Preservation and the Creek
Less than 15 miles long, Silver Creek begins as cold waters percolate from the aquifer into the tributaries which form the creek; Stalker, Loving, and Grove.
In 1975, local anglers worked with the Nature Conservancy to purchase 479 acres of the creek’s headwaters from the Sun Valley Corporation. The group purchased the land and the Silver Creek Preserve was created.
Jack Hemingway, son of beloved author Ernest Hemingway and an Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner, worked to make the preserve open to fly fishing with catch and release regulations. A section of the creek is reserved for float-tube only access.
Fly Fishing at Silver Creek Preserve
Fishing at the preserve is welcomed. There are several areas to park with paths that lead along the creek. The Nature Conservancy asks anglers and visitors to the preserve to sign in at their interpretive center.
In season, you’ll be greeted by a friendly volunteer whose passion it is to share their knowledge of the preserve, the flora and fauna, and pass along tips on accessing the water. Donations are requested but not required.
During our visit, the friendly volunteer informed us about a moose who was seen in the willows. While chatting, sure enough, out of the willows came the moose!
Pick up a free map at the interpretive center and head out and find a spot to fish for selective trout on this famous spring creek.
If the stream is crowded with anglers, try Sullivan Lake. HUGE rainbows cruise the still waters sipping insects from the surface. A delicate cast with an invisible leader ahead of a cruising fish’s path can occasionally fool the Ph.D. trout.
We fished the preserve several times during our trip. We saw moose, mule deer, hawks, songbirds, sandhill cranes, and owls. The landscape was covered with yellow lupine, paintbrush, columbine, and flox, while the air was sweetly scented by chokecherry blossoms.
Today the preserve comprises of 874 acres along the creek and the Nature Conservancy has protected more than 10,000 acres through conservation easements in the area.
If You Go
If you go, this is a great starting point for fishing the creek. The paths are easy to follow and lead to some sweet places to fish. Take your time before crashing into the water. Watch for rising trout. Observe what they are eating. Plan where to step into the stream. This can be a challenging fishery.