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 Regulations

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 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 Area Fishing Report - October 26, 2015

Significantly cooler temperatures have arrived in the Valley which should shorten the fishing windows quite a bit. Cold nights will send the Brown Trout into full blown spawning mode, so be prepared to see fish digging Redds, and if so, please be careful not to walk on these “trout nests.” It is also important that you head to the rivers with the ability to be flexible. The late fall weather can provide days where only Streamers are going to work, days when it’s Dry Fly madness and days where Nymphing will pay off. Be loaded for bear and make sure you are including your winter Midge selection in the bag when you go.

Silver Creek is still fishing really well with Mice and Streamers taking the pre-spawn Browns regularly. You may not catch a boat load of fish, but you may hook into the biggest and brightest fish of your season. Fall Baetis will continue to appear until the snow flies, so on calm - warmish days, be ready for this.

The South Fork of the Boise is one of our favorite Fall Baetis fisheries, and the canyon (when the wind isn’t blowing) can be a good 10 degrees warmer than the Sun Valley area. Look for the long flat glides on the river and brig all your Silver Creek flies, leaders and tippets.

The Lost River is still running very low and the river is a bit hit and miss right now. It all depends on the conditions being right. When things are calm and warm expect Baetis but be prepared for a full day of Nymphing as well. Have the color red in your selection and make sure you bring a nice selection of Pheasant Tails as well.

The Big Wood is a great option when fishing windows are short. Without the drive times to the far away rivers, fishing time may be maximized. If you need a quick fix, hit the Wood with Fall Baetis, Prince Nymphs, Hares Ears, Zebra Nymphs and Brassies.

Remember, fingerless gloves and a warm hat will extend your fishing day and make it fun and comfortable. Take the extra steps to stay warm and dry for the best time possible. Have an extra change of clothes with you and a spare car key. This is not the time of the year for shortcuts or last minute decisions. Be safe and enjoy the glorious amount of quietude on the rivers this week!

Happy Fishing Everyone!



Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - May 11, 2015

There is one glaring question that we’ve been asked about over and over already this season…When are the Drakes going to hatch? This is not an awful question, although it is difficult to answer. All we can do is look at recent history and recent conditions and then make our best guess. Once we get right up on opening day we can look at the nymph and make a guess based on how dark and swollen the wing cases are. Beyond that, all we can say is be ready this season, as recent history and conditions suggest the hatch will occur sometime before the end of this month.

The key to that statement is watch the weather. If things stay relatively nice and warm, you can all but count on May Drakes. If the weather turns gloomy, cold, wet, windy, then expect the hatch to occur once these conditions settle. Of course the best way to be sure you don’t miss the first big night of the hatch is to sit riverside every night after the opener. Hurry up and wait, is the only surefire method one has to be sure you catch the first night.

It is important to keep in mind that the hatch generally moves up the river from the Picabo Bridge, terminating at the Highway 20 Bridge approximately a week later. It is not uncommon, the first few nights to only see the hatch low on the river. Anglers could sit at Point of Rocks or the Willows with zero bugs on the water, while the lower Creek is going off. So, unless you know the hatch has been going for at least 3 days, you better start looking and waiting at Picabo Bridge.

Finally, a word on etiquette. The Brown Drake is a huge hatch and anglers come from all over to witness it and fish it. There is never a shortage of people, so don’t be surprised to see plenty of your fellow angler. Keep in mind though, over the years, this hatch has been one in which we brothers and sisters of the fly have made into a kind, peaceful and fun event. There is no place during the Drake for boorish behavior and bad attitudes. Please keep in mind, we are all on the Creek to enjoy the same thing. No fish is worth ruining your good time, or others! Treat the Drake hatch as a time to bond with friends and strangers alike! You’ll find the fun and camaraderie something worth cherishing.

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - February 10, 2015

Winter fly fishing may need to be redefined this week. Spring like conditions are forecast to continue throughout the week. It is not normal to write about muddy conditions in February, but that’s where we are at. The good news is we are still getting moisture and the more of that we get the better our summer fishing season is going to be! The other bit of good news is the recent snow melt has brought Silver Creek up to a nice level for streamer fishing.

The fish in the Creek are active and anglers hunting the Creeks big fish will find them laying in very shallow water. The best bet, is find shallow benches near deep holes. The fish like to have the deep water to retreat into, but if not scared, they will sun themselves in shallow spots waiting for unsuspecting or injured baitfish to get within their range. Keep this in mind when fishing your streamer. Injured baitfish swim erratically, they present a lot of flash underwater and this flashing means distress. To a big Brown or Rainbow Trout a distressed fish is lunch.

Important things to remember when Streamer fishing include keeping the line tight. Make sure the line is coming straight into your rod tip and that your rod tip remains just above the water. This will prevent a fish from pulling only slack in your line, or flexing your rod tip instead of instantly having the hook penetrate their mouth. Once the fish is hooked it is important to keep good pressure on the fish throughout the fight, but not so much that the fish is thrashing on the surface. If the fish is breaking water while you fight it, you are pulling to hard and the hook is going to pop out.

Fishing fluorocarbon is also important, as the lack of stretch in the material will help drive the hook home as well as prevent toothy fish from cutting the leader. We never fish lighter than 2X Fluorocarbon on the Creek when we Streamer fish. “Leader Shy” is not in the vocabulary of serious Streamer anglers. If a big fish wants to eat another fish, they aren’t going to chase their prey down, and then pause to inspect for leader material!

This is the last month to get on Silver Creek before opening day. The Creek is open downstream of the Hwy 20 Bridge, West of Picabo Angler. Point of Rocks, the Willows and the Picabo Bridge area all remain open to catch and release fishing until February 28th!

Happy Fishing Everyone!



Picabo Angler has just been told by the Nature Conservancy that on Thursday, July 17 the Nature Conservancy’s Silver Creek Preserve will be closed to fishing from 10:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m. until oxygen levels in the river return to safe levels for the fish.

Fishing can take place on the Preserve after 10:00 a.m.

What this means to the angler: This closure is only on the Silver Creek Preserve. The water from Kilpatrick Bridge downstream remains open in the morning. The Fish and Game stretches known as Silver Creek West and Silver Creek East (The Willows and Point of Rocks) remains unaffected by this closure, as well as the Picabo Bridge area. The good news for anglers is the fishing has been strong in the mornings and late in the evening all through the lower river. Trico action is strong at Point of Rocks and Caddis along with multiple Mayfly spinner falls are bringing big fish to the surface in the magic hours of twilight. Hopper, Damsel Fly and Mouse fishing on the lower river are always inspiring!

We just walked the lower river behind Picabo Angler fly shop and saw no sign of fish kill. We saw several large, healthy fish laying on the bottom. We will continue to monitor this stretch as it should be the first effected by any type of mortality due to water temps or lack of oxygen.

Anglers can also be sure that the fish will be active in the afternoon on the Silver Creek Preserve after 10:00 a.m. and after being left alone all morning. This means Callibaetis, Damsel Flies and Hoppers should be loaded in your fly box. Take advantage of an opportunity to fish over unpressured fish that have eaten the morning away without a fright. You just may find that Callibaetis, the hatch overlooked by many anglers headed home before it starts in the afternoon, is spectacular! Join us for lunch at Picabo Angler and check out our Callibaetis selection, then head to the river with a few. You’ll not be disappointed.

We will let you know as soon as the time closure is lifted and we have asked the Nature Conservancy for historical perspective on previous closures for the same reasons. We will update you as soon as we know that time frame.

If you fish in the afternoon, please fish the heaviest tippets you are willing: 5X and 6X for Callibaetis is appropriate and 3x and 2X are perfect for Hoppers and Damsels. Try and fish with a 4 weight or better to land fish promptly and please don’t take them from the water. Just remove the hook with the fish underwater. Revive all fish that seem weak or stressed for as long as they need you.

Finally, our guides are working away on all our area waters! If you want the best guide for your time and dollar give us a call. 208.788.3536. We will be happy to take you and yours on Silver Creek, the Big Wood, the Big Lost, and the Salmon! All our guides are Local and highly experienced.

Happy fishing everyone!

John, Nick, Bob and Nate