Silver Creek, located in central Idaho, is a large spring creek well known for its tremendous size browns and rainbows. It is a fishery with difficult changing currents that will "derail" the most perfect drift that you feel is "on-track." Tremendous hatches and slick water to match this activity makes the creek an incredible dry fly fishery. Surrounded by farmland and distant mountains the creek offers beautiful scenery that will give you the opportunity to bring home some memorable photos. Trout up to 24 inches can be caught here each year or end up being "the big one that got away."
The Creeks headwaters are found just south of Gannett in marshy plains surrounded by ranches, brush and scattered trees. Several feeder creeks help to construct Silver Creek as they provide it with volume. The creek's bed is lined with weeds which provides nutrients and a place for fish to hide. The weeds do make nymph fishing tough however when they are thick. Eventually it becomes a large spring creek meandering through Silver Creek Preserve, in the first part of its journey, which was established with the help of Jack Hemingway (Ernest Hemingway's son) during the 1970's. This area has helped to protect this creek which was being bombarded by both fishermen and farmers.
The fishing pressure the creek was receiving with the lack of catch-and-release regulations was detrimental to fish populations. Agricultural use fluctuated water levels and eroded the creeks banks as well. Today the creek is once again a tremendous fishery. The Silver Creek Preserve owned by the Nature Conservancy now offers anglers with good access and an exceptional fishery in which catch-and-release regulations have been placed within the preserve limits and down to Route 20. Check all the Special Regulations before going out.
The first part of the creek's journey from its headwaters to the end of the Silver Creek Preserve is a few miles long. Within this section anglers can wade fish its waters for most of this section. Wading the lower stretch of the preserve becomes more difficult as the depths increase. Float tubers enjoy fishing this section in the vicinity of Kilpatrick Bride. Anglers are able to use float tubes in the creek but are limited to access in some areas do to private property. Fishermen may float into private property but can not use the surrounding land if it is private. Anglers will have to migrate back upstream or float through to where access is permissible. The tubes are especially good for fishing the "ponds" that exist as a part of the river. These are areas where the creek slows up and gets larger in the shape of a small pond. Fishing this section all the way down to U.S. Highway 20 is good but usually accessible below Kilpatrick Bridge to float tubers only.
Below U. S. Highway 20 the creek has some excellent angling potential. It is accessible in certain areas and offers quality fishing for big browns and rainbows. This area does allow anglers to keep two fish but none between 12 and 16 inches. Check regulations for more details. Most anglers choose to release the fish to keep this wonderful fishery healthy. From December 1st to February 28th this section of river from Highway 93 to U. S. Highway 20 (at highway milepost 187.2) Bridge is "closed to harvest." This means that all fish must be released with no harm during this time. Below Highway 93 the river is not very accessible. It eventually flows into the Little Wood River.
Hatches on Silver Creek are excellent and very prolific. Mayflies include Blue-winged Olives, Pale Morning Duns, Callibaetis, Brown Drakes, Tricos, Gray Drakes, and Mahogany Duns. Caddis are not as significant but include a few in tan usually in the month of June. Mayflies are the most significant of the hatches. It is a spring creek with a silt bottom and does not harbor the amount of caddis and stoneflies that a freestone or tail-water river would. The mayflies that do come off, however, do so in big numbers.
Access to Silver Creek is best found at the Silver Creek Preserve. There are other access points along the river as well. Float tubes are a great way to approach and fish this creek. Highways 20, 93, and other side roads make access possible.
Fishing on Silver Creek is almost legendary. It is an awesome fishery that provides great angling for large trout. The Closest commercial airport is in Twin Falls. Some anglers come to Idaho for its great fishing and many come to fish Silver Creek.
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