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 / Picabo Fishing Report - June 29th, 2016

The fish aren't the only thing jumping this summer!

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Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - September 7, 2015

Fall is upon us. The leaves are changing, chainsaws are heard in the timber, elk are bugling, gardens are being harvested and autumn hatches are here!

On the Big Wood the Western Red Quill is out and about, driving the fish crazy! This BIG mayfly is a mouthful for a fish and a great way for fish to fatten up before winter. Couple this with the enormity of Fall Baetis hatches and it’s apparent that this is a good month to be a trout in Idaho! Expect to see both of these insects during bankers hours and with quite a bit of overlap as well. Trico on warm mornings is still a possibility and Hoppers are going to continue to take fish until they are long gone.

Expect a lot of the same thing in the Upper Lost, with a lean toward Ants and Hoppers. Although the Upper is fishing well, the water is low enough, be prepared to cover a lot of ground! The fish are holding in the deep water and under the slick foam lines. Look for this water type and you will find fish.

The Lower Lost continues to fish well when flows are reasonable. It looks as though they may stay at fishable levels for the duration, but keep an eye on the CFS. If it remains below 350 CFS, you are in business and the trip is worth it. Skating Crane Flies is the most fun way to angle, with Trico and Baetis also bringing fish to the surface. If nothing is happening, fish with red colored nymphs and Zebra Midges.

Silver Creek remains excellent, although with shorter fishing windows. Expect the morning activity to start late, sometime around 10:00 a.m. and even later on cold mornings. The afternoons are becoming more and more productive and the early evening has been really good. If you fish the Creek, have Baetis, Callibaetis, Hoppers, Ants, and Mahogany Duns. Expect to see the Mahogany Dun any day now, as the cooler weather should bring this bug to the forefront.

The South Fork of the Boise remains around 600CFS, making some wading possible, and some boating possible. Hoppers are the way to go if you head down there, with a residual Pink Albert on a hot day and Ants a great fly in the slowest water!

Hunters can expect to see a few northern Doves making their way into the valley and the Grouse hunting remains solid. Be safe and enjoy the hunt!

Happy Fishing and Hunting Everyone!


A Thank You.

Summer is wrapping up quickly in Picabo. Good things are coming though, as the fall is our favorite season down here on the Creek! Yet, sadly with the end of summer, we say goodbye to our college bound summer helpers; Nathan Nelson and Phoebe Bean.

It seems like years instead of months since the Brown Drake hatch in May. Watching Nathan run around like mad, working in the shop, getting dirty in the field, being the last one to the water at the end of the day - with the Drakes in full swing - and smiling all the way through it for weeks…was a proud moment for all of us! Nathan was thrown into the frying pan this summer. Starting your first fly shop gig on one of the world’s most challenging waters is not ideal, but it is necessary as Picabo Angler continues to grow. Nathan learned fast, fished hard and met a whole lot of fly anglers from all over the globe.



Phoebe blew all our minds when she put together a women’s fly fishing course that became the highlight of the summer at Picabo Angler! Seven women were lucky enough to see Phoebe Bean unleash 21 years of fishing knowledge and then share some time on the water with her. Her knowledge coupled with her personality and drive sets Phoebe apart and makes her the kind of teacher that can easily go “beyond” fishing instruction... The outpouring of good vibes permeated the shop for weeks and the phone began ringing with requests for more classes. Phoebe has promised no less than three next summer! She wants it known that new AND returning students are all welcome to join her.



One thing Picabo Angler has been striving to do is create a vibe on kindness on the Creek, urging anglers to say hello to one another, compare notes, help with flies, help each other find a spot, or even share a beer with a stranger. We are proud to be that hub and be a part of a fly fishing community where we are all brothers and sisters of the fly. Phoebe and Nathan came into the shop, not knowing that was our mission, but they both understood it right away. Mostly by watching a swarm of people during the madness of Brown Drakes be amazingly awesome to one another!

So thank all of you “Picabo Anglers” for helping these two great young people feel welcome and supported. Many a high level angler could have been standoffish with our summer help, but instead you all shared knowledge and bought enough flies and hats to get everyone back next season! We’re super proud of the summer we just had! Thank You Nathan! Thank You Phoebe! Thank You Anglers!

See you in the fall!

John Huber

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - November 24, 2014

Excellent winter fishing weather is upon us. Low pressure, some cloud cover, and days above the freezing mark means happy fish and happy anglers. We are still a bit early for the major midge hatches of winter but excellent Nymphing and Streamer days are here.

Anglers that want to fish the Nature Conservancy portion of Silver Creek have until the end of the week/month to get their licks in. Streamer fishing should be very good as the Brown Trout population has come off the spawn with a need to fatten up quickly before the long months of winter set in. If you can’t make it this week don’t fret, as Silver Creek downstream of Hwy 20 remains open to catch and release fishing through the end of February.

If you decide to fish the Creek with Streamers, use non-weighted flies and fish them just under the surface. Watch for the wake and the boil of water on the surface when the fish takes the Streamer. It is a very visual and very fun way to catch fish on the Creek throughout the winter.

Anglers looking at our freestone streams like the Big Wood, Little Wood and Upper Lost should be fishing standard nymphs in large sizes. Prince Nymph, Hares Ears and Girdle Bugs are great choices. Fishing them in tandem is also a great idea. Use a size 10 as a lead fly and then trail a size 18 or smaller midge pattern behind the lead fly. About a foot and half is all that you need for the trailer. Make sure your indicator is able to float both flies and then cover some water!

With the ski season starting this week, expect very few anglers out on our local rivers. If you decide to fish the Lost River and are driving through Arco, don’t forget to stop and see us at Picabo Angler. We’ll put the right flies in your hand, and if you need a Latte, Breakfast or a box lunch we can help with that also. Anglers fishing the Creek can stop in for a hot lunch here at the shop and don’t forget roast chicken Fridays!

Chukar and Duck hunting has been excellent near Picabo this season. The waterfowl population is way up and the early snow has moved the Chukar down the ridge lines. These conditions are great for hunters and yet another reason to come see us in Picabo!

Happy Fishing and Hunting Everyone!

Sun Valley Opening Day Fishing

Opening Day is Saturday! In Picabo it may as well be Christmas Morning and we might all as well be twelve years old. That’s the kind of buzz and excitement level we experience on Silver Creek’s opening day. Friends and families have gathered here for the opener over generations and you should join us too.

This year will be extra special with the new pond project completed and the huge amount of new fishing opportunity it represents. Rarely does a fishery see the massive improvement Silver Creek experienced over the off season. We asked some of the Valley’s best anglers what they would tell someone heading to Silver Creek for their first opening day experience and this is what they had to say.

John Huber: “I would tell anglers to head for the Creek in the evening. The hatches will be stronger and there will be half as many people fishing. Wait, I guess I’d head to the Creek in the afternoon, eat BBQ, say hello to fishing friends, and then head for the water.”

Nick Price: “Forget about fishing the opener during daylight hours and spend that time hanging out at the Picabo Angler opening day BBQ instead.”

Bob Turzian: “Watch for hatches, but if you don’t see anything going on, a small soft hackle or bugger will produce strikes, especially the soft hackle which has become a great early season fly. I’d also think about fishing the upper Conservancy looking for Midges in the morning and Sullivan’s Slough for Callibaetis in the afternoon.”

Nick Anderson: “Come and have fun, enjoy the fantastic opportunity that is Silver Creek, let the fishing take care of itself, and don’t forget your glass rod!”

David James: “Be patient and enjoy the scenery.”

Tim Mansel (Idaho Angler): “Fly anglers have the opportunity to fish this world renowned trout fishery, but be sure you will have your work cut out for you.”  

One can quickly read into these bits of advice, even on opening weekend, the fish don’t all come easy! Regardless of where or when you fish Silver Creek on Saturday, be sure to stop in and see us at Picabo Angler. We will be having our traditional opening day BBQ starting at 11 am, and we will have our casting course set up for rod demos and an overall great fly fishing buzz! Pun intended. The store will be open 6:30 am to 8 pm and the weather is looking spectacular. We’ll see you Saturday!