We’re in the middle of a hot week that’s looking to get hotter over the next couple days, but the fishing has still been solid. Terrestrial fishing has been heating up, and the nymphing has been business as usual. All throughout the Black Hills has been fishing well, and there’s a ton of options. You like small streams and dry flies? Lots of that. Looking for pickier fish and bigger fish? Sure thing. Pocket water? Spearfish Canyon is the place for you. The fish are happily eating just about everywhere – pick your poison and get out there.
Rapid Creek near Silver City has been fishing pretty well, but not great. It’s a good place to get away from other folks though, and there’s definitely fish to be had. Dave was up there a couple days ago and did well fishing the standard jig nymph setups. He said that being right on the bottom was the key to catching fish. Below Pactola is fishing well also, with smaller flies being the ticket! Fish a Boat Anchor Scud or Tungsten Rainbow Czech as a lead fly, and trail a small Green Weenie, Tungsten Zebra Midge, or Three Dollar Dip a foot below. Most of the fish have been on the dropper pattern lately, and some of them have been pretty hefty. Keep running your fly over them and keep fiddling with your depth and weight! There’s been streamer fishing opportunities as well, so if you like hucking bigger stuff don’t be afraid to bring your 7 weight. Sex Dungeons, Circus Peanuts, Kreelexes, and Lil’ Kims have been solid bets. Fishing on Rapid Creek through town has been exceptional, and the fish have been looking up. Hopper fishing has started over the past couple days and we’ve been catching good numbers of fish on big dries. Stimulators, Morrish Hoppers, and Streambank Hoppers in 10-14 have been getting lots of looks. There are caddis hatching in the evenings as well, and there are Tricos in the early mornings. Chubby Trico Spinners have been our most productive fly in 18-22. Nymphing has been good as usual, with Jig Hare’s Ears and Party Crashers being a couple of our favorites.
Spearfish Creek has been fishing exceptionally well in the canyon over the past few weeks, and it should continue to do the same. Nymphing has been the best tactic, especially in the fast water. Jig Hare’s Ears, Party Crashers, Assassins, and North Fork Specials have been good lead patterns in 12-16. Drop a Root Beer Midge, CDC Midge Emerger, Split Back Baetis, or your favorite flavor or midge below it to pick up a few bonus fish. As always with the canyon, don’t let the fast water scare you off – there’s tons of fish in it. Get close, and keep your line off the water and you’ll be surprised how many fish you catch! In the slower water stretches of the canyon there’s some dry fly opportunities as well. I’d stick with attractor style flies in 12-18 unless you see an obvious hatch. Spearfish Creek through Spearfish has been fishing well also, with some opportunities to fish terrestrials as well. There’s been a good Yellow Sally hatch most days – fish a Sexy Sallie or small Stimulator in 14-16. This time of year when I fish in town, I usually use a Chubby Chernobyl or other hopper pattern with whatever kind of jig pattern you like trailed 1-3 feet below depending on the depth and speed of the water. There’s some really quality fish in Spearfish – don’t overlook fishing right in town!
Castle Creek has reached the time of year where we fish dry/droppers almost exclusively, with fish being willing to eat both the dry and the nymph. I like Stimulators, Elk Hair Caddis, or a Purple Parachute Adams for a lead pattern with a Tungsten Psycho or a Tung Teaser for a dropper pattern. You can fish small hoppers tight to the bank and do well also. Try a beetle or ant if they don’t dig the hopper!
All the small streams in the Hills are fishing very well! Hanna, Little Spearfish, Box Elder, Upper Rapid, Upper Whitewood, and Spearfish Creek along Highway 85 are super fun to fish and the fish are generally pretty simple. Dry/droppers are the tactic of choice, and oftentimes we just fish the dry. Klinkhamers, Parachute Adams in standard and purple, Stimulators, Elk Hair Caddis, and various other attractor style dry flies will do just fine. Be mindful of your approach to these small streams so you don’t spook the fish and you’ll do well.
Spring Creek is getting pretty low and starting to warm up. Fish early or late if you’re going up there so you don’t stress the fish out. The trailhead is your best bet.
Fishing has been pretty darn good, and should continue to be great! Our guides have been out every day and have been having some great fishing and happy clients – call us to book your date. If you have any other questions about Black Hills fly fishing, give us a call at the shop at 605-341-2450, or swing by and we’ll get you squared away and headed in the right direction!