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Sun Valley Fly Fishing Report

Picabo Angler’s Own Christian Reid last night. 29.75”

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley / Picabo Area Fly Fishing Report - July 25, 2018

Heat and more heat continues to cover South Central Idaho as we move closer and closer to August. The fishing is fine though and the heat makes the rivers the best place to be on a daily basis. Wet wading is a joy and the rivers running under the Cottonwood forest canopy send waves a cool breezes up and down the river corridors.

Silver Creek is an early and late fishery for those anglers looking to catch the daily hatches and spinner falls. Trico and Baetis rule the mornings, while the evenings are the normal smorgasbord of bugs, including Baetis and Caddis. Anglers that want to stay and fish in the afternoons will find great fishing under the heat, just stay fully covered up with buffs, sun gloves and the like. The afternoons are all about Hoppers and Damsel Flies. The Hopper bite is really coming on strong. Once again, pink or tan bodies are the way to go.

The Big Wood and Upper Lost are fishing well. The reports of bigger fish this season are great. The forage created by last year’s flooding has seemingly increased general fish sizes all over the place. Again, be early and fish late. Plan on Rusty Spinners and Caddis being mainstays out there. Dave’s Hoppers are an excellent choice in the afternoons. Small attractors are also effective. Parachute Adams and Royal Trudes are excellent choices.

The Lower Lost River is slowly coming into fishing shape. A few Crane flies are around and plenty of Hoppers. A Hopper – Dropper set up is a good choice. Copper Johns, Prince Nymphs, San Juan Worms and small Baetis and Midge patterns make great droppers. If you go, the wading is still difficult. Wading belts are a must.

The South Fork of the Boise continues to fish well. What is happening depends on where you fish. Some sections the fish will still respond to big foam flies like Salmon Flies and other big Stoneflies. On other sections Hoppers and Cicadas are bringing fish up. If you are floating the river, stop every once in a while and look at the streamside vegetation. If you are seeing big bugs, fish accordingly, if you are not, think about the Hoppers and Cicadas.

It’s been a busy month thus far on the rivers, but that should all begin to ebb at the end of the month, so please remain patient and kind, and please treat your fellow angler how you would like to be treated!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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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 - 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 - July 12, 2016

We begin our return to summer temperatures today. Plan on Trico activity on Silver Creek to really ramp up as we head closer to the weekend. The Hopper activity on the Creek, although not red hot yet, is as good as we've seen for a few years. The Baby Hopper flies are bringing fish to the surface on the windy afternoons, and there seems to be plenty of those lately!

Cool nights are really helping keep water temperatures in the perfect range on the Creek. This is spurring on great hatch activity and is great for the general health of the fish! 

Our freestone streams remain in great shape and are fishing really well with Stimulators, Parachute Adams and other small attractor flies. Standard nymph patterns are also taking plenty of fish.

Get your sun screen and bug spray back out for the week. It is going to be a good one!

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!

John

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

John

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 Area Fishing Report - May 6th, 2016

The sunny side of spring is upon us! This means big, muddy waters, dangerous currents, and limited fishing. The good news is the rivers are getting a long overdue scrubbing from bottom to top. The elevated waters should go a long way toward removing more of the ash from the fires in our recent past.

Reservoir fishing remains strong and anglers heading to Magic, Little Wood and Anderson Reservoirs will find some nice sized fish willing to eat flies! Be sure to watch the weather for the wind forecast so you don’t get caught in the wrong place in your float tube or small craft. The evenings of the reservoirs should be getting really productive, really soon.

The mountain lakes have iced off on the valley floors. Stanley Lake and Redfish hold a few nice sized fish for anglers willing to play the war of attrition. You never catch a lot of fish in these lakes, but if you work hard, you can catch some big ones.

The higher lakes aren’t open yet, as most of the trails are still being used by backcountry skiers instead of day hikers. Once the trails get mostly open it will be time to have a peak. At the rate we are going that could be mid-June!

The Lost River remains open for fishing, although the flows have been cranked up. They may come right back down to decent levels for fishing, but keep an eye on the gauge. Go to the water data portion of the USGS website for up to the minute flow graphs.

When all the rivers reopen, keep in mind that spring runoff should still be occurring. Make your opening weekend plans in advance and plan on fishing Silver Creek, the South Fork of the Boise from a boat, or maybe the Lost River, depending on flows. Spring Creeks and Tailwaters should be your focus as the month moves forward.

If you are looking for something to do the night before Opening Day, Picabo Angler will be showing Hank Patterson’s latest movie “Mystery of the Cuttyrainbrown Trout” at the shop May 27th at 8:30 p.m. Bring your beach chair for viewing and your tent for crashing on the banks of Silver Creek after the event! Tickets are $5 at the door.

We are only 3 weeks away from Opening Day of the general fishing season in Idaho. It will go fast, so make sure you are ready for it.   

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - April 13, 2016

There is a lot of wonderful spring weather headed our direction this week! There is a limited amount of fishing to be had, but what is out there is a real treat. The Big Lost River is the only river system that remains open to fishing. It is a long drive to get over there, but the fact that the Baetis hatches are prolific and the big fish are up eating them coupled with the fact you can stop at Picabo Angler for breakfast, flies, licenses, beer, gas and a brown bag lunch make it all worthwhile!

If you head over to the Lost, be ready to see a few more anglers than normal, especially on the weekend. It is one of the only open places to fish, outside of Steelhead on the Salmon or Carp on the Snake. If you go, just be polite, ask your fellow angler where they are headed and then fish accordingly. There is plenty of fishable water on the Lost, but it is a narrow river channel. Be polite and respectful and help your fellow angler have a great time. It will add to your experience as well.

If you go, have plenty of Baetis flies in your box. Gulper Specials, Transitional Duns and Parachute patterns will all do the trick. Plan on fishing with 6X tippets and preferably a soft rod, to protect those light tippets. There is also a chance to see Midge hatches too, so don’t put that fly box away for the winter quite yet. If you have to fish subsurface, be sure to bring plenty of Zebra Nymphs for the Midge imitation and plenty of Pheasant Tail Nymphs to replicate the Baetis.

The Salmon River has been blown out lately, and although there is some fishing to be had upstream of Valley Creek, most of the fish in that area are in full blown spawning mode right now. Keep in mind these fish swam through many, many dams and swan 900 miles UPSTREAM to spawn. Keep this in mind when you see fish paired up or in their Redds, and leave them alone.

Elsewhere, we have some great reservoir fishing on Magic and the Little Wood. Try fishing from the banks or a float tube if you need a quick fix. Carp fishing on the Snake is always fun when the weather turns nice and be sure to keep your eyes on low lying lakes as the ice begins to come off!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

 

 

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - March 3, 2016

Oh March, how we adore thee! The number one month for catch rates in the Sun Valley area is upon us! The Big Wood River during the month of March may be one of the finest fisheries in the West. Massive hatches of Midges coupled with the Little Black Stones make the Wood simply magical! If you are learning to fly fish or know someone you want to get on the water for easy, rewarding fishing, the next few weeks are ideal. The same flies we use all winter are in play, Zebra Midge, Brassies, Griffiths Gnats, and Tie-Down Midges.

With the fish going into a pre-spawn mode, they will begin to eat with a little more recklessness than at any other time of the season. This means you can start bringing Parachute Adams with you and even small, sized 16 and 14 Stimulators with you to the river, especially as we head toward the end of the month.

The Big Lost River should also begin to show some fantastic fishing in the coming days and weeks. Be aware that the Lost River rainbows are a bit ahead of schedule this year. Some spawning activity is already occurring, although there are plenty of fish in the pre-spawn state ready to catch. Please be discerning where you walk and which fish you cast to. Spawning fish are not eating, so putting them through any length of fight is really putting them in a difficult position. Avoid casting to Redds, meaning any fish you see in shallow waters near gravels that have been swept clean. Use the same flies you would take to the Big Wood, although be prepared for Baetis hatches as well. This becomes more and more important as March progresses.

Silver Creek is now closed throughout its entire length for the season. The Creek will reopen the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. If you tie your own flies start cranking out P.M.D., Callibaetis, Midges and Baetis flies for the opener! It will be upon us before you know it!

Other places to fish in the next few weeks include the Little Wood River in the desert stretches near Preachers Bridge as well as the South Fork of the Boise. The Midge Hatches down there should start really ramping up and some spring Baetis is possible as well.

Finally, spring is a wonderful time of year to head on down to the Snake River and chase Carp on the fly!

Happy Fishing Everyone! 

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - January 19, 2016

The Wood River Sculpin is unique in that its home pretty much consists of the Big Wood and Little Wood Rivers. This dark olive bottom dwelling fish is not a target for fly anglers, but it is certainly a target of the biggest trout that live in the Big and Little Wood systems. The volume of Wood River Sculpin makes it a year around target of the fish and therefore a fly we cast all year long.

Imitating this Sculpin is not difficult and can be done with a variety of flies. Dark Olive Matukas, Olive Buggers, Sparkle Minnows and most olive colored articulated patterns work just fine. There is one fly tied as a specific imitation of the Wood River Sculpin, which is the Philo Beto. This fly is found at Lost River Outfitters in Ketchum and was developed by the owner Scott Schnebly and his son Blake in the early 1990s when Blake was a young boy. The fly is loosely named for Clint Eastwood’s character Philo Beddoe in the movie Any Which Way but Loose. Tied from the Philo Plume feather off an olive died Pheasant Rump, the Philo Beto Streamer is slam dunk when fished on the Big Wood, Little Wood or pretty much anywhere Sculpins swim.

Sculpin imitations are best fished with a bead-head, or some external weight. When I fish the Philo Beto I like to put a small split shot right at the head of the fly. This gives the fly a jigging action and also help me keep if from snagging on the bottom by controlling the depth right at the fly as opposed to several inches or feet above the fly. Try to fish the fly swinging across the river on a tight line, keeping the fly as close to the bottom as you dare. The true Sculpin will dart from rock to rock along the river bottom, trying to avoid being eaten, but plenty of them do get eaten and they represent a major calorie intake for wintering trout.

When fishing Streamer imitations fish them on Fluorocarbon Leaders so that when you strip strike the leader does not stretch, but instead buries the hook in the fish’s mouth. Fish a stout tippet, taper it to about 2X. Nine feet is plenty of length. Cast across the river and retrieve the fly with your rod tip on the water and the line coming into the tip in a straight line. Enjoy all the big fish you’re going to catch!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - January 13, 2016

The return of low pressure this week should make for outstanding fishing throughout the Sun Valley Area. Light snow falls should signal excellent dry fly opportunities and Nymphing along with Streamer fishing should easily fill in the gaps when the fish aren’t looking to devour Midges off of the surface.

The Big Wood should be on fire this week with perfect conditions for big Midge hatches. Flies consists of the usual winter assortment. Have Zebra Nymphs, Tie-Down Midges, Griffiths Gnats and your favorite Streamers, even if that is a simple olive colored Bugger.

Driving conditions have improved enough that a trip to the South Fork of the Boise is possible, just keep an eye on the conditions before you leave. It’s all the same bugs you’d use on the Big Wood. There has been plenty of anglers down there, so a midweek excursion would be your best bet.

The Lower Big Lost River is another winter gem worth making an effort to get to. The difference on the Lost is you have the town of Mackay and a great opportunity to stay a night and fish multiple days. Mackay has a few nice little hotels and enough places to eat and supply, that the Lower Lost is actually very, very user friendly in the winter! If you want a little break from Sun Valley, this is a quick easy trip and all the same flies you’d use on the Big Wood.

Finally we still have an active, yet untouched fishery on Silver Creek these days. Perfect conditions in the open water below Hwy 20 exist and no one has been ripping Streamers through this water! Non-weighted Streamers are the fly of choice. A small bead is plenty of weight. Fish midday and start near the Hwy. Work your way downstream over the course of the day, both walking and driving to access points. You should end up near the Picabo Bridge before the day is over.

If you see a lot of cars near the Point of Rocks parking lot or Silver Creek East, don’t fret as these are mostly trucks for Duck Hunters. Please give these guys and gals a wide birth if you see them. Most weekdays you won’t see anyone. The waterfowl season closes on the 29th of this month, which gives us yet another month on the Creek where fishing is the only activity. The Creek remains open below Hwy 20 for catch and release fishing until the end of February.

Happy Fishing Everyone!

 

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - December 29, 2015

Happy New Year from all of us here at Picabo Angler!

Let’s talk pressure systems. We had wonderful low pressure fishing conditions for nearly a month now. We couldn’t ask for more or better in the winter months. The low pressure provides the snow and the ideal conditions for fish. Yet, not here we are with a few weeks of high pressure and artic cold temperatures. Does this mean bad fishing? Absolutely not.

Change is the most important factor when considering barometric pressure and how it effects your fishing. Is low pressure better? Yes, more often than not it is, but what we are really after are those days of change. More importantly we are looking for the day after change!

Regardless of whether Sun Valley is under a low or high pressure system, one thing is for certain. When the day comes that we go from cloudy skies to crystal clear skies, that is the precursor for some great fishing as the next day, or second day of the pressure change, is almost always a red hot catch rate day.

With that said, keep your eyes on a web site like weather underground that shows a graph with the pressure. This will help you pick the right days to be on the water no matter how cold it is, and it will help you save those less fishy days for fly tying, rod building, or reading a good book.

If you head out on the water this week, Silver Creek is pretty well frozen over. With that said stay tuned with us as we will let you know when the ice breaks. The day after that happens we can expect some world class streamer fishing and some great opportunities to catch some massive Silver Creek trout.

The Big Wood will fish through the cold snap as the current speed will keep parts of the river from freezing and give anglers an opportunity to pursue fish through the middle of the day. Be careful around icy river banks and also where you park. Bring a snow shovel just in case. There have been days when I’ve needed a snow shovel to carve out a parking area at some of the public access points!

If you don’t want to hassle with that, we do run our winter guide service at a reduced rate through the month of March. Call us at 208.788.3536 if you’d like to learn more or book an afternoon with one of our world class guides!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - December 15, 2015

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…There is no shortage of snow and low pressure systems thus far this winter. Meaning that all the great things that come with a big winter includes fishing! It’s a great thing living in a mountain town where 2 feet of the white stuff can make people smile from ear to ear! Plow operators are making money, skiers are enjoying fresh tracks, and anglers are also making them!

One of the best parts of a big storm is not only the lack of anglers on the water when you want to be there, but also the snowy banks make it perfectly clear whether or not anyone has been where you are headed since the last big storm.

Finding these long stretches of water and river where there are no tracks for days and weeks after the storms adds a lot to the mindset of anglers. It is a clear indication of water wear fish have been enjoying their winter hatches with no pressure on them. This translates to successful fishing more often than not! Couple this with the glorious beauty of the river corridor and it’s hard to find something more enjoyable to do on a winter’s day.

If you decide to fish this week, have your dry flies, nymphs and streamers. If you are fishing on Silver Creek (open below Hwy 20 bridge) fish streamers on heavy tippet. When you select your fly just remember bright flies on bright days and clear water and dark flies on dark days and darker water.

If you are fishing the Big Wood, Brassies and Zebra nymphs are all you need. Have them in Copper, Red and Black colors. Fish them in tandem underneath a strike indicator. Put the big flies on first and then tie a smaller nymph into the hook shank of the “lead” fly.

Big Wood anglers should also have dry flies. A Griffith’s Gnat and Tie-Down Midge are all one needs when the fish pod up on Midges. Fish them together on 6X tippets about 18 inches apart. Use a large Griffith’s Gnat as the lead fly to silhouette against the gray, flat light. If the fish are “Midging” on the surface, use plenty of stealth when approaching them, but get as close as you can in order to get a great visual on your flies.

Enjoy the glorious experience of winter fishing. Be safe, be warm and have fun!

Happy Fishing Everyone 

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - December 2, 2015

Jack Frost and Old Man Winter teamed up this past week and made a pretty good case for staying in the house to tie some flies! Don’t fret as the conditions should change by Thursday back to what we would consider “normal” winter fishing conditions. This means we get back to fishing windows that should last from 11:00 a.m. to about 4:00 p.m.

If nothing else this past week reminded us of why we carry tire chains, extra food and water, as well as a change of clothes. Are fun level is often dictated by how prepared and safe we can be. Take this to heart and always be prepared when heading out into the wilds of Idaho. Even if you are only 4 miles from town – Town is still in the middle of wilderness!

Getting back into the swing of winter fishing, anglers should be prepared to nymph the standard winter flies. Try Zebras Nymphs and Brassies as primary flies and fish them under a strike indicator. One and a half the waters depth is the standard rule for the depth to set your indicator, or about an arm length on the Big Wood.

Approaching the Christmas Holiday means we also approach the winter dry fly season. Low pressure and warmish days could provide the first significant Midge hatches of the winter. This means fill your fly box with Griffiths Gnats, Tie-Down Midges and Trailing Shuck Midge patterns. Have some dry shake as well. If you find rising fish, use the Griffiths Gnat as a lead fly. They are easy to see and will help you locate your Trailing Shuck patterns. Tie your Trialing Shuck patterns 18 inches behind the Griffiths Gnat from the bend in the hook. Dress both flies well with a dry shake type floatant, being sure not to get any on the tail of the Trailing Shuck. You want the shuck in the water or the film on the surface. This easy target is what the fish are keying on, and is what will make them choose your fly over thousands of real Midges!

Road conditions by the weekend should be pretty decent and allow anglers to travel to the Lost and the South Fork of the Boise. Silver Creek should start producing nice fish being taken on Streamers. Remember, Silver Creek is only open from the Highway 20 Bridge downstream for the months of December through February.

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - November 11, 2015

Low pressure systems are upon us! Great news for anglers looking to catch great numbers of fish, just make sure you have a warm coat and a rain jacket when you head to the river! Nymphing and Streamer fishing are the techniques to go to this week, as the colder, wetter weather should effectively shut down most of the season’s hatches. If you’re in the right place at the right time you may find some Fall Baetis activity under the clouds, but don’t expect daily occurrences of this bug.

It’s not quite fall, and not quite winter, so the Midge activity we associate with the snow and the awesome hatches provided by this insect won’t materialize in numbers large enough to get the fish up. Your best fly choices are going to come from your nymph box. Red Copper Johns, Bead Head Prince Nymphs, Black Back Hares Ears, and smallish Pheasant Tails are the way to go. Fish these under an indicator and concentrate on thigh to waist deep riffles.

Brown Trout on Silver Creek are in full blown spawning mode, so be careful where you step, as not to disturb their Redds. You may also find Redds on the Big Wood. They are oval shaped and the gravels are swept clean. Now, with that said, keep in mind the river systems are filling with Brown and Brook Trout eggs, so fishing bright orange and red nymph patterns is going to bring a lot of attention to you fly.

Please keep an eye on the weather if you are going to travel to the Lost or South Fork of the Boise Rivers this week. Snow in the forecast could happen at any time. Have your vehicle winter ready!

This is certainly a week to take some time off the water and start thinking about Salt Water destinations, (Picabo Angler can help with that!) also start tying flies for winter, start replacing those old fly lines, boot laces, leaders and nets.

This is also a great week to start making that wish list for Christmas presents and leaving it in strategic places around your house or vehicle! Just saying…

Overall expect rivers void of other anglers this week, but don’t give up on excellent fishing. Fish love and respond well to low pressure systems and with the cold nights lowering water temperatures, all the fish are going to key in on getting fat for winter!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

 

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 - September 1, 2015

RED. When it comes to fishing, Red is the color for fall. Whether it is the Western Red Quill gracing the Big Wood and Upper Lost, or the Red Scales of the Kokanee that will be migrating up the rivers from local reservoirs, to the Redd’s that Brown and Brook Trout will be making and even the Red of the eggs from spawning fish, Red is the color to focus on.

We are entering a transitional time of the year on all our area waters, as summer hatches begin to wind down, and the fall hatches begin to ramp up. On Silver Creek the Trico Spinner Falls are beginning to wane, while the Baetis builds in numbers. Grasshoppers and Mice are taking the biggest fish, while Callibaetis continues to show up on occasion sparking serious feeding frenzies. Watch the weather as the Creek transitions to banker’s hours. No need to get to the water until the air temps warm up after cool nights. Be ready for midday Baetis hatches that can fill the afternoon hours with bugs and fish galore!

The Big Wood continues to muddy then clear, muddy then clear. The Red Quills will be coming soon, as well as the Fall Baetis. Watch as the leaves begin to turn. When they start falling from the trees the Western red Quill is typically in full swing. The Colorado Green Drake is the best fly you can use for the Quill hatch, and we stock this fly for the fall, just for this reason! The Green Drake of June and the Red Quill of September are very similar in size and color, making the Drake patterns a great choice for one of the most overlooked hatches in the fly tying industry.

The Lower Lost continues to be tough wading, although keep an eye on the USGS website for current flows. Once you see the river drop below 300CFS, plan on heading over. Red colored nymphs like Copper John’s and San Juan Worms are deadly when the Kokanee get swept through the dam.

The Upper Lost continues to fish well with Ant and Hopper patterns, but at current flows, be prepared to walk a lot. Trico and some Pink Albert are present.

The South Fork of the Boise will also begin to transition between Pink Albert and Hoppers to the Fall Baetis hatches soon. Mother Nature will dictate these changes with cold nights.

Anglers need to be prepared with both, summer and fall bugs right now in order to take advantage of what happens with the weather. Also a great time to bring those extra layers of clothes to the river!

Happy Fishing Everyone!