We’ve had a bit of a weather change from last week, which has gotten most people either out on the stream or thinking about it! The fishing just about everywhere has been fantastic, and there’s been good hatches on most streams as well. The forecast for the coming week looks to be a bit more on the rainy side with average temperatures – it’s going to be a great week to be out on the water in the Black Hills.
Rapid Creek above Pactola is dirty. You might be able to scrape out a few fish on streamers, but there’s much better options available right now. Below the dam is fishing well, and has been getting a fair amount of pressure with the fishing being so good. There’s been a good BWO and midge hatch during the day and there’s been a fair number of fish up on them. The fish have been their normal picky selves, but we’ve found good success on Spotlight BWOs, Comparaduns, Purple Hazes, Sparkle Duns, Students, and F-Flies in size 16-22, depending on how picky the fish are on the given day. Nymphing has been great, with fish eating the nymph stages of the same bug they’re eating on the surface. For a lead fly try a Boat Anchor Scud or Tungsten Rainbow Czech Nymph in size 12-14. Droppers that have been working include Two Bit Hookers, Green Weenies, Zebra Midges, Tungsten Split Back Baetis, and T. Ready Baetis in size 16-22. Fish 5x to the first fly and 6x to the second! Fishing in town has been great, with the fish looking up most days! The primary hatch has been BWO’s, but there’s caddis starting to show up as well and the fish will slowly transition over to caddis as the Blue Wings peter out. For now, I’d focus on the Baetis. Vis-A-Duns, CDC Thorax Duns, F-Flies, Students, and Spotlight BWOs have been getting some attention. The fish have been pretty willing to come up to the surface, so there’s not a lot of reason to nymph most days. If you want to fish a bit deeper, standard jig-style patterns have been as good as anyhting! Jig Assassins, Jig Baetis, and Party Crashers have been great lead flies. We’ve been fishing a little bigger in size 12-14 since the flows have come up a bit. I’ve been catching a lot of fish on Root Beer Midges and Three Dollar Dips in size 18 as a dropper fly as well. Fishing in town is great!
Spearfish Creek is flowing around 110 cfs, which is a fantastic flow and the fishing has been incredible, both in the town and in the canyon. As long as you’re getting down to the bottom, there’s fish just about everywhere and they’ve been pretty willing! As per usual, jig flies have been the best bet, especially as a lead fly. Bottom Bouncer Caddis, Party Crashers, Jig Assassins, and Jig Soft Spots in size 12-16 have been working well – adjust the size of your jig pattern depending on how deep and swift the water is to get down. I haven’t found the fish to be terribly picky, but if you need a dropper try a Three Dollar Dip, Two Bit Hooker, or Green Weenie in sizes 16-20. The fish have moved into the faster slots and edges as well as the typical pools and holes, so don’t overlook any water that looks remotely fishy. Fish everything, and you’ll be surprised at where the fish are!
Spring Creek has been stocked by the bridges, and the fish aren’t particularly smart. If you’re new to fly fishing or taking someone that’s a newbie, Spring is a fantastic option, especially by Sheridan Lake Road. Big, bright patterns have been effective. Tungsten Rainbow Czechs, Boat Anchor Scuds, Flashback PT’s, and Red Fox Squirrel jigs have all been producing fish.
Castle Creek is fishing well both above and below the lake. The suckers are beginning to run out of the lake, and the rainbows are following them eating their eggs. Bright flies are your best bet! Below the dam, the brookies and browns have been looking up. Blue Winged Olives have been the main hatch, with Students, F-Flies, Spotlight BWOs, and Purple Hazes being the best patterns. If the fish get picky, drop a Two Bit Hooker or Tungsten Green Weenie off the back of your dry.
Fishing has been fantastic, and the weather is pretty darn good as well. Give us a call to book one of our guides for a day, or swing by the shop and pick up some of the hot bugs!