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Old 08-12-2013, 11:17 AM
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Default Advice - Silver Creek Idaho

Hello everyone,
I want to thank everyone in advance for any help or advice.
I will be fishing Silver Creek next month and need help on Rod selection.
I have a 8'6 Sage SLT 5 weight and i am concerned that I would have better luck with a 9 foot rod. This is a once in a lifetime trip for me so I don't want to mess it up. We will also be fishing the Big Wood and wanted to know if a 3 weight 7ft Sage TXL is doable there, if not what would you recommend? Specific rod recomendations are welcome as if I have to I will buy another rod.
Thank you
Phil
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Advice - Silver Creek Idaho

We can debate for years about the differences between an 8' 6" 5 weight and a 9 footer in the 4 to 6 weight range, but in reality they are pretty subtle. Your rod won't ruin your trip. That length and weight is ideal for an all-purpose trout rod, and should be fine on Silver Creek even if it isn't the local experts' top pick for the most exquisite match possible to that specific piece of water. A few years ago my dad and I spent a week on the Henry's Fork. I lent him my (guide-recommended) 9' 4 weight and kept my more utilitarian 8' 6" 5 weight for myself, and I caught more fish than he did.

Of course, if you want to use your trip as an excuse to upgrade or expand your quiver, it's as good an excuse as any! But if you don't, you'll still be well prepared.
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:50 PM
 
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Default Re: Advice - Silver Creek Idaho

Silver creek is not that wide or large a spring creek. I would NOT buy a special fly rod. Use can use the 8.5 ft 5 weight.

The easier fishing is at the lower end of the Nature Conservancy Preserve. Try hoppers and fish them downstream.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:27 PM
 
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Default Re: Advice - Silver Creek Idaho

Just in case you have never fished a spring creek of this difficulty, here is a short lesson on how to fish downstream on Silver Creek.

First of all wear colors that fit into the surroundings. Wade into position very carefully and stay low if you can. If the fish is feeding in a slot between weeds, stay out of that slot. If you enter it, the silt from your wading will drift down to the fish and it will stop feeding it. The lanes between weed beds help to confine the silt to the lanes you are in.

This is from previous posts:

"The downstream approach is the single best way to catch these super spooky fish. It is the method of choice in my namesake, Silver Creek.

Flyfisher's Guide to Idaho - Ken Retallic, Rocky Barker - Google Books

Here's how to do a parachute cast, my favorite method for delivering a fly absolutely drag free from the upstream approach.

If micro-drag is the problem, the goal is to remove all drag. The easiest way to remove drag and place the fly accurately into the feeding lane of the fish is with a parachute cast from the upstream position. It is also the easiest way to time a fly so that it reaches a rhythmically feeding fish.

You must be able to get upstream of the fish and into casting position without spooking it. This can be directly upstream of the fish but more often it is upstream and across so that you can stay out of the direct feeding lane but still do a reach mend to place the cast into the feeding lane.

From the upstream position cast downstream to the feeding fish so that the fly lands upstream and outside the window of the feeding fish. Stop the rod high so that the line drapes down to the water like a parachute cord (this is where the name of the cast comes from). You can jerk back on the rod tip as the leader unfolds to give you more slack line and leader and place the rod in a more vertical position at the end of the cast.

If you are a little off in your cast, you can skate the fly directly into the feeding lane because the fly, line and leader are still outside the window of the feeding fish. When the fly is in the right place and at the right time (for a rhythmically feeder), lower the rod tip as the current takes the fly to the fish and the fly will enter the fish's window before the leader and without drag. If you time it right, the fly will arrive just as the fish is rising to feed again, and the fish will choose your fly from amongst the others because yours is arriving at the right time. If you need more slack than just lowering the rod will provide, pop the rod tip up and down while releasing line to stack mend line into the drift.

When the fish takes, delay just a bit until the mouth closes and the head goes down before you lift the rod to set the hook. If you set too fast. you will actually pull the fly out of the fishes mouth before it closes. The hook set is delayed a bit when you are upstream of the fish compared to a downstream position.

If the fish does not take, gently move the rod to the side so that the leader goes to your side of the fish without disturbing the surface too much. Gently pick up and do your false cast to the other side of the river so that you don't spray the water over the fish and then try again.

For fish that are feeding selectively and rhythmically by holding close to the surface there is no better method. They have a small window so you can get closer than a fish that is holding deeper. Trying to remove all drag with a slack line, being highly accurate, and timing the fly for a rhythmical feeder is nearly impossible when casting from below the fish.




Nymphing - Gary A. Borger - Google Books"

If the fish stops feeding when you do the parachute cast, it might have seen your rod. Then you will need to do a tilted sidearm cast to keep the rod out of his window. Then perform stake mends to feed line into the drift.

If this does not work, you can approach from below and try dropping a hopper pattern near the bank and BEHIND the fish. Hope for a reaction strike. Note that the fish's window extends behind him so aim the fly far enough behind the fish to land outside his window. A "splat" in his window may spook him.
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: Advice - Silver Creek Idaho

Thank you very much for all the advice. I can't wait to give it a try.
Phil
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:35 PM
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Default Re: Advice - Silver Creek Idaho

Silver Creek is an experience. If you get frustrated there? Drive a few miles up the road to Stanley Idaho (generally the coldest place on the map even in August, so bring some fleece) and fish for fat and happy cuts in the Salmon River. I went up there for a rafting trip, and lord it was great. A nice town, obliging trout, a good local band "Reckless Kelley" and all the sporty 20 something trout guide/whitewater guides (read good folks) you could want. I slept in a campground in a rented sleeping bag with a busted zipper and woke up with a ground squirrel in residence. Luckily we parted on good terms. But its a lot less "spring creek" etiquette and a lot more redneck fishing in free water. But the trout are just as big. All it takes is a hike a mile or two outside of town and you have the water to yourself. Its something to consider as a fallback if the trout on Silver creek get pissy or the creek gets too crowded. Plus its free.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Advice - Silver Creek Idaho

1st time I heard Reckless Kelly was driving from Salmon Idaho, stopping to fish all the way down to Stanley. I am going to see them play with Micky and the Motorcars in Tempe on August 20th. I have fished a bit of Idaho, my friend works for game and fish there, but never a spring creek and never Silver Creek.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: Advice - Silver Creek Idaho

Quote:
Originally Posted by chluke View Post
1st time I heard Reckless Kelly was driving from Salmon Idaho, stopping to fish all the way down to Stanley. I am going to see them play with Micky and the Motorcars in Tempe on August 20th. I have fished a bit of Idaho, my friend works for game and fish there, but never a spring creek and never Silver Creek.
I spent a grand total of ten minutes there, before the guy who'd invited me busted some stitches on his leg. So then it was off to the docs. My very brief view was that it was a lot like Slough Creek in Yellowstone or Armstrong and De Puy's creeks in Livingston. All about fine leaders and good presentation to educated trout. Anyway, we'd blown our day, so it was back to Stanley. Beer, good food, good music, and an early get up and a walk up stream and plenty of trout. I wasn't complaining. I really like Stanley. Its a great unpretentious little town, but it has good booze, good food, nice music and some very well stocked fly/outdoor shops. What more do you want?
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:14 AM
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Default Re: Advice - Silver Creek Idaho

Your tackle is fine for Silver Creek. I typically use an 8 1/2'/#4 but 5-weight is no problem. The main tackle thing is a loooong leader; like 15'+ with your 6X (fly size dependent) tippet being 5' of it. So leader design must facilitate positive turn-over and maximum control to execute the technical type presentations Silver Creek was writing about above. The fly MUST come into the fishes view first with not the slightest curl of tippet below it. The Nature Conservancy of Idaho has done a remarkable and commendable job of repairing, enhancing and protecting the upper portion of Silver Creek and, though it can get crowded, it is one of fly fishing's Global treasures. The other local streams, the Wood River and Big Lost are fine but Silver Creek is a pilgrimage.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: Advice - Silver Creek Idaho

Silver Creek...very technical fishing with micro-drift management. (Tricos and a few Callibaetis at the moment). If one whisper of drag on the drift it is game over. #24 - #26 spinners lately.

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