Picabo Angler

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

Picabo Angler is a destination: A full-service fly shop & outfitter located on the banks of world-renowned Silver Creek

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley / Picabo Area Fly Fishing Report - July 11, 2018

The summer bugs are here and the hatches are gaining steam daily. With the water dropping and more and more fishing areas opening, it should be a great week on the water! Expect fewer anglers this week and great conditions! More hot weather is in the forecast, so begin to think about fishing early and staying late. The afternoons will provide nice fishing opportunity as well, but be prepared for the sun with full coverage. Buffs, sun gloves, and long sleeved shirts and pants will make your day more comfortable.

The Trico action continues to slowly ramp up on Silver Creek. It is still a month away on most other rivers. The more the heat builds the more the Trico action should build. To catch the spinner fall, be on the water when the air temp hits 70 degrees. If the Trico action isn’t heavy, or even if it is, stay until mid to late morning for the Baetis Spinner Falls. You’ll know it’s happening when you see them crawling down your waders to lay eggs on the bottom and flying into your glasses!

Damsel Flies are also bringing fish to the surface up and down the Creek. This afternoon activity normally starts after lunch. Watch the downstream side of the weed beds for fish scooping the Damsels off the surface.

The last of the spring hatches can be found on the South Fork of the Boise as the Salmon Fly continues to make its way up to the dam. If you want to fish this hatch you better go now. The weekend should see plenty of boats on the water. It is a great opportunity to watch fish eat giant foam flies!

The Upper Lost River is almost in shape and there are fish to catch in the areas where you can find holding water. This may involve walking a bit between spots, but there is hardly a lovelier place for a walk between fish! If you go, try attractors like Trudes and Stimulators. Try dropping a Green Drake Nymph below these if you aren’t getting the fish to look up.

Finally, the Big Wood although busy is fishing very, very well. The Green Drakes should be on their last few days of the season upstream of Ketchum this week. Keep fishing the fly though, and mix in Stimulators, Parachute Adams, Chernobyl Ants and Copper John’s as droppers!

Happy Fishing Everyone!


Phoebe Bean says goodbye for now!

Our family first started spending time in Idaho when my parents purchased a sheep ranch in the Sun Valley area when I was five years old. Originally from San Francisco, we didn’t fit in right away; for me, that started to change after we moved into one of the cabins on the Double R and made daily appearances at the “Picabo Store,” as we used to call it. The Purdy family was exceedingly kind and welcoming as we began to grow new roots here, and Silver Creek became the focal point for the happiest memories made during that time in my life.

Fast forwarding to last summer, I decided to take a year off amidst my college career to intern for The Orvis Company in Manchester, VT, in the fall and to work for my parents’ business this spring. I had no set plans for the summer months before heading back to school, though, so when John Huber asked me back in January if I would be interested in working for the Picabo Angler this summer I was beyond thrilled. Although I tried to keep my expectations low because I really had no idea what to expect, I was genuinely excited to be able to work for John in the store that had meant so much to me as a kid.

When I drove home after my first day of work in May, I knew I had absolutely nothing to worry about. There have been no shortages of laughter, stories, or new friends over the past few months, and seeing many of the folks I’ve known since I was a youngster has been wonderful. Fun isn’t usually a word that comes to mind when talking about work, but I have had the time of my life.  

I’m sure it sounds sappy, but I feel like I’ve come full circle in some sense; in regard to fly fishing, I learned much of what I know now from spending time on the creek those many years ago with an Orvis Clearwater rod. As a client landed a Silver Creek rainbow on the Double R during my first guide trip on the creek this summer, I felt blessed to be able to help someone else fish in the exact same spot that my love for the sport began.

Thank you to all of the people who came into the store this summer and made my experience so memorable.

See you next year!


Ladies' Fly Fishing Clinic

Working for the Picabo Angler has been an incredible experience. There are locals that I see every day and visitors just passing through, folks who have made fly fishing their lives and others who know very little about the sport, energetic youngsters still figuring out who they are and grandparents wiser than their years.   Regardless of where each person is on their journey through life, I am overwhelmed by the kindness and camaraderie that enters the store every day. There is something special about coming to work in the morning and not feeling like I’ve left home.

Of course, not everything can be perfect all of the time! Although there is the occasional female angler that comes into the shop, as a young woman I am often discouraged by the lack of ladies involved in the industry. From an outsider’s perspective, I’m sure that fly fishing can appear to be an elitist sport dominated by men; those of us who are on the inside, though, know how far from the truth that perspective is! Anyone can pick up a rod, learn how to cast, and begin the life-long love affair that is fly fishing.

Not wanting to pass up an opportunity to get more gals involved, I jumped on the prospect of running a fly fishing clinic catered to women when John Huber made the suggestion earlier this summer. Within a day of announcing it, the first clinic was completely booked; I was thrilled to see so much interest! After a few weeks of careful planning and consideration, I met the group of six women at the shop on Saturday for what I hoped would be an adventure that would spark in them the same love for the sport that I hold. The nervousness I felt leading up to the clinic dissipated almost immediately when I saw how excited the group was to finally learn how to fish without depending on other people for help with rigging, knot tying, reading water, etc.

We spent the morning going over basic terminology, entomology, wading safety, knots, and we practiced casting on the lawn before heading over to the Double R fishing club for a delicious lunch by the creek. It was such a treat to sit around a picnic table and get to know those women; the way that our group meshed was extraordinary, and each personality complimented the rest. Once we were on the water, I was blown away at how seemingly effortless it was for them to incorporate what they had learned just a few hours earlier. There were times when they had questions, but the majority of the time each woman had a stretch of water to herself to tune out any life stressors, find her rhythm, and just be. Watching those six women stretched out over hundreds of yards along the river, casting well and genuinely enjoying themselves was a sight I doubt I will forget. Here and there, one of the women would have a strike and the resounding chorus of support from the rest of the group brought smile after smile to my face. I was reminded that fishing isn’t all about catching fish; rather, it is a time to take a break from our busy lives, connect with nature and enjoy a moment in time that is utterly peaceful.

Time absolutely flies when you’re having fun. 6:00 PM rolled around and we said our goodbyes, but made plans to meet up again soon for an evening of fishing… Just two days after the clinic, I checked my inbox and was delighted to hear that the ladies were practicing casting on their own time. I expected a degree of enthusiasm after the clinic, but this has truly exceeded my expectations.

For all of you ladies out there who are hesitant to get into fly fishing, I strongly encourage you to reach out to us here at Picabo Angler and leave us your contact info, so that we may reach back to you when we pick a date for our next women’s clinic! Fishing can do wonders for one’s soul.

Hope to see you out on the river soon!

- Phoebe Bean

December Fishing Report Sun Valley Area

Perpetual fall has finally given way to winter this week. For anglers this simply means a change in clothes, the fishing is a matter of how bad you want it. A few things to keep in mind; Silver Creek is closed from Hwy 20 upstream through the Nature Conservancy. Downstream remains open and when the overcast sets in heavy, the streamer action picks up and can be very good. Non-weighted streamers in neutral colors stripped on a tight line will draw visual strikes from big fish. Anglers can also slowly swing black and purple leeches with little to no striping action. Don’t hesitate to fish shallow and watch the surface closely for the tell-tail sign of a fish chasing your baitfish or leach imitation. Once hooked, give the fish their head or they will pull the hook every time. Fish heavy leaders and tippets. 10 feet tapered to 2X is about right. The browns are essentially off the redds and finished spawning.

This is also a great time to fill your nymph box. Picabo Angler is sitting on a huge selection of nymphs and some dries that we’re blowing out at a buck a fly. With the winter nymphing season upon us it is time to beef up the box. Expect most of the fishing on all our area waters to be mostly subsurface for a while. Small Prince Nymphs and Hares Ears can be deadly fished under and indicator or swung into deep runs. Brassies are also a must have in the box right now. If you go – Be prepared for winter travel and carry water, dry food, dry clothes, 0 Degree sleeping bag, hand warmers, tire chains and a shovel.

Duck hunters on Silver Creek, Magic Reservoir, and Carey Lake are enjoying a fresh push of Northern Ducks and Geese. For the best results, get out and scout your hunt the day before you go. Make sure you take note of where the birds are and where the cover for you and your dog is. Get there early the next day and take your time setting up shop. There is hardly a better day in a person’s life then one spent in a duck blind with a fine sporting dog who doubles as a best friend. Be sure to have an Idaho Hunting License, a Migratory Bird Stamp and your Federal Duck Stamp as well. Upland hunters please be extra careful in the field as winter sets in.


Happy Fishing and Hunting Everyone.