Photos: Winter Fishing On Silver Creek

Written by Phoebe Bean

It took a while, but Phoebe finally got the skunk off, both figuratively and literally.
All photos by Phoebe Bean

I have slowly come to realize how spoiled I was in Vermont while working for Orvis. Putting aside all of the other awesome aspects of my job, I was able to fish nearly every day, due to the close proximity of the Roaring Branch and Battenkill; now, back in Sun Valley with three (also awesome) jobs, I’m lucky if I rig up my rod every other week.

One of Idaho’s gems, Silver Creek is a different beast in winter.

I was fortunate enough to spend my childhood summers living in a cabin on Silver Creek, so I learned most of the water’s famous wily-trout tricks at an early age. My skills during the winter there, though? Embarrassing. I went earlier this month on what should have been a stellar day, feeling pretty confident that I would return home with at least one chewed up fly, but I didn’t get a single hit and managed to lose an unfortunate number of not-so-cheap streamers. So, instead of watching the Super Bowl yesterday, I drove down to Silver Creek in an attempt to learn something new and hopefully redeem myself.

The chilly waters seemed ill inclined to give up its trout at first.

The first thing I caught was a dead skunk. Soon after that unfortunate event, a fully functioning live skunk decided I was not welcome in his turf, and I quickly moved on to a different stretch of the creek. Hours went by and I still hadn’t even seen the wake of a spooked trout.

But once one fish was in the net, more started to fall for the streamer.

Finally, fingers numb from clearing my frozen guides and almost ready to call it quits for the evening, my rod tip bent ever so slightly and I had something alive on the line. I whooped as I netted the first rainbow, sheepishly looking around to see if anyone heard me.

Ice in the guides is not problem when the trout start biting.

After that, for whatever reason, things clicked and I started pulling trout out every couple of casts. Each one left a huge grin plastered on my face and made my earlier frustration dissipate.

They weren’t big, but they added beautiful color to the winter scenery.

None of the fish I caught last night were the coveted Silver Creek monsters, but I was thrilled regardless. I’m still thrilled.

Putting one back to grow bigger in summertime.

After I posted about it last night on my blog, my friend Wade Fellin of the Big Hole Lodge touched on something that rings true for me in most tough fishing situations—patience is key. Sometimes I forget that it’s not all about the fish. Usually, if I sit back and enjoy the experience instead of focusing on why things aren’t going the way I had planned, good things happen.

Phoebe Bean is a recently departed  Intern for Orvis Adventures.You can check out her previous fishing adventures here:

4 thoughts on “Photos: Winter Fishing On Silver Creek”

  1. That is too funny. I was there Saturday and smelled the skunk something fierce. I didn’t actually see it, but that makes sense.

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