100 Best: Silver Creek
Location: Southcentral Idaho
Type of stream: Spring Creek
Angling methods: Fly, spinning
Species: Rainbows, occasional browns, odd brookies
Season: late May -- November
Supporting Services: Tackle shops, accommodations in Sun Valley
Short take: Among Idaho’s 17 Silver Creeks, this one is tops
Handicapped Access: Limited
Closest TU Chapters: Hemingway
Yeah, that’s right. Idaho has 17 streams named Silver Creek. Seasoned trouters know which one tops the list. It’s the Silver Creek with headwaters on the 883 acre Nature Conservancy preserve west of Picabo and about 30 miles south of Sun Valley. Rising in springs, the creek slides sinuously across high prairie in all but utter silence.
Think you can catch one of its 20-inch plus rainbows? Depends on how well you can manage the drift of your #22 pale morning dun. Make a mistake, and oh-so-subtle micro currents generate wakes from fly and tippet. Big rainbows know. Real insects make no waves. Only artificials do.
The ever-present breeze makes precise casting difficult. So too is the fact that the mucky bottom, so wonderful for aquatic invertebrates, makes wading more than a little tricky. Only belly-boats are allowed; no rafts, kayaks, or canoes. And, of course, the river is clear. If you’re beginning to get the picture that preserve section of Silver Creek is one of the most challenging spring creeks in the world, you’re absolutely correct.