Bob Knoebel is hard to miss here in Sun Valley. He has been an outstanding Silver Creek Outfitters guide for almost 13 seasons! However, let’s turn back the clock 40 years ago: Bob learns to fly fish in the Saugatuck River in Westport Connecticut. Eventually, the West draws him in, and he makes the move to beautiful Idaho. Fast forward to today, and you’ll see him primarily guiding in the spring, summer, and fall for SCO. However, you’ll also see him at the base of Warm Springs — ready to scan your pass. During the off season, he works as a supervisor in the ticketing department at Sun Valley, often running into many of his favorite fishing guests, on skis!
We asked Bob what his favorite time of year to guide is, and here’s what he said: “I love to take people fishing during the months of September and October, especially when the elk are bugling.” While guiding in the fall is his favorite, his most standout memory involves more than just fall fishing. One of Bob’s favorite memories of guiding with SCO was when he escorted a long-time SCO guest on a journey to his favorite fishing spot. Bob remarks that it was probably the guest’s last fishing trip, as he had just turned 90 years old. They spent two days fishing together, recounting the guest’s favorite moments fishing with his wife, who had recently passed. This truly touched Bob’s heart, and he will never forget the sentimental time they spent together.
Without a doubt, Bob is an experienced fisherman and guide. So, we asked him for a few tips for beginners (or those coming into town to fish some of our world class waters). Bob said, “If you’re coming here to fish, enjoy the scenery and the entire experience. It’s very special. If you’re a beginner, relax — it’s not that hard.” He also noted that his favorite flies are the zebra midge, underneath and the purple haze on top. Apparently, they work — especially for beginners who need to keep things simple. Sun Valley’s Big Wood River is also a great place for beginners to learn. From a guide’s perspective, it’s the ideal classroom; however, the river is perfect for experts too. The diversity is awesome!
Lastly, we asked Bob what he loves about Idaho. He answered with the following: “The people of the Wood River Valley are what make Idaho a special place. There are so many caring individuals who make a difference here — from school teachers to those who volunteer to help others. And of course, the fishing!”