Fall is coming – we’re looking towards highs in the low 50’s during the middle of the coming week. The fish seem to know that it’s coming also, and the fishing has been pretty darn good lately. Here’s a short breakdown of streams and conditions!
Rapid Creek – High flows – 200 cfs. Do the high flows stop the fish from eating? No. Are they a little harder to get to? Yes. Fishing in town has been consistent, but you have to use larger flies. Size 12 Dirty Worms, North Fork Specials, UV Czechs, Jig Red Butts, and similar flies have been getting it done. Streamers are a solid bet, stuff like Kreelexes, Thin Mints, and a variety of bugger-style flies will produce. Below Pactola, the flavor has been PMD’s and BWO’s. These are mostly midday hatches. 10-4 is your best bet. Fish a dry, but put a dropper on below it for best results. Hoppers and terrestrials are always a variable that you shouldn’t overlook also. Some really nice fish have been getting caught below the dam the past few weeks. Silver City is good also, same story as before. Large, dark flies are going to be your best bet. Don’t overlook the upstream areas of Rapid Creek either; the Rochford and Black Fox areas have some quality fish that are largely overlooked.
Spearfish Creek – BWO’s are hatching in good numbers, especially on the cloudy, rainy days. During the hatch, concentrate your efforts on the slower moving pools and ponds in the canyon for success. The rest of the time, the faster pocket water stretches of the canyon are going to be your best bet. Use a large weight fly to get down, and put on a small dropper like a Cheesman Canyon, Bubble Back, Black Beauty, or Two Bit to pick up the majority of your fish. The key to Spearfish Canyon is using a super heavy fly to get down to the fish in rough water. Upper Spearfish on highway 85 near Icebox Canyon is fishing great also, as well as Hanna Creek and Little Spearfish. Also, check out Spearfish Creek right in Spearfish and catch some downtown browns!
Castle Creek – Castle is fishing well as always. Hopper Dropper rigs are the way to go right now – just stay smallish on the hopper. Tung Teasers and Tungsten Psycho nymphs have been my go-to flies on Castle and Ditch lately. Above Deerfield has been fishing excellent, with lots of wild rainbows and brookies. Below the dam has been good as well – hike all the way up for best results. The Mystic area has been surprisingly good as well, if you can get in around all the downed trees. Castle Peak campground has been fishing well also.
Sand Creek – The hatches on Sand Creek have been spectacular, which is keeping the fish looking up. Good hatches of PMDs, BWOs, and Caddis. If you run into these, match the hatch accordingly. If you’re more into terrestrial fishing, ants and beetles have been fishing great lately. Try a size 12-16 ant or beetle in red, black, or brown with a Tung Teaser or Pheasant Tail dropper and you’ll find plenty of fish.
Box Elder Creek – Nemo upstream has been fishing exceptionally well, especially the Box Elder Forks campground area. Dry-Dropper systems will be your go to up there. Klinkhamers are always a great dry fly option, but beetles, ants, and smaller hoppers will do the trick also. Tung Teasers, Psychos, Pheasant Tails, and Trapper nymphs will keep you busy catching fish throughout most of the day. These small stream fish aren’t terribly picky, you’ve just got to get a good drift in front of them.
Lakes – Roubaix, Dalton, Sylvan, Horsethief, and Center lake have all been fishing well also if lakes are your thing. Mini Leeches, Prince Nymphs, Tung Teasers, Copper Johns, and Buggers have all been producing in the local lakes. The cooler temperatures at night are cooling down the water temps, which is bringing the fish closer to the surface. You can fish a floating line with plenty of success, there’s not much need for a sink tip.
That’s a wrap. If you have any questions about a particular place or flies, give the shop a call at 605-341-2450 and we can get your questions answered! Thanks,