After a couple-week hiatus of Black Hills Fishing Reports, we’re back in action! Fishing has been excellent this fall, and will continue to be good throughout November. There a lot of spawning browns throughout the Hills right now, so please make a point to leave them be and to not wade over the redds – there are plenty of other, not-spawning fish to catch right now, and you’ll be ensuring the future of wild trout in the Black Hills by doing so.
Rapid Creek has been dropped to 35 cfs below the dam, and is flowing right around 60 in Rapid City. Lower than it has been this year? Yes, it’s a big change from the 550 cfs we had earlier this summer, but the fish are there and they’re happy and eating! Below the dam your best bet is going to be nymphing as usual. Larger nymphs like a UV Czech or Pink Squirrel for a lead fly will get the job done, and drop a smaller 18-20 Split Back BWO, Tungsten Midge, or Neon Gnat below for best results. Streamer fishing will bring out the big boys right now, so don’t be afraid to put on a sink tip and a big articulated streamer! In town there’s a good BWO and midge hatch mid-day, and the fish are up on them in pretty good numbers. Nymphing is great as well, especially hot-spot style patterns. Pink Squirrels, UV Czechs, Yellow Spot Jigs, and Jig Red Butts will keep you into the fish all day. Smaller streamers aren’t a bad option either – Kreelexes and Sparkle Minnows will get some looks!
Spearfish Creek has been exceptional all year, and this fall is no exception. There is a good BWO hatch in the canyon, but it’s unreliable at best. I’d have a few small Students or CDC Thorax Duns just incase, but focus on nymphing for the most part. Jig Assassins, Pheasant Tails, Red Butts, and North Fork Specials will catch fish both in the canyon and in town. For dropper nymphs, I like tan and cream midges, as well as Two Bit Hookers in an 18-20. Slower edges of the fast water are going to be the most productive water in general in Spearfish Creek, so don’t be afraid to high-stick the quick stuff!
Castle Creek above and below Deerfield has been good as well. BWO’s are the dry fly of choice, but the fish in Castle are just as likely to hit a properly-presented Klinkhamer as they are a small Comparadun. Presentation is key. Smaller tungsten nymphs are good up here. Psychos, Tung Teasers, Jig PT’s and Soft Spots, and Jig Hare’s Ears in 14-18 will get it done!
All of the smaller creeks in the Hills are fishing great as well! Box Elder, Crow, Sand, Elk, and Little Elk will all be a great time. Attractor dry flies like a Stimulator or Klinkhamer with a small dropper would be my weapon on choice. Fish the fast water and the slower stuff as well, and you’ll be surprised where all the fish can be holding!
Overall, the fishing is great in the Black Hills right now! Lots of options and a good variety of different types of water to keep everybody interested. As always, if you have any other questions feel free to give us a call at 605-341-2450, or shoot us an email!