If the log cabin walls of Silver Creek Outfitters on Main Street in Ketchum could talk, oh the stories they could tell. From the river to the restaurant, from the duck blind to the nightclub, great Sun Valley stories start at Silver Creek Outfitters.
Originally opened in 1963 as Dick Alfs Fly Shop, it was renamed Silver Creek Outfitters (SCO) after Dick and his wife sold the store in 1979. It’s the longest running specialty fly fishing shop in Idaho.
Terry Ring was a guide for Dick Alfs Fly Shop, and after being part owner for a decade, he become the sole proprietor in 1989. After nearly 40 years, Terry still feels blessed to do what he loves—share his passion for the Sun Valley area and help people take advantage of all it has to offer.
“I feel so fortunate to be here, to play a role in a community I love. I’m still excited about the business and coming to work every day,” he said.
Silver Creek Outfitters offers the finest quality lines of everything you’ll need for the river or the mountain or a night out on the town. As Terry says, SCO has everything from “caddis flies to cashmere.”
While he’s proud of the quality of the products they offer, Terry believes the staff, or the “SCO family,” is what really makes Silver Creek Outfitters.
“Authenticity is a big thing. I’m proud of the people who work here. They live and breathe the Sun Valley lifestyle. They are true Idahoans who know and love the area. They hunt, fish, and hike every day of the year and are willing to share their knowledge,” Terry said.
While Silver Creek Outfitters is most famous for its fly fishing gear and guides, the other half of the store is dedicated to offering a variety of clothing, shoes, jackets, and jewelry to meet every enjoyable aspect of life in America’s original destination ski town.
“The Idaho lifestyle is about people and place. This place is so diverse, from single track to the summer symphony, from the stream to the trail to a night on the town. There is plenty of culture if you want it and solitude if you seek,” Terry said, adding, “There’s so much to do here—the days are long, but not long enough, and the nights are short.”
Sun Valley’s endless outdoor recreational options coupled with its bustling art, entertainment, and restaurant scenes make this place heaven on earth for a wide variety of people.
“The lifestyle here attracts a very diverse group of people. They bring with them their own spirits and energy and love for this place. I appreciate the people who chose to live here and am grateful for those who visit,” Terry said. “Our job is to help them make the most out of it all.”
If you’re looking to make the most out of all the Sun Valley lifestyle has to offer, Silver Creek Outfitters is where your story should begin.
Fly Fishing Highway
Fishing is a big part of the appeal of our little neck of the Northern Rockies. Part of the “Fly Fishing Highway,” as they call Highway 20, even rolls right through the southern section of Blaine County. The two-lane highway is a short drive from Hailey or Ketchum and passes the legendary waters of Silver Creek.
Silver Creek Preserve
When The Nature Conservancy first preserved Silver Creek back in 1976, it became a watershed moment in spring creek and fisheries conservation. It was really the first conservation project of its kind anywhere, and its success has inspired numerous such projects around the world. That’s one of the reasons why fishing the gin-clear waters of Silver Creek is such a special event in any angler’s life—even when you’re as lucky as we locals are to fish it all the time. There’s never a bad day on Silver Creek, because even though the fishing isn’t easy, it’s always a rewarding experience.
It’s tough not to like a place called Magic Reservoir. The largest manmade lake in the area has several access points and is popular for bait, lure and fly fishing during the warmer months and ice fishing in the winter. Fed by the Big Wood River, when Magic Reservoir is full it covers nearly 4,000 acres and five miles of high-desert terrain. Besides fishing, Magic is a popular spot for waterskiers and stand-up paddleboarding.
While trout—and big ones at that—are caught with regularity at both Silver Creek and Magic Reservoir, Magic is also one of the best places around to catch bass.
Out the Backdoor
BIG WOOD RIVER
The Big Wood River carves its way through the Valley it’s named for. That’s why no matter where you are in the Wood River Valley, you’re never far from the river.
The Big Wood offers ample access throughout most of its 60-mile run to Magic Reservoir. Early spring is the only time the river is completely closed to fishing. Meanwhile, the other three seasons on the Big Wood make for some pretty idyllic alpine fishing. The freestone river is full of trout and gorgeous views that make you feel a lot farther away from civilization than you are.
Making its way from the snowy mountains above Sun Valley, Trail Creek offers some pretty sweet small-stream fishing. The chilly waters of the creek get stocked often during the height of the fishing season. Trail Creek also passes by the Hemingway Memorial, adding another attraction to spending some time exploring the small mountain stream.