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 Area Fishing Update - June 16, 2016

The afternoon show continues on the Creek. There has been some action in the morning hours, but nothing like what we've seen in the afternoon. Four or Five in the afternoon seems to be when things are really percolating. Yesterday we had a nice rise at about 2:30 p.m. 

Green Drakes are still showing, as well as PMD. The Baetis will come and go randomly. 

The Big Wood and other freestone rivers are dropping quick and should be fishable soon!

The South Fork of the Boise is also turning on after lunch. Caddis, Pink Alberts, Cicadas and Salmon Flies are all in play. The flows have leveled off and the fishing should be really, really good, very soon.


Opening Weekend and Brown Drakes - May 29, 2016


We wanted to say thank you to all of you for all of your generous support these past few days. Our dream of a quality fly shop focused on the Creek and Kindness could not happen without you! 

By Saturday afternoon the crowds had left the Nature Conservancy waters and the Creek blew up with a PMD hatch to beat the band. We would expect a similar event today. Think 3:00 - 4:00 in the afternoon. 

The Brown Drake continues to trickle off and baffle us like always. With warm days head for the next two weeks. and being that the hatch is following the same pattern as last season, expect major occurrences to take place every night in the coming week. I would be shocked if we didn't see the first major emergence tonight or Monday night. 

Thanks Again everyone and we look forward to seeing you all at Picabo Angler again soon!


Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - May 25, 2015

The opening weekend is behind us, and what a weekend it was! Rain nor sleet, nor hail, not even tornado warnings were able to dampen the spirit of anglers all over Silver Creek. Crazy weather systems have finally settled into a more normal pattern, but what was left behind in the wake of the weekend storms was water! Silver Creek went from nearly record low flows to nearly record high flows in a matter of days. Making it even more interesting, the Brown Drakes began trickling off Friday night before the opener, and teased anglers to the water’s edge every night since. The weather prevented a major hatch, but get ready because the Drake is on! Brown Drakes love the hot weather and the forecast is for more of just that.

Elsewhere on the Creek - Callibaetis, Baetis and PMDs were all present at times and with the sun this week, the PMD should begin to take center stage up and down the river. If you are coming down to fish the Creek, stop on into Picabo Angler and check out our new layout, our new product and our HUGE fly selection ordered specifically to help you have the best chance to catch fish on this wonderful, yet technical river!

The South Fork of the Boise fished well over the opener and should be at driftboat levels by midweek. Girdle Bugs, Prince Nymphs or any of your favorite Stonefly Nymphs will produce fish. Keep in mind this river is going to be in a state of change this season, as higher flows mover things around. Please boat safely and with caution.

The Big Wood has mostly been unfishable lately, but should begin to clear and fish very well, very soon. Big Stimulators with bead-head droppers is the way to go when the river clears. This is the same on the Upper Lost River as well as its tributaries. The flows remain high, and tough to wade on the Lower Lost River, but with some exploring anglers can find some nice pockets to fish. Plan on Nymphing if you go.

The Little Wood River north of Carey is clear enough to fish and should produce some fun fishing with general Attractor Patterns and your favorite Stonefly dries like Royal Stimulators.

Finally, like we always say, the Brown Drake hatch is here, so let’s all be kind to one another and enjoy the laughter and fun being had up and down the lower stretches of the Creek. Help your fellow angler and enjoy this hatch as much for its surreal nature as the fishing opportunity it brings!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - May 11, 2015

There is one glaring question that we’ve been asked about over and over already this season…When are the Drakes going to hatch? This is not an awful question, although it is difficult to answer. All we can do is look at recent history and recent conditions and then make our best guess. Once we get right up on opening day we can look at the nymph and make a guess based on how dark and swollen the wing cases are. Beyond that, all we can say is be ready this season, as recent history and conditions suggest the hatch will occur sometime before the end of this month.

The key to that statement is watch the weather. If things stay relatively nice and warm, you can all but count on May Drakes. If the weather turns gloomy, cold, wet, windy, then expect the hatch to occur once these conditions settle. Of course the best way to be sure you don’t miss the first big night of the hatch is to sit riverside every night after the opener. Hurry up and wait, is the only surefire method one has to be sure you catch the first night.

It is important to keep in mind that the hatch generally moves up the river from the Picabo Bridge, terminating at the Highway 20 Bridge approximately a week later. It is not uncommon, the first few nights to only see the hatch low on the river. Anglers could sit at Point of Rocks or the Willows with zero bugs on the water, while the lower Creek is going off. So, unless you know the hatch has been going for at least 3 days, you better start looking and waiting at Picabo Bridge.

Finally, a word on etiquette. The Brown Drake is a huge hatch and anglers come from all over to witness it and fish it. There is never a shortage of people, so don’t be surprised to see plenty of your fellow angler. Keep in mind though, over the years, this hatch has been one in which we brothers and sisters of the fly have made into a kind, peaceful and fun event. There is no place during the Drake for boorish behavior and bad attitudes. Please keep in mind, we are all on the Creek to enjoy the same thing. No fish is worth ruining your good time, or others! Treat the Drake hatch as a time to bond with friends and strangers alike! You’ll find the fun and camaraderie something worth cherishing.

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Silver Creek Access Primer #5

Here's video #5 in our series of Silver Creek access points. This one is on the Nature Conservancy & Float Tube section. Check it out:

Silver Creek Access Primer #1

Below is a short video primer on the farthest downstream fishing access on Silver Creek called, Priest Rapids. This is our first video in a series that showcases all of the different public access points on Silver Creek. Priest Rapids is completely different both aesthetically and hatch wise than what people ordinarily think of as Silver Creek. It flows over basalt and has a much steeper gradient making for pools and fast water and pockets. See the video below for more...

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - December 29th, 2014

Cold and clear is on tap for the next week of fishing local Sun Valley waters. The fishing should still be excellent, and dry fly activity should continue, but the fishing windows will be much shorter. Instead of getting up and getting to the water around 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. anglers may want to wait an extra hour or two before heading to the river. Nothing wrong with one more cup of coffee!

Take some hand warmers, because you will be picking ice from you guides most days this week. Keep in mind that the softer the rod fly rod you fish the less chance you will have of it turning brittle and breaking in the cold.

Silver Creek will fish well near the Highway 20 Bridge, but expect a lot of frozen water as you get closer to Picabo. Streamer fishing is always a fantastic winter technique on the Creek and a great way to catch the biggest fish in the river most of the winter. Remember, the river is closed upstream of Hwy 20 and open to catch and release fishing only downstream from the bridge.

The Big Wood will have plenty of ice on the banks this week, but the heavy riffles and narrow runs will stay open and fish well. Be cautious out there and remember to ALWAYS bring a change of warm dry clothes with you in the winter. One slip into the river at these sub-freezing temps will bring on hypothermia quickly. Having warm, dry clothes to change into can make a huge difference.  

For longer treks and days the South Fork of the Boise and the Big Lost River are great places to head for and they are also good destinations to think about when we have these blues sky days and no chance of snow. You can count on excellent driving conditions and feel god in the knowledge you won’t be stuck overnight by weather.

Flies this time of the year are the same all over. We want to mainly represent Midges with our flies. Griffiths Gnat, Tie-Down Midges, Brassies, Zebras, and Zug Bugs are all excellent choices. Standards like Prince Nymphs and Hares Ears are also excellent choices. Streamer flies should include Buggers, Sparkle Minnows, Zonkers and Double Bunny Flies. If your line freezes a lot, fishing Streamers with a roll cast is an excellent way to fish without constantly bringing freezing water into your guides!

Happy Fishing and Happy New Year Everyone!

Distinguishing A Male From A Female Trout


As a guide, I am often amazed at the look of someone's face when I comment that the fish he or she has just caught is a male or a female. "How can I tell?" they immediately ask while examining the underside of the fish for an obvious visual cue. Below are a couple of images that explain the difference. Note, it is often more difficult to determine a trout's gender when it is still a juvenile, ie under 9 or so inches.

Here is a female Brown Trout caught recently on the Big Wood River below Magic Reservoir. Note the size of the jaw in relation to the size of the fish. Also important to note is the rounded shape of the jaw on a female trout. While hard to see in this image, the anal fin on a female Brown or Rainbow Trout will be slightly concave and a male's anal fin will be slightly convex. Looking at the jaw generally does the trick though and the short rounded jaw on a trout is the tell-tale sign of a female.

photo: john huber

Here's an example of a male Brown Trout. Note the elongated jaw and even the convex anal fin. Males also often have a slightly longer lower jaw. The jaw on the male brown is not short and rounded at all... An elongated jaw on male trout and male salmon as well is called a Kype. The older the male trout becomes, the more elongated Kype it will have. The above image was taken on Silver Creek.

photo: nick price