Silver Creek is a stream known far and wide for its crystal-clear waters and abundance of large trout, which are present in large part due to the stream’s unique and healthy aquatic ecosystem.
A highly regulated and, for the most part, fly fishing-only stream, Silver Creek is a paradise for anglers from all around the country.
Picabo Anglers – located in the town of Picabo just miles from Silver Creek – describes the dry fly fishing as “world class,” and the river certainly lives up to its reputation.
Let’s jump into a few more of the specifics that make Silver Creek such a special body of water.
When To Fish
Silver Creek is most commonly fished in the late spring through the fall.
Each time of year offers something different, and due to the complexity of insect life on the creek, there’s almost always something hatching.
Brown drakes kick off the summer, accompanied by PMDs, Baetis, and Callibaetis.
The brown drake hatch dies off by August, but the mainstay hatches, including some of those mentioned above with the addition of tricos and midges, are still very productive.
Fishing the creek during the winter is possible and there may still be limited dry fly action, but most anglers choose to target Silver Creek during the warmer months of the year.
The regulations on Silver Creek are fickle and can change yearly, but as a general rule, the river is closed between April 1 and Memorial Day.
The Nature Conservancy stretch of the river is an exception, as this stretch is closed from December 1 through Memorial Day.
Due to its popularity and fragile ecosystem, the fishing season on Silver Creek is highly regulated and changes by the year. When you’re planning your trip, absolutely be sure to check the latest regulations!
Silver Creek is known worldwide for its abundance of very large rainbow and brown trout. If you Google images from the river, you’d no doubt find plenty of photos of giant fish.
As with any other river, nymphing is a productive way to catch trout on Silver Creek, but the real attention to the creek is typically focused on dry flies.
The creek is slow, deep, and clear, making it perfect for fly fishermen who like a patient, stealthy approach to big fish.
Tricos, midges, PMDs, baetis, and brown drakes are some of the biggest hatches that occur on the river, and you’ll be able to find the majority of these bugs hatching throughout the year, particularly during the warmer months.
A fluorocarbon, 6 or 7X tippet is generally preferred by fly fishermen on Silver Creek.
Even though the fish are big and there’s a risk of breakage with such light leader, the creek requires an immaculate presentation. Light tippet and a stealthy approach are necessary.
Trout between 25 and 30 inches are not entirely uncommon on Silver Creek, which is one of the reasons this is such a popular stream.
Remember, though, that it’s not quite like catching fish in a barrel – this is a stream for fly fishing purists, one that requires dedication and finesse.
Location and Access
Silver Creek, as will become evident quite quickly if you take a look Idaho’s regulations website, can be divided up into countless separate stretches of water.
However, the creek is most commonly fished above Highway 20, upstream through the town of Picabo to the Silver Creek Conservancy.
There are a few public access points here that are worth mentioning: Point of Rocks and the Silver Creek Conservancy are the two most obvious access points, as much of the remaining creek does flow through private property.
There are other areas to access the creek, some of which will require more local knowledge than others. However, a quick glance at the access map on this page should give you an idea of where to go if you’re in the area!
Where is Silver Creek?
The creek is in Central Idaho, which means there aren’t any major cities for quite a distance. This is a great spot if you’re looking to relax, enjoy nature, and catch some big fish!
Picabo is a little more than an hour north of Twin Falls and less than an hour south of Sun Valley. Boise is more than two hours away.
Silver Creek requires dedication and persistence to master, but it’s one of the most unique rivers in Idaho and is worth checking out.
If you decide Silver Creek isn’t for you, check out some of the other great rivers in Central Idaho in our Best Fly Fishing Rivers in Idaho article.
Carter Reschke is a freelance writer based in Oregon. Passionate about the outdoors, Carter is a fly fishing aficionado and spends his days on the river when he’s not writing.