Picabo Angler

Pee-Ka-Boo is a Native American word meaning "Shining Waters."

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Filtering by Tag: south fork of boise fishing report

Sun Valley Fly Fishing Report

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

Here comes the cold! A significant change in our weather patterns means temperatures should be dropping about 10 degrees less than what we’ve been experiencing. This could mean the beginning of the end of the dry fly season in the Sun Valley area. The heat of the day could produce some small dry fly windows, especially if it is calm out. Think late afternoons if you want to try to fish the surface.

Silver Creek has a few more hatches left. The Fall Baetis here can sometimes last until Thanksgiving, but that fishing window could shrink down to an hour or two of decent rises. The Brown Trout will be coming off the spawn soon. This means a lot of big hungry trout are going to be out hunting and looking to pack on the calories before winter sets in. This means Streamer fishing and especially on cloudy days and low light periods. The Creek can be a spectacular place in the late fall, just watch the weather and try to find some nice fair days to go fish.

The Big Wood will still fish surprising well with some large attractors in the fall. Consider large Royal Wulffs, H and L Variants and even some Orange or Royal Stimulators. The Midge activity in the early evening is also a nice precursor and warm up for this winter’s Midge hatches! If nothing seems to be working get out an Olive Bugger and fish a lot of water. You will find some nice fish with the proper Streamer techniques. Now, if all else fails, fish a Prince Nymph / Red Copper John tandem under a strike indicator!

The Lower Lost River is still a great place to be in the Fall. Manageable flows and hungry fish mean anglers are finding good success. Nymphing is the norm and a variety of Midge patterns and small Baetis patterns will do the trick!

O.K. it is time to pay closer attention to the weather before you travel to fish. We would suggest taking time this week and putting together a winter fishing / travel kit. Fill an bag with a dry change of warm clothes. Pack some food and water and throw a good sleeping bag in the truck as well. Freak storms, muddy or snowy roads and short daylight hours means we all need to take precautions as we enter the winter fishing season. Be safe and have fun!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing Report

Sun Valley / Picabo Area Fishing Report - October 24, 2018

A fall mix of weather is upon us. Sun, rain and clouds are all in the forecast, but daytime temperatures should remain comfortable. Cloudy days are certainly going to influence the hatches, but still no need to wake up and get to the water early. Best fishing times should remain between lunch and dinner.

Silver Creek hatch activity remains strong in the middle and later half of the day. The Baetis is the dominant hatch, and this activity could increase with the cloud cover this week. The Mahogany Dun is also still out and about, although in fewer numbers. Expect to see this hatch along with the Baetis late in the day. Don’t hesitate to check out the downstream access points like Silver Creek East to see the best hatches of this insect. Lastly, the October Caddis is still hatching. Anglers can pick up a few fish with this fly during the day by treating it like a Grasshopper. The actual occurrence of the bug should take place closer to the evening hours.

The Big Wood is still fishing very well. We haven’t had a season this good on the Big Wood since our first big forest fires a decade ago. Great hatches, lots of fish and sizable fish have all been in the mix. Now, with angler numbers down for the season, its’s a great time to be out there! Fish Baetis wets and dry and be prepared for some Streamer fishing or Nymph Fishing when the fish aren’t rising. Olive Streamers fish while moving at a decent pace will take plenty of fish. Copper John’s in Red and Copper under a strike indicator will also produce fish.

The Lower Lost remains a great place to fish this fall. Decent Baetis hatches and lots of fish distribution are making for happy anglers. Nymphing is the norm and fishing tandem nymphs will produce good catch rates. Try large nymphs as the lead fly, like a Prince Nymph or Copper John. Drop a small micro-nymph behind these, like a Zebra Nymph or your favorite Tungsten Beaded pattern.  Move slowly up the river and even fish the shallow riffles. Move slow enough and you should be able to site nymph a few fish if the sun is out!

The South Fork of the Boise continues to pump out cookie cutter days of fabulous Baetis hatches. This is a great place to cast and blast as well! Chukar hunt all morning and catch the hatch after lunch!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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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

The fish are adjusting to our new weather patterns, as are the anglers! Cooler mornings and evenings, coupled with perfect daytime highs are making for some more outstanding fishing. The higher elevations are seeing a slowdown in the catch rates, but locally, we couldn’t ask for better angling. Things should be nice and quiet on the water in the coming weeks, as school has started and the hunters are all out hunting!

Silver Creek continues its magnificent run of Hopper fishing. It could be the best season we’ve ever had on Hoppers and we don’t see any reason this should stop before the first big frosts of the season. Some of the fall bugs are also starting to make their appearance. Most notable the very early arrival of the Mahogany Dun. The Fall Baetis are showing in the mornings and evenings as well. The Brown Trout are in full blown pre-spawn mode, so Streamer Fishing, Mouse Fishing and Hopper Fishing should all produce nice sized fish in the coming weeks.

The Big Wood just finished a busy stretch of days with angler numbers, but that should all be in the past for the rest of the season. Expect the Western Red Quill to take over the Hopper bite in the coming week or two, and be ready for blanket hatches of Fall Baetis. Keep fishing Hoppers and Droppers until you see the fish actively taking the fall hatches off the surface.

The Upper Lost River is the only water that is not fishing very well. We hope after the fish adjust to the cold water caused by low nighttime temps at elevation and the fall insects come out in force, we will get a little spike in the fishing here before winter sets in.

The Lower Lost is fishing very well. Crane Flies and Hopper – Dropper set ups are catching fish. Some areas a double nymph rig under a strike indicator is the way to go. Fish small flies deep if you are going to nymph. The color red is a key, and should be on at least one of your nymphs if your favorite nymphs aren’t working. Small Black Zebra Nymphs are also a great option.

The South Fork of the Boise continues to fish well with Pink Alberts and Hoppers. Although angler numbers peaked the past few weeks, we should see a drop off in people as more hunting takes place and kids get back to school!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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 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 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!

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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 Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report – April 9th, 2018

Snowpack levels in the Wood River valley and adjacent drainages continue to hover around 100% of normal. Current snowpack levels are: Big Wood River – 97%, Little Wood River – 94%, Big Lost River – 104%, and Salmon River – 109%. Coupled with good base flows and carryover from 2017, the outlook for water flows on our local rivers remains promising.

Silver Creek, the Big Wood River, and the South Fork Boise River below Anderson Ranch dam are closed and will re-open on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.

Steelhead season is in full swing, and our guides have been plying the waters of the Salmon River upstream of Challis. Fish are spread out along the river system. To date, approximately 250 steelhead have been trapped at the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery in Stanley. Flows on the Salmon are a bit higher than normal (1,360 CFS below Yankee Fork), and steelhead are on the move. Anglers have had success swinging black, blue, and purple spey flies, streamers, and egg-sucking leeches on medium-weight sink tips and drifting large stonefly or egg patterns. The steelhead have not been fussy when it comes to fly pattern; the key to a successful outing is covering water and finding fish. When fishing closer to Stanley, avoid spawning steelhead and look for more active fish in pockets, riffles, and runs.

Fishing on the Big Lost River below Mackay Dam remains excellent. The river’s rainbows have completed spawning and are actively feeding throughout the river. Both midge and Blue-Winged Olive activity has been excellent. Look for midges to start late morning or early afternoon, with BWOs following for the remainder of the day. Don’t fish the lower Lost without Tie-Down Midges (20-22), Baetis Film Critics (18-20), and red and black zebra midges (18-20)!

The countdown to Opening Day at Silver Creek is at 48 days! It will be here before you know it, so now is the time to prep your gear and get the right flies for the early hatches on the Creek. Stop by the shop or give us a call, and we’ll get you set up with the right PMD, Blue-Winged Olive, and Brown Drake patterns that you’ll need for the upcoming season.

Keep tuned in to our blog and social media for upcoming information on Opening Day festivities at Picabo Angler. This year will be bigger and better than ever!

Happy Fishing Everyone!
 

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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 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!

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report, November 9, 2017

Winter has arrived in the Sun Valley Area, and with that comes winter fishing! We are blessed to have some of the best winter fishing in the west. We will slowly transition to full blown Midge season, and with that comes all our winter dry fly opportunity. In the meantime though, get your strike indicators out, your double Nymph rigs and your Streamer box as well!

Silver Creek remains open to fishing upstream of Hwy 20 until the end of November. Anglers may continue to see a few rising fish on Baetis hatches in the middle of the day, if the day gets warm enough. The Brown Trout should be mostly done spawning and although they may be thin, they should be looking to put some fat stores away as fast as they can this month! The river downstream of Hwy 20 remains open until the end of November. This water is best fished with Streamers between now and the end of the season.

The Big Wood is always a steady fishery this time of the year. The Rainbows feel the water cooling and they will eat with a little less caution than they have been the past few months. Fish Nymphs or Streamers throughout the system. Copper Johns, Prince Nymphs and most Olive colored Streamers will bring plenty of fish to the net.

The South Fork of the Boise is another decent early winter fishery where a nymph rig fished in the deeper runs and holes will produce some nice sized fish. Use caution when driving down the hill to the river in inclement weather. If it snows, don’t go without tire chains.

The Lower Lost River is also a fun place for early winter fishing. Double Nymph rigs fished with a heavy fly paired with a small Midge patterns can be very effective. Red or Black Zebra Midges are an excellent choice when fished under a Bead Head Prince Nymph, Hares Ear, Pheasant Tail or Copper John.

Keep an eye on the weather in the next few days and weeks. Pay special attention to the day after change…the second of two consecutive sunny days or the second of two consecutive cloudy days is the time to be fishing. Not to beat a dead mule here, but also please remember a change of warm dry clothes when you fish, charge your cell phone and be ready for a cold weather emergency!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

The fishing windows are shrinking by the day! That is the dry fly window. We can expect the Nymphing and streamer fishing to continue to remain strong until the return of the winter dry fly season. With colder temperatures heading our way we can expect some of these dry fly windows to close completely, except on the nicest days.

On Silver Creek, currently the hours of 11:00 a.m. until around 2:00 p.m. seem to be the time to be on the water. The Fall Baetis is among the last of the bugs still hatching, with quite a bit of Midge activity filling in the gaps. Silver Creek Brown Trout are still spawning, but many fish are coming off their Redds and they will come off hungry and aggressive. The darkest days are the time to look for them out in the open chasing baits and bugs. If you see the cleaned gravels in the rivers, please continue to avoid them and the fish that are sitting on them.

Our freestone streams like the Big Wood and the Upper Lost are fishing day to day, depending on the weather. A large attractor like and H and L Variant or Royal Wullf will still bring a few fish to the fly, but having a dropper under one of these patterns is not a bad idea. Fish in these rivers will begin to seek winter refuge as the water drops. This means they will begin to group up in the slower runs and holes on the Big Wood, and on the Upper Lost they will be headed downstream into the main river where they can escape the impending winter ice.

Tailwaters like the South Fork of the Boise, the Lower Lost and the Lower Big Wood are all excellent fisheries in the fall. With little angling pressure and nutrient rich water, these fisheries can be a wonderful escape prior to the snow flying. They can also be great places to go catch very large fish that have spent the entire summer fattening up.

Finally, the one place every angler should try to check out every fall is Magic Reservoir. The fish here grow big, and on a calm day the fishing can be spectacular from a boat, a float tune or even from some of the banks. Most anglers fish streamers with dark backs and bright bottoms to imitate the bait that swims here. Keep an eye on the weather right now, be safe and fish hard!

Happy Fishing Everyone!