Idaho Angling Services - Ketchum Sun Valley flyfishing


  Silver Creek
  Little Wood
  Big Wood
  Lost River










Evening On Silver Creek, a Sun Valley flyfishing must Silver Creek offers anglers the chance to stalk big rainbow and brown trout. This flat water spring creek has daily mayfly hatches and unparalleled "match the hatch" dry fly fishing. Silver Creek has the highest density of trout of any river its size in the U.S. Combine this with the smorgasbord of insect hatches and it's easy to recognize this stream as the best spring creek in the nation. There are many miles of Silver Creek to fish and it would take weeks to fish all the good locations.

The Nature Conservancy owns a large section of the headwaters of Silver Creek and has conservation easements for several miles downstream through neighboring ranches. Through these easements, many more miles of streamside riparian habitat on Silver Creek have been protected from development. Miles of fencing have been put in place in partnership with landowners to protect the banks from cattle grazing. The Idaho State Fish & Game owns a large section of Silver Creek. Public access is good over this State owned land and the Nature Conservancy property. Where Silver Creek runs through privately owned ranches, we utilize float tubes to float through these other fine stretches of the creek. Float tubing is a fun and relaxing way to sneak up on Silver Creek's surface feeding trout. 

Ketchum flyfishing

Rainbows average 14 to 16 inches with many in the 17 to 20 inch range. In some backwater sloughs, it is possible to spot and cast to cruising rainbows well over twenty inches, and each season clients land fat 22 to 24 inch rainbows weighing in at around 5lbs.Float Tubing on Silver Creek, south of Sun Valley and Ketchum, Idaho Rainbows comprise about 70% of Silver Creek's fishery. The other 30% are Brown trout which we catch in all sizes. Occasionally, trophy brown trout are caught and we have landed brownies up to 9lbs. Frequently, 5 to 6lb brown trout will be seen surface feeding during heavy mayfly hatches or spinner falls, most often next to undercut banks. Landing one of these monsters on light tackle is a heart-thumping experience not easily forgotten. Being spring fed, Silver Creek is not affected by the winters snowpack runoff like many western rivers and fishes well from the opening of the Idaho fishing season, Memorial Day weekend. 

The Little Wood River is a beautiful desert stream. Silver Creek flows into the Little Wood River a few miles southeast of Picabo. It has a good population of rainbows and browns and generally fishes well in June and again in late summer and fall casting hoppers. This river has a variety of water to fish, from fast water riffles to long deep pools where some huge brown trout live. There are many miles of this river to fish and it is a rare occurrence to see another angler. 

Little Wood Brown, another Sun Valley flyfishing specialThe Big Wood River originates in the mountains north of Sun Valley/Ketchum and flows to Magic Reservoir. As it runs south through the Wood River Valley, it passes through the towns of Ketchum, Hailey and Bellevue. This is a classic freestone river with riffles, pools and pocket water. All fishing is done by wading. There are many miles of river to fish with very good access points all along its entire length. We concentrate our fishing in the middle and lower reaches of this river where the greatest populations of wild rainbows reside. A good portion of the Big Wood is catch & release with other areas a two fish kill limit. These regulations were put in place in 1992 and we have seen the fishery population increase with many more larger trout caught each season. 

Big Wood flyfishing Ketchum, IdahoThe Big Wood appeals to anglers of all abilities, and is a perfect place to polish your skills with the help and instruction of your guide. This river  fishes well with dry flies, nymphs and streamers. Hatches are prolific with Stoneflies, mayflies and evening caddis. Rainbows are caught in all sizes from 10 to 20 inches and itís not uncommon to hook 15 to 20 trout on a good hatch day. The Big Wood is affected by the winters snowpack and runoff, but usually drops to wadeable levels by late June. Once the river clears, the fishing is hot with Western Green Drakes and Yellow Stonefly hatches. Mayfly hatches remain steady all through the summer and autumn months of October and November. We often combine the Big Wood River and Silver Creek for a day trip since they are within a 15 minute drive of one another. 

Lost River Rainbow, Sun Valley fly fishing hidden river The Lost River is a magnificent tailwater fishery with wild rainbows. It has a high average trout size, generally in the 15 to 19 inch range. This river originates in  the Pioneer Mountains east of Sun Valley and flows through the Lost River Valley with great views of the Lost River Range which has the highest peak in Idaho, Mt. Borah. The scenery is spectacular to say the least. The river runs into Mackay Reservoir and we fish the river below this dam and reservoir. Our guided trips to this river are available on a full-day basis only. It is slightly over an hour's drive from either Picabo or the Sun Valley area. Like the Big Wood River, the Lost River is affected by the winter snowpack and runoff. With Mackay Reservoir full from the winter's thaw, the releases from the dam can keep the river high until late June. Once the water releases from Mackay reservoir are cut back, fishing and wading become possible and we see great hatches of Little Yellow Stones and PMDs. By August small Black Quills and Blue Wing Olives hatch and large rainbows move into the shallow edges and riffles to dine on these mayflies. Great stalking and sight fishing is had casting small dry flies and nymphs. 

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