July 14, 2014 2 min read
Black Hills streams have fished very well in the past week. Stream flows have dropped everywhere except for Rapid Creek below Pactola Reservoir. The flows coming out of Pactola reservoir are higher as the reservoir is lowered for future projects downstream. The flows below the dam are high but not unfishable. In fact, fishing is excellent fishing below Pactola down through Rapid City.
Hatches of Pale Morning Duns, caddis, little yellow Sally stoneflies, and Baetis have picked up. Dry fly fishing in areas where flows have come down has improved. Good time of year for dry-dropper rigs, especially with Elk Hair Caddis or Stimulators as the lead fly. Terrestrials have been working as well, beetle and ant patterns especially.
Rapid Creek is fishing quite well despite some high flow conditions below Pactola reservoir. Below the damn it’s primarily nymph fishing, however late afternoon and evening caddis hatches have been bringing fish to the surface. Pale Morning Dun and Trico hatches have also improved over the past week. Nymphing with tungsten weighted flies has been the most productive. Flows above the dam have dropped over the past week and fishing above the reservoir is quite good- all the way up to the headwaters.
Spearfish Creek in Spearfish Canyon is fishing very well. Mostly nymphing, however hatches of pale evening guns and caddis have been bringing fish to the surface in slower stretches. Nymph fishing is still the preferred method. Good numbers of fish especially throughout the pocket water. Tungsten weighted flies are key to get down through the quick water. Learning to fish fast water is tricky, but it can really pay off in Spearfish Creek!
Castle Creek below Deerfield is a great spot to fish. Caddis and little yellow stoneflies are hatching. Fish with dry-dropper rigs. Use a caddis or stonefly imitation as your top fly and a small nymph as your dropper. Terrestrial patterns are working through the meadows as well. Fishing on Castle Creek above the lake is quite good right now. This is small water that has a lot to offer to those who don’t mind fishing small streams and catching lots of brookies!
Spring Creek below Sheridan Lake has not been fishing as well lately. Your best bet is to get up early and hit the Trico hatch.
Custer State Park
Custer State Park streams are fishing okay. Best bets are the Grace Coolidge walk-in area and parts of French Creek. French Creek is best in the early morning. Fish French Creek near the Horse Camp and downstream of Bluebell Lodge. Other options in the park are Center Lake and Sylvan Lake where callibaetis hatches have been quite good.
Other Black Hills streams
It’s time to start getting out and exploring the small streams. Little Spearfish Creek, Hanna Creek, and Elk Creek are fun small stream fishing opportunities. Box Elder Creek is also in good fishing shape.
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