Picabo Angler

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

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Filtering by Tag: lost river fly 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!

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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!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing Report

Sun Valley / Picabo Area Fishing Report October 17th, 2018

The fish are still taking advantage of these sunny fall days, and hopefully anglers are as well! More sun is in the forecast and conditions should remain stable and the fishing should remain great as the day warms. No need to get to the water early. In fact start later and finish later. The hatches in the late afternoon are the best of the day.

Silver Creek is still seeing decent amounts of Fall Baetis, Mahogany Duns and October Caddis. The rise normally starts around 1:00 p.m. and will last until sunset. The last few hours of light anglers should see all the listed bugs in one stage of life or another. A lot of Brown Trout are spawning right now, so please avoid their spawning areas and let them do their thing. If none of the above is working for you, it is not too late to cast terrestrials like Ants, Hoppers and Beetles. You will be surprised how late in the season trout will take a Hopper fly!

The Big Wood is still a lovely place to fish right now. Fall Baetis in the late afternoon, along with Midges toward sunset are bringing fish up. No need to be on the water before lunch time, but if you start early plan on Nymphing and Streamer fishing. Prince Nymphs are a great choice in the fall as well as Copper Johns and Zebra Midges. A San Juan Worm is also a great choice. You may find Brown Trout Redds (spawning beds) in the Wood. If you do, try fishing red colored nymphs behind them to pick up the fish locking in on random trout eggs floating down river.

The lower Lost River remains one of the better fisheries right now. The fish are well distributed and ready to eat. Fishing Micro-Nymph combos under a strike indicator is your best bet. Think Black and Red colors. Copper Johns, Zebra Midges, San Juan Worms, Chamois Flies, and Lightning Bugs are great choices. This is also another place where you may see Redds, although here it would be Kokanee washed through the dam. If you see these bright red fish spawning, try fishing the nearby riffles with red colored nymphs, egg patterns or even flesh flies as the fish die and decay after spawning.

Lastly, The South Fork of the Boise is still seeing Fall Baetis hatches. Try to fish between lunch and dinner and weekdays if possible!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing Report

Sun Valley Picabo Area Fishing Report - September 26, 2018

Nice brisk mornings are upon us in the Wood River Valley. The chilling water has made the fish a bit more aggressive as their instincts tell them to fatten up now! Winter is coming and with it means scarce hatches and a more limited menu for the fish. In the meantime there are still good hatches, lots of bugs and lots of aggressive fish out there!

Silver Creek is transitioning into full blown fall mode. The only summer remnant is the Hopper action which continues to produce fish. The pace may not be as furious as it was, but they are still being eaten throughout the river system. The afternoons and early evenings are seeing hatches of Baetis and Callibaetis. The late afternoon is October Caddis time. This hatch has been picking up steam and is one of the best for picking up big fish on the surface. Mousing has slowed some as the nights are getting pretty cold and the Browns are going into spawn mode. There is still some night fishing to do, but dress appropriately!

The Big Wood continues to shine with Fall Baetis and Western Red Quill. These are afternoon hatches and the best fishing is from lunch until dinner time. Think about fishing close to Ketchum as the hatches are moving well upstream. The Fall Baetis and October Caddis on the Wood can be really strong north of Ketchum when the weather is calm and warm.

The Upper Lost is still producing some nice fish, but not at a furious pace. If you go, cover lots of water and bring all your same flies you fish on the Big Wood. Start your fishing late and stay until the first evening chill sets in!

The Lower Lost is fishing well with Nymphs and Hoppers still. The fish are eager to eat red colored nymphs and micro nymphs. When in doubt on this river, cast your favorite pattern and have faith in it. The fish aren’t too picky and often showing them something new or different is all one needs to do in order to have a banner day out there!

Finally, the South Fork of the Boise continues to produce afternoon Fall Baetis hatches that are great fun to fish in the riffle water. A lot of fish come to the top for this bug, but be patient as the hatches can start well after lunch!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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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

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 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 - 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

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 - December 7, 2017

Cold days and short fishing windows are the norm right now, but the rivers are wide open and seeing very, very little angling pressure. This is a good time to get out on the water, as the day time temperatures are rising above the freezing mark, making fishing comfortable throughout the afternoon.

Silver Creek is now closed upstream of the Highway 20 Bridge. This includes the Double R Ranch as well as the Silver Creek Preserve. The river does remain open from Highway 20 downstream for catch and release fishing. It will remain open until the end of February. Streamers are really the best way to fish the Creek this time of the year. Think about using dark colors on dark days and bright colors on bright days. Cast your streamer to the far bank and retrieve it slowly. With the water turning colder, the fish will be more inclined to chase something they can catch without a huge expenditure of energy. Some days, just let the fly swing without stripping it. You may be surprised by the difference. In any event, the fish will want a certain speed and action, so keep adjusting until you find it. Once you know how they want the fly presented, stick to it!

The Big Wood is one of our best “offseason” fisheries, as it rarely freezes and the fish tend to pod up into winter holes. Look for slow moving, waist deep water is a good start. The fish should mostly be in the center of the runs, avoiding the fast currents, unless the big Midge hatches are going, in which cast look for the fish in the heads and tails of the pools. Fish Streamers and nymphs. A two Nymph rig under a strike indicator is a great way to go. Try Brassies and Zebra Midges.

The Lower Lost is still fishing decent and there is hardly anyone fishing it. The drive is enough to keep most anglers away, and throw in a dash of cold weather and you can have it to yourself! It is primarily a Nymphing river this time of the season. Normally the same flies you would use in the winter in the Big Wood will work just fine on the Lower Lost.

Finally, the South Fork of the Boise can be a nice excursion on a sunny day. Again, the same winter Nymph selection is all you need!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - November 28, 2017

Fall like weather has continued into the Holiday Season. This has brought the Baetis hatches on Silver Creek all the way to the months end. The last day to fish Silver Creek upstream of Highway 20 (Silver Creek Preserve) is Thursday, November 30th. This is your last best chance to fish dry flies on the Creek until the opener in late May. The Creek remains open downstream of the Highway 20 Bridge until the end of February, but this is mostly Streamer and Mousing water as we head into true winter weather.

If you fish the Creek this week try to be on the water by 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. and if you want to fish dries, get your licks in by 3:00 p.m. Streamer fishing will be effective throughout the winter on the downstream stretches and through Kilpatrick Pond this week.

Fishing on the Big Wood is consistent with nymphs and streamers right now. The cold weather Midge hatches will appear eventually, in the meantime cover a lot of water and fish the riffles with Price Nymphs and Zebra Nymphs. Olive Buggers will take fish throughout the system, so get out and take advantage of the warm days!

The Lost River is much like the Big Wood this month, it is mostly a nymph fishery. Strike indicators and double nymph rigs fished deep will take fish. Pay close attention to the ledges and drops, as the fish like to nose up to those area adjacent shallow water, yet within racing distance to deep cover. Try Copper Johns in Red and in a variety of sizes. The Lost River fish will also key on your favorite Midge patterns.

The South Fork of the Boise is still a viable fishery and the driving conditions into the canyon are good. It is a quiet time on the South Fork and most area rivers. This may be the quietest time on all the area water until the Christmas crowds arrive. With hunting and skiing in full swing, and not many people in the Valley until the week before Christmas, the rivers are seeing few anglers. If quiet fishing is what you like, you’ll not find a better 2 to 3 weeks.

If you need any help on the water, our guide staff is still heading out daily and having great luck! We switch to winter guide rates on December 1st, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of the low rates, especially novices and beginners. It’s a great time to learn a little before next summer’s season!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Fishing Report - November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Picabo Angler!

Looking back at the past season it is easy to find many things to give thanks for. First and foremost, thank you to all of you fly anglers out there that help keep our doors open and allow us the opportunity to serve the fly fishing community in the Sun Valley and Picabo areas. Without you and your support, we don’t exist! A big thanks for all the water we received this year that put our rivers back on track for the time being. Hopefully the skiers will get their prayers for snow answered this winter so we can have an equally good water year next summer! I’d personally like to thank the Purdy Family here in Picabo for all the support they have shown for our beloved river, Silver Creek and our outfitting business, Picabo Angler. Without their love of fly fishing, wing shooting and the Creek we wouldn’t have been able to serve our community the past five years. Lastly, thank you to Silver Creek itself. This magical body of water has gripped imaginations tight for many generations. The meandering nature of the river, the trout, the bug life, the birds, the moose, the dirt roads under our tires, the soft light, and so much more, all contribute to the magic of this place!

With that said we would like to again let our fellow anglers know we are here for you! Picabo Angler is not a fly shop holding “secrets” we dole out…instead we strive to be a group of anglers and guides that want to support everyone in our sport, no matter skill level, age, gender, or race. If you are a fly angler, or just love Picabo, nature and the quietude of Silver Creek, then you are part of our family and we have your back!

If you plan to fish this week, be ready with your nymph and streamer boxes. We are still a month or two away from the winter dry fly season. In the meantime, all our local rivers should fish well with Prince Nymphs, Zebra Midges, and Olive colored streamers. Please note that Silver Creek closes at the end of November upstream of the Highway 20 Bridge. The river remains open downstream from the Highway 20 Bridge until the end of February. Looking ahead Silver Creek will fish best using your favorite streamer patterns!

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Fishing Everyone!

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!