Idaho's other Silver Creek

7 July 2006 By Dan Bachman • Fishing-Spots • Comments (7)

NOTE: Click here for a list of Tattered Fly articles on the world famous spring creek, Silver Creek.

Silver Creek (MF of Payette) Located north of Garden Valley and Crouch, Idaho along the Middle Fork of the Payette this Silver Creek is the alter-ego to the world famous Silver Creek of the Wood River valley. It is different in almost every way possible.

While the Silver Creek that Hemingway fished is a slow oxbow creek known for large browns and rainbows that test the mettle of the best fly fisherman on crowded weekends, this Silver Creek is an isolated burbling brook that contains high mountain rainbows that will eagerly strike almost any fly thrown at them.

Perfect for the beginning fly fisherman this small creek is a great place for young anglers to hone their skills. Crystal clear water does requires a small amount of stealth when approaching a pool or shaded run, but if you do make a false step there is another pool just yards away.

Small fish are the game here where you will be lucky to catch anything larger than 10 inches. But what they lack in size they make up for in quantity.

Juvenile Rainbow from Silver Creek (Payette) Silver Creek (MF of Payette)

Located off of forest road 698 you will want a 4-wheel drive or at the very least a vehicle with good ground clearance to make the 9 mile drive from 698 to Silver Creek Plunge where campsites line the creek.



  1. 7 July 2006 Perry Brown

    I’ve often wondered about fishing the upper Middle Fork of the Payette and Silver Creek up there… Thanks for the briefing! Looks like some narrow casting for fly fishing. Would this be a good place to teach someone to fly fish, if they have not yet mastered the cast, or is it too narrow??? Thanks.

  2. 7 July 2006 Dan Bachman

    Perry-You have to pick your spots but there are places with plenty of casting room.

  3. 11 July 2006 John

    Hi Dan,
    Sorry to bombard with questions, but here we go….Do you think I could get a pop up tent trailer down to the campsite? Also, I was up near Lowman Sunday and wondered which type of Mayfly was hatching if you might have a guess. It was about a size 12 with grey brown spots. How long does it take emergers to fly away after hitting the surface or how can you tell if a Mayfly is ending their life after hitting the water or starting to fly after drying their wings?

  4. 11 July 2006 Dan Bachman

    John-I saw a couple trailers on campsites at Silver Creek. My neighbor takes his tent trailer a couple times a year. The mayfly you saw was probably a Callibaetis although I can’t really be sure without seeing the fly. Mayflies emerge sub-surface and if you see the mayflies on the surface looking like a small sailboat, with their wings upright, they are waiting for their wings to dry in this the ‘dun’ lifestage. The egg laying comes later in the ‘spinner’ stage which looks similar to the ‘dun’ stage except the wings are clear and after mating and laying eggs you will see them dead in the water with their wings laying down.

  5. 11 July 2006 John

    I just checked a picture of a Callibaetis and that was definitely it. The ones I saw had their wings down and I was assuming they were dead, but when I’d go to pick them up, they’d fly away causing the confusion. Thanks for sorting it out for me.

  6. 11 July 2006 Ward Larson

    I live in Washington so I should head down there sometime. It looks great.

    By the way, you have a stunning web site as well. Love the use of lightbox for your photos.

  7. 12 July 2006 Truco7mateo


    I stumbled on your site a few months ago and check in every other day or so to see your adventures. I thought I would pass on a little info regarding that area. For those who want a pretty good afternoon of relative solitude and some fiesty little trout, I have always found a good solution up there. I drop the family off at Silver cr. plunge and then drive north to the rd that goes up towward the lookout and drops over the mountain to Boiling springs on the MF. Park there and walk upstream around the cabin about a mile or so. You might see a few people, but usually it is peaceful and the fish rise to hoppers, stims and aren’t planters so they fight. Plenty of room to instruct a novice flyfisherman
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