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 short term fishing forecast.

Silver Creek, Idaho short term fishing forecast. The dark clouds, the wind, the cold, are all still with us today. Things should blow through tonight. By tomorrow we should see the late morning sun and a slow warm up to normal summer temperatures. When this happens expect the PMD action and Green Drake action on the Nature Conservancy to really ramp up. We should see good hatches throughout the system including Callibaetis, Baetis and Ants. If you are fishing today, think about casting Streamers, as the dark skies will have the biggest fish out in the open looking for bait fish.

Everyday is a good day to fish! Get out there!



Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - December 2, 2015

Jack Frost and Old Man Winter teamed up this past week and made a pretty good case for staying in the house to tie some flies! Don’t fret as the conditions should change by Thursday back to what we would consider “normal” winter fishing conditions. This means we get back to fishing windows that should last from 11:00 a.m. to about 4:00 p.m.

If nothing else this past week reminded us of why we carry tire chains, extra food and water, as well as a change of clothes. Are fun level is often dictated by how prepared and safe we can be. Take this to heart and always be prepared when heading out into the wilds of Idaho. Even if you are only 4 miles from town – Town is still in the middle of wilderness!

Getting back into the swing of winter fishing, anglers should be prepared to nymph the standard winter flies. Try Zebras Nymphs and Brassies as primary flies and fish them under a strike indicator. One and a half the waters depth is the standard rule for the depth to set your indicator, or about an arm length on the Big Wood.

Approaching the Christmas Holiday means we also approach the winter dry fly season. Low pressure and warmish days could provide the first significant Midge hatches of the winter. This means fill your fly box with Griffiths Gnats, Tie-Down Midges and Trailing Shuck Midge patterns. Have some dry shake as well. If you find rising fish, use the Griffiths Gnat as a lead fly. They are easy to see and will help you locate your Trailing Shuck patterns. Tie your Trialing Shuck patterns 18 inches behind the Griffiths Gnat from the bend in the hook. Dress both flies well with a dry shake type floatant, being sure not to get any on the tail of the Trailing Shuck. You want the shuck in the water or the film on the surface. This easy target is what the fish are keying on, and is what will make them choose your fly over thousands of real Midges!

Road conditions by the weekend should be pretty decent and allow anglers to travel to the Lost and the South Fork of the Boise. Silver Creek should start producing nice fish being taken on Streamers. Remember, Silver Creek is only open from the Highway 20 Bridge downstream for the months of December through February.

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - September 14, 2015

True fall weather is upon us. It’s time to put the chains and shovel in your fishing rig, pack some extra water and non-perishable food items. Throw in your sleeping bag and extra change of clothes and travel with a full tank of gas. Now you are ready for fishing at winter’s doorstep.

The talk of the local fishing world these days is the Western Red Quill that has been bringing fish to the surface on the Big Wood for several weeks now. Expect more of this action to continue and move up the system this week. Plan on the best action closer to Ketchum than Bellevue and plan on fishing banker’s hours! Don’t go buy a bunch of new flies for this bug, just use your favorite leftover Green Drake patterns! Fall Baetis should begin to show in huge numbers under the cloud cover and inclement weather that is predicted.

On the Creek we are crossing our fingers and toes that this week’s true fall weather will bring off the Mahogany Dun in massive numbers. This hatch has been present on the Henry’s Fork for some time now, so we are due any day. Once we see the Mahogany, the Fall Baetis will come with them. In the meantime Baetis, Callibaetis, Hoppers and Ants are the ticket. The best fishing remains the mouse fishing after dark. With heavy cloud cover and pre-spawning Brown Trout both present, expect the Mousing to only get better!

To the East, the Lower Lost continues to have the best morning hatches with Trico Spinner Falls, although they should begin to wane this week and be replaced by Baetis. The Crane Flies should remain active under dry skies.

The Upper Lost is fishing well, but spotty. If you know the area well, it may be worth hitting favorite runs, but the low water makes it tough to search for fish. If you don’t know the area well, you will have to walk a lot!

Don’t stop fishing under the rain this week. Despite the rain temporarily wiping out dry fly fishing, it will bring out the biggest fish in the rivers. The low light and lack of activity means big pre-spawn Browns will be looking to fatten up in a big way. The cloud cover gives them this opportunity and no baitfish or mouse will be safe this week!

Enjoy the fall hatches, stay prepared for the inclement weather, and stay safe out there!

Happy Fishing Everyone!


Phoebe Bean says goodbye for now!

Our family first started spending time in Idaho when my parents purchased a sheep ranch in the Sun Valley area when I was five years old. Originally from San Francisco, we didn’t fit in right away; for me, that started to change after we moved into one of the cabins on the Double R and made daily appearances at the “Picabo Store,” as we used to call it. The Purdy family was exceedingly kind and welcoming as we began to grow new roots here, and Silver Creek became the focal point for the happiest memories made during that time in my life.

Fast forwarding to last summer, I decided to take a year off amidst my college career to intern for The Orvis Company in Manchester, VT, in the fall and to work for my parents’ business this spring. I had no set plans for the summer months before heading back to school, though, so when John Huber asked me back in January if I would be interested in working for the Picabo Angler this summer I was beyond thrilled. Although I tried to keep my expectations low because I really had no idea what to expect, I was genuinely excited to be able to work for John in the store that had meant so much to me as a kid.

When I drove home after my first day of work in May, I knew I had absolutely nothing to worry about. There have been no shortages of laughter, stories, or new friends over the past few months, and seeing many of the folks I’ve known since I was a youngster has been wonderful. Fun isn’t usually a word that comes to mind when talking about work, but I have had the time of my life.  

I’m sure it sounds sappy, but I feel like I’ve come full circle in some sense; in regard to fly fishing, I learned much of what I know now from spending time on the creek those many years ago with an Orvis Clearwater rod. As a client landed a Silver Creek rainbow on the Double R during my first guide trip on the creek this summer, I felt blessed to be able to help someone else fish in the exact same spot that my love for the sport began.

Thank you to all of the people who came into the store this summer and made my experience so memorable.

See you next year!


Ladies' Fly Fishing Clinic

Working for the Picabo Angler has been an incredible experience. There are locals that I see every day and visitors just passing through, folks who have made fly fishing their lives and others who know very little about the sport, energetic youngsters still figuring out who they are and grandparents wiser than their years.   Regardless of where each person is on their journey through life, I am overwhelmed by the kindness and camaraderie that enters the store every day. There is something special about coming to work in the morning and not feeling like I’ve left home.

Of course, not everything can be perfect all of the time! Although there is the occasional female angler that comes into the shop, as a young woman I am often discouraged by the lack of ladies involved in the industry. From an outsider’s perspective, I’m sure that fly fishing can appear to be an elitist sport dominated by men; those of us who are on the inside, though, know how far from the truth that perspective is! Anyone can pick up a rod, learn how to cast, and begin the life-long love affair that is fly fishing.

Not wanting to pass up an opportunity to get more gals involved, I jumped on the prospect of running a fly fishing clinic catered to women when John Huber made the suggestion earlier this summer. Within a day of announcing it, the first clinic was completely booked; I was thrilled to see so much interest! After a few weeks of careful planning and consideration, I met the group of six women at the shop on Saturday for what I hoped would be an adventure that would spark in them the same love for the sport that I hold. The nervousness I felt leading up to the clinic dissipated almost immediately when I saw how excited the group was to finally learn how to fish without depending on other people for help with rigging, knot tying, reading water, etc.

We spent the morning going over basic terminology, entomology, wading safety, knots, and we practiced casting on the lawn before heading over to the Double R fishing club for a delicious lunch by the creek. It was such a treat to sit around a picnic table and get to know those women; the way that our group meshed was extraordinary, and each personality complimented the rest. Once we were on the water, I was blown away at how seemingly effortless it was for them to incorporate what they had learned just a few hours earlier. There were times when they had questions, but the majority of the time each woman had a stretch of water to herself to tune out any life stressors, find her rhythm, and just be. Watching those six women stretched out over hundreds of yards along the river, casting well and genuinely enjoying themselves was a sight I doubt I will forget. Here and there, one of the women would have a strike and the resounding chorus of support from the rest of the group brought smile after smile to my face. I was reminded that fishing isn’t all about catching fish; rather, it is a time to take a break from our busy lives, connect with nature and enjoy a moment in time that is utterly peaceful.

Time absolutely flies when you’re having fun. 6:00 PM rolled around and we said our goodbyes, but made plans to meet up again soon for an evening of fishing… Just two days after the clinic, I checked my inbox and was delighted to hear that the ladies were practicing casting on their own time. I expected a degree of enthusiasm after the clinic, but this has truly exceeded my expectations.

For all of you ladies out there who are hesitant to get into fly fishing, I strongly encourage you to reach out to us here at Picabo Angler and leave us your contact info, so that we may reach back to you when we pick a date for our next women’s clinic! Fishing can do wonders for one’s soul.

Hope to see you out on the river soon!

- Phoebe Bean