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 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

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 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 Report

Sun Valley / Picabo Area Fishing Report - August 1, 2018

Good news and bad news this week. Bad news is someone started a fire and the sky can be smoky depending on wind direction, and we’re done fishing the Little Wood River for the season. The good news is the fish have decided to lock onto the Hopper patterns once again this summer!

The Big Wood remains a good place to find respite from the heat. Dave’s Hopper is a tough one to beat on the Wood. We fish foam on a lot of rivers, but the traditional Dave’s Hopper works really well here and better than foam flies. If you want to fish a dropper under your Hopper try basic nymphs, like Prince Nymphs and Pheasant Tails. Try medium sized around a 16 or 14.

Silver Creek is in great summer form as Tricos and Hoppers are the norm in the mornings and afternoons. Hoppers are best fished without a dropper on the Creek, as they will float more natural and you can cast them closer to the bank. Trico Spinner Falls are the norm in the mornings. Plan on being on the water by 8:00 a.m. and fish until late morning. Keep in mind, Trico fishing is all about the presentation. Don’t overthink the fly or look in your box for a magic bullet. The magic bullet IS your presentation. The evenings on Silver Creek are a smorgasbord of insects, so bring all your flies and then fish your Hopper anyway!

The Lost River is fishing well again, even in the heat of summer. The Upper Lost River is Trico mornings on the flat water, and then Hoppers and small Attractors in the afternoons and evenings. Parachute Adams, Royal Trudes and small Stimulators are all great flies for this area. The Lower Lost River is fishing well in spots. If you can find wadable water, you can find some fish. Red Copper John’s, Heavy Baetis Nymphs and most nymphs fished at the proper depth will work well. This means adjusting your set up when you find fish laying in the shallow gravels, versus when you decide to fish the deeper slots.

Finally, the South Fork of the Boise is fishing with Hoppers and Pink Alberts. It is just far enough to the East, that anglers may find less smoke over there, although this time of the season, there are no guarantees you can escape it.

Watch the weather, pick the the right winds to go out in. Try not to expose yourself to heavy smoke for very long. Fish with a Buff and keep it damp. This will help with the smoke!

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 / Picabo Area Fishing Report - July 18, 2018

Fabulous fishing is the norm right now, but anglers should be adjusting their fishing times. A lot of anglers have been showing up to Silver Creek midmorning and wondering why they aren’t seeing stronger hatches…chances are they are just too late. The earlier the better right now and that also means the later the better as well.

There is afternoon fishing to be had out there, but plan on Nymphing and Terrestrial fishing if you want to tempt the fish in the heat of the day. The best hatches are early and late and the Rusty Spinner is now among the best flies you can carry in your fly box. This dead or dying imitation of most mayflies is deadly when we move into the heat of summer. Just fish it in the appropriate size to match the mayflies you are seeing at any given time.

The Big Wood is fishing really well, although with a slight drop in the action as the Green Drake has waned. Expect the Wood to continue to fish well, although the early / late game is going to become more and more important here as the water drops. Dave’s Hopper is a great midday choice, as are small Stimulators, Parachute Adams, Irresistible Adams and Cicadas. Early and late fish the small flies like the Rusty Spinner or Baetis Sparkle Dun.

The Creek is fishing well with the arrival of the Trico Spinner Falls. The Baetis also continue to show up daily. Anglers can normally find these bugs from 7 to 11 in the a.m. There is a Baetis return in the evening as well. The midday is all about Damsel Flies, Baby Hoppers, Ants and Beetles. Fish these near the banks and the weed beds.

The Upper Lost River is fishing, but can be day to day. Reports have been everything from fabulous fishing to head scratching on days the fish are hard to find. Generally when we find this condition on the Upper Lost system it means the fishery has also become a low light fishery. This is not normal at current volumes, but neither is the extreme heat we have had for weeks on end now.

The Lower Lost is still running high. There may be spotty fishing at spotty access if you’re in the neighborhood. Be able to drop nymphs to the bottom quickly if you head to the Mackay area.

The South Fork of the Boise continues to have decent fishing with Salmon Flies and Cicadas!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley / Picabo Area Fishing Report - June 27, 2015

Dive on in, the fishing is fine! Anglers are experiencing the best of the best right now as all our area waters become fishable. The hatches are percolating on all our freestone streams and as the water drops, more and more fishing is becoming available.

The Green Drakes have arrived on the Big Wood. This hot weather bug is best fished in the heat of the day and well into the afternoon hours. The spinner falls happen early morning before the sun hits the water. Look for the spinners flying over the fastest water. If you are fishing the Drake in the morning and see this activity, consider taking a dry fly Green Drake and soaking it. Fish it in the pool below this fast water with a strike indicator. If you are fishing the Emergence in the afternoon, try the Colorado Green Drake, or the Green Drake Cripple.

The South Fork of the Boise is fishing well, although day to day. Expect to see Salmon Flies on the lowest stretches. The Mormon Crickets are out. The big fish will eat a few of these, if you see this, try a Royal Stimulator to imitate them. The Caddis action in the evening can be off the charts and a variety of smaller Stone Flies are great to imitate as well. The flows are still at boating levels.

Silver Creek is fishing very well. The Damsels have come out early and hot afternoons have been good with Blue Damsel imitations. The Baby Hoppers are growing fast and trying a small Hopper on a windy day is not a bad idea. Ants remain great flies to fish, as well as PMD and Callibaetis. Look for Baetis if you are fishing early and late.

The Upper Lost may fish well in places. This spotty fishing can be good, but you have to seek it out. The volume in our freestone rivers is still substantial. With that said, be safe out there. Continue to leave your dog at home until we see more reasonable flows. Fish with a tight wading belt, and a friend!

Finally, a quick word on Picabo Angler guides and guiding. We want to be sure that everyone knows they can always ask one of guides for help or advice on the river. We strive to honor the non-guided anglers space and fun. We will not trespass, or be pushy around other anglers. Your fun is as important to us as our own guests! So if you see our hat on the water, please say hello! We’re here to help!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley / Picabo Area Fishing Report - June

 Anglers in the Sun Valley area are coming out of a week of tough weather, although very good fishing. The coming week should be warmer and new opportunities should be presenting themselves daily. With the freestone streams clearing and dropping ever so slowly, new areas and new hatches will present themselves.

The most anticipated hatch is the Green Drake. We have been seeing them on Silver Creek for several weeks already. When we see them on the Big Wood and Upper Lost it is almost always accompanied by a hot day. Chances are the first really true hatches will begin this coming week. There is still a danger to fishing the Wood right now at the current volume but use common sense, fish with a friend, keep your wader belt tight and leave your dog at home! You should be able to find some fishable water in side channels and along shorelines with good riffle water. The big back eddies are worth fishing as well, especially with a nymph dropper.

Expect a variety of Stoneflies and Little Yellow Sallies on the water as well. If you want to run a dropper rig of your big dry flies, the Epoxy Back Green Drake is a solid choice. Fish this beneath a Colorado Green Drake or Picabo Royal Stimulator!

The South Fork of the Boise is on the cusp of the Salmon Fly hatch and the Cicada action is as good as it has been in years. Expect to see a few Mormon Crickets and a lot of Caddis in the evening. The flows are at good boatable levels, with limited wade fishing opportunities where you find them.

Silver Creek remains the best place to fish this week. The Baetis hatches have been outstanding. They come and go throughout the day, so if the fish aren’t rising, fish the sloughs and check back in on the river periodically. Green Drakes are still in play on the Upper Stretches of the Nature Conservancy. PMD and Callibaetis are making daily appearances as well.

The Baby Hoppers have hatched this week and it is apparent we are in for another outstanding Hopper season! We are still a month away from fishing the adult Hopper, but it has been hard to keep these flies in stock the past few seasons with their abundance on the rivers, so if you’re in Picabo Angler grab some patterns now. We are currently well stocked with a lot of great Hoppers!

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 - 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!

 

 

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - June 1, 2018

The Brown Drakes will make a strong showing over the next few nights. Expect things to ramp up into Sunday and Monday. Those are days you probably don’t want to miss. Where you fish shouldn’t matter by then. The weather has caused just a trickle of bugs over the past 48 hours. With the sun out and high pressure rolling in, expect things to go back to the normal low light activity we are all use to.

Most importantly when fishing the Drake – Please Be Kind! The Drake hatch is as much about kindness as it is fishing. Watching the show with friends and helping those that need it is the essence of this hatch. It’s an opportunity to make someone’s memory banks for a lifetime. Make memories on this river, not enemies! Peace, Love and Drakes!

Elsewhere on Silver Creek, the PMD, Baetis, Callibaetis and Beetles are still making a strong showing. Fishing reports up and down the river have been very positive. Plan on ramping up your stealth with the bright light and think about Finesse Leaders as the fish wise up over the coming week.

Enjoy the weekend. Stop by the shop for flies and beverages. We’d love to see you!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report – May 14th, 2018

The countdown is on! In less than two weeks, Silver Creek opens up for the 2018 season. The creek looks great, with flows at 130 CFS and plenty of healthy fish around.

With the opener fast approaching, now is the time to stock up on essential flies. In particular, you’ll need Blue-Winged Olives, PMDs, Callibaetis, ants, beetles, and of course, Brown Drakes. We are starting our daily Brown Drake watch and anticipate seeing bugs shortly after the season opener on May 26th.

Spring is the season at Picabo Angler when all the new gear arrives! Here’s a sample of what’s new in the shop – Helios 3 rods from Orvis; Cheeky reels; rain jackets, waders, and wading boots from Orvis and Simms; Snake River Nets; gear bags and packs from Simms; fish gaiters and fly boxes from Montana Fly Company; men’s and women’s technical clothing from Simms and Orvis; leader and tippet from Orvis, RIO, and TroutHunter; and hats from RepYourWater, 208 Headwear, and Simms. Come check it out!

While most local fisheries remain closed, fishing on Magic Reservoir is really picking up. Rainbow trout, brown trout, perch, and smallmouth are being caught by savvy anglers, and a variety of flies are effective. Streamers, leeches, crayfish patterns, Clouser minnows, chironomids, midges, and small nymphs are all productive. Check out areas like Myrtle Point, the Narrows, Hot Springs Landing, and the bay at the dam.

The Picabo Angler Opening Weekend festivities are on track to be bigger and better than ever. Starting on Friday night at 5PM, we’ll have live music by Hillfolk Noir and storytelling by Hank Patterson, “your world-renowned fly fishing guide!” Sawtooth Brewery will be on hand to provide great local beers, and the kitchen staff at Picabo Angler will be preparing some of their favorite sandwiches. On Saturday, we start all over again with a free BBQ starting at 11AM. Throughout the weekend, numerous vendors and local resource agencies will be here to talk about new products and our local fisheries. It’s a great time to stop by the shop to meet our guides and staff, pick out some of your favorite flies, and cast some of the new fly rods in stock. We’ll be here rain or shine, so be sure to come see us!

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 - January 31, 2018

There are certain winters on Silver Creek where conditions line up to create very good fishing. We haven’t had one of those winters is quite some time, but this winter things have lined up nicely on the Creek. Duck season has ended on the river so things are once again quiet and the river has been relatively abandoned.

Daytime temperatures are getting high enough to create the perfect amount of daily back runoff to put a little tint in the water. Anglers that have fished the Creek extensively under these conditions know what a treat is can be. The turbid water keeps the big fish feeling safe and out in the open. This gives anglers with Streamers a perfect opportunity to fish the Creek in a way we rarely get too much of the season.

Fishing with unweighted Streamers is pure visual joy on the Creek and the next best thing to watching the dry fly take in the summer. Silver Creek fish make their presence known when they are after bait and the hardest part of fishing this way, is not setting the hook too soon, with the anticipation caused by the waking fish chasing the fly!

If you fish the Creek, you have until the end of February to get your licks in. The Creek is open to catch and release fishing downstream only from the Hwy 20 Bridge. Streamer fishing is where is at. Basic Black Buggers and Mini – Zonkers are a great choice. The key to catching fish is not the fly nearly as much as location. Stay on the move!

If a predatory fish in the Creek wants to chase your Steamer (bait representation) they are not going to be fussy about it. Be sure to keep the fly moving slow enough that they can see it, but fast enough they can’t analyze the fly. This may take some trial and error, but you’ll figure it out as soon as you hook that first one.

Try to stick to Fluorocarbon leaders in the 0X to 3X range. Having a length to 9 feet is just fine. The lack of stretch in the Fluorocarbon will lead to more hook ups as the hook will bury quicker in the fishes mouth without the leader stretching before the hook has time to penetrate. These leaders are more expensive, but they last twice as long and based on hook rates, they are worth the extra money when Streamer fishing the Creek!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fly Fishing Report - January 3, 2018

There is no end in sight to this spring like weather. There is a chance for snow over the weekend, but probably not enough to influence the fishing. If anything it may dampen the urge to travel to the lower Lost River or the South Fork of the Boise. The good news is, when its 40 degrees outside in January, you won’t have ice freezing in your guides!

The fishing on the Big Wood has been generally good, although the constant high pressure and bright sun make for diminutive Midge hatches on most days. Trying to find that classic winter day with Midges lining the banks and fish heads up everywhere is hard to come by. The good news is, with less than stellar skiing conditions we have a bunch of great winter fisheries to fall back on!

If we do get a short low pressure system in over the weekend, anglers may find the conditions right for some great dry fly activity. If you see heads up try Griffiths Gnats and Tie-Down Midges fished in tandem. If nothing else the cloud cover should provide a darker day and perhaps get some of the bigger fish out in the open and moving about the river systems. This could be especially true on Silver Creek, where a darker day should turn the Streamer fishing on.

The weekend system should be brief, so be prepared for more of the same the rest of the time. Expect Nymphing with Midge patters like Zebra Nymphs and Brassies to take fish and have some Streamers to fish in brighter patterns on the bright days. Mini Zonkers are one of our favorites on any of our area rivers.

If you fish the Creek, be aware that Duck Hunting season is still happening for a few more weeks, so please don’t approach areas where you see decoys in the water or hear shooting. The Creek is open to catch and release fishing downstream from the Highway 20 Bridge.

With the holidays complete, we know a lot of anglers will be heading to the Salt Water in the coming months to chase flats species. Picabo Angler has a ton of experience in this warm water arena and we are happy to help advise you on your trip, build you a trip, or even host you and your small group to one of our favorite destinations! Get out there and explore!

Happy Fishing Everyone!