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

Sun Valley Fishing Report - November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Picabo Angler!

Looking back at the past season it is easy to find many things to give thanks for. First and foremost, thank you to all of you fly anglers out there that help keep our doors open and allow us the opportunity to serve the fly fishing community in the Sun Valley and Picabo areas. Without you and your support, we don’t exist! A big thanks for all the water we received this year that put our rivers back on track for the time being. Hopefully the skiers will get their prayers for snow answered this winter so we can have an equally good water year next summer! I’d personally like to thank the Purdy Family here in Picabo for all the support they have shown for our beloved river, Silver Creek and our outfitting business, Picabo Angler. Without their love of fly fishing, wing shooting and the Creek we wouldn’t have been able to serve our community the past five years. Lastly, thank you to Silver Creek itself. This magical body of water has gripped imaginations tight for many generations. The meandering nature of the river, the trout, the bug life, the birds, the moose, the dirt roads under our tires, the soft light, and so much more, all contribute to the magic of this place!

With that said we would like to again let our fellow anglers know we are here for you! Picabo Angler is not a fly shop holding “secrets” we dole out…instead we strive to be a group of anglers and guides that want to support everyone in our sport, no matter skill level, age, gender, or race. If you are a fly angler, or just love Picabo, nature and the quietude of Silver Creek, then you are part of our family and we have your back!

If you plan to fish this week, be ready with your nymph and streamer boxes. We are still a month or two away from the winter dry fly season. In the meantime, all our local rivers should fish well with Prince Nymphs, Zebra Midges, and Olive colored streamers. Please note that Silver Creek closes at the end of November upstream of the Highway 20 Bridge. The river remains open downstream from the Highway 20 Bridge until the end of February. Looking ahead Silver Creek will fish best using your favorite streamer patterns!

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Big Brown Trout Expert Max Blume always shows up when the Mouse Fishing is HOT!

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Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report 06/21/17

Summer begins anew in Picabo and Sun Valley this week as daytime highs are warm, the wind is finally coming down some and there is no return to spring like conditions in the forecast. Silver Creek continues to fish very well, despite the inconsistent weather we’ve had the past few weeks. With some consistency we should see the Creek really turn on as hatches stabilize and we see some rhythm to it all.

Currently we are seeing the Brown Drake come back to life in the Willows. This action could pick up as we head toward the weekend. It’s hard to say. It could fade away again quickly, but I know there is only one way to find out…

Green Drakes are a daily occurrence on the upstream reaches of the Creek like the Silver Creek Preserve. Some days the fish are on them and others they are being ignored. In any case, there again is only one way to truly find out…

The PMD and Callibaetis action remains strong and we should definitely see more consistent hatches and spinner falls of these bugs this week. Damsel Nymphs remain among the best subsurface flies anglers have been casting when the hatches don’t show. The adults will start getting eaten more as the weed beds reach the surface of the Creek in the next few weeks.

The flying ant remains the best fly on the river for the slowest times and for catching the biggest fish. We have heard and seen of more incredible fish being caught on ants than on any other bug thus far this season.

With the weather warming quickly, it’s time to put Tricos in your fly box and begin to watch for this incredible spinner fall in the mornings. You don’t want to be on the river when the fish lock in on this bug without some quality patterns.

There is not much else to report this week. We are waiting for the Forest Service to reopen the streamside areas and boat ramps on the South Fork of the Boise. There is good Green Drake and Brown Drake action on the Henry’s Fork. Watch the Big Wood north of Ketchum as it clears, but remain wary of strong flows and leave your dog at home until the CFS comes way down. Magic Reservoir is still worth a look near the dam and the surrounding shallow water bays.

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Brown Drake Update 6/2/17

Mother Nature pulled a fast one on us last night. The massive spinner fall we were counting on never materialized. The stormy, windy, cool weather may have killed some of them, and the rest did there thing this morning. A few lucky anglers saw some of that action! There was a good emergence last night, and our weather is getting better. Don't give up because last night was tough. We should begin to see the show again tonight!

Sun Valley Fishing Report - August 26, 2016

Hemingway's typewriter at his house in Havana, Cuba.

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Sun Valley Fishing Report - August 8, 2016

The coolest day of the week is tomorrow. We shouldn't break 80 in Picabo. Bring a lot of Baetis and Calllibaetis. It should be a good late morning fishery on the Creek. The entire day could be decent if the wind stays down. If it doesn't stay down, bring Hoppers. 

On the Big Wood it's little Attractors and Caddis. Small nymph rigs are also catching fish. The very early morning remains the best time to find bigger fish. Streamer fish before they go sulk under a log all day. 

On the upper Lost. Fish in the shadows. Bring your best sidearm/skip cast and get your bugs under the bushes. Get it next to the bank and under the bushes and you will catch the rivers biggest fish. Practice those casts in the backyard, bring plenty of flies and then go search for Fine Spotted Cutthroat gold! 



Sun Valley Fishing Report - August 4, 2016

The heat has subsided quite a bit the last few days. The smoke is clearing some as well, although that seems to change by the day and with the wind direction. The highs that were in the 90s are now in the 80s making the day more comfortable. It also means getting to Silver Creek and most area rivers at 7:30 or 8:00 instead of first light!

The Hopper action is picking up and the Trico action is not slowing down! There is still a lot of fun to be had on the Creek prior to Mouse fishing hours! Fish are still eating Callibaetis dries on the slough and this ads to the afternoon offerings on the Creek. If you fish the Hopper, have PINK bodies on them. They are keyed on that color this season.

Our other area waters are fishing well all day with the biggest fish getting caught at low light periods. We are almost to the Flying Ant time of the year, so be sure you have them in your fly box. Last August we saw many days where you had to have an Ant to catch any decent amount of fish. Don’t get caught without them.


Sun Valley Fishing Report - August 2, 2016

One of the purest joys in fly fishing is discovery. Finding the right fly, finding that big fish, finding that secret creek are all joyous occasions. This week Silver Creek has put forth a hatch that is akin to discovery. The Damsel Fly is the hatch, and despite it being a hatch we see each summer, the activity we’ve seen in the past week is unparalleled on this river! Starting around noon, Damsel Flies are blanketing the water in numbers large enough to hear their wing beats. Even when the wind is blowing anglers can find places where the fish are taking Damsels.

Look for the biggest weed beds on the Creek and then spend some time watching the edges and the drop offs behind these patches. The fish have been eating with such vigor that even on the windy days they can be seen eating weeds off the surface due to mistaken identity and pure hunger.

If you fish the Damsel Flies on the Creek, keep in mind the hook set is very, very different. When a fish takes your Damsel you must wait, and wait and wait, and then set the hook hard! Your tippet material should not be lighter than a 3X. The old adage about saying “god save the queen” before your hook set is true here, and maybe even say it twice.

While you search for fish feeding on Damsels a pink colored Hopper is working very well on the Creek. Windy days are best, but they aren’t required. The calmer the day, the tighter you want to fish your Hopper to the bank.

The Big Wood is fishing well. Plan in Trico in the morning, Hoppers in the afternoon and Caddis in the evenings. Fish light tippets like 5X and 6X. Small nymphs are also an effective way to fish if things get slow on the surface.

The upper Lost River is fishing on par with the Big Wood. Light Tippets and Flying Ants are a great way to go. If you get stumped fish small steamers into the pools and certainly fish the low light periods and coolest times of the day.

The South Fork of the Boise is still at boating flows and Hoppers fished near the bank will take some fish. Pink Albert is the big hatch and happens in the heat of the day.

Over all despite the heat and smoke, the fishing is very, very good right now. Cover up from the sun and get out there!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Fishing Report - July 28, 2016

A hot day today had the Silver Creek spinner falls and hatches transitioning quickly between Trico,  Baetis, Callibaetis and even Damsel Flies. Expect more of the same in coming days as the weather should remain hot. 

Watch the banks closely on the morning if you want to fish to the biggest risers. They like to tuck up into shadowy lies and sip as discretely as they can. Move slow and approach the fish slow. The fishing is not easy this time of the season, but if you get all your ducks in a row, play a game of stealth, fish a soft rod, and don't take any shortcuts with flies and tippets, you can land big fish with tiny dries. 

Fishing these bank sippers on Silver Creek may be the pinnacle of the Trico season, and the season in general. It is certainly an image that will burn in your mind when it all comes together. 

We have an Orvis Superfine rigged and ready to fish at the shop. This is the right tool for the right job when it comes to fishing small dries on Silver Creek. If you are passionate about this time of the year, make the investment. You'll be happy. 


Sun Valley Fishing Report - July 26, 2016

The roaring 90s are here to stay for a while! If you are camping, please, please, please think about every step in the process of campfires. Have your 5 gallon bucket of water at your side. Let’s get through another summer without tragedy!

Fish early and late is the name of the game again this week! The fishing windows are shrinking with the heat, but they are mighty fine windows! Trico is the ruler of the bug world on most area rivers right now. Hoppers action continues to be better than the past two seasons and best of all that is one bug to count on during the heat of the day.

On Silver Creek the wind dictates whether the afternoons will be Hopper fishing, Callibaetis fishing or Damsel Fly fishing. The Damsel activity has been excellent on calm afternoons and it is often a great “go to” fly right after the morning Trico and Baetis action subsides. Callibaetis on the sloughs is always a challenge and fun way to spend a calm afternoon on the Creek. If the wind does blow, a medium size Hopper is the best bet. Ants, Beetles, Crickets, and Spiders are also all in play during the day.

The evenings on the Creek are Baetis dominant, with PMD and Callibaetis also in the mix. Hoppers can be a very, very good evening fly as well. Once you see the wakes of the big Browns coming out to chase bait, you know it is also evening Hopper hour! Stay until dark to fish Mice and enjoy the hot summer nights. It’s very comfortable at night, just bring bug spray.

The Big Wood and the Upper Lost are dropping fast and the little fish game is in play most of the day. Finding bigger fish is again accomplished early and late under the low light of dusk and dawn. Move slowly in the early morning hours and never forget to watch the shallow water right next to the bank. If you are the first angler on the stretch you are fishing early morning, you have a very good chance of finding big fish sipping Mayflies and Caddis in inches of water, often near the heads of the pools and adjacent the fast water.

There is no better way to beat the heat than standing in a trout stream, so get outside this week, enjoy the warmth of low light and nighttime fishing, and have fun!

Happy Fishing Everyone!


Sun Valley / Picabo Fishing Update - June 24, 2016

A fun weekend is ahead of us. There is a lot of exploring to do on all our area waters. Pick what you like to do best and get out there! 

The Big Wood is coming into shape quickly and anglers are beginning to catch fish and see Green Drakes in the Bellevue area. 

The Upper Lost is clearing and right behind the Big Wood for fishability. 

The South Fork of the Boise and the Salmon are both floatable and are fishing well, with better fishing still to come. 

Yesterday, I asked our guide Andrew Thomas to fish with me and also to start in the middle of the day under bright sun. The results are in...(If you'd like to set up a guide day with Andrew give me a call! 208.788.3536


Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - December 29, 2015

Happy New Year from all of us here at Picabo Angler!

Let’s talk pressure systems. We had wonderful low pressure fishing conditions for nearly a month now. We couldn’t ask for more or better in the winter months. The low pressure provides the snow and the ideal conditions for fish. Yet, not here we are with a few weeks of high pressure and artic cold temperatures. Does this mean bad fishing? Absolutely not.

Change is the most important factor when considering barometric pressure and how it effects your fishing. Is low pressure better? Yes, more often than not it is, but what we are really after are those days of change. More importantly we are looking for the day after change!

Regardless of whether Sun Valley is under a low or high pressure system, one thing is for certain. When the day comes that we go from cloudy skies to crystal clear skies, that is the precursor for some great fishing as the next day, or second day of the pressure change, is almost always a red hot catch rate day.

With that said, keep your eyes on a web site like weather underground that shows a graph with the pressure. This will help you pick the right days to be on the water no matter how cold it is, and it will help you save those less fishy days for fly tying, rod building, or reading a good book.

If you head out on the water this week, Silver Creek is pretty well frozen over. With that said stay tuned with us as we will let you know when the ice breaks. The day after that happens we can expect some world class streamer fishing and some great opportunities to catch some massive Silver Creek trout.

The Big Wood will fish through the cold snap as the current speed will keep parts of the river from freezing and give anglers an opportunity to pursue fish through the middle of the day. Be careful around icy river banks and also where you park. Bring a snow shovel just in case. There have been days when I’ve needed a snow shovel to carve out a parking area at some of the public access points!

If you don’t want to hassle with that, we do run our winter guide service at a reduced rate through the month of March. Call us at 208.788.3536 if you’d like to learn more or book an afternoon with one of our world class guides!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Grand Opening of Picabo Angler!

While we officially began operations on April 1st, Saturday May 25th will be our Grand Opening! For those of you who are not familiar with the new ownership, here's the lowdown: The Purdy family of Picabo, Idaho purchased the Ketchum On The Fly business. There are no ownership connections between the old and the new. Picabo Angler is a full Fly Shop and outfitter offering a lot more than your typical fly shop. We are located near the banks of Silver Creek in Picabo, Idaho and offer everything from the full fly shop amenities, guided services, to a cafe, espresso, gas, beer, wine, and great local knowledge, plus an airstrip just meters behind the shop. We also have miles of private water on Silver Creek and the perfect flies to make your day more successful.

This will be the place to visit for up to date Sun Valley area fly fishing reports from our local waters including our backyard, Silver Creek. This Saturday, May 25th is opening day on Silver Creek and we look forward to seeing you down here!

Picabo Angler T-Shirts hot off the press. You know you need one!

As far as what to expect for river/hatch conditions on opening weekend here's Our Outlook:

Silver Creek:

High temps are slated to be anywhere from the mid to upper 60's and even potentially hitting the low 70's. Our weather is usually unpredictable on opening weekend but this has been a far drier and warmer spring. Look for sporadic #16 pmd's, #16 callibaetis, and #20 baetis. Believe it or not but callibaetis have been coming off in the Killpatrick pond area on the warmer days. It's also anyone's guess as to when Brown Drakes will come off. Given the dry and warm year we have had to this point and the way the wildflowers have started to go into full blown bloom, we think (it's always super hard to predict) the Brown Drakes should start a bit earlier--that's anywhere from opening weekend to the 12th of June. We are fully stocked on Brown Drake patterns.

Big Wood River:

As it is, the flow on the Big Wood River is 898 cfs and will likely be higher on opening weekend. It's really hard to say at the moment how fishable the Wood will be. It does have two feet or so of clarity at the moment but that will likely decrease. Should you plan on heading out to the Big Wood look for side channels or head north of Ketchum where flows and clarity should be a little better. Think #8 and #10 stone fly nymphs, #12 green drake nymphs, #12 Copper Johns. Big parachute Adams and Royal Stimulators are great indicators. Carry plenty of 3X and 4X leader and tippet. We are big fans of the relatively new Trout Hunter leader and tippet material and we are fully stocked. What's pretty cool is Trout Hunter offers half sizes in some of their more popular tippet sizes. Have you ever tried 5.5X or even 6.5X?  Be careful wading...

Big Lost River:

The Lower Big Lost is currently at 432 cfs. Look for flows to gradually increase to the point of not being fishable by some time in mid-June. Remember, the Lost River watershed is open year around which means we are fishing it now. While there have been a few baetis on the water the fish have been reluctant to come to the surface. It's only been about ten days since the winter flow of 110 cfs or so has come up to its current flow. As a result, the fish are in a bit of a funk but it's doable. Smaller patterns like #16 & #18 zebra midges, #16 & #18 pheasant tails, and #16 lightning bugs and copper Johns have been working. Check the stream flow prior to heading over as the river has been changing daily. Here's our page on the Lost River which includes a link to the USGS stream flow gauge: HERE

As for the Copper Basin area it's probably too early to make for decent fishing not to mention it's too high to realistically wade/fish at the moment. Look for the fishing to improve around the 1st of July or later.

In The Press:

We were just featured by Times-News. Here's the link to the great article: HERE

Times-News article on the opening of Picabo Angler.