on the reel seat? Is the reel well balanced to the rod? Give your reel the once over every few months and you’ll get a lot more life out of it!

Are your fly boxes organized? Have you got last year’s Callibaetis out of your Baetis box? Are your Hoppers separated from your Stoneflies? This is also a good time to pre-tie dropper rigs for Green Drake the first Green Drake hatches of the year.

If you have a drift boat or a raft, get that thing cleaned out! Last year’s beer cans and water bottles don’t need to be on the floor of that boat any longer! Check your trailer registration, your ropes and lines and your oars. Be sure you have your invasive species sticker in place and ready to go so you aren’t’ scrambling for one the day you want to float.

Get some maps out, turn on Google Earth and start exploring! This is a great time of year to make a plan to see and fish some waters you have never seen or fished before!

Finally, make a plan to join us the night before Opening Day for our big party with Hank Patterson and Hillfolk Noir!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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Sun Valley Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report – April 9th, 2018

Snowpack levels in the Wood River valley and adjacent drainages continue to hover around 100% of normal. Current snowpack levels are: Big Wood River – 97%, Little Wood River – 94%, Big Lost River – 104%, and Salmon River – 109%. Coupled with good base flows and carryover from 2017, the outlook for water flows on our local rivers remains promising.

Silver Creek, the Big Wood River, and the South Fork Boise River below Anderson Ranch dam are closed and will re-open on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.

Steelhead season is in full swing, and our guides have been plying the waters of the Salmon River upstream of Challis. Fish are spread out along the river system. To date, approximately 250 steelhead have been trapped at the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery in Stanley. Flows on the Salmon are a bit higher than normal (1,360 CFS below Yankee Fork), and steelhead are on the move. Anglers have had success swinging black, blue, and purple spey flies, streamers, and egg-sucking leeches on medium-weight sink tips and drifting large stonefly or egg patterns. The steelhead have not been fussy when it comes to fly pattern; the key to a successful outing is covering water and finding fish. When fishing closer to Stanley, avoid spawning steelhead and look for more active fish in pockets, riffles, and runs.

Fishing on the Big Lost River below Mackay Dam remains excellent. The river’s rainbows have completed spawning and are actively feeding throughout the river. Both midge and Blue-Winged Olive activity has been excellent. Look for midges to start late morning or early afternoon, with BWOs following for the remainder of the day. Don’t fish the lower Lost without Tie-Down Midges (20-22), Baetis Film Critics (18-20), and red and black zebra midges (18-20)!

The countdown to Opening Day at Silver Creek is at 48 days! It will be here before you know it, so now is the time to prep your gear and get the right flies for the early hatches on the Creek. Stop by the shop or give us a call, and we’ll get you set up with the right PMD, Blue-Winged Olive, and Brown Drake patterns that you’ll need for the upcoming season.

Keep tuned in to our blog and social media for upcoming information on Opening Day festivities at Picabo Angler. This year will be bigger and better than ever!

Happy Fishing Everyone!
 

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - March 21, 2018

This past weekend’s snowfall brought our snow pack up to 90% of average in the Big Wood drainage and 98% of average in the Big Lost drainage. There is more precipitation in the forecast this week, so keep your fingers cross that we keep adding to this total! With residual water still in the aquifer we are heading for another outstanding summer on Silver Creek and other area rivers.

The Steelhead have arrived in Stanley. Expect the numbers to increase by the day. We are currently running guide trips on the water between Challis and Torrey’s Hole if you are interested. Our guides can teach you the traditional ways to swing flies, cast two handed rods or fish the regional strike indicator method used closer to Stanley. There are a few fish in the Sawtooth hatchery as of this writing.

We are on the last week and half of fishing the Big Wood River and the South Fork of the Boise. On the Wood, Midges and Little Black Stone Flies are the fish’s mainstay right now. Expect great dry fly and Streamer action. Fish nymphs if you must, but anglers willing to walk, and slowly hunt for rising fish will most likely find them. If you head to the South Fork, Nymphing may be more productive. If you go, keep in mind fish will be migrating toward spawning grounds. This normally means an upstream push of fish as they stage up for prespawn mode.

The Lost River remains open to fishing all season, with no closures. The tailwater area in Mackay is fabulous Spring time water. Expect Midges and maybe an afternoon Baetis hatch on the right day. Walk the river slowly and look for fish sitting on gravel bars near the drop in points of the runs. Be careful to stay of fish that may be using gravel areas for Redds. These are spawning beds and are they clearly distinguishable by the clean swept gravels on the bottom. If you see clean gravels in an area the size of a serving platter, don’t walk in these areas, and don’t mess with the fish if they are sitting on these beds.

We are entering a great time of the season, where exploration pays in big ways. Prespawning fish are generally big and aggressive and they can be found in big groups in a variety of areas. Get out there and find them!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

 

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Expect Silver Creek to look like this in the next 30 days!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report – March 6, 2018

March madness is here! In the Wood River valley, March has certainly come in like a lion, dumping almost two feet of snow in the upper elevations. This was a much-needed boost to the local snowpack, and it appears that more snow is in the forecast for the next couple of weeks.

Flows on the Big Lost River below Mackay Dam are holding stable at about 125 CFS, allowing for easy wading and concentrating fish in winter holding areas. Nymph fishing is incredibly productive, and midges will appear during the afternoons. When nymphing, concentrate your efforts on pockets, runs, and current seams. Effective flies include Rainbow Warriors, Copper Johns, Zebra Midges, and San Juan Worms. Hint – a bit of orange or red on your nymphs is a very good idea! Surface feeding fish are often found in slow, skinny water; a stealthy approach is necessary. Baetis activity will ramp up towards the end of the month, extending through April. This can be some of the finest angling of the year on the lower Lost. Trail Creek Road is closed for the winter, but fishing the lower Lost in March is well worth the longer drive. Keep in mind that as the month progresses, there will be significant spawning activity on the river; be aware of fish on redds and let them do their thing!

Fishing on the Big Wood River remains good. Anglers are having success nymphing, fishing midge dries, and throwing sculpin patterns for the river’s biggest fish. Look for the best midge activity to occur during the afternoons. Griffiths Gnats, Trailing Shuck Midges, Sprout Midges, and Zebra Midges should all be in your Big Wood winter fly box.

The South Fork of the Boise continues to fish fairly well with stable flows. Flies used on the Big Lost and Big Wood are equally as effective on the South Fork. Be prepared for any weather if you make the drive.

All of Silver Creek is now closed as of March 1st. Anglers that fished the open water north of Highway 20 during the month of February had some incredible fishing. Streamers were by far the most productive offering, and plenty of fish were caught on mouse patterns! Opening Day on the Creek is only 83 days away; keep an eye on Picabo Angler’s social media for a rundown of Opening Weekend festivities!

Happy Fishing Everyone!
 

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - February 28, 2018

Silver Creek is closed at the end of the day on Wednesday the 28th of February. That gives us a month left to fish on the Big Wood before it closes for spawning. The good news is we get to fish the Big Lost River all year now! This has been the case the past few seasons, and it’s really nice to have this fall back fishery, especially with the decreased Steelhead runs the past few springs.

If you head to the Big Wood get excited! March is one of the best months to fish, and the catch rates are certainly as good as it gets most winters. Keep an eye on the foam lines and back eddies for massive amounts of Midges and Rainbow heads breaking the surface to eat them. Fish Griffiths Gnats in tandem with Tie-Down Midges if you are on the surface targeting rising fish. If they won’t come to the top use two Zebra Nymphs fished in tandem under a strike indicator. Red and Black are the normal colors we use. If they don’t want that set up, then fish a Bugger in Black or Olive.

We are in the Little Black Stonefly season as well. You will see this wingless insects running about the snow surface most days.  If you see them try larger nymph patterns like Girdle Bugs in black or Prince Nymphs. Hares Ears, with black backs are also a great choice. Fish these either under a strike indicator or swing them from bank to bank, paying careful attention to the tight line as it nears the bank. These little bugs crawl out of the water, so the areas within a foot or so of the bank have the largest congregation of them and the fish know it.

If you decide to travel to the Big Lost River or the South Fork of the Boise take the same winter fly selection we listed for the Big Wood River. The insects in the winter are pretty much the same from river to river, so a big selection is not necessary. Keep an eye on the weather report if you decide to make the 2 hour journey to either of these rivers, and like we always preach, be sure to have a change of clothes, a full tank of gas, a fully charged phone and some food and water should you have to spend a wintery night next to a river! Be sure to tell a friend where you are going as well!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - February 13, 2018

Outstanding fly fishing continues this month as the mild winter weather continues in the Sun Valley area. The skiers may be having an off season this winter, but the fly anglers are all smiles right now, as high catch rates and sizable fish continue to be the norm. We see no change in this pattern in the immediate future, so get your waders on and get out there!

Fly anglers that have been on Silver Creek the past few weekends are sending us pictures of one giant Brown Trout after another. These are normally the pics we see taken in the darkness of a summer night while Mouse fishing. This February the “Hog Shots” on the Creek just keep coming! It is the perfect conditions of warm enough weather and just enough tint in the normally gin clear spring creek waters.

The weather is very comfortable, allowing anglers to stay out throughout the course of the day. Couple this with the tint in the water that keeps the big fish out in the open and on the hunt all day and you have the makings of an epic fishery.

We have about two weeks left to fish Silver Creek before the season closes for spawning. The fishing is almost all Streamers and is relatively easy for those that can cast big flies decent distances. Even if you can get your fly only halfway across the river, you have a great chance to catch a nice fish.

Try to stay on the bank while you fish, so they don’t feel your presence in the water. DO get in the water for releasing the fish and especially for photos. It is super important to “Keep ‘em Wet” while releasing. Try to get your photo of the fish partially in the water, or a quick lift for a picture while the water is still dripping off the fish. Keep in mind, handling fish is a skill set that is as important as casting, reading the water or any other part of fly fishing.

The Big Wood and Lower Lost remain very productive fisheries with the typical winter flies like Zebra Nymphs and Tie-Down Midges. Anglers can expect a nice combination of nymph fishing and dry fly fishing throughout the day. With March quickly approaching keep your eyes open for the Little Black Stonefly! This wingless bug should start showing up soon. If you see it, tie on a Prince Nymph and swing your fly close to the bank!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Silver Creek In February

February is arguably one of the best months of the year for streamer fishing Silver Creek. Fish 20" and larger are frequently caught. Keep in mind Silver Creek is only open this time of year from the HWY 20 Bridge downstream. This section closes on March 1st so now is the time.

The water clarity is off a little bit at the moment and will likely continue to stay off color with the super warm weather we have been having. It was about 55 degrees in Picabo yesterday. The lack of water clarity is exactly what we want for good streamer fishing as the fish are far less spooky.

We are offering free access to our private water on Silver Creek with a guided trip through all of February. This water sees very little to no pressure this time of year. This is a great opportunity to catch that elusive monster brown!

A beautiful brown trout caught yesterday (2/5/18) on Silver Creek

John Huber with a bent rod.

John Huber with another nice brown. 2/5/18 

Images: Nick Price

The fishing, especially the nymphing, has also been very productive on the Big Wood River. Our unusually warm weather has been and is continuing to provide some of the best winter fishing we have had in years. High temps over the course of the next week are supposed to be somewhere between 40 and 50 on the Big Wood and will be warmer on Silver Creek in Picabo.

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun valley Area Fishing Report - January 31, 2018

There are certain winters on Silver Creek where conditions line up to create very good fishing. We haven’t had one of those winters is quite some time, but this winter things have lined up nicely on the Creek. Duck season has ended on the river so things are once again quiet and the river has been relatively abandoned.

Daytime temperatures are getting high enough to create the perfect amount of daily back runoff to put a little tint in the water. Anglers that have fished the Creek extensively under these conditions know what a treat is can be. The turbid water keeps the big fish feeling safe and out in the open. This gives anglers with Streamers a perfect opportunity to fish the Creek in a way we rarely get too much of the season.

Fishing with unweighted Streamers is pure visual joy on the Creek and the next best thing to watching the dry fly take in the summer. Silver Creek fish make their presence known when they are after bait and the hardest part of fishing this way, is not setting the hook too soon, with the anticipation caused by the waking fish chasing the fly!

If you fish the Creek, you have until the end of February to get your licks in. The Creek is open to catch and release fishing downstream only from the Hwy 20 Bridge. Streamer fishing is where is at. Basic Black Buggers and Mini – Zonkers are a great choice. The key to catching fish is not the fly nearly as much as location. Stay on the move!

If a predatory fish in the Creek wants to chase your Steamer (bait representation) they are not going to be fussy about it. Be sure to keep the fly moving slow enough that they can see it, but fast enough they can’t analyze the fly. This may take some trial and error, but you’ll figure it out as soon as you hook that first one.

Try to stick to Fluorocarbon leaders in the 0X to 3X range. Having a length to 9 feet is just fine. The lack of stretch in the Fluorocarbon will lead to more hook ups as the hook will bury quicker in the fishes mouth without the leader stretching before the hook has time to penetrate. These leaders are more expensive, but they last twice as long and based on hook rates, they are worth the extra money when Streamer fishing the Creek!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fly Fishing Report - January 3, 2018

There is no end in sight to this spring like weather. There is a chance for snow over the weekend, but probably not enough to influence the fishing. If anything it may dampen the urge to travel to the lower Lost River or the South Fork of the Boise. The good news is, when its 40 degrees outside in January, you won’t have ice freezing in your guides!

The fishing on the Big Wood has been generally good, although the constant high pressure and bright sun make for diminutive Midge hatches on most days. Trying to find that classic winter day with Midges lining the banks and fish heads up everywhere is hard to come by. The good news is, with less than stellar skiing conditions we have a bunch of great winter fisheries to fall back on!

If we do get a short low pressure system in over the weekend, anglers may find the conditions right for some great dry fly activity. If you see heads up try Griffiths Gnats and Tie-Down Midges fished in tandem. If nothing else the cloud cover should provide a darker day and perhaps get some of the bigger fish out in the open and moving about the river systems. This could be especially true on Silver Creek, where a darker day should turn the Streamer fishing on.

The weekend system should be brief, so be prepared for more of the same the rest of the time. Expect Nymphing with Midge patters like Zebra Nymphs and Brassies to take fish and have some Streamers to fish in brighter patterns on the bright days. Mini Zonkers are one of our favorites on any of our area rivers.

If you fish the Creek, be aware that Duck Hunting season is still happening for a few more weeks, so please don’t approach areas where you see decoys in the water or hear shooting. The Creek is open to catch and release fishing downstream from the Highway 20 Bridge.

With the holidays complete, we know a lot of anglers will be heading to the Salt Water in the coming months to chase flats species. Picabo Angler has a ton of experience in this warm water arena and we are happy to help advise you on your trip, build you a trip, or even host you and your small group to one of our favorite destinations! Get out there and explore!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - December 27th, 2017

Happy New Year from Picabo Angler! Cold days are upon us, but the fishing is great! With little snow to speak of fly fishing our local waters is a great fall back in the Sun Valley area. The rivers are open to catch and release fishing and the anglers that have taken advantage of this are catching some nice sized fish.

The Big Wood is a wonderful winter fishery. The fish have begun rising to winter Midge hatches and the biggest fish are coming to Streamers and Nymph rigs with regularity. Expect fishing windows to last from about 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Find the slow moving water and watch the heaviest foam lines and back eddies. The rising fish are found in thigh deep water where they gather and slowly move their way toward shallower lies as the hatches progress. Fish Streamers virtually anywhere with a focus on water without heavy currents. The same can be said for Nymph set-ups. Fish double Nymph rigs under strike indicators and keep on the move until you start hooking up! If you find one, you’ll find several as they are much less solitary in the winter and tolerate each other a lot more.

Silver Creek remains virtually untouched so far this winter. The Streamer fishing here can be great and can often produce and anglers biggest fish of the season. If you head down here toward Picabo, keep in mind that the river is only open downstream of the Highway 20 Bridge and only open to catch and release fishing. Large streamers fished on the swing will take a few fish. Try to target fish with bright colors on bright days and darker colors on darker days. No weight is necessary as the fish will happily chase your Streamer just under the surface and the visuals when fishing here can be really exciting. Anglers will often see the wake and the take when the fish strikes.

The Lower Lost is a bit of a drive away, but with the current conditions, storms and drifting snow don’t seem to be a factor. Make this trip around through Picabo and we can show you the flies and even send you down the road with lunch in hand!

The lack of snow and easy winter driving also make the South Fork of the Boise an attractive place to fish until the first big storms arrive. Use the all the same flies you would fish on local rivers. Zebra Midges, Streamers, Brassies and Tie-Down Midges are all excellent choices!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - December 7, 2017

Cold days and short fishing windows are the norm right now, but the rivers are wide open and seeing very, very little angling pressure. This is a good time to get out on the water, as the day time temperatures are rising above the freezing mark, making fishing comfortable throughout the afternoon.

Silver Creek is now closed upstream of the Highway 20 Bridge. This includes the Double R Ranch as well as the Silver Creek Preserve. The river does remain open from Highway 20 downstream for catch and release fishing. It will remain open until the end of February. Streamers are really the best way to fish the Creek this time of the year. Think about using dark colors on dark days and bright colors on bright days. Cast your streamer to the far bank and retrieve it slowly. With the water turning colder, the fish will be more inclined to chase something they can catch without a huge expenditure of energy. Some days, just let the fly swing without stripping it. You may be surprised by the difference. In any event, the fish will want a certain speed and action, so keep adjusting until you find it. Once you know how they want the fly presented, stick to it!

The Big Wood is one of our best “offseason” fisheries, as it rarely freezes and the fish tend to pod up into winter holes. Look for slow moving, waist deep water is a good start. The fish should mostly be in the center of the runs, avoiding the fast currents, unless the big Midge hatches are going, in which cast look for the fish in the heads and tails of the pools. Fish Streamers and nymphs. A two Nymph rig under a strike indicator is a great way to go. Try Brassies and Zebra Midges.

The Lower Lost is still fishing decent and there is hardly anyone fishing it. The drive is enough to keep most anglers away, and throw in a dash of cold weather and you can have it to yourself! It is primarily a Nymphing river this time of the season. Normally the same flies you would use in the winter in the Big Wood will work just fine on the Lower Lost.

Finally, the South Fork of the Boise can be a nice excursion on a sunny day. Again, the same winter Nymph selection is all you need!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - November 28, 2017

Fall like weather has continued into the Holiday Season. This has brought the Baetis hatches on Silver Creek all the way to the months end. The last day to fish Silver Creek upstream of Highway 20 (Silver Creek Preserve) is Thursday, November 30th. This is your last best chance to fish dry flies on the Creek until the opener in late May. The Creek remains open downstream of the Highway 20 Bridge until the end of February, but this is mostly Streamer and Mousing water as we head into true winter weather.

If you fish the Creek this week try to be on the water by 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. and if you want to fish dries, get your licks in by 3:00 p.m. Streamer fishing will be effective throughout the winter on the downstream stretches and through Kilpatrick Pond this week.

Fishing on the Big Wood is consistent with nymphs and streamers right now. The cold weather Midge hatches will appear eventually, in the meantime cover a lot of water and fish the riffles with Price Nymphs and Zebra Nymphs. Olive Buggers will take fish throughout the system, so get out and take advantage of the warm days!

The Lost River is much like the Big Wood this month, it is mostly a nymph fishery. Strike indicators and double nymph rigs fished deep will take fish. Pay close attention to the ledges and drops, as the fish like to nose up to those area adjacent shallow water, yet within racing distance to deep cover. Try Copper Johns in Red and in a variety of sizes. The Lost River fish will also key on your favorite Midge patterns.

The South Fork of the Boise is still a viable fishery and the driving conditions into the canyon are good. It is a quiet time on the South Fork and most area rivers. This may be the quietest time on all the area water until the Christmas crowds arrive. With hunting and skiing in full swing, and not many people in the Valley until the week before Christmas, the rivers are seeing few anglers. If quiet fishing is what you like, you’ll not find a better 2 to 3 weeks.

If you need any help on the water, our guide staff is still heading out daily and having great luck! We switch to winter guide rates on December 1st, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of the low rates, especially novices and beginners. It’s a great time to learn a little before next summer’s season!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Fishing Report - November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Picabo Angler!

Looking back at the past season it is easy to find many things to give thanks for. First and foremost, thank you to all of you fly anglers out there that help keep our doors open and allow us the opportunity to serve the fly fishing community in the Sun Valley and Picabo areas. Without you and your support, we don’t exist! A big thanks for all the water we received this year that put our rivers back on track for the time being. Hopefully the skiers will get their prayers for snow answered this winter so we can have an equally good water year next summer! I’d personally like to thank the Purdy Family here in Picabo for all the support they have shown for our beloved river, Silver Creek and our outfitting business, Picabo Angler. Without their love of fly fishing, wing shooting and the Creek we wouldn’t have been able to serve our community the past five years. Lastly, thank you to Silver Creek itself. This magical body of water has gripped imaginations tight for many generations. The meandering nature of the river, the trout, the bug life, the birds, the moose, the dirt roads under our tires, the soft light, and so much more, all contribute to the magic of this place!

With that said we would like to again let our fellow anglers know we are here for you! Picabo Angler is not a fly shop holding “secrets” we dole out…instead we strive to be a group of anglers and guides that want to support everyone in our sport, no matter skill level, age, gender, or race. If you are a fly angler, or just love Picabo, nature and the quietude of Silver Creek, then you are part of our family and we have your back!

If you plan to fish this week, be ready with your nymph and streamer boxes. We are still a month or two away from the winter dry fly season. In the meantime, all our local rivers should fish well with Prince Nymphs, Zebra Midges, and Olive colored streamers. Please note that Silver Creek closes at the end of November upstream of the Highway 20 Bridge. The river remains open downstream from the Highway 20 Bridge until the end of February. Looking ahead Silver Creek will fish best using your favorite streamer patterns!

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Fishing Everyone!