We’ve been experiencing some great weather, good hatches, and exceptional fishing over the last week! Water levels have dropped slightly, but flows are still above average for this time of year, and the fish are showing it – they’re fat, sassy, and more than willing to eat flies. We have a little bit of everything available right now, so whether you like fishing dries, streamers, or nymphs, we have something that will tickle your fancy!
Rapid Creek has been fishing well throughout most of it’s drainage. The upper stretches are fishing well if you enjoy smaller water and smaller fish. Big dries and a dropper fly will work all day – things like Stimulators, Klinkhamers, Beetles, and Parachute Hoppers will work on the dry side of things, and a Tung Teaser or Psycho dropper will clean house. Silver City has been fishing pretty well also. The higher up you get, the better the fishing will be. The dry fly fishing below Pactola has been pretty consistent, with good PMD and tiny BWO hatches coming off from midmorning to early evening. The fish are tricky as always, but they can be persuaded! Fish the smallest dries you can stand to fish – size 20-24 Comparaduns, Hackle Stackers, Morgan’s Midges, and Parachutes will get the job done. Persistence is your best skill in the basin, just pick a fish and figure it out. Rapid Creek in town has been fishing great still, with many of the same flies and techniques as before still producing. Tungsten Jig flies are working great. The trico hatch in the morning has been great – Chubby Tricos in a size 20-22 have been doing the trick for me. If you run into some pickier fish, try an Organza Trico or a Parachute Trico. The caddis are still coming off in the evenings, but the fish haven’t been up on them a whole lot. Stick to Tungsten Jigs in the faster water, and you’ll catch fish.
Spearfish Creek has been fishing pretty darn well also. The catch and release section from Maurice up to the power plant has been my preferred stretch, but the whole canyon has been producing good fishing. I’ve been doing well with Tungsten Jig Red Butts, North Fork Specials, Jig PT’s, Assassins, Cheeseman Canyons Emergers, and Two Bit Hookers. Don’t let the faster flows up in the canyon intimidate you – Spearfish Canyon fish live in water that you couldn’t stand in. This is where Tenkara and tungsten flies really excel, because you can fish all the water throughout the whole canyon, rather than just bits and pieces. Spearfish Creek through town has been treating me well lately also, with a good number of larger fish in the 14-16″ range. Same flies and techniques as the canyon will do you well here. North Fork Specials in black have been the ticket for me.
If you’re needing to get your brook trout fix, there’s lots of places that have been good! Castle Creek, Little Spearfish, Elk Creek, Upper Rapid Creek, and Whitewood Creek along Kirk road have all been fun, small water places to fish. Dry-Dropper rigs will cover the vast majority of the water you’re going to encounter these places, and the fish aren’t terribly picky most days. My go-to rig is usually a Klinkhamer dry with a size 16-18 Tung Teaser dropper, but you can adjust as needed.
Dry Fly fishing on Sand Creek continues to be exceptional, you just have to work around the weeds and aquatic vegetation. Yellow Sallies, Caddis, PMDs, and a few odd BWO’s are hatching there – just tie on the corresponding fly to the bugs you’re seeing and you’ll catch fish. Or just tie on a size 14 Klinkhamer or Stimulator and go to work.
If you’re in the mood to mix things up a little bit, Carp fishing has been great! Carp season is in full swing here on the flats of South Dakota, with a number of locations and techniques producing. Many of the fish right now are looking up for beetles, hoppers, cottonwood seeds, and any other life form unfortunate enough to land on the water. Target these fish with Stimulators, Hoppers, Klinkhamers, etc. If you see ’em rooting around in the shallows like bonefish, you should throw on a carp crack, carp carrot, carpilicious, or similar style carp nymph and put it in front of them. Orman, Angostura, the Belle Fourche River, and the Cheyenne River have all been putting out good numbers of Golden Bones. Look for a blog post in the near future about Carp fishing techniques and tactics!
That’s a wrap! If you have any other questions about Black Hills Fly Fishing, our guide service, or just want to chat about Black Hills flyfishing, give us a call at the shop or swing by. Thanks for reading!