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

Filtering by Tag: streamer fishing silver creek

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - January 19, 2016

The Wood River Sculpin is unique in that its home pretty much consists of the Big Wood and Little Wood Rivers. This dark olive bottom dwelling fish is not a target for fly anglers, but it is certainly a target of the biggest trout that live in the Big and Little Wood systems. The volume of Wood River Sculpin makes it a year around target of the fish and therefore a fly we cast all year long.

Imitating this Sculpin is not difficult and can be done with a variety of flies. Dark Olive Matukas, Olive Buggers, Sparkle Minnows and most olive colored articulated patterns work just fine. There is one fly tied as a specific imitation of the Wood River Sculpin, which is the Philo Beto. This fly is found at Lost River Outfitters in Ketchum and was developed by the owner Scott Schnebly and his son Blake in the early 1990s when Blake was a young boy. The fly is loosely named for Clint Eastwood’s character Philo Beddoe in the movie Any Which Way but Loose. Tied from the Philo Plume feather off an olive died Pheasant Rump, the Philo Beto Streamer is slam dunk when fished on the Big Wood, Little Wood or pretty much anywhere Sculpins swim.

Sculpin imitations are best fished with a bead-head, or some external weight. When I fish the Philo Beto I like to put a small split shot right at the head of the fly. This gives the fly a jigging action and also help me keep if from snagging on the bottom by controlling the depth right at the fly as opposed to several inches or feet above the fly. Try to fish the fly swinging across the river on a tight line, keeping the fly as close to the bottom as you dare. The true Sculpin will dart from rock to rock along the river bottom, trying to avoid being eaten, but plenty of them do get eaten and they represent a major calorie intake for wintering trout.

When fishing Streamer imitations fish them on Fluorocarbon Leaders so that when you strip strike the leader does not stretch, but instead buries the hook in the fish’s mouth. Fish a stout tippet, taper it to about 2X. Nine feet is plenty of length. Cast across the river and retrieve the fly with your rod tip on the water and the line coming into the tip in a straight line. Enjoy all the big fish you’re going to catch!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - October 26, 2015

Significantly cooler temperatures have arrived in the Valley which should shorten the fishing windows quite a bit. Cold nights will send the Brown Trout into full blown spawning mode, so be prepared to see fish digging Redds, and if so, please be careful not to walk on these “trout nests.” It is also important that you head to the rivers with the ability to be flexible. The late fall weather can provide days where only Streamers are going to work, days when it’s Dry Fly madness and days where Nymphing will pay off. Be loaded for bear and make sure you are including your winter Midge selection in the bag when you go.

Silver Creek is still fishing really well with Mice and Streamers taking the pre-spawn Browns regularly. You may not catch a boat load of fish, but you may hook into the biggest and brightest fish of your season. Fall Baetis will continue to appear until the snow flies, so on calm - warmish days, be ready for this.

The South Fork of the Boise is one of our favorite Fall Baetis fisheries, and the canyon (when the wind isn’t blowing) can be a good 10 degrees warmer than the Sun Valley area. Look for the long flat glides on the river and brig all your Silver Creek flies, leaders and tippets.

The Lost River is still running very low and the river is a bit hit and miss right now. It all depends on the conditions being right. When things are calm and warm expect Baetis but be prepared for a full day of Nymphing as well. Have the color red in your selection and make sure you bring a nice selection of Pheasant Tails as well.

The Big Wood is a great option when fishing windows are short. Without the drive times to the far away rivers, fishing time may be maximized. If you need a quick fix, hit the Wood with Fall Baetis, Prince Nymphs, Hares Ears, Zebra Nymphs and Brassies.

Remember, fingerless gloves and a warm hat will extend your fishing day and make it fun and comfortable. Take the extra steps to stay warm and dry for the best time possible. Have an extra change of clothes with you and a spare car key. This is not the time of the year for shortcuts or last minute decisions. Be safe and enjoy the glorious amount of quietude on the rivers this week!

Happy Fishing Everyone!



Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - February 10, 2015

Winter fly fishing may need to be redefined this week. Spring like conditions are forecast to continue throughout the week. It is not normal to write about muddy conditions in February, but that’s where we are at. The good news is we are still getting moisture and the more of that we get the better our summer fishing season is going to be! The other bit of good news is the recent snow melt has brought Silver Creek up to a nice level for streamer fishing.

The fish in the Creek are active and anglers hunting the Creeks big fish will find them laying in very shallow water. The best bet, is find shallow benches near deep holes. The fish like to have the deep water to retreat into, but if not scared, they will sun themselves in shallow spots waiting for unsuspecting or injured baitfish to get within their range. Keep this in mind when fishing your streamer. Injured baitfish swim erratically, they present a lot of flash underwater and this flashing means distress. To a big Brown or Rainbow Trout a distressed fish is lunch.

Important things to remember when Streamer fishing include keeping the line tight. Make sure the line is coming straight into your rod tip and that your rod tip remains just above the water. This will prevent a fish from pulling only slack in your line, or flexing your rod tip instead of instantly having the hook penetrate their mouth. Once the fish is hooked it is important to keep good pressure on the fish throughout the fight, but not so much that the fish is thrashing on the surface. If the fish is breaking water while you fight it, you are pulling to hard and the hook is going to pop out.

Fishing fluorocarbon is also important, as the lack of stretch in the material will help drive the hook home as well as prevent toothy fish from cutting the leader. We never fish lighter than 2X Fluorocarbon on the Creek when we Streamer fish. “Leader Shy” is not in the vocabulary of serious Streamer anglers. If a big fish wants to eat another fish, they aren’t going to chase their prey down, and then pause to inspect for leader material!

This is the last month to get on Silver Creek before opening day. The Creek is open downstream of the Hwy 20 Bridge, West of Picabo Angler. Point of Rocks, the Willows and the Picabo Bridge area all remain open to catch and release fishing until February 28th!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - December 29th, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Fishing and Happy New Year Everyone!

Late January Sun Valley Fishing Report

Our warm and dry weather has ramped up the winter fishing. The Big Wood River has been good to excellent on the nymphing side. Think girddle bugs, zebra midges, prince nymphs, pheasant tails, etc. There has been increasing midge activity on the surface and that should only improve as we move into February. If you want to throw dries bring your smallest midge patterns and look for the foamy seams near the slower water. The warmest part of the day, approx 12 to 3:30 or so, has been the best time to be out.

The Lower Big Lost River has also been fishing well with nymphing as the most consistent approach. Like the Big Wood, you can find fish feeding on the surface in the slower water during the heat of the day. Small stuff has been the best fare: Zebra Midges, Pheasant Tails, #22 Para Adams, #22 Trailing Shuck Midges, etc.

If streamer fishing is your thing Silver Creek has been good to great with the best of it to come over the next 5 weeks. Silver Creek is open downstream of the HWY 20 Bridge through all of February. While the surface activity has yet to really get going, the fish have been more than willing to chase, roll on, crash, slowly stripped streamers. Fly color doesn't seem to matter much. The water clarity is a little off which makes for better fishing on the sunnier days. If you have a chance to get down on the Creek prior to the end of February it is also a great time of year to catch that monster brown that has eluded you...

Below are a few shots taken on Silver Creek. January, 23rd 2014.

John Huber releases a winter Brown. Silver Creek.

While the majority of fish caught are Browns, there are plenty of healthy Rainbows as well.

Nick Anderson reaps the reward of taking a quick break from Picabo Angler and hitting the Creek just a few minutes walk behind the shop.