We started our new lifestyle as RV fulltimers in our home state of Idaho or Idahome. It makes sense then our first state to check off the bucket list is one of Idaho’s famous blue ribbon trout rivers. Silver creek is, or should be, on every angler’s hit list. I don’t think there is anything I can say about Silver creek that hasn’t already been said: exceedingly beautiful surroundings, plenty of trout in every section, insanely clear water making fishing difficult; again just look up any publication on the creek. Every word is true. We planned on heading to another Idaho trophy river the infamous Henry’s fork, and we were fortunate enough to make Silver creek our layover. Our priority is getting to Alaska, seeing how we plan on meandering our way up there and visiting Canada and keeping in mind Alaskan summers are apparently only two months long. While telling one of my best fishing buddies about our trip he told me how he would navigate our fishing adventure – (in a Georgia/southern accent) Dude, y’all need to chase the hatches. Spinners on the Henry’s Fork, Green Drakes on the Snake, Brown Drakes on Silver creek, epic caddis hatches in Colorado, salmon flies in Montana – so on and so forth. We had inadvertently followed my buddy’s advice and ended up chasing a hatch. As we were pulling into Picabo, Idaho we saw the fly shop sign that read “Brown Drakes are Here”. The brown drake hatch on Silver creek is something of fly fishing lore, it’s legendary. We were fortunate enough to hit it just right. We weren’t the only ones though as every access and pullout had as many cars and anglers as they could fit. After parking the camper and getting ourselves situated I decided to go look at the river and see what was happening that evening. I took Ruger and Beretta for a stroll along the riverbank and every 50 yards or less there was an angler. Every one of them seemed to be casting to a good-sized trout, none of them hooking up with a trout. I decided to wait until the morning before we would try our luck. Our first night in the camper was amazing and my first cup of coffee from my french press was out of this world. My coffee was strong, rich, full-bodied, sweet, and black, just like I like my women. After coffee and breakfast my not strong, not rich, skinny, sometimes sweet, and non-black wife and I grabbed the dogs and set off for a short hike in our waders with the dogs. We stepped into the creek and because it is so clear ended up going up to our thighs in water. The water would have probably only been to our knees but the bottom of Silver creek is like quicksand with at least 10 inches of soft silt all the way across the creek.
Because I hadn’t planned on hitting the drake hatch I had but one brown drake emerger, and about 20 green drakes in all life stages from my previous outings. I gave the one brown emerger to the wife and we watched an area with very active fish. Of course the nicest looking fish were in the least accessible water but we found a few fish that looked like they wanted to play. A few words of advice for fishing Silver creek: 1. Bring your “A” game, nothing else will do 2. Position yourself so your cast allows for a down stream presentation. Michele did both on that day. Her first cast was inspected by a trout, but our excitement denied the fish the ability to “taste” the fly. One of the problems with a downstream presentation is that setting the hook inevitably pulls the fly out of the fish’s mouth. Instead of setting the hook immediately as you would normally, let the fish fully bite the fly and turn then commence to rip lips. It sounds easy but it actually takes great discipline, Michele’s discipline was tested again very shortly after her first miss. The second fish she missed was a toad. Its head was as big as my fist. She would not be denied a third time. This time everything worked as it should and she hooked up. After a brief fight we got the little bow to the net. Our goal is to catch a fish on the fly in all 50 states and Canada. One state down, and only 49 to go. I’m proud of my fly fishing wife and happy to be on this journey with her. By the way, this goal was her idea not mine!