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: winter fishing

Sun Valley Fly Fishing

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - November 28, 2017

Fall like weather has continued into the Holiday Season. This has brought the Baetis hatches on Silver Creek all the way to the months end. The last day to fish Silver Creek upstream of Highway 20 (Silver Creek Preserve) is Thursday, November 30th. This is your last best chance to fish dry flies on the Creek until the opener in late May. The Creek remains open downstream of the Highway 20 Bridge until the end of February, but this is mostly Streamer and Mousing water as we head into true winter weather.

If you fish the Creek this week try to be on the water by 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. and if you want to fish dries, get your licks in by 3:00 p.m. Streamer fishing will be effective throughout the winter on the downstream stretches and through Kilpatrick Pond this week.

Fishing on the Big Wood is consistent with nymphs and streamers right now. The cold weather Midge hatches will appear eventually, in the meantime cover a lot of water and fish the riffles with Price Nymphs and Zebra Nymphs. Olive Buggers will take fish throughout the system, so get out and take advantage of the warm days!

The Lost River is much like the Big Wood this month, it is mostly a nymph fishery. Strike indicators and double nymph rigs fished deep will take fish. Pay close attention to the ledges and drops, as the fish like to nose up to those area adjacent shallow water, yet within racing distance to deep cover. Try Copper Johns in Red and in a variety of sizes. The Lost River fish will also key on your favorite Midge patterns.

The South Fork of the Boise is still a viable fishery and the driving conditions into the canyon are good. It is a quiet time on the South Fork and most area rivers. This may be the quietest time on all the area water until the Christmas crowds arrive. With hunting and skiing in full swing, and not many people in the Valley until the week before Christmas, the rivers are seeing few anglers. If quiet fishing is what you like, you’ll not find a better 2 to 3 weeks.

If you need any help on the water, our guide staff is still heading out daily and having great luck! We switch to winter guide rates on December 1st, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of the low rates, especially novices and beginners. It’s a great time to learn a little before next summer’s season!

Happy Fishing Everyone!




Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - February 8th, 2016

Warm days are upon us and the nighttime temperatures are not very low either. This means fish will feel the changing water temperatures and you can count on the fact that they will begin to act like pre-spawning fish the moment they do. What this means to the angler, is a voracious bite while the temperatures remain warm. This is not to say the fish will dig spawning beds or anything like that. The warm pre-spawn simply means the fish will begin to recognize spring is right around the corner and they will want to put down as many calories as they can before they begin to think less about food and more about reproduction!

Nothing will change for the angler as far as flies and tactics go. Continue to use Brassies, Zebra Nymphs, Hares Ears, Griffiths Gnats, Tie-Down Midges and Buggers. Continue to fish the same winter water type. Do expect a longer fishing window as well as a higher catch rate.

If you are a beginner this is a great time of year to get out and learn. There are fewer anglers, the fish are ready to eat your fly, and you can get away with a few more mistakes. The fact that you will get so much opportunity to hook fish, means you will have more opportunity to learn how to hook, fight, and release fish. You can do this without worrying if you lose one, because you’ll be able to hook another soon!

Warm days also make this a great time to travel to our more distant rivers like the Big Lost around Mackay and the South Fork of the Boise closer to Mt. Home. Excellent driving conditions and clear roads are an invitation to fish out and about.

Silver Creek is an excellent place to fish on warm winter days as well. The temperatures are supposed to remain in the low 40s during the day. This means a little tint to the water and therefore excellent streamer fishing. Fishing remains open this month downstream of Highway 20 and it is all Catch and Release. Access points are the Highway, Silver Creek East, Silver Creek West and Picabo Bridge. Fish dark colored streamers if the water gets really tinted. If there is some clarity try brighter flies like Sparkle Minnows and White Buggers.

Get out there and enjoy the great winter fishing and the warming days as we make the turn toward springtime!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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 - January 13, 2016

The return of low pressure this week should make for outstanding fishing throughout the Sun Valley Area. Light snow falls should signal excellent dry fly opportunities and Nymphing along with Streamer fishing should easily fill in the gaps when the fish aren’t looking to devour Midges off of the surface.

The Big Wood should be on fire this week with perfect conditions for big Midge hatches. Flies consists of the usual winter assortment. Have Zebra Nymphs, Tie-Down Midges, Griffiths Gnats and your favorite Streamers, even if that is a simple olive colored Bugger.

Driving conditions have improved enough that a trip to the South Fork of the Boise is possible, just keep an eye on the conditions before you leave. It’s all the same bugs you’d use on the Big Wood. There has been plenty of anglers down there, so a midweek excursion would be your best bet.

The Lower Big Lost River is another winter gem worth making an effort to get to. The difference on the Lost is you have the town of Mackay and a great opportunity to stay a night and fish multiple days. Mackay has a few nice little hotels and enough places to eat and supply, that the Lower Lost is actually very, very user friendly in the winter! If you want a little break from Sun Valley, this is a quick easy trip and all the same flies you’d use on the Big Wood.

Finally we still have an active, yet untouched fishery on Silver Creek these days. Perfect conditions in the open water below Hwy 20 exist and no one has been ripping Streamers through this water! Non-weighted Streamers are the fly of choice. A small bead is plenty of weight. Fish midday and start near the Hwy. Work your way downstream over the course of the day, both walking and driving to access points. You should end up near the Picabo Bridge before the day is over.

If you see a lot of cars near the Point of Rocks parking lot or Silver Creek East, don’t fret as these are mostly trucks for Duck Hunters. Please give these guys and gals a wide birth if you see them. Most weekdays you won’t see anyone. The waterfowl season closes on the 29th of this month, which gives us yet another month on the Creek where fishing is the only activity. The Creek remains open below Hwy 20 for catch and release fishing until the end of February.

Happy Fishing Everyone!


Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - January 5, 2016

Great news! 2016 is starting to look like it will be a decent water year. If the precipitation keeps coming it bodes well for all our rivers, streams and reservoirs. Cross your fingers for more winter storms and the big snowy dumps we’ve been getting!

With the winter dry fly season cranking up, it is time to talk Trailing Shucks. One thing we know about Midge hatches is they are prolific. When you walk the river and see that pepper shaker effect all over streamside banks you can pretty well count on seeing rising fish. This event occurs on the Big Wood, Big Lost and the South Fork of the Boise with regularity. The Big Wood is certainly one of the nation’s best winter dry fly streams. The easy access, volumes of fish and prolific Midge hatches make the Wood a winter destination.

The key ingredient when fishing over this hatch is the Trailing Shuck. Having this feature on your fly is the most important decision you will make all winter. Like Nike says – Just DO It. It can turn a sparse day into a banner day quickly. The Trailing Shuck fly looks like an easy target to fish. The way the Midge zips all over the water’s surface, it’s easy to see why the fish key in on an easy target. In a virtual stew of insects the trout will move quite a distance to eat a meal they consider a slam dunk. One that won’t fly away and leave them without calories for their efforts.

Something else to consider this week, Silver Creek is warming and shedding surface ice, making for world class winter Streamer fishing. Silver Creek remains open downstream (north) of HWY 20 until the end of February and the ice out occurrences on the Creek are key times to concentrate on this fishery. –

Swing non-weighted Streamers from bank to bank, keeping an eye on the spot where you think your fly is. More often than not, you will see the wake of a fish chasing your fly and you will see the subsequent boil when they eat it. Strip strike the fish and be ready, as these are sometimes the biggest fish of the season.

Fish heavy tippets for Streamers like 2X fluorocarbon. Fish lighter tippets when fishing the dry Midge like 6X. In either situation use stealth when approaching the water, also please keep the fish submerged when you release them!

Happy Fishing Everyone!

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!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - December 15, 2015

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…There is no shortage of snow and low pressure systems thus far this winter. Meaning that all the great things that come with a big winter includes fishing! It’s a great thing living in a mountain town where 2 feet of the white stuff can make people smile from ear to ear! Plow operators are making money, skiers are enjoying fresh tracks, and anglers are also making them!

One of the best parts of a big storm is not only the lack of anglers on the water when you want to be there, but also the snowy banks make it perfectly clear whether or not anyone has been where you are headed since the last big storm.

Finding these long stretches of water and river where there are no tracks for days and weeks after the storms adds a lot to the mindset of anglers. It is a clear indication of water wear fish have been enjoying their winter hatches with no pressure on them. This translates to successful fishing more often than not! Couple this with the glorious beauty of the river corridor and it’s hard to find something more enjoyable to do on a winter’s day.

If you decide to fish this week, have your dry flies, nymphs and streamers. If you are fishing on Silver Creek (open below Hwy 20 bridge) fish streamers on heavy tippet. When you select your fly just remember bright flies on bright days and clear water and dark flies on dark days and darker water.

If you are fishing the Big Wood, Brassies and Zebra nymphs are all you need. Have them in Copper, Red and Black colors. Fish them in tandem underneath a strike indicator. Put the big flies on first and then tie a smaller nymph into the hook shank of the “lead” fly.

Big Wood anglers should also have dry flies. A Griffith’s Gnat and Tie-Down Midge are all one needs when the fish pod up on Midges. Fish them together on 6X tippets about 18 inches apart. Use a large Griffith’s Gnat as the lead fly to silhouette against the gray, flat light. If the fish are “Midging” on the surface, use plenty of stealth when approaching them, but get as close as you can in order to get a great visual on your flies.

Enjoy the glorious experience of winter fishing. Be safe, be warm and have fun!

Happy Fishing Everyone 

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - March 2, 2015

March is here! The number one month for catch rates is upon us! With a week of sunny days forecast we should have some excellent fishing under Sun Valley skies. Expect great hatches and lots of fish filling themselves up on whatever they can find before the spawning season of April and May.

We made it to the South Fork of the Boise the past few weekends. Despite great weather, the fishing was just so-so. The best action came at the mouths of creeks and the tops of side channels where pre-spawn activity was enough to get some big fish to let their guard down. Midges and a few Baetis were present, but the Copper John was the fly most fish got caught on. We had some luck with Girdle Bugs and Zebra Nymphs as well.

The Big Wood continues to fish well, with the Midge being the main fair and a few Little Black Stoneflies also contributing to the Trout’s food source! Plan on Nymphing early in the day and fishing dry flies by lunch time! If you fish the dry, a Trailing Shuck Midge fished behind a Griffiths Gnat is still our favorite winter set up. With blue skies forecast the rest of the week, plan on a cooler breeze to go along with it. Continue to fish in hats and fingerless gloves! Bring plenty of layers to shed or cover up with.

Silver Creek is now closed for the season. The river will reopen May 23rd, so start tying your PMDs, Brown Drakes, Baetis and big Beetles for the first week of the spring!

The Big Lost is the one river that will remain open throughout March, April and May. The later we get into the spring, the better it will fish, but March can be very, very good on the Lower Lost. Midges are the main food source now, but as we move forward, expect to see more and more Baetis hatches.

If you decide to head “Around the Horn” and fish the Lost, don’t forget to stop by Picabo Angler for a great fly selection, beer, ice and breakfast or lunch to go! We have recently expanded our Outfitting business so come on in and check out our larger space! We are super excited about the coming season and all new product should begin arriving throughout the spring.

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - February 16th, 2015

Sunny days are upon us this week and anglers can count on the fish reacting to it in some places. The best fishing will most likely take place on our freestone streams and tail-waters, where riffles and other surface features will give the fish a place to hide under the bright light. The sun will also mean high pressure and slightly cooler days than the last few weeks. Expect decent hatches of Midges on the South Fork of the Boise, the Big Wood and the Big Lost River.

Anglers fishing the Big Wood River may also see decent occurrences of the Little Black Stonefly. If you see these guys crawling around on the banks, try swinging flies like Hares Ears and Prince Nymphs on a tight line. It is a fun technique and will almost always produce the biggest fish of the day. Simply cast across the river, or slightly upstream, without a strike indicator on the line. Instead put a touch of weight about 12 inches above your fly. Let the fly sink as it comes even and then past you with the current. Once the fly gets near the end of the line, throw a upstream mend in the line to get the fly to swing slowly. At this point the fly should come tight and the line, and as it is swinging across the river, the fly should also move from the bottom of the river, toward the surface. This will give the fly the appearance of emerging, and will in turn trigger the prey drive in the fish and get them to attack!

Silver Creek should continue to fish well. The daytime temps last week were high enough to form decent Midge hatches, and anglers in some places on the river were treated to rare winter dry fly activity on the Creek. Streamer fishing is still the way to go if you want to target the biggest fish in the river.

With clear skies, this will also be an excellent week to strike out for the South Fork of the Boise and the Lost River. If you head for the SFOB load for bear, as this river in the winter is anyone’s guess as to what may be taking place. Midge Dries, Nymphs and Streamers could all come into play.  On the Lost, take all your same flies you would fish on the Big Wood in the winter. Be sure to have some Baetis dries as well…just in case.

Happy Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report- January 5, 2015

The weather for winter fishing this week is perfect! A little overcast, temps slightly above and below freezing, fresh snow to pull the skiers onto the hill and a time of the season synonymous with epic winter fishing all adds up to a great week!

The Big Wood is among the best winter fly fisheries in the west. If anyone tells you differently, they haven’t seen the daily dry fly activity that takes place on this river when the conditions are like they are right now! Fishing Midge Clusters and Trailing Shuck patterns can be very rewarding right now!

Perhaps the best show this week, and one we’ve been waiting for is the Streamer fishing on Silver Creek. With enough warmth the snow on the banks is melting, the ice is letting go and the perfect combination of slightly muddy water, and fish that have been under the ice for a week hungry has arrived. If you have an itch to try and catch big fish, as opposed to the numbers you would catch in the Wood, then come on down to Silver Creek. Picabo Angler remains open all winter. Flies and a hot lunch are readily available!

Warmer days also means destinations like the South Fork of the Boise and the Lost River will be easier to reach and easier to fish without the artic conditions! If you want to go a bit farther and definitely stay warm, come all the way to the expo center in Boise this weekend. We will be there for the Western Idaho Fly Fishing Expo. Most Idaho fly shops are represented along with many manufacturers, showing off the New Year models of everything!

A perfect weekend trip would be hitting the expo early one morning and then hitting the South Fork of the Boise on the way home. If you go, bring Zebra Nymphs, Zug Bugs, Red Squirrel Nymphs and Girdle Bugs. There may be some dry fly opportunity as well, so bring your favorite Midge dry flies as well.

If you decide to head the other direction the Lost will be fishing well. The dry fly activity may not be as certain as other destinations, but the Nymphing should be excellent. The Lost receives very little pressure this time of the year, and you could even have the whole river to yourself on a weekend.

No matter where you fish, be safe! Have a great New Year and enjoy our incredible winter fisheries!

Happy Fishing Everyone!


Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - December 15, 2014

The Christmas season is upon us and this normally signals the first large Midge hatches of the winter. If you don’t see fish working the surface on the Big Wood this week, you will very, very soon. With that in mind, let’s review some favorite winter dry fly techniques and patterns.

The Trailing Shuck Midge or the Tie-Down Midge (sz.20) are flies you must have in your fly box for winter. These are best paired and fished with the Griffiths Gnat or Midge Cluster (sz.16). The idea here being that the Midge fly is too small to see as it sits in the film with very little profile. The Griffiths Gnat on the other hand stands out like a sore thumb against the winter glare on the water’s surface.

With this set up anglers can fish a fly they can see, and still set the hook on a fish that comes up near that fly, with the idea that anything rising within a foot of the highly visible Gnat will be eating the Trailing Shuck pattern. Fish these flies on 6X tippets and tie about 18 inches of 6X between the two patterns.

Stealth is also a key to fishing the Midge dry. Because the fly is so small, it becomes important to be close. Casting accuracy is at a premium when fishing dry in the winter and the closer you are the better. One of the biggest mistakes winter dry fly anglers make is trying to walk right up on a spot because the glare on the water gives a false sense of cover. Anglers using a low profile approach and natural colors in their apparel will catch more fish.

The places to look for rising fish in the winter include slow moving riffles that are thigh to waist deep, back eddies and any heavy foam-line. The times to look are between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

The Big Wood is normally the first to have big hatches in the winter. The South Fork of the Boise and the Lost River also have decent dry fly action all winter, although the action is not daily like it almost always is on the Big Wood. Silver Creek, has decent Midges but unfortunately the biggest hatches are after the season closes in the spring. The Creek does have incredible Streamer fishing in the winter for anglers looking to catch true trophy trout!


Happy Winter Fishing Everyone!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - November 24, 2014

Excellent winter fishing weather is upon us. Low pressure, some cloud cover, and days above the freezing mark means happy fish and happy anglers. We are still a bit early for the major midge hatches of winter but excellent Nymphing and Streamer days are here.

Anglers that want to fish the Nature Conservancy portion of Silver Creek have until the end of the week/month to get their licks in. Streamer fishing should be very good as the Brown Trout population has come off the spawn with a need to fatten up quickly before the long months of winter set in. If you can’t make it this week don’t fret, as Silver Creek downstream of Hwy 20 remains open to catch and release fishing through the end of February.

If you decide to fish the Creek with Streamers, use non-weighted flies and fish them just under the surface. Watch for the wake and the boil of water on the surface when the fish takes the Streamer. It is a very visual and very fun way to catch fish on the Creek throughout the winter.

Anglers looking at our freestone streams like the Big Wood, Little Wood and Upper Lost should be fishing standard nymphs in large sizes. Prince Nymph, Hares Ears and Girdle Bugs are great choices. Fishing them in tandem is also a great idea. Use a size 10 as a lead fly and then trail a size 18 or smaller midge pattern behind the lead fly. About a foot and half is all that you need for the trailer. Make sure your indicator is able to float both flies and then cover some water!

With the ski season starting this week, expect very few anglers out on our local rivers. If you decide to fish the Lost River and are driving through Arco, don’t forget to stop and see us at Picabo Angler. We’ll put the right flies in your hand, and if you need a Latte, Breakfast or a box lunch we can help with that also. Anglers fishing the Creek can stop in for a hot lunch here at the shop and don’t forget roast chicken Fridays!

Chukar and Duck hunting has been excellent near Picabo this season. The waterfowl population is way up and the early snow has moved the Chukar down the ridge lines. These conditions are great for hunters and yet another reason to come see us in Picabo!

Happy Fishing and Hunting Everyone!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - November 17, 2014

Cold weather should not keep fly anglers off of the water. About now,  a great deal of anglers put their gear away until next opening day, revealing a collection of those for whom not fishing is not an option as the time away from the sport will do damage to their souls. Its o.k., you’re not alone. I know how you feel. The fact that you’re reading this report this week is a sort of testament to yours and my madness. The need to cast and feel the connection to all things wild outweighs common sense, because brother, it’s cold outside!

So how do we beat the freeze? Well, I can’t keep your rod guides from freezing, but I can tell you a few things I’ve learned after years of winter fishing and guiding.

First off, if you’re going to walk any farther from your vehicle than one run on the river – Breathable waders will be warmer than thick neoprene waders. This is simply due to the perspiration factor. If you get hot and perspire in your heavy waders and then you stop to fish, you will get chilled by your own sweat. Breathable waders will keep you as warm as the clothes underneath them and if your clothing wicks the moisture from your body, your breathable waders will be forgiving and warm.

Go to Costco and purchase hand and foot warmers in bulk. These little air activated warmers can extend a day by hours if used properly. Put them in your boots, your pockets, under your gloves, anywhere they will fit!

Keep your fishing hours short and on point. If you know the fishing window is going to be a brief afternoon one, then stay calm, have an extra cup of coffee and read the newspaper twice if need be. Just don’t rush out in the bitter cold when you know the fish won’t eat. Save your energy and thus your body heat for when it counts.

A thermos is not something anglers want to carry all the time, but hot liquid during the day will warm you, boost your energy and feed your soul with what you need for a productive day in the water.

Finally, master the use of your hemostats and learn to gently let fish go and remove the hook without ever handling them or taking them from the water. This simple act will benefit you and the fish!

Happy Fishing and Stay Warm Everyone!

Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - November 10, 2014

Winter fishing has quickly come upon us. This means significant change for the angler. It may be time to put the 4 weight rod away or your favorite dry fly stick and get ready for a few months of Nymphing and Streamer fishing. The best news is, no more carrying a big bag with a ton of gear and flies for many months. Anglers can now enjoy a fly box with a few basic nymph patterns and a couple of good streamers. Make sure you have strike indicators, a tippet spool, nippers and forceps and you’re good to go!

A winter fly box should include: Size 18/20 Red and Black Zebra Nymphs, Size 12/14 Bead Head Prince Nymphs, Hares Ears, and Zug Bugs, Size 14/16 Brassies in Red and Copper, Girdle Bugs, Montana Stonefly Nymphs and your favorite streamer patterns like Buggers, Sparkle Minnows, and Zonkers.

Another important piece of gear you should have is the New Zealand Strike Indicators. This new Strike Indicator system is incredible and made this angler switch after 20+ years of using the same foam indicators. These NZ style indicators can be moved freely up and down the line, they are super sensitive, float well and are unperceivable when casting.

Winter is also an excellent time to fish with Fluorocarbon instead of Nylon Leader material. When fishing subsurface there will always be a delay between the fish eating and the angler striking. One small advantage you can gain is by using Fluorocarbon material because it won’t stretch when you set the hook. This means a quicker hook set and hook point that penetrate with power.

Just because it is getting cold, doesn’t mean you should stop fishing. A few things you can do to make it more comfortable out there are fishing in fingerless gloves. Take that one step more and insert hand warmers into the backs of the glove to keep the blood moving to your fingers warm. Sock liners are also a great idea in combination with a really good winter sock, and if you really get cold feet try boot-foot waders. Also keep in mind that what you eat before and what you bring to snack on while fishing is important as well. Keep your energy level high and that alone will keep you moving and keep you warm.

Finally, remember snow storms mean low pressure and around here that means very, very good winter fishing!

Happy Fishing Everyone!


Sun Valley Area Fishing Report - November 3, 2014

A week of fall/winter limbo is upon us. The daytime and nighttime temperatures will not budge. The good news for the fish, is at least one more week of temperate conditions. The good news for the angler is the fish will use this extra time to keep trying to fatten up for winter. A seasons worth of “getting educated” gets tossed aside when the fish decide it’s time to fatten up!

Expect a lot of Nymphing when the hatches aren’t present. You can also expect to see quite a few fish holding in the middle of the pools. When the hatches aren’t prolific, the fish have no reason to move to neither the head nor tail of the pools to dine on the hatches that get compressed in the shallower water. With very little food in the waters stratus the fish will favor a holding lie over a feeding lie. This may mean deeper Nymphing than what we are used to.

Be sure to cast your offering well up onto the shelves in the pools and let the nymph bounce the bottom and drop into the deepest parts of the river. This would be a good time for a double nymph rig. Fish your favorite nymphs in tandem with a large size as the lead fly and then drop a smaller nymph from the lead fly hook shank. This adds weight and depth and helps anglers get the flies where they need to be!

Anglers that still want to match the hatch and squeeze every last hour from the dry fly season that they can, Silver Creek should continue to produce decent Baetis hatches. The South Fork of the Boise can also produce some nice late fall hatch activity. This is the infamous Fall Baetis so have plenty of your favorite 22 and 24 sized patterns.

A few more things to keep in mind this week:

*Don’t leave your wet wading boots in your vehicle overnight. If you do, take them in the house and run them under hot water in your bathtub to thaw them out.

*Pack some dry clothes, no matter where you fish. Hypothermia can be very real for anglers this time of the year.

*If you travel to fish, do so with water, food, a full tank of gas, tire chains and a sleeping bag.

*If it gets stormy – Fish Locally! The fishing can be epic under the low pressure of winter storms!

Happy Fishing Everyone!


December Fishing Report Sun Valley Area

Perpetual fall has finally given way to winter this week. For anglers this simply means a change in clothes, the fishing is a matter of how bad you want it. A few things to keep in mind; Silver Creek is closed from Hwy 20 upstream through the Nature Conservancy. Downstream remains open and when the overcast sets in heavy, the streamer action picks up and can be very good. Non-weighted streamers in neutral colors stripped on a tight line will draw visual strikes from big fish. Anglers can also slowly swing black and purple leeches with little to no striping action. Don’t hesitate to fish shallow and watch the surface closely for the tell-tail sign of a fish chasing your baitfish or leach imitation. Once hooked, give the fish their head or they will pull the hook every time. Fish heavy leaders and tippets. 10 feet tapered to 2X is about right. The browns are essentially off the redds and finished spawning.

This is also a great time to fill your nymph box. Picabo Angler is sitting on a huge selection of nymphs and some dries that we’re blowing out at a buck a fly. With the winter nymphing season upon us it is time to beef up the box. Expect most of the fishing on all our area waters to be mostly subsurface for a while. Small Prince Nymphs and Hares Ears can be deadly fished under and indicator or swung into deep runs. Brassies are also a must have in the box right now. If you go – Be prepared for winter travel and carry water, dry food, dry clothes, 0 Degree sleeping bag, hand warmers, tire chains and a shovel.

Duck hunters on Silver Creek, Magic Reservoir, and Carey Lake are enjoying a fresh push of Northern Ducks and Geese. For the best results, get out and scout your hunt the day before you go. Make sure you take note of where the birds are and where the cover for you and your dog is. Get there early the next day and take your time setting up shop. There is hardly a better day in a person’s life then one spent in a duck blind with a fine sporting dog who doubles as a best friend. Be sure to have an Idaho Hunting License, a Migratory Bird Stamp and your Federal Duck Stamp as well. Upland hunters please be extra careful in the field as winter sets in.


Happy Fishing and Hunting Everyone.