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 Area Fishing Report - April 13, 2016

There is a lot of wonderful spring weather headed our direction this week! There is a limited amount of fishing to be had, but what is out there is a real treat. The Big Lost River is the only river system that remains open to fishing. It is a long drive to get over there, but the fact that the Baetis hatches are prolific and the big fish are up eating them coupled with the fact you can stop at Picabo Angler for breakfast, flies, licenses, beer, gas and a brown bag lunch make it all worthwhile!

If you head over to the Lost, be ready to see a few more anglers than normal, especially on the weekend. It is one of the only open places to fish, outside of Steelhead on the Salmon or Carp on the Snake. If you go, just be polite, ask your fellow angler where they are headed and then fish accordingly. There is plenty of fishable water on the Lost, but it is a narrow river channel. Be polite and respectful and help your fellow angler have a great time. It will add to your experience as well.

If you go, have plenty of Baetis flies in your box. Gulper Specials, Transitional Duns and Parachute patterns will all do the trick. Plan on fishing with 6X tippets and preferably a soft rod, to protect those light tippets. There is also a chance to see Midge hatches too, so don’t put that fly box away for the winter quite yet. If you have to fish subsurface, be sure to bring plenty of Zebra Nymphs for the Midge imitation and plenty of Pheasant Tail Nymphs to replicate the Baetis.

The Salmon River has been blown out lately, and although there is some fishing to be had upstream of Valley Creek, most of the fish in that area are in full blown spawning mode right now. Keep in mind these fish swam through many, many dams and swan 900 miles UPSTREAM to spawn. Keep this in mind when you see fish paired up or in their Redds, and leave them alone.

Elsewhere, we have some great reservoir fishing on Magic and the Little Wood. Try fishing from the banks or a float tube if you need a quick fix. Carp fishing on the Snake is always fun when the weather turns nice and be sure to keep your eyes on low lying lakes as the ice begins to come off!

Happy Fishing Everyone!



Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - March 16, 2016

The weather keeps coming and with it comes the water our fish so desperately need all summer! Great news for fish and anglers alike! With nighttime temps in the 20s for the coming week, we should be holding onto this snow until the end of the month.

On the Big Wood anglers should expect a return to winter fishing conditions. Expect exceptional Midge hatches accompanied by the Little Black Stones. Be prepared to nymph and fish the dry. Standard winter patterns are all you need; Zebra Nymph, Brassie, Tie-Down Midge and Griffiths Gnat. If you start before the hatches try Streamer fishing. The pre-spawn Rainbows should be very aggressive right now.

Silver Creek remains closed, but the water levels are to the tops of the banks, giving the Creek a good flush. Expect an amazing Opening Weekend down here in Picabo!

The Lost continues to fish well. Bring all your same Big Wood River patterns and enjoy some of the season’s best fishing near Mackay for the next month or so. Don’t forget the Lost can be a great fall back for Steelhead anglers when the Salmon decides to blow out. That shouldn’t be the case this week as temps remain cold and the forecast isn’t showing a lot of precipitation.

Steelhead should be getting on the move up on the Salmon River with a little influx of moisture and daytime temps warm enough to melt some snow off the banks and giving the fish the sign that it’s time to start moving up the system. Fishing should be better closer to Challis the next few weeks than the upstream portion, but the fish are where you find them!

Anglers fishing the canyon water below Magic Reservoir have been treated to some excellent fishing. It may not be fast and furious, but it is a good place to try for some big fish, both Browns and Rainbows.

Watch the wind in Hagerman for the calm days. Those days are ideal for sight fishing Carp in shallow water. Bring “hook up” patterns like you’d fish for Bonefish. Damsel Flies tied with small bead chain eyes are very effective.

One thing is for certain this time of year, angles have decisions to make! There is a lot to do and a lot of room to do it. Get out there and enjoy yourself this spring. It is a time of year full of surprises and world class fishing!

Happy Fishing Everyone!


Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - March 8, 2016

The sun rises over the flats and we can see tails sticking out of the water in many places. There must be 20 fish up on this flat alone. The wind is down today so the movement of cruising fish is easy to see. We begin to creep up on the closest targets for an accurate cast. My first attempt is off the mark and the fish turns and heads for a channel. My cousin on the other hand puts his fly right between the fishes and eyes and within seconds his 7-weight is arced over as the fish freaks out in shallow water and the fight is on!

How many planes did we take? How much sunscreen did we use? How much did all of this cost? Well, to be truthful, we didn’t get on a plane, I forgot my sunscreen and bought a small tube at the Flying J and the cost was a ½ tank of gas, a sixer of beer and two roast beef sandwiches.

We are on the Snake River fishing for Carp today. My cousin had spent the week before going over Google Earth looking for potential flats we could wade along the Snake River looking for these fish that love to feed in the shallows. These areas are not hard to find. Boat ramps, scenic overlooks, riverside trails and access via boat all represent easy opportunity to test your saltwater skills right here in Idaho.

Fly selection requires you bring your nymph box to the river with you. San Juan Worms, Damsel Nymphs, Leeches, small Buggers and anything else you can imagine living in the river mud are effective on Carp. A nine foot, fluorocarbon Leader tapered to about 8 pounds will hook plenty of fish. Consider even longer leaders on really calm days.

Be sure that Carp are not easy to catch. Their reputation implies that they are, but just take a fly and give it a shot. You may just find that the selective nature and hard fighting ability of these fish is worthy of your attention. You may also find upon returning home, that they may need even more of your attention on ensuing days.

Keep your eyes on the wind down south. If you see some days where the gusts are staying below 10 mph then you are probably going to be able to find plenty of targets. Carp fishing has been one of the most active areas in the fly fishing industry the past few years, and for good reason. Check it out!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - April 13th, 2015

There is some pretty fine weather in the forecast this week. Warm days give fly anglers a great chance to explore. With temperatures in the mid-seventies down on the Snake, and a bright sun to go with it, the Carp fishing should be excellent! Use your favorite Damsel Fly Nymphs, tied upside down so that the hook point rides sticking up. Find yourself some Carp along the banks, bays and backwaters of the Snake and try to present your offering right on their noses. Fishing a 10 foot length of 2x Fluorocarbon is about right with minor adjustments for water clarity and finicky fish.

The reservoir fishing should pick back up if the wind will stay down a bit more this week, than last. A calm, warm day on Magic, the Little Wood or even Anderson Ranch for some Bass can be one of the most fun days anglers can have on the water. Take long leaders and your favorite streamers and enjoy the tight-line retrieve and take!

The Lost River and the Little Wood River remain open for fishing. The spawning activity on the Lost should be increasing in the coming days and weeks, so please be careful about not walking on the Redds of spawning fish. On calm days expect to fish Baetis Dries on the Lost and when the wind comes up plan of Nymphing. The Little Wood is primarily a place to cast Streamers right now, with a little bit of opportunity to cast some Nymphs.

There are still a few Steelhead to be caught on the Salmon River, although one can expect angler numbers to spike with the beautiful weather! If you go, be aware the fish are well into their spawning activity now, so be aware of their Redds also.

Spring is such a great time of the season here. Take advantage of the weather and the opportunity to explore! Search the Malad River and Billingsley Creek, try to time ice-out on the low elevation lakes, and look for arrowheads and morels while you look for fish! The Bass fishing on Carey Lake has been good, Fish Creek Reservoir may still hold a few surprises, even try little Brook Trout in Lake Creek, which can become an adventure in the spring! We are also on the cusp of the new season, so if you tie flies, now is the time! P.M.D, Baetis and Brown Drakes will all be upon us soon!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - March 30, 2015

It is time that time of year for anglers to branch out! With Silver Creek, the Big Wood, and the South Fork all closed for the next few months, anglers can chose to fish a bit closed than normal to one’s fellow fishermen, or get out and explore places that would otherwise go unfished.

Steelhead season is still going strong on the Main Salmon from Challis to Redfish. Anglers have enjoyed a great early season run, and we can expect this to continue and begin to taper off in the next few weeks. Sight fishing is the name of the game here, with more traditional “down and across” methods being employed in more of the downstream waters.

The Big Lost River remains open year around now. The fishing here has been great, with daily Baetis hatches greeting anglers and fish alike. Expect to see a few more anglers on the water as rivers close to spawning. Also, plan on seeing a few more fish sitting on Redds over the next couple of weeks. Work hard to avoid walking over these spots and fishing to the fish that are using them. Baetis hatches should continue and should remain strong in this spring like weather.

Getting out to explore is a great idea for many anglers, especially since it is easy for fly anglers like us to get into certain places that fish well, and not want to leave. This is absolutely one of our favorite times of the season to pursue Carp on the fly near Hagerman. The Snake River has all kinds of great places to fish for Carp, and normally anglers can have these places all to themselves. If you go, take a boat or just walk and wade the many flats that are easy to find along the rivers many reservoirs. Damsel nymphs are amongst our favorite flies for Carp.

Magic Reservoir, and places like Fish Creek and Little Wood Reservoir are also excellent places to fish in the spring. The fishing at Seagull Point on Magic has been very good this year. Anglers can employ the use of floatubes, boats, or just bank fishing. Use stout rods in 5 and 6 weights, and beef up your tippets to 2X and 3X fluorocarbon. A favorite fly in a Green Woolly Bugger, fished on a tight-line strip. You don’t have to be very deep. Most of the fish will forage in the top 12 feet of the water column! Have fun looking at new water this week, and let us know how we can help you find success on our many stillwaters!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - March 16, 2015

Spring has sprung in the Sun Valley area. With the consistent change to spring like weather comes new opportunities! Steelhead season is underway in the Stanley / Challis area. Early snowmelt and warm days have brought the river up, thus bringing the fish up with it. This doesn’t necessarily mean a prolonged season in as much as it means an earlier end to follow the early beginning. If you love chasing these Sea-Run Rainbows now is your time. We have guides available should you need a lesson or just want that extra set of eyes and knowledge for the day!

The Big Wood has continued its temperamental nature that has been common place since the recent forest fires throughout the drainage. Recent rains have blown it out, and this will continue with most big storms, but expect some o.k. fishing towards the end of the month, as long as clear skies prevail. There is a little bit of fishing to be had below Magic Reservoir, in the Big Wood’s canyon stretch, but the area is not quite as fishy as it has been in years past.

The Lower Lost is the place to be for most anglers right now. Pre-spawn is in full-swing and is timed nicely with frequent lunch time Blue Winged Olive action on the surface. If the fish aren’t working the surface, a nymph combo is a great choice. Think small Pheasant Tails to copy the Baetis (BWO) nymphs and try Red colored anything (Copper Johns and Zebra Midges) to imitate the midges and the eggs that early spawners drop throughout the river. This is a great day trip, and until anglers can drive over Trail Creek Summit, Picabo Angler is open daily with a great fly selection, gas, groceries and lunch. Stop by for a latte as well. We’re truly a one stop shop for anglers!

The South Fork of the Boise continues to fish o.k. as well. Sporadic Blue Winged Olive hatches as well as some good Midge action are enough to bring a few fish to the fly. It hasn’t been gang busters, but it is a beautiful time of the year down there, and always a few degrees warmer as long as the wind doesn’t blow.

This is also an EXCELLENT time of the year to begin prospecting our local stillwaters, like Magic Reservoir or the Little Wood. Carp fishing the Snake is also very good right now, as fly anglers take advantage of another prespawn opportunity!

Happy Fishing Everyone!