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July 30, 2019 4 min read
With the drier weather over the past week, a lot of streams have come down and are in perfect shape. Rapid Creek has been coming down nicely as well, and if the current weather pattern continues it should be fishable in the next couple weeks.
Rapid Creek at Silver City is at 318, which is heading in the right direction. 200cfs or less is ideal, and closer to 125 is money. It should hopefully be down within the next couple weeks to a good level, as long as we don't get a lot more moisture. Upper Rapid Creek near Black Fox is fishable, with various dry-dropper rigs working well. The fish aren't super picky typically, so a selection of attractor patterns should get the job done.
Rapid Creek below the dam is down to around 400cfs, which is getting there. 250cfs or less is ideal, and with the current forecast we should be able to see that in the near future. If you're heading there big, heavy nymph rigs are going to be your best bet. Big worms and mop flies will work fine. You can catch a few fish, but we'd recommend waiting until it comes down another 100cfs or so before spending much time there.
Rapid Creek in town is over 500cfs, which is super high. Big worms and mops fished close to the bank should work well, but your best bet will be to wait until it comes down a touch. Is there fishable water? Yes, but it's a long ways between fishable spots in certain stretches. Let the flows come down a bit, and your patience will be rewarded - the high water is making the fish super fat and healthy, and the fishing this fall should be lights out.
Spearfish Creek is clear and fishing well, pretty much all the way from highway 85 through town. You can do really well fishing various terrestrial patterns this time of year - the fish seem to have a sweet spot for ants and beetles. Hoppers are a bit more sporadic, but if you're fishing a dry-dropper they make a good indicator and you'll pick up the occasional fish on them. Fat Franks, Hi Viz Beetles, Bionic Ants, Bloom's Parachute Ants, Foam Ants, Klinkhamers, and various smaller hopper patterns in size 10-14 will work fantastic for dries. If you want to nymph, the standard fare has been producing well. With the lower flows, thinner & smaller patterns have been working great. Perdigons, Peacock Jigs, tungsten midges, Rainbow Warriors, and Skinny Jigs in size 14-18 will get the job done. There's a few caddis around in the evenings, and the occasional Yellow Sally in town as well. Spearfish has some of the most normal flows right now, and is one of the better options around the area for 'normal' summer fishing. Upper Spearfish along 85 and Hanna Creek are fishing excellent as well - get the 3 weight and some dries out and have some fun!
Castle Creek is fishing well, and has come down today to a normal flow around 20cfs - Edit: Looks like it came back up to around 45cfs, but the fishing should still be solid. What does this mean? The fish will be back to their normal spots and the terrestrial fishing will be fantastic. The higher flows has made the fish fat and happy, and now they'll be a bit easier to find with the lower water. Hippie Stompers, Fat Franks, Parachute Hoppers, Morrish Hoppers, Amy's Ants, and a number of other smaller terrestrials will get some attention on the surface. Various jigs will work well as droppers, but Duracells, Purple Princes, Tung Teasers, Skinny Jigs, and Brush Hogs in size 14-18 are good bets. Inside bends and broken water are your friend on Castle Creek, the fish can be particularly spooky in the long, straight stretches. Castle is a fantastic option for terrestrial fishing, especially after the lower flows today.
Spring Creek is fishing well, but be mindful of the water temps. In the afternoons on hot days the water temps can be 5 degrees or more higher than the morning, which is enough to make a big difference. If the fish you're catching are hard to revive or aren't fighting much, pack it up and find some cooler water. The temps should keep going down with the shorter days and reasonable temperatures. There are tricos hatching in the morning, and the nymph fishing is good all day. Various jig patterns as a lead fly and Zebra Midges as a trailer will work just fine.
Crow Creek and Sand Creek are both fishing well, and not much has changed since last week. Hi Viz Beetles, User Friendlys, Parachute Ants, Fat Franks,Morrish Hoppers, Foam Ants, and various other terrestrial patterns will all work well. There’s caddis on Sand Creek in the evenings as well – Bloom’s Parachute Caddis is a fantastic fly. Generic dropper patterns in size 14-18 will work well if you can’t get them on the top, but you shouldn’t have an issue getting fish to come up. Be mindful of rattlesnakes on both of these creeks, but the fishing is excellent!
All of the small streams around the area are fishing well also - Elk, Box Elder, Little Spearfish, upper Spring, upper Whitewood, French, and various others are all fishing great with dry-dropper rigs. The fish aren't picky typically, and they're in about every kind of water there is. Various beetle, ant, and hopper patterns are all good bets. Fish the water you like and have fun!
Fishing is solid, and will continue to be great. Give us a call if you want to book a trip with the most experienced guides in the Black Hills - our guide team has over 40 years of experience, and you'll get the best Black Hills fishing experience possible whether you're a total novice or a seasoned angler. In addition, feel free to give us a call or swing by the shop if you want up to the date stream conditions, want help picking out the best flies for the locations you're going, or if you just want to browse flies and gear and get some advice - we're here to help!
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