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

Filtering by Tag: Silver Creek Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Fishing Report - November 11, 2016

A Hoppertunity lost is no Hoppertunity at all. The forgotten bug of the Fall is almost always the Grasshopper. This bug, which is generally associated with hot, windy days in the summer is a hardy insect and the chance to fish this big bug is always given up on prematurely. Here we are in November, and many of our desert rivers continue to flow low and the hatches have begun to dwindle, yet go walk the South Fork of the Boise, Silver Creek, or the lower Big Wood. What you will see is a plethora of Hoppers still.

Throw in cooler temperatures and now you have a very vulnerable insect. One that would normally hop into the water to avoid birds and other predators would normally swim (kick) back to the shore. Now though, the Hoppers hit the water and are all but comatose when they do. Making them an easy target for fish and also giving anglers a clue as to how to treat the fly on the water. No reason to twitch the fly when the real thing is frozen in time.

The list of bugs that seemingly go unnoticed also includes the October Caddis. This bug, much like big Salmon Flies on the Big Wood or the Green Drakes on Silver Creek, is not one you see massive hatches of…instead the bug trickles off all Fall long under our noses, and the fish love them! You can find October Caddis on the Big Wood, Silver Creek, the South Fork of the Boise, the Lost River and pretty much everywhere you fish trout in the west. Just don’t go looking for skies filled with orange bodies Caddis, instead think about searching the water much the way you would fish a Hopper pattern.

Finally the Crane Fly is the last insect I’ll mention here in the list of forgotten Fall bugs. It is never going to show in huge numbers and it’s most effective over smooth water, but a long riffle is also an effective place to fish this fly. The Crane Fly is one of the most entertaining bugs to fish as anglers generally skate the fly on the surface downstream of where they are wading. This makes for explosive takes more akin to a Bass than a Trout. The end result is the fish miss the fly quite often, but watching them explode on it is worth the price of admission! When they don’t miss it – Even Better!

Happy Fishing Everyone!



Sun Valley Fishing Report - Sept 28, 2016

Cooling temperatures are beginning to close the daytime fishing windows. Expect a shift closer and closer to midday fishing as things continue to cool down. This doesn’t mean we will see a drop off in fishing. In fact we should see a true push away from the summer hatches, including the big Callibaetis hatches we have been experiencing, and a lot more of the Fall Baetis, Mahogany Duns.

Silver Creek is truly special right now. I have been saying this for weeks, but if you want to see the Creek full of crystal clear water, now is the time. If you want to see massive Bull Moose walking about and watch the evening ritual of Bull Elk bugling, now is the time. If you want to see the beginnings of the water fowl migration, coupled with the migration of giant Brown Trout, now is the time!

Plan on the fishing to start later and later in the day. Right now about 10:00 is plenty early and by weeks end 11:00 should suffice. Once the action begins, anglers can normally fish pretty close to dark this time of the year. If you want to stay, this is the best time of the year to target the biggest fish in the Creek with a Mouse pattern after dark.

Take all your Silver Creek techniques if you head for the Big Wood this week. Fall Baetis and fish moving into the slick water tail-outs of the runs will force anglers to bring out the 6X tippets and a low profile as you approach. Patterns like Gulper Specials, and Parachute Adams in a size 20 and 22 will work great.  Fish small Orange Stimulators north of town to imitate the October Caddis and don’t forget a big size 12 H and L Variant when nothing else is working.

The Upper Lost is beginning to quiet down for the season, but if you want solitude and some decent fishing there is still some opportunity for adventurous anglers. The Lower Lost continues to fish well with Baetis and most red colored nymphs like Copper Johns and San Juan Worms.

The South Fork of the Boise should bust loose with Fall Baetis earlier in the day as the temperatures are cooling. The fishing has been good, but a late start has kept anglers away. Expect things to crank up around noonish as we feel the air chill.

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fishing Report - September 22, 2016

The Mahogany Duns have arrived! Sprinkle in prolific Callibaetis hatches, Fall Baetis hatches and the best Hopper fishing in three years and you have the recipe for a one great fall fishery on Silver Creek! The flows are as high as we’ve seen in a decade, the river looks healthy and clean, the Brown Trout are on the move prior to their spawning season and BIG fish are being caught!

If you want to fish the Creek plan on being on the water around 10:00ish in the morning. You may even catch the remainder of the Trico activity as the late emerging Duns are stuck to the water. This is easy pickings for fish and angler alike! The fishing lasts until dark and then it’s time for Mouse fishing. When the Browns are moving up river they tend to eat everything in their path, making the fall is the peak of the Mouse fishing season!

The Big Wood continues to impress with Red Quills and Fall Baetis being complimented by excellent Hopper fishing. Expect this action to continue into mid-October and then sporadically into November! The October Caddis should be appearing soon North of Ketchum. This is a small hatch and an isolated one, but it can be very, very good.

The Upper Lost is not seeing a lot of insect activity right now, although that could change if the weather cools a bit more. The fishing is still good with small nymphs, Royal Trudes and Hoppers! The Lower Lost is Baetis central and any red colored nymph when the hatches aren’t on. If you go to the Lost this week, keep in mind the road is closed from 8 – 4 during the day as they attempt to cover some of those tire popping rocks!

The South Fork of the Boise continues to rock and roll with Fall Baetis. The fishing is best in the late afternoon and often continues all the way into the dark evening hours. If you go, don’t get in a rush in the morning. Take your time getting there and plan to stay late. Pack a lunch and a dinner!

Right now everything is fishing great ad the angler numbers are at a seasonal low. Take advantage of this and get out there on one of these spectacular Fall days. Bring your camera and load your fly boxes. This is among the best two week stretches of fishing you will find in the Sun Valley are all season!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fishing Report - September 14, 2016

Silver Creek is absolutely magical right now! The river is flowing higher than it has in years. The fish are eating with abandon most of the day. Callibaetis and Hoppers are bringing greedy fish to the surface and the Mahogany Dun is due to show this week, if it hasn’t already! Honestly, the Creek is worth the trip just to see it right now. It looks spectacular. Anglers staying late will find the Mouse fishing as good as it gets. The next two weeks on Silver Creek may turn out to be the best two weeks of the season. Don’t miss this!

The South Fork of the Boise should drop to 300 CFS by Friday. That means a reduction in flows most of the week. If you are planning a trip, watch the USGS graphs and try to wait for things to stabilize. When they do expect Fall Baetis hatches to continue and even grow in intensity. If you go, start late in the day and fish right up to dark.

The Big Wood continues to fish well with the Western Red Quill and the Fall Baetis. Hoppers are also in the mix in the bright parts of the day. When fishing the Western Red Quill use all your favorite Green Drake flies. They will work very well for this hatch. H and L Variants are great as well as Parachute Adams, Irresistible Adams and Gray Wulffs. The Fall Baetis is easily matched with very small Parachute Adams and Gulper Specials. Bring your spring creek techniques to this hatch and watch the tail of the pools!

The Lower Lost River continues to impress with big numbers of fish being caught - being replaced by anglers catching fewer, but much larger fish as of late! The Baetis action and Nymphing is the way to go. Be sure you have nymphs in red colors in your box as well. Copper Johns and San Juan Worms are great flies once the Kokanee that spill over the dam start spawning.

The Upper Lost is low and fishing well for anglers on the move, but it is a long walk between pools. Small attractors are the way to go, with a nod toward Red Quill sizes and colors. There is road work happening on Trail Creek later this week, so if you go, check your local news sources for open and closed times of the day.

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fishing Report - September 7, 2016

The fishing is about to turn epic! Are you ready? True fall weather has descended over the valley and the hatches and fishing that come with have begun! Plan on shorter fishing windows and late morning starts as we enter one of the best times of the year for anglers.

Silver Creek angler numbers are way down as the kids have returned to school and hunting season has pulled locals into the fields. A late morning start means sleeping in and extra time for coffee. Anglers will be greeted by a few Tricos here and there, and very good Baetis fishing. The Baetis hatch has really been taking off around 2:00 p.m. The activity form that point on may last right up to the Mousing hours of dusk. With Fall Baetis hatches be sure to have very, very small patterns. Fishing sizes 22 and 24 puts you in the game. If you can fish an extended body fly on an open loop so that it can swing around and come to life, you’re even more in the game! Mahogany Duns are coming, so have them at the ready. Ants, Beetles and most definitely Hoppers are in play as well. When we get to the peak of warmth for the day plan of seeing some Callibaetis in the slow water areas of the Creek.

The Western Red Quill also known as Hecuba is beginning to show up on the Big Wood. This is bringing bigger fish up and changing the game from shy fish, to fish that want to fatten up before winter. The Fall Baetis is ramping up as well, so be sure you can drop to 6X tippets and size 20 Baetis when the moment arrives.

The Red Quill and Fall Baetis should show on the Upper Lost in the coming days, if not already. Hoppers and small Attractor Flies are still catching fish up top. The Lower Lost is going to turn into Baetis central as the Trico action wanes with cooler days.

Expect the massive blanket hatches of Fall Baetis on the South Fork of the Boise as well. This action will ramp up as we move closer to October, but these can be some of the best hatches of the season on this river. There is some decent wading on the river right now, but it’s still high enough to be dangerous, so please wade with caution!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

A happy angler joined our guide Chad Chorney two days ago!

A happy angler joined our guide Chad Chorney two days ago!

Sun Valley Fishing Report - Sept 1, 2016

A cooling trend is coming which may spell the end to any significant summer hatches that are left. It is time for the fall bugs! We may have to fish our way through a few weeks of transition, but fall is in the air and the bugs that come with it make for some if the seasons best fishing!

On Silver Creek, expect to see a drop off in the Callibaetis activity as well as Trico in the mornings. In the late summer and early fall we do experience a Trico condition where the air is not warm enough for them, but they try to hatch anyway. The end result is insects that normally would hatch in the dark are out in the mornings and stuck on the water. The fish key on this quickly and take advantage of these easy meals without the ability to fly away. So don’t put your Trico box away just yet!

Expect Hopper action to continue and be strong. The colder it gets and the less energy the Hoppers have, the more susceptible to fish they become. Baetis action should stay strong and even increase as we near the massive Fall Baetis hatches. Now is the time to stock up on Fall Baetis patterns as well as Mahogany Duns. Mouse fishing continues to get better and better as the Browns start their spawning run. They are displaced, angry and voracious as they try to pack on the calories before they spawn.

Expect the Big Wood to start fishing better during the day. The cool mornings and evenings will start pushing the peak activity to late morning and afternoon. Expect fish to start moving into the slick water and tail-outs of the biggest pools.

The Upper Lost should see much of the same conditions as the Wood, with a focus on Flying Ants. On any given day this time of the year, the Flying Ant can become the most important fly in your box. The Lower Lost is still in the middle of Trico madness, but that could begin to wane with the cooler mornings.

The South Fork of the Boise continues to flow at driftboat levels and Hoppers, Ants and Beetles are great choices fished both dry and drowned. The Pink Albert is day to day, but this hot weather bug should also get knocked back by cooler days.

Fill your fly boxes with tiny Baetis, Mahogany Dun and Western Red Quills and you’ll be ready for the coming attraction!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fishing Report - August 15, 2016

Callibaetis! Anglers, you don't have to get up early to catch the only hatches of the day anymore! The Callibaetis has come to the stillwater sections of Silver Creek in large numbers. The action has been starting around noon and peaking around 2:00 p.m. By 4:00 p.m. the action is over for the day. These hours are always able to change day to day, but as a guideline, eat an early lunch and get to the river in the heat of the day. Bring your float tube as the best fishing during Callibaetis hatches centers around the Kilpatrick Bridge area. If you don't have a tube, we will rent you one, or you can check out the bank fishing on Sullivan's Slough! 

We have a huge selection of Callibaetis and we pick our patterns specifically for the Creek!


Sun Valley / Picabo Fishing Report - July 5, 2016

Baby Hoppers Are Here!

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Sun Valley / Picabo Fishing Report - June 30, 2016

With almost all our fisheries producing very good activity with Green Drakes, Tricos and Salmon Flies, we thought we would head over to the Little Wood River yesterday so we could finally update the one river we've had very little reporting on. 

It only took a few minutes to realize why we have heard little to nothing about the fishing. The Mosquito population in the woods along the upper Little Wood is staggering. We geared up, went to the river and within moments we were running for the truck! 

I suppose if you had the full Alaska bug protection covering you, there is probably some pretty good fishing to be had, as the flows and clarity looked great. For now though, there are so many other great places to fish its probably best to let the blood suckers have it for a few weeks. 

There are plenty of Mosquitoes on the Wood and Silver Creek as well, but nothing like what we experienced north of Carey. Be patient, they will go away. Stay in the higher elevations for now!


Sun Valley / Picabo Fishing Report - June 29th, 2016

The fish aren't the only thing jumping this summer!

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Sun Valley / Picabo Fishing Update - June 28, 2016

With the heat this week, our favorite spinner fall has begun. Got Tricos? Hooray! The Trico has arrived on Silver Creek, and it is showing up early! Our lead guide Nick Price reported fish eating Tricos at 7:30 a.m. He said it was in full swing when he walked up to the river. 

Last night the PMD Spinners and Emergers brought plenty of targets to the surface. The calm, hot nights are a perfect recipe for bug events to beat the band. 

The Big Wood continues to drop and it looks as good as we've seen in a lot of years. Spring runoff was kind to this river. The Upper Lost spiked a little bit with the heat yesterday, setting this fishery back a few more days. 

I have no current report for the South Fork of the Boise, but the boys over at Idaho Angler in Boise probably have fresh update if you want to call them (208) 389-9957.

We have plenty of awesome Trico patterns in stock, we'll see you in Picabo bright and early!


Sun Valley / Picabo Fishing Update - June 24, 2016

A fun weekend is ahead of us. There is a lot of exploring to do on all our area waters. Pick what you like to do best and get out there! 

The Big Wood is coming into shape quickly and anglers are beginning to catch fish and see Green Drakes in the Bellevue area. 

The Upper Lost is clearing and right behind the Big Wood for fishability. 

The South Fork of the Boise and the Salmon are both floatable and are fishing well, with better fishing still to come. 

Yesterday, I asked our guide Andrew Thomas to fish with me and also to start in the middle of the day under bright sun. The results are in...(If you'd like to set up a guide day with Andrew give me a call! 208.788.3536


Sun Valley / Picabo Fishing Report - June 22, 2016

The water is clearing fast on the Big Wood, the Upper Lost and the Little Wood! The fishing will remain a challenge as the flows begin to drop, but things will also get easier and easier with each passing day. 

The return of the heat has had an influence on Silver Creek, knocking back a bit of the hatch activity, and moving the best fishing to the early morning and late evening hours. Midday activity should come on quick when the wind dies down and Blue Damsel comes out. 

It's a great week to get out and explore! There is a lot of new water opening up, and even some new runs to explore as we experience our first true spring run-off in many, many years. 

Have your Green Drakes, Royal Stimulators, Copper Johns, Prince Nymphs, Girdle Bugs and Streamers in your fly box! Things are about to get really good out there!

Sun Valley / Picabo Fishing Report - June 21, 2016

The last week of muddy water is upon us. Stay patient people! Looking at the CFS (Cubic Feet Per Second) graphs this week, the flows are no longer making the big downward and upward swings. The graphs are now showing the flows adjusting with nighttime and daytime temperatures. This means the volume will begin to decrease at a slower pace, but the water should begin to clear rapidly.

Once again, when you decide to get out on our freestone streams. Wear a tight wading belt, fish with a friend and PLEASE leave your dog at home. Every year dogs perish the high flows of the Big Wood. Don’t let yours be next.

Looking ahead to clear water have your Green Drakes ready, as well as your Stimulators and your favorite dropper flies, like Copper Johns, Prince Nymphs, and Pheasant Tails. Try to find soft water in side channels and along the banks. The river is most likely going to fish best very low (South of Bellevue) and very high (North of Ketchum).

Silver Creek continues to fish very well. The afternoons are still where it’s at for the best hatches and most fish rising. PMD, Callibaetis, Green Drakes, Blue Damsel, Baetis Spinners, Ants and Beetles are all important to your fly box. Looking ahead, get your Trico selection in order. They are anywhere from two weeks to one month away. Baby Hoppers are also starting to appear in good numbers, so be sure to add that fly box to your bag!

The South Fork of the Boise continues to baffle us like always. Caddis are prolific at night, but not a lot of fish eating them. The big foam flies will work one day, then not another. Salmon Flies have yet to make a serious appearance, although this week that hatch should begin with some vigor. The best fly continues to be Salmon Fly nymphs fished deep, or Copper John / Small Stone Nymph combinations, also fished deep.

Finally, the Little Wood should begin to fish soon, although right now the mosquitos in the vicinity are trying to compete for your blood and they are all winning! If you go when the water drops to fishable flows, be sure to target the middle of the day and bring bug spray and appropriate clothing! Green Drakes and Stimulators are the flies for this area, just scale everything back a size or two, including leader length and fly size.

Happy Fishing Everyone!




Sun Valley / Picabo Fishing Update - June 17, 2016

A super cold and windy day sure made fishing tough yesterday. The only anglers that saw great hatches were the ones that fished the last hour of light. Things are returning to normal today. Temperatures are supposed to be near 80 degrees. 

Warmer temps should bring back the Green Drake and Blue Damsels on the Creek, giving afternoon anglers something to imitate. 

Baetis Spinners, PMD, and Callibaetis also remain big players along with Ants and Beetles. Anglers willing to stay late are going to catch more fish as the afternoon hours seems to be where it is at this season! 

The Wood and Lost are still dropping and clearing. Higher temps should bring them up a touch, but they may be fishable in a few areas. If you try the freestone rivers this weekend, PLEASE BE CAREFUL! Wading belts should be mandatory, fish with a friend and be sure to let people know where you are going. Most importantly - LEAVE YOUR DOG AT HOME - until the water drops to manageable flows. 

Have fun, but be safe.


Sun Valley / Picabo Area Fishing Report - June 15, 2016

A massive hole has been left in the Sun Valley fly fishing community. Dave Faltings from Silver Creek Outfitters passed after a hell of a fight against ALS. Dave will be entered into fishing lore as a true legend. A guy that could bring Steelhead to his dry fly, while the rest of us tried to get a strike any way we could. If Dave met you, he knew you and remembered you each time he saw you. His prowess as a fly angler only being surpassed by his prowess as a kind hearted friend to many. If you knew Dave, take some time this week to catch a fish in his honor then sit quietly and reflect on how we can all be more like him. We may never get there, but people like Dave are rare, and anything we can do to emulate him will make us, and the people around us, better.

Silver Creek was loved dearly by Dave. If you go to fish this week, plan on cooler temperatures bringing the Baetis hatches and Spinner Falls to the forefront. Hot weather bugs like the Green Drake, Callibaetis, and Blue Damsel may come into play, but it will be late afternoon before temps are right for these insects. PMD action should continue to show late in the day and some in the morning. Ants and Beetles are still hot patterns and should remain so for the better part of the summer. Expect the action to move toward the Ant and away from the Beetle as summer progresses.

The Big Wood is dropping in a hurry and the cool temperatures this week should provide us a fishery! Plan on Stimulators with Prince Nymph droppers, or Colorado Green Drakes with Epoxy Back Green Drake droppers. If the water clears and stays clear the Green Drake action should explode with the warm days forecast for Sunday and early next week.

The Upper Lost is following the same path as the Big Wood. Normally the Lost would clear after the Wood, but with the higher elevation and cold nights this week, we can probably plan on some fishing up there by weeks end.

The South Fork of the Boise should be coming on this week. Salmon Flies and Caddis are due on the river and the current Cicada situation looks very good! Midweek fishing will help you avoid the crowds on the weekend. If you have a strong skill set on the oars, start on the lower river. If not, stay up high.

Happy Fishing Everyone!



Sun Valley / Picabo Area Fishing Update - June 14, 2016

Clouds and wind have made the Creek anyone's guess today. A slow morning should be followed by a great afternoon. Yesterday's biggest hatches began around 5:00 p.m. Although most anglers show up on the Creek in the morning, the afternoon hours have had the best fishing ever since Opening Day several weeks ago. 

If you have the time, show up on the Creek around 3:00 p.m. and stay until dark for the best fishing of the day. If you are restricted to morning and afternoon fishing then load up on all the options; PMD, BWO, Ant, Beetle, Green Drake, Callibaetis and Damsel Fly. 

The Mouse fishing is as good as ever if you plan to stay past dark! We'll see you in Picabo!


Sun Valley / Picabo Idaho Area Fishing Update - June 13, 2016

A cool week ahead should provide plenty of afternoon action on Silver Creek. Baetis and PMD will continue to be the mainstays. The Mouse fishing is unaffected by the lack of heat, so that action should stay strong. Expect Green Drake and Damsel activity to resume Sunday when the heat comes back up.

The Big Wood and Big Lost are dropping quickly, mostly due to nighttime temperatures dropping below freezing at altitude. They should be fishable by this time next week, although the volume should remain high.

The South Fork of the Boise should unlock this week, or with the return of the heat on Sunday! It’s a great time of the year to be fishing! Get out there and have fun!


Sun Valley / Picabo Area Fishing Update - June 10, 2016

Silver Creek continues to be one of the only games in town for anglers. The good news is the fishing is still great! The wind yesterday kept the hatches from bringing a lot of fish to the surface, but anglers in the Sloughs did well. Guide Chad Chorney put some of his guests on beautiful Rainbows despite the wind. 

The weekend should be cooler on the Creek. Expect more Baetis and a continuation of PMD madness! The Green Drakes are showing more and more as well as the Blue Damsels. 

Ants and Beetles are still your best friend when things get tough on the river. 

Our other local rivers remain high, off color and dangerous. Hopefully  cooler temps will brig the flows down and we can be fishing these rivers sometime next week. We'll wait and see and report back on Monday.

Have a great weekend. Be safe. Be kind. Have fun!