Picabo Angler

Pee-Ka-Boo is a Native American word meaning "Shining Waters."

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Sun Valley Fishing Report

SUN VALLEY / PICABO AREA FISHING REPORT — December 4, 2018

John Huber & a winter rainbow. Silver Creek

Identifying winter water is the biggest key to catching a lot of trout when the snow is on the ground. In the winter the fish tend to gather up and winter over in certain sections of river that offer them a few advantages to getting past the long cold months. You can save yourself some prospecting time by keying in on the places where fish want to be.

Food source is certainly a driving factor for these fish when it’s cold. The winter months really only provide the fish with one insect to eat. That is the Midge. Although this insect can be found all year, it becomes prevalent in the winter and the main food source for trout, outside of eating other fish. Midge water normally consists of slow moving water. It may be a smooth surface, a riffled surface or even a foam filled back-eddy. These are places where fish can easily sip Midges from the surface. Often times, finding these areas is as simple as looking at the snowy banks and looking for the bug peppering the bankside snow. If you see this, watch the nearby water closely for rising fish! This normally happens between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Water depth is also a key component to finding winter holding water. Try to find areas that are from thigh to waist deep water. Avoid the thinnest water at the head of the pools, unless the Midge activity is off the charts. Than you may find fish moving into skinny water. Mostly though, watch the middle of the pools. Avoid going super deep, unless there are no bugs and its super cold outside. Runs that have boulders and other structures are often great places to watch for rising fish.

Slow water is among the most important attributes to finding winter fish. Fishing can be broken down into the simplest math. Fish will not spend more calories to take in food than they are expending. This means a fish will not sit in fast water when there is no available food source, or not enough food to make up the calorie exchange. Finding water where a fish can fin easily in the current or lack thereof is huge. The fish need water slow enough to see the tiniest Midge, but fast enough to keep their gills pumping oxygen. A good rule, if the water is difficult to wade or cross, it is too fast!

Happy Winter Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fly Fishing Report

Sun Valley / Picabo Area Fishing Report - September 19, 2018

How long will the Hopper fishing last? We get this question a lot. The answer is until the first couple of hard frosts! We have fished Hoppers well into November in past seasons, so keep an eye on the weather and ground. If it gets warm and you are still seeing them hopping and flying, then by all means, fish them!

Silver Creek is seeing a decent October Caddis emergence in the evening. This should switch to early evening / late afternoon as daytime temperatures drop. The Fall Baetis is getting stronger and stronger, the Callibaetis is still present on calm afternoons. The Mahogany Dun will also begin to show more in the middle of the day as temperatures drop. Brown Trout are still making their spawning run and they are ripping into baits at low light. Needless to say the evening Streamer fishing can be very good! Looking forward expect more of the same, but with a narrower and narrower fishing window. The mornings are awfully cold for fishing these days!

The Big Wood continues to show its beautiful fall colors both below and above the water line. The changing leaves and backdrop on the Wood make it worth fishing for that reason alone. Add in a few colorful Rainbows and you have one heck of an awesome day of fishing near Sun Valley! Try fishing Hoppers, Red Quills and Baetis. You may find some October Caddis north of Ketchum. Streamers are also a great bet as well as large standard nymphs like a Pheasant Tail.

The Lower Lost is fishing well. Use your favorite red nymph, like a Copper John, San Juan Worm, or Micro-Nymph in red. If you want to fish the surface Crane Flies and Hoppers are your best bets. There are some Baetis present as well, but anglers willing to fish subsurface will find more action.

The Upper Lost has a few fish willing to eat flies, but there is a lot of walking between them. This area remains a great place to go to have nearly a whole river to yourself and after a busy summer, there is plenty of appeal in that statement alone!

Finally, the South Fork of the Boise continues to pump out the Fall Baetis hatches in the afternoons. This should continue as long as the mild weather holds. Hoppers are also a great bet in the canyon!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing Report

The fish are adjusting to our new weather patterns, as are the anglers! Cooler mornings and evenings, coupled with perfect daytime highs are making for some more outstanding fishing. The higher elevations are seeing a slowdown in the catch rates, but locally, we couldn’t ask for better angling. Things should be nice and quiet on the water in the coming weeks, as school has started and the hunters are all out hunting!

Silver Creek continues its magnificent run of Hopper fishing. It could be the best season we’ve ever had on Hoppers and we don’t see any reason this should stop before the first big frosts of the season. Some of the fall bugs are also starting to make their appearance. Most notable the very early arrival of the Mahogany Dun. The Fall Baetis are showing in the mornings and evenings as well. The Brown Trout are in full blown pre-spawn mode, so Streamer Fishing, Mouse Fishing and Hopper Fishing should all produce nice sized fish in the coming weeks.

The Big Wood just finished a busy stretch of days with angler numbers, but that should all be in the past for the rest of the season. Expect the Western Red Quill to take over the Hopper bite in the coming week or two, and be ready for blanket hatches of Fall Baetis. Keep fishing Hoppers and Droppers until you see the fish actively taking the fall hatches off the surface.

The Upper Lost River is the only water that is not fishing very well. We hope after the fish adjust to the cold water caused by low nighttime temps at elevation and the fall insects come out in force, we will get a little spike in the fishing here before winter sets in.

The Lower Lost is fishing very well. Crane Flies and Hopper – Dropper set ups are catching fish. Some areas a double nymph rig under a strike indicator is the way to go. Fish small flies deep if you are going to nymph. The color red is a key, and should be on at least one of your nymphs if your favorite nymphs aren’t working. Small Black Zebra Nymphs are also a great option.

The South Fork of the Boise continues to fish well with Pink Alberts and Hoppers. Although angler numbers peaked the past few weeks, we should see a drop off in people as more hunting takes place and kids get back to school!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fly Fishing Report

Sun Valley / Picabo Area Fishing Report - August 29th, 2018

Get your sweatshirts and jackets out, someone took summer and quickly replaced it with fall! The fish went into a bit of shock over the weekend on some area waters, but don’t worry, the fall hatches will soon be here and will bring the fish up to the top again!

Be sure in the coming week you stop and get your fall flies in your box. This means all your old Green Drake patterns get to be used again! The Green Drake and the Western Red Quill are so similar in size and color you can fish one fly for both hatches, even though they exists at opposite ends of the season. Besides Green Drakes, Quill Gordons are a great fly, as well as Parachute Adams, Irresistible Adams, Royal Wulffs and Gray Wulffs.

The Fall Baetis has already begun on Silver Creek, but it should be hitting the Wood, the Upper Lost and the South Fork of the Boise very soon! This little Baetis is maddening in size and movement, but some days in the fall it blankets the rivers and is the only thing a fish will eat. Tiny Parachute Adams are a great fly for this. Anglers can also fish small Sparkle Duns, or other trailing shuck patterns as well. Try fishing your favorite Thorax pattern on an open loop with a generous amount of dry shake. This will get the fly wiggling just like the real thing!

Hoppers continue to be the best fly an angler can fish right now, and we should be able to keep fishing them all the way until the first hard frost. This could be a week from now or a month from now, but don’t stop fishing them until it happens.

If you really like the big bug fishing you may want to stock up on October Caddis. We are a month away, but with cool temps we could see this bug sooner. The best places to fish it are Silver Creek, and the Big Wood north of Ketchum.

Hunting season is almost upon us and reports on Dove numbers and Grouse numbers are strong. It should be a great start to the season. If you want to get a jump start on Chukar and Pheasant Hunting, the Picabo Angler Shooting Preserve is now open for guided, released bird hunts. We keep our hunts authentic and natural in a traditional farm and ranch setting! Call John for more info – 208.788.3536

Happy Fishing and Bird Hunting Everyone!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing Report

Sun Valley / Picabo Area Fishing Report - August 22, 2018

Cooler nights have given us a hint that fall is coming. The local trout population sure knows it. The Brown Trout have started their upstream migration into ideal spawning areas and both Browns and Rainbows are packing on the calories. The nighttime temps have certainly cooled the water and the fish are acting accordingly.

Silver Creek is fishing well as the day progresses. The Trico and Baetis in the morning has been less than spectacular, but the Hopper fishing when it’s windy in the afternoon and the Callibaetis when it’s not windy, has been off the charts great! Anglers staying until dark will find great fishing as the sun sets. Hoppers are very effective under low light and the Mouse fishing will continue to get better and better as fall approaches.

The Upper Lost and Big Wood remain strong fisheries. This should continue and even improve as we move closer to fall. Be sure you have the Western Red Quill in your fly box in the coming weeks as this hatch is the next big one. In the meantime keep fishing Hoppers and small attractors like Parachute Adams. The Streamer fishing is also good, as the fish in these systems also try to pack on some weight before the true cold sets in.

The Lower Lost River is fishing pretty well. Flows still make moving about a bit of a challenge, but the Trico action in the a.m. can be great if you are in the right water type. Mainly the flatter the water the better! Crane Flies are active as well as a variety of Baetis. If nothing is going on surface wise, then try nymphs like Copper Johns and Zebra Midges. Fish these in Red and Black colors and be sure to move slowly looking for sight Nymphing opportunities.

The Fall is also a great time to get out on Magic Reservoir. This fishery really lights up as we move toward cooler days and nights. If you’ve had enough river fishing this summer, Magic is a great break from the norm!

The South Fork of the Boise, although busy most days, still has good Hopper and Pink Alberts fishing throughout the day. The flows remain at driftboat levels and this should remain the case for the rest of the month and most of September is the summer heat continues.

Have fun out there, and don’t forget, the Picabo Angler Shooting Preserve is now open for you bird hunting enthusiast out there!

Happy Fishing and Wing Shooting Everyone!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing Report

Sun Valley / Picabo Area Fishing Report - August 9, 2018

Hopper season continues to impress as we roll deeper into summer with fall nipping at the heels. The smoke hasn’t been as bad as we first thought, which has made this August a bit more pleasant than expected. Great hatches in the morning and the evening are still the norm, so get out and fish this week!

Silver Creek has been fishing very well all summer and the streak continues. The Trico Spinner Fall in the morning coupled with Baetis in the late morning and  the Callibaetis in the afternoon make for great dry fly opportunities throughout the day. Anglers can fish Hoppers morning, noon and night. There are also great hatches of Damsel Flies. The Flying Ants have also arrived, and don not be surprised if on any given day in the next week, this hatch blows up. When it does, the Flying Ant seemingly makes the fish turn greedy. The Mouse fishing at night has also been very productive and with nighttime tmps not too cold, it’s a comfortable time of year to throw the mouse.

The Big Wood and the Upper Lost continue to fish well, especially at low light. The mornings can produce Trico and Baetis action. Hopper – Dropper set ups in the afternoon will produce fish and the evenings are best tackled with Elk Hair Caddis and Rusty Spinners. The Upper Lost is loaded with Hoppers and the fish will still take small attractors.

The lower Lost is still a touch high for easy wading, but there is some opportunity for anglers that can wade strong. Hopper – Droppers are a good set up. Copper Johns and a small Baetis and Midge imitations will take fish. The Crane Flies are also coming out in good numbers.

The South Fork of the Boise continues to fish well with Hoppers and Ant patterns. The Pink Alberts at high noon and later are a good bet when the wind stays down. The river remains at boating levels and wade anglers should use caution in this big body of water.

Finally, if you really want to beat the heat think about a return to our local reservoirs! The fishing can be great in the summer, a float tube on a hot afternoon is tough space to beat! If you go, try fishing Buggers and Perch colored flies. Fish the top 12 feet of water, but and also wait for the evening rise before you head home!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing Report

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

Good news and bad news this week. Bad news is someone started a fire and the sky can be smoky depending on wind direction, and we’re done fishing the Little Wood River for the season. The good news is the fish have decided to lock onto the Hopper patterns once again this summer!

The Big Wood remains a good place to find respite from the heat. Dave’s Hopper is a tough one to beat on the Wood. We fish foam on a lot of rivers, but the traditional Dave’s Hopper works really well here and better than foam flies. If you want to fish a dropper under your Hopper try basic nymphs, like Prince Nymphs and Pheasant Tails. Try medium sized around a 16 or 14.

Silver Creek is in great summer form as Tricos and Hoppers are the norm in the mornings and afternoons. Hoppers are best fished without a dropper on the Creek, as they will float more natural and you can cast them closer to the bank. Trico Spinner Falls are the norm in the mornings. Plan on being on the water by 8:00 a.m. and fish until late morning. Keep in mind, Trico fishing is all about the presentation. Don’t overthink the fly or look in your box for a magic bullet. The magic bullet IS your presentation. The evenings on Silver Creek are a smorgasbord of insects, so bring all your flies and then fish your Hopper anyway!

The Lost River is fishing well again, even in the heat of summer. The Upper Lost River is Trico mornings on the flat water, and then Hoppers and small Attractors in the afternoons and evenings. Parachute Adams, Royal Trudes and small Stimulators are all great flies for this area. The Lower Lost River is fishing well in spots. If you can find wadable water, you can find some fish. Red Copper John’s, Heavy Baetis Nymphs and most nymphs fished at the proper depth will work well. This means adjusting your set up when you find fish laying in the shallow gravels, versus when you decide to fish the deeper slots.

Finally, the South Fork of the Boise is fishing with Hoppers and Pink Alberts. It is just far enough to the East, that anglers may find less smoke over there, although this time of the season, there are no guarantees you can escape it.

Watch the weather, pick the the right winds to go out in. Try not to expose yourself to heavy smoke for very long. Fish with a Buff and keep it damp. This will help with the smoke!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley / Picabo Area Fishing Report - June 27, 2015

Dive on in, the fishing is fine! Anglers are experiencing the best of the best right now as all our area waters become fishable. The hatches are percolating on all our freestone streams and as the water drops, more and more fishing is becoming available.

The Green Drakes have arrived on the Big Wood. This hot weather bug is best fished in the heat of the day and well into the afternoon hours. The spinner falls happen early morning before the sun hits the water. Look for the spinners flying over the fastest water. If you are fishing the Drake in the morning and see this activity, consider taking a dry fly Green Drake and soaking it. Fish it in the pool below this fast water with a strike indicator. If you are fishing the Emergence in the afternoon, try the Colorado Green Drake, or the Green Drake Cripple.

The South Fork of the Boise is fishing well, although day to day. Expect to see Salmon Flies on the lowest stretches. The Mormon Crickets are out. The big fish will eat a few of these, if you see this, try a Royal Stimulator to imitate them. The Caddis action in the evening can be off the charts and a variety of smaller Stone Flies are great to imitate as well. The flows are still at boating levels.

Silver Creek is fishing very well. The Damsels have come out early and hot afternoons have been good with Blue Damsel imitations. The Baby Hoppers are growing fast and trying a small Hopper on a windy day is not a bad idea. Ants remain great flies to fish, as well as PMD and Callibaetis. Look for Baetis if you are fishing early and late.

The Upper Lost may fish well in places. This spotty fishing can be good, but you have to seek it out. The volume in our freestone rivers is still substantial. With that said, be safe out there. Continue to leave your dog at home until we see more reasonable flows. Fish with a tight wading belt, and a friend!

Finally, a quick word on Picabo Angler guides and guiding. We want to be sure that everyone knows they can always ask one of guides for help or advice on the river. We strive to honor the non-guided anglers space and fun. We will not trespass, or be pushy around other anglers. Your fun is as important to us as our own guests! So if you see our hat on the water, please say hello! We’re here to help!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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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 - 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 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!

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, November 9, 2017

Winter has arrived in the Sun Valley Area, and with that comes winter fishing! We are blessed to have some of the best winter fishing in the west. We will slowly transition to full blown Midge season, and with that comes all our winter dry fly opportunity. In the meantime though, get your strike indicators out, your double Nymph rigs and your Streamer box as well!

Silver Creek remains open to fishing upstream of Hwy 20 until the end of November. Anglers may continue to see a few rising fish on Baetis hatches in the middle of the day, if the day gets warm enough. The Brown Trout should be mostly done spawning and although they may be thin, they should be looking to put some fat stores away as fast as they can this month! The river downstream of Hwy 20 remains open until the end of November. This water is best fished with Streamers between now and the end of the season.

The Big Wood is always a steady fishery this time of the year. The Rainbows feel the water cooling and they will eat with a little less caution than they have been the past few months. Fish Nymphs or Streamers throughout the system. Copper Johns, Prince Nymphs and most Olive colored Streamers will bring plenty of fish to the net.

The South Fork of the Boise is another decent early winter fishery where a nymph rig fished in the deeper runs and holes will produce some nice sized fish. Use caution when driving down the hill to the river in inclement weather. If it snows, don’t go without tire chains.

The Lower Lost River is also a fun place for early winter fishing. Double Nymph rigs fished with a heavy fly paired with a small Midge patterns can be very effective. Red or Black Zebra Midges are an excellent choice when fished under a Bead Head Prince Nymph, Hares Ear, Pheasant Tail or Copper John.

Keep an eye on the weather in the next few days and weeks. Pay special attention to the day after change…the second of two consecutive sunny days or the second of two consecutive cloudy days is the time to be fishing. Not to beat a dead mule here, but also please remember a change of warm dry clothes when you fish, charge your cell phone and be ready for a cold weather emergency!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

The fishing windows are shrinking by the day! That is the dry fly window. We can expect the Nymphing and streamer fishing to continue to remain strong until the return of the winter dry fly season. With colder temperatures heading our way we can expect some of these dry fly windows to close completely, except on the nicest days.

On Silver Creek, currently the hours of 11:00 a.m. until around 2:00 p.m. seem to be the time to be on the water. The Fall Baetis is among the last of the bugs still hatching, with quite a bit of Midge activity filling in the gaps. Silver Creek Brown Trout are still spawning, but many fish are coming off their Redds and they will come off hungry and aggressive. The darkest days are the time to look for them out in the open chasing baits and bugs. If you see the cleaned gravels in the rivers, please continue to avoid them and the fish that are sitting on them.

Our freestone streams like the Big Wood and the Upper Lost are fishing day to day, depending on the weather. A large attractor like and H and L Variant or Royal Wullf will still bring a few fish to the fly, but having a dropper under one of these patterns is not a bad idea. Fish in these rivers will begin to seek winter refuge as the water drops. This means they will begin to group up in the slower runs and holes on the Big Wood, and on the Upper Lost they will be headed downstream into the main river where they can escape the impending winter ice.

Tailwaters like the South Fork of the Boise, the Lower Lost and the Lower Big Wood are all excellent fisheries in the fall. With little angling pressure and nutrient rich water, these fisheries can be a wonderful escape prior to the snow flying. They can also be great places to go catch very large fish that have spent the entire summer fattening up.

Finally, the one place every angler should try to check out every fall is Magic Reservoir. The fish here grow big, and on a calm day the fishing can be spectacular from a boat, a float tune or even from some of the banks. Most anglers fish streamers with dark backs and bright bottoms to imitate the bait that swims here. Keep an eye on the weather right now, be safe and fish hard!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

 

 

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - September 6, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fly Fishing Report - August 30, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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