Thursday, October 17, 2019
Sun Valley Resort Hopes You’ll Rise to the Bait
Monty Smith prepares to attach the pipe through which the fish will dive to their new home.
Wednesday, July 10, 2019


Sun Valley Resort gained 500 new residents this week.

They moved in in less than five minutes, fed into the Sun Valley Lake via a foot-wide pipe.

Several of the 10- to 12-inch rainbow trout immediately darted to the feet of a couple photographers. And, after getting their mug shot, they retreated across the lake checking out their new digs.

The rainbow trout came fast and furious.

“They feel great about being Sun Valley fish,” laughed Monty Smith, a fish wrangler who hauled the fish 220 miles from Grace in southeast Idaho to Sun Valley.

The fish, which arrived just in time for the annual Allen & Company confab, were raised on the certified Black Canyon Trout Farm’s 26-acre farm, along with cutthroat trout.

They started as eggs harvested from 3-foot-long brood fish. Then came the x-rated part, according to Smith, as the female eggs were stirred together with seed from male fish.

The farm ships some of its eggs worldwide, while sending some of its live trout to some of the top fly fishing clubs in North America

Tony Parkhill takes pictures of the trout with an underwater camera.

“You can get 80 eggs per fish, but in the wilds only one or two survive because birds and other critters eat them,” said Smith. “We can incubate them so 98 percent of them survive. We raise them on natural artesian springs in water that is cleaner than most people’s drinking water.”

Smith feeds them pellets made of shrimp and corn three to four times a day when they’re little.

“ ’Girls, come and get your pancakes and eggs,’ I tell them. If someone wants to fish them, they should get a fly that’s brown and looks like a pellet because they’re used to that,” he said.

This is the second year Sun Valley Resort has stocked the fish, which take a year to a year and a half to raise, said Kelli Lusk, a spokesperson for the resort.

Monty Smith is a fish wrangler at the Black Canyon Trout Ranch.

“We just think it’ll make things more fun for everybody,” said Tony Parkhill, the resort’s SnowSports School director. “We encourage everyone to come out and fish in our lake, which is part of Trail Creek.”

The resort rents adult fishing poles for $10 an hour, with kids’ poles free. It offers bait for $7 a tub at its marina.

Those 14 and above need an Idaho fishing license, which can be purchased at Chateau Drugs, Silver Creek Outfitters, Lost River Outfitter, Sun Valley Outfitters, Albertsons, High Desert Sports, Stutevants, Picabo Anglers and several other locations sell tickets. Idaho kids who are younger can fish for free. Out-of-state children can fish for free provided they’re accompanied by someone with a license.

The resort also has paddle boats, a canoe, rowboat and lake kayaks for rent. A sand volleyball court is off to the side.

“I thank you for allowing me to have a great job where I can work outside in the open--just like what this town is all about,” Smith told Parkhill.

Smith hopes to venture north again for the Wagon Days Parade over Labor Day, piloting a wagon his grandfather brought to Idaho.

“I drove a wagon for the (Swiftsure) therapeutic ranch last year,” he said. “And I hope someone will call me to come out again this year.”


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