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 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!


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!


Sun Valley Fly Fishing Report

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

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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

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!


Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - June 7, 2018

For the second year in a row, we got a several day Brown Drake tease, with just a few bugs on the water each night and each morning. Anglers can expect this action to continue through the weekend. The best hatches and spinner falls will slowly move upstream. By the weekend, the epicenter of the action should be all the way up to the Hwy 20 Bridge.

There is plenty of room for everyone out there as long as we all remain kind to one another! Please keep this in mind, especially if this is your first Drake experience. Peace, Love and Drakes is what we celebrate here. Please take this to heart and help your fellow angler whenever you can!

During the daylight hours on Silver Creek the fishing has been fantastic. PMD and Baetis are hatching and the Callibaetis action should grow quickly with the heat. The best surface action has probably been on Black Ants. When the wind comes up anglers have been fishing Ants and PMD’s in tandem. This seems to work well, if there are no specific targets to cast at.

Moving forward expect to see the Green Drakes on the Nature Conservancy waters with the warmer days. This can be an incredible pattern to fish on the Preserve waters, so be sure not to go to the river without a few!

When the Big Wood clears and comes into shape the Green Drake is going to be a great hatch. Be sure to get your fly box full. The Colorado Hair-Wing Drake is among our favorites, as well as the Cripple Patters. The Green Drake Epoxy Back Nymph is also a deadly fly on the Wood and Upper Lost once they clear. Fish this fly underneath a Picabo Royal Stimulator and you’re in business!

The Mormon Cricket is showing up on the South Fork of the Boise. If you see them in the water, you can try to imitate them. Some of the fish care for this bug and some could care less. It is a really big, hard bodied bug that takes a big fish to eat it. Warmer days on the South Fork also means the Salmon Flies should be coming. They are generally in the Canyon Section of the river by the second week of June!

Happy Fishing Everyone!



2017 Sun Valley Fly Fishing Update

I’m sitting here in Picabo, halfway through winter storm Iras. Not sure when they started naming these storms, but alas Iras is an ass-kicker! Heavy wet snow, mixed with wind, some light rain and some sleet! Yet, how do I love Iras? Let me count the ways. O.K. there is one way. I love her for her water content…

This should make two years in a row where we finish a winter at 100% snow pack or above. This does wonders for Silver Creek and the fish, bugs and anglers that call these waters home. Today we stand at 120% snow pack with more storms on the horizon.

I’m here in January with eternal optimism and excitement for the fishing season ahead! It’s been so long since we’ve had quality water years, much less back to back years, I wonder if people forget how good the fishing on Silver Creek can be. I’ll tell you this; invest in a float tube if you don’t already have one. Let me know if you’re in need and I’ll throw it on my spring order.

Get ready anglers. This season is going to be one to remember. It is not too soon to start tying your P.M.D. patterns, your Callibaetis and your larger Baetis patterns as well. If you aren’t tying or buying Beetles and Ants right now, then what are you doing?

O.K. it is lining up to be an epic summer, enough said. Picabo Angler will be in Boise at the Expo center Friday and Saturday! Come over and see us and we can talk about this in person!!!

Go winter fishing!



Sun Valley Fishing Report - July 13, 2016

Fishing season is in full swing and we are enjoying the benefits of 100% snowpack! The rivers are full of water and the fish and bugs are benefiting the most! Some area rivers are just coming into fishable shape, while others are already into the second round of summer time hatches.

Silver Creek is a great place to be as Trico activity is fast and furious. Try to catch this spinner fall as soon as the air temps hit 70 degrees. The big secret right now is the early morning activity taking place prior to the Trico. Prairie Caddis and Callibaetis Spinners are putting on a crack of dawn show for those anglers that can drag themselves from summer slumber. Baetis are following the Trico and by afternoon Callibaetis, Damsels and Hoppers take the stage. Baby Hoppers on the windy days and Damsels on the calm days. In the evening the PMDs are the main players and at night it is mousing time!

The Big Wood is fishing well with a variety of small attractors like Royal Trudes and Olive Stimulators. Baby Hoppers are also on the scene here. The last of the Green Drakes should be around this week. Nymphing and Streamer fishing is very productive right now. Prince Nymphs and Sparkle Minnows are all you need.

The Upper Lost River is fishing well with big dry flies, but the volume still dictates fishing with someone, tight wading belts and no dogs. The East Fork and the North Fork at a very reasonable volume right now and very fishable for anglers of all skill levels. Fish Royal Stimulators and Irresistible Adams.

The Lower Big Lost is still running very high. A few fishable spots can provide a few hours of fishing, but the mobility on the Lower Lost is limited until the Fall.

The South Fork of the Boise is moving from spring hatches like Stone Flies and Salmon Flies to summer bugs like Pink Alberts and Grass Hoppers. Drift boat flows are still the norm with some limited wading opportunities.

The Little Wood is fishing well with nymphs. The Mosquitos remain prolific in this area, but if the wind and the heat come up, this may be worth exploring for an afternoon.

The best part of fishing right now, is anglers can choose what they like to do best and go do it! It feels a bit like the starters gun has gone off and now it’s time to fish it all!

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 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


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 - October 19, 2015

True Fall came in with the weekend and it looks like it plans to stay until winter takes over. We have heard many an angler frustrated by the lack of consistent hatches, but that should all have changed by now. Not to sound like a broken record, but the Fall Baetis hatches should be significant as we head toward November and Mahogany Duns continue to both frustrate and inspire anglers on a day to day basis.

The angler numbers in the past week have dropped to a season low, meaning you can fish to your hearts content while still experiencing the last hatches and spinner falls of the year. Spawning Brown and Brook Trout are dropping eggs into almost all the river systems, often making Nymphing a better choice than fishing the dry even when the hatches are on! When this happens it becomes an angler’s personal choice if you are going to fish the top or the bottom.

Some great opportunities also exist this week a bit farther from Sun Valley, as low flows make for some exciting fishing and easy access on the Lower Lost River and the South Fork of the Boise. Both are great places to fish Baetis this time of the year, and on a pretty fall day the drive is worth it as much as the fishing.

IF you are headed to the South Fork of the Boise and you are an Upland Hunter don’t forget your shotgun and your bird dog as the Chukar population in areas above the river seems to be coming back strong since the fires of a few years ago. This is a great cast and blast opportunity. We like to go early and hunt while it’s cool and once it’s warm enough for the Baetis, normally about 1:00 p.m. we drop to the river corridor and start looking at our favorite runs for rising fish.

Fishing windows are short these days so try to maximize your time by arriving early and staying late. The afternoon and early evenings will be more productive than the mornings as the nighttime temperatures reach the freezing mark in many places. So by early, we mean sometime around 10:00 a.m. and by late we mean fish until sunset.

If things get too cold out there come into Picabo Angler and check out the new fingerless KAST gloves. They are a local Idaho Falls company and are producing some of the finest cold weather gear in the industry! We are proud to sell their gear in our store!

Happy Fishing and Hunting Everyone!

Anglers Journal 2015 Summer Issue

Below is a two page image of John Huber in the current summer issue of Anglers Journal. The image was taken on the Double R section of Silver Creek during last year's mega-moon.

Two page image of Picabo Angler's John Huber in the summer issue of Anglers Journal. Photo: Nick Price