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: Sun Valley Fishing Report

Sun Valley Fly Fishing Report

Sun Valley / Picabo Area Fishing Report - November 1, 2018

Here comes the cold! A significant change in our weather patterns means temperatures should be dropping about 10 degrees less than what we’ve been experiencing. This could mean the beginning of the end of the dry fly season in the Sun Valley area. The heat of the day could produce some small dry fly windows, especially if it is calm out. Think late afternoons if you want to try to fish the surface.

Silver Creek has a few more hatches left. The Fall Baetis here can sometimes last until Thanksgiving, but that fishing window could shrink down to an hour or two of decent rises. The Brown Trout will be coming off the spawn soon. This means a lot of big hungry trout are going to be out hunting and looking to pack on the calories before winter sets in. This means Streamer fishing and especially on cloudy days and low light periods. The Creek can be a spectacular place in the late fall, just watch the weather and try to find some nice fair days to go fish.

The Big Wood will still fish surprising well with some large attractors in the fall. Consider large Royal Wulffs, H and L Variants and even some Orange or Royal Stimulators. The Midge activity in the early evening is also a nice precursor and warm up for this winter’s Midge hatches! If nothing seems to be working get out an Olive Bugger and fish a lot of water. You will find some nice fish with the proper Streamer techniques. Now, if all else fails, fish a Prince Nymph / Red Copper John tandem under a strike indicator!

The Lower Lost River is still a great place to be in the Fall. Manageable flows and hungry fish mean anglers are finding good success. Nymphing is the norm and a variety of Midge patterns and small Baetis patterns will do the trick!

O.K. it is time to pay closer attention to the weather before you travel to fish. We would suggest taking time this week and putting together a winter fishing / travel kit. Fill an bag with a dry change of warm clothes. Pack some food and water and throw a good sleeping bag in the truck as well. Freak storms, muddy or snowy roads and short daylight hours means we all need to take precautions as we enter the winter fishing season. Be safe and have fun!

Happy Fishing Everyone!


Sun Valley Fly Fishing Report

Sun Valley / Picabo Area Fishing Report - October 24, 2018

A fall mix of weather is upon us. Sun, rain and clouds are all in the forecast, but daytime temperatures should remain comfortable. Cloudy days are certainly going to influence the hatches, but still no need to wake up and get to the water early. Best fishing times should remain between lunch and dinner.

Silver Creek hatch activity remains strong in the middle and later half of the day. The Baetis is the dominant hatch, and this activity could increase with the cloud cover this week. The Mahogany Dun is also still out and about, although in fewer numbers. Expect to see this hatch along with the Baetis late in the day. Don’t hesitate to check out the downstream access points like Silver Creek East to see the best hatches of this insect. Lastly, the October Caddis is still hatching. Anglers can pick up a few fish with this fly during the day by treating it like a Grasshopper. The actual occurrence of the bug should take place closer to the evening hours.

The Big Wood is still fishing very well. We haven’t had a season this good on the Big Wood since our first big forest fires a decade ago. Great hatches, lots of fish and sizable fish have all been in the mix. Now, with angler numbers down for the season, its’s a great time to be out there! Fish Baetis wets and dry and be prepared for some Streamer fishing or Nymph Fishing when the fish aren’t rising. Olive Streamers fish while moving at a decent pace will take plenty of fish. Copper John’s in Red and Copper under a strike indicator will also produce fish.

The Lower Lost remains a great place to fish this fall. Decent Baetis hatches and lots of fish distribution are making for happy anglers. Nymphing is the norm and fishing tandem nymphs will produce good catch rates. Try large nymphs as the lead fly, like a Prince Nymph or Copper John. Drop a small micro-nymph behind these, like a Zebra Nymph or your favorite Tungsten Beaded pattern.  Move slowly up the river and even fish the shallow riffles. Move slow enough and you should be able to site nymph a few fish if the sun is out!

The South Fork of the Boise continues to pump out cookie cutter days of fabulous Baetis hatches. This is a great place to cast and blast as well! Chukar hunt all morning and catch the hatch after lunch!

Happy Fishing Everyone!



Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Spring is knocking hard on our door! A week of temperatures in the low to mid 40’s on the Valley floor means that our local fish are going to feel a pretty significant change in the conditions. They should begin to act accordingly. Look for fish to begin turning spawning colors. They should also go into a prespawn mode, meaning they are going to become more aggressive and eat with a little more abandon. The warmer weather may spur on the hatches as well. So the long and short is the fishing should get really good this week!

Silver Creek remains closed to all fishing until May 27th. The Big Wood remains open to catch and release fishing until the end of March. The Big Lost River is also open and remains open year around now. The South Fork of the Boise is fishable until the end of the month. Finally, the Salmon is open and a few Steelhead are being caught well downstream of Stanley. Expect that action to increase as the days begin to warm.

March is a wonderful time of the year to fish. It is a great time for beginners to learn as catch rates are generally high, and there are fewer anglers on the river than in the high season. The hatches are also limited to Midges and Little Black Stoneflies. The fish will also take big nymphs and streamers aggressively.

Warm weather also means tough walking conditions through the soft snow. A pair of snow shoes will get you a lot farther from main access points than not having them and you can move a lot faster than walking in the river.

Try to get out as often as you can right now, as the true spring months are setting up to show us a lot of high water. The gradual melt will help for now, but when it begins to come down as run-off things are going to get crazy.

A few things you should think about for the early summer season this year include getting studs on your boots. They make a huge difference in gripping the bottom and the pushy currents this season are going to be significant. You should also find a really good wading staff to help navigate the heavy water that is coming. A really good wader belt is also important and could be the one piece of equipment that could save your life in a worse case scenario. Anglers don’t need to be scared, but a little common sense goes a long way!

Happy Fishing Everyone!



Sun Valley Fishing Report - November 16, 2016

It looks as though we’re going to see a bit more character in our weather patterns this week. Expect some cloud cover, and maybe a small chance of precipitation. It is safe to expect temperatures to cool down another ten degrees. This in essence will shut the fishing window slightly more. We will also begin to see a big transition from our Fall hatches to our winter hatches.

If you get a calm enough day and it warm up enough in the afternoon, anglers still have a n excellent chance to see a Baetis hatch, but don’t expect to see a lot more than that. There may be stray October Caddis and Hoppers around, but this next weather system may put a stop to all of that.

With most of the Browns finishing up their spawning activity expect the Streamer fishing to pick up as these big guys try to fatten back up before winter takes grip of the river.

Silver Creek remains open through November 30th from the Highway 20 Bridge up through the Nature Conservancy. If you want to see the last of this seasons hatches, get to the conservancy in the next week and half. Once the upper section of the Creek closes the section from Highway 20 downstream through Point of Ricks and the Willows, all the way to Picabo Bridge will remain open for catch and release fishing only until the end of February.

With most areas river quieting down, this would be a good time to go through your winter fishing gear. Be sure you are well stocked with Brassies, Copper Johns, Zebra Nymphs, Griffiths Gnats and Tie-Down Midges. This selection will take you all the way through to the spring! Streamers are also a very effective way to fish these times of low hatch activity. The Wood River Sculpin is always a meal on the Wood, and the same style of pattern can be used on all rivers, all winter.

A Coffies Sparkle Minnow on the South Fork of the Boise right now can be deadly. This streamer also fishes really well below Magic and anywhere Big Brown Trout swim.

With the weather changing it is time for us to remind you to throw in emergency food and water when you head out to fish. Pack a warm sleeping bag and make sure your cell phone is completely charged when you leave home. Getting stuck somewhere in the summer is one thing, in the winter it can be deadly, but much less so, with a little preparation!

Happy Fishing Everyone!













Sun Valley Fishing Report - August 26, 2016

Hemingway's typewriter at his house in Havana, Cuba.

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Sun Valley Fishing Report - August 24, 2016

The fishing all around Sun Valley is pretty darn good right now. Slightly milder temperatures have been great for anglers and fish alike. We are slowly approaching our fall hatches, but as of now, it’s still summer as far as the fish are concerned!

The fishing on Silver Creek is great in the mornings when the wind stays down. The Baetis emerger has been the main bug, with some Tricos showing in certain areas. If you want to fish them and can’t find them, you need to explore! If the wind does come up, there is still great opportunity to fish Callibaetis, Hoppers and Damsel flies in the middle of the day. In the evening the Baetis are the main targets of trout, and when the sun goes down and its dark (about 9:30) the Mouse fishing is getting better and better.

The Big Wood continues to fish best during the morning and evening hours. Rusty Spinners are a great choice in the evening as well as Elk Hair Caddis. Trico is the morning faire and Hoppers rule the afternoon. Small attractors and small nymphs are also a great way to search the water. Stay on the move and make sure you have your Flying Ant patterns as they can sometime dominate the river this time of the year.  

The Upper Lost is fishing very well with small dries, but plan on walking a lot between fish. The low flows move fish into the most obvious holding water with plenty of shallows between those areas. A size 16 Royal Trude is your best friend on the Upper!

The Lower Lost is fishing o.k. with Trico in the mornings. It can be very good, but really depends on the day. Some days the bugs hit the water en masse and other days they show in the air, but never really seem to make it to the water in numbers large enough to get the fish up. Crane Flies are still in play and the water is at a wadable level these days. Anglers wait all year to move easily in the Lost River system. From here on out it should get easier and easier.

The South Fork of the Boise is still fishing at driftboat levels with Pink Alberts and Hoppers. This is a good time of the season to “show them something different.” If you have a favorite nymph or dry, give it a try! They’ve seen plenty of standards at this point!

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 Fishing Report - August 11th, 2016

Slightly milder temperatures are on hand this week, which will make fishing slightly more comfortable. The hatches are spotty, but still around. It seems to be a matter of standing in the right place!

The Trico on the Big Wood is small, but the Spinner Fall seems to be increasing, while over on Silver Creek the early Trico season, is beginning to wane a little bit. It really depends where you are on the Creek and more specifically which bush you are fishing behind.

Hopper fishing continues to pick up everywhere from the South Fork of the Boise, to the Upper Lost, to the Lower Big Wood. Expect this action to continue into September and it should get even better and better as summer progresses.

The Damsel Fly activity remains really strong, with most anglers complaining about getting strikes without hook-ups. WAIT! Let them eat the fly, vanish, count to three, sing the Star Spangled Banner, whatever it takes to slow your hook set down. Then set the hook with vigor! This means heavy tippets to 3X. Stop worrying about tippet shy, let the fish have the fly and have it all the way under water until they are gone, then SET THE HOOK HARD!

Baetis in many ways, and on many mornings, has been the star of the show. Prolific numbers of Baetis have had the fish percolating most mornings. A Rusty Spinner can be the best fly in your box during these events. Hatch Matchers are also a great fly to have ready. Fish them small, and very dry. Make sure your fly is sitting on its hackle tips.

Callibaetis is still present in the slough and the action should continue to pick up into August. Expect late morning and early afternoon activity in the slow water sections of the river, including both sloughs on the Nature Conservancy.

Caddis is the name of the game on the Upper Lost and Big Wood in the evenings. Have a decent selection of Elk Hair Caddis and stay late.

The Flying Ants are back for the summer. DO not overlook this hatch. It may be in its beginning stages, but if we get to a point like last summer, the Flying Ant may become the one dry the fish will key on for weeks at a time. We brought in a lot of Flying Ant patterns this season, for this reason!

Happy Fishing Everyone!


Sun Valley Fishing Report - August 8, 2016

The coolest day of the week is tomorrow. We shouldn't break 80 in Picabo. Bring a lot of Baetis and Calllibaetis. It should be a good late morning fishery on the Creek. The entire day could be decent if the wind stays down. If it doesn't stay down, bring Hoppers. 

On the Big Wood it's little Attractors and Caddis. Small nymph rigs are also catching fish. The very early morning remains the best time to find bigger fish. Streamer fish before they go sulk under a log all day. 

On the upper Lost. Fish in the shadows. Bring your best sidearm/skip cast and get your bugs under the bushes. Get it next to the bank and under the bushes and you will catch the rivers biggest fish. Practice those casts in the backyard, bring plenty of flies and then go search for Fine Spotted Cutthroat gold! 



Sun Valley Fishing Report - August 4, 2016

The heat has subsided quite a bit the last few days. The smoke is clearing some as well, although that seems to change by the day and with the wind direction. The highs that were in the 90s are now in the 80s making the day more comfortable. It also means getting to Silver Creek and most area rivers at 7:30 or 8:00 instead of first light!

The Hopper action is picking up and the Trico action is not slowing down! There is still a lot of fun to be had on the Creek prior to Mouse fishing hours! Fish are still eating Callibaetis dries on the slough and this ads to the afternoon offerings on the Creek. If you fish the Hopper, have PINK bodies on them. They are keyed on that color this season.

Our other area waters are fishing well all day with the biggest fish getting caught at low light periods. We are almost to the Flying Ant time of the year, so be sure you have them in your fly box. Last August we saw many days where you had to have an Ant to catch any decent amount of fish. Don’t get caught without them.


Sun Valley Fishing Report - August 2, 2016

One of the purest joys in fly fishing is discovery. Finding the right fly, finding that big fish, finding that secret creek are all joyous occasions. This week Silver Creek has put forth a hatch that is akin to discovery. The Damsel Fly is the hatch, and despite it being a hatch we see each summer, the activity we’ve seen in the past week is unparalleled on this river! Starting around noon, Damsel Flies are blanketing the water in numbers large enough to hear their wing beats. Even when the wind is blowing anglers can find places where the fish are taking Damsels.

Look for the biggest weed beds on the Creek and then spend some time watching the edges and the drop offs behind these patches. The fish have been eating with such vigor that even on the windy days they can be seen eating weeds off the surface due to mistaken identity and pure hunger.

If you fish the Damsel Flies on the Creek, keep in mind the hook set is very, very different. When a fish takes your Damsel you must wait, and wait and wait, and then set the hook hard! Your tippet material should not be lighter than a 3X. The old adage about saying “god save the queen” before your hook set is true here, and maybe even say it twice.

While you search for fish feeding on Damsels a pink colored Hopper is working very well on the Creek. Windy days are best, but they aren’t required. The calmer the day, the tighter you want to fish your Hopper to the bank.

The Big Wood is fishing well. Plan in Trico in the morning, Hoppers in the afternoon and Caddis in the evenings. Fish light tippets like 5X and 6X. Small nymphs are also an effective way to fish if things get slow on the surface.

The upper Lost River is fishing on par with the Big Wood. Light Tippets and Flying Ants are a great way to go. If you get stumped fish small steamers into the pools and certainly fish the low light periods and coolest times of the day.

The South Fork of the Boise is still at boating flows and Hoppers fished near the bank will take some fish. Pink Albert is the big hatch and happens in the heat of the day.

Over all despite the heat and smoke, the fishing is very, very good right now. Cover up from the sun and get out there!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fishing Report - July 31, 2016

A fair to good Trico spinner fall greeted anglers this week, but whatever the Trico activity lacked was more than made up for by the single greatest Damsel Fly day I've seen in 25 years on the Creek. By noon fish were podding behind weed beds and erupting on every Damsel they could get. Fish were taking Damsels off of floating pieces of plants and algae, they were charging into the weed beds to knock the bugs off. A spectacular show! 

Between groups of fish feeding on Damsels, pink bodies Hoppers were the rage! The biggest fish were looking for them and eating them with no subtlety. 

There is no reason this action shouldn't continue through these hot days ahead. Cover yourself up head to toe with Sun Gloves, a Sun Mask, Long Sleeves and a full brim hat. You will stay cool and be able to witness this midday madness! It is some of the best fishing of the year on the Creek and some of the easiest!


Sun Valley Fishing Report - July 11, 2016

We are never too young to learn how to fly fish!

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Sun Valley Fishing Report - July 6, 2016

Picabo Angler Guide Chad Chorney with guest Sherry Coombe with a nice Lost River fish!

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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 Update - June 27, 2016

What a great week to be a fly angler in Idaho! Rivers are coming into shape all over the place. Major hatches are starting on many of these rivers and the fish have yet to see a fly! 

Silver Creek is going to be an early and late show with the heat this week. The midday hours should produce some really decent Blue Damsel fly activity on the afternoons when the wind stays down. The Mouse fishing remains very good!

The South Fork of the Boise should come to life with Salmon Flies this week as well an uptick in the Baby Hopper action. It's a good time to have your large foam flies out!

The Big Wood should erupt into full blown Green Drake madness this week! I can think of few other places I'd rather be fishing right now. 

The Upper Lost is coming into form quickly. Dropping water and massive amounts of insects make the exploring "up top" as fun as it gets! 

There is a lot to do. Play hookie and go do it!


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 Update - June 23, 2016

There is a quietude in fly fishing that can often be left behind or forgotten as we wait out he Spring Runoff on our freestone streams. We fish together on our spring creeks and tailwaters within close proximity of one another and we get used to it.  This weekend should be the first real dose of getting out, getting spread out and finding those quiet moments in our sport once again.

Silver Creek was a challenge for most anglers yesterday. The Creek and the fish are readjusting to the heat, but as the action slows for the moment on the Creek, the excitement of other fisheries opening is palpable. The Creek will show her true colors again at a moments notice, so stay ready and be willing to look outside your normal fishing box. 

The freestone fisheries like the Upper Lost, the Wood and the Little Wood are right there...on the cusp of some great fishing. Expect a crazy good 2 weeks on these streams beginning this weekend ! Have your fly box ready with Big Flies! Be safe! Enjoy your quietude!


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!