Fly fishing in the Black Hills has been great, especially for one of our traditionally drier months! We have good flows in all of our streams and the fish are more than happy. The water temperatures are staying nice and cold from the cooler weather and moisture we’ve been having as well. The weather is looking great for the next week as well – get out and fish!
Rapid Creek has been fishing well as always, and the flows coming out of Pactola are currently at 144 and 204 at Rapid City. Are these higher than normal for this time of year? Yes, but the fishing is business as always. Below Pactola your best bet is going to be nymphing or throwing streamers, but there are excellent hatches of PMDs, a few BWO’s, and a really big yellow mayfly that’s about a size 12. The fish are definitely keying in on the larger mayflies and letting the other smaller bugs pass by, so if you’re heading up there I wouldn’t be without a few big yellow Comparaduns or something similar. Nymph-wise, smaller Split Back BWO’s and PMD’s have been doing the trick for me, as well as all of the standard midge type stuff. Trail these behind a big jig fly or scud pattern and you’ll do well. There’s a good trick hatch in the very early morning in town, as well as excellent caddis hatches in the evenings! Bloom’s parachute caddis is a killer fly in the evenings, especially if you skitter it a bit. The remainder of the day I would nymph or fish a hopper-dropper type setup. Morrish Hoppers or Super Chernobyls are good hopper bets. For nymphing, all of the standard jig fly fare has been getting it done. The jig Yellow Spot in particular has been my best fly in a size 12-14, but put your own flavor on and get it down to the fish and you’ll do fine. Don’t be afraid to fish the skinny water in town right now – most of the fish we’ve been catching have been in thigh-deep or less water.
Spearfish Creek is fishing well throughout it’s entirety. If you’re fishing in the canyon, definitely fish a small midge or baetis dropper behind a heavy fly. This is the time of the summer that the canyon fish really dig cream and tan midge patterns – I’ve been doing well with a tan Go-Go Dancer as a dropper fly. Several folks have been in reporting good hopper and terrestrial fishing in the slower stretches of the canyon also! As always, fish the fast water in the canyon as well as the more obvious stuff. Spearfish in town has been fishing exceptionally well. Hopper-dropper setups have been fishing well in the slower sections, and nymphing has been deadly throughout the rest of the creek in town. Size 12-14 jig Pheasant Tails and Assassins have been doing the trick for me, and I haven’t found the need to put a dropper on.
Castle Creek below Deerfield is fishing well also – hopper droppers are all you really need below the dam right now. Smaller hoppers and terrestrials will out fish larger ones, so stick in the size 10-14 range. For droppers, size 16 jigs or smaller UV Czechs will do the trick. Castle fish really dig tungsten soft hackle pheasant tails as well!
Sand and Crow Creeks are fishing great with terrestrials. Smaller hoppers as well as ants, beetles, and crickets will keep the fish interested all day. Both of these creeks get fairly weedy in the summer, so just fish the ‘runs’ between the weeds and you’ll keep into the fish all day. As always, watch out for snakes on both Sand and Crow.
Spring Creek is fishing well along the road and at the trailhead. These aren’t picky fish by any means – most heavy flies in a 12-16 will keep you into the fish all day. There’s huge columns of tricos in the mornings, as well as a great caddis hatch late in the day! Spring Creek is a great option for kids or people just getting into fly fishing.
All of the smaller streams in the Hills are fishing great. If you like fishing 3 weights and attractor dry flies, this is a great time of year to hit up the smaller waters of the Black Hills. Upper Castle Creek, Ditch Creek, Elk, Little Elk, Box Elder, Hanna, Little Spearfish, and numerous others are all fishing well. Throw on a size 12 stimulator or a Hippie Stomper and go to town!
The fishing in the Hills is great right now. We have great flows, good water temps, and comfortable weather – it doesn’t get a lot better! The shop is open 7 days a week for all your Black Hills fishing needs, and we have a team of expert guides available. If you have any other questions about certain creeks or hatches, or if you want to set up a day with one of our guides, give us a call at 605-341-2450. We always have someone here that can talk fishing. Thanks for making us your go-to Black Hills fly fishing shop!
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