The streams in the Black Hills are real quiet right now. A good number of people that frequent the streams of the Black Hills have turned their attention to the variety of hunting seasons that are open right now, and most people that aren’t local are back home. Solitude is easy to come by in the Hills right now, and the fishing is still really good!
Streamer fishing is our preferred method for fishing during the fall, and this year is no exception. It’s a really exciting way to fish, and you’re pretty likely to catch your biggest fish of the season throwing streamers during the fall. Win-win for everyone I’d say. Since the water is fairly low on most of our creeks, you’ll either need a really light sink tip, or no sink tip at all. I’m always more apt to use a tip just because you’ll get closer to the fish faster. Something like a 10ft RIO Versileader in a 1.5 to 4 inch per second sink will work just fine. Don’t be afraid to fish heavy tippet – I never fish less than 10lb or equivalent to my streamers. I fish pretty large streamers for the most part – stuff like Home Invaders, Circus Peanuts, Sex Dungeons, and Big Gulps. For smaller streamers, the Kreelex is one of our favorites that seems to work just about everywhere. Sculpzillas, Vanilla Buggers, Lil’ Kims, and regular old Wooly Buggers will all get it done as well. Big flies generally mean less fish but bigger fish, so pick your poison depending on how you want your day to play out!
Dry fly activity has been a flurry here and there for the most part, but nothing terribly spectacular, at least on Rapid and Spearfish Creeks. That being said, there are BWO’s hatching through town on Rapid Creek, but they’re really, really tiny. Like 26 tiny. I’d just put on a 20 and catch the less picky fish, and probably tie a dropper on below it as well. Crow Creek and Sand Creek have both been having great BWO and midge hatches mid-day. These would definitely by my two choices if I wanted to go out and catch rising fish. They aren’t going to be pushovers by any means, but they’ll eat a properly presented dry that’s in the area of the naturals. I’ve done best with Students, Comparaduns, Morgan’s Midges, Griffith’s Gnats, and the good ol’ Parachute Adams in a size 18-20. Keep your fly floating high and use a touch longer tippet to keep drag to a minimum and you’ll be into the trouts!
Nymphing has been great everywhere. If you’re a fish counter, or just want to catch the most fish, fishing nymphs is going to be your weapon of choice. We’ve said it before, but the Easy Nymph Rig is simply the deadliest nymphing technique we’ve come across this year. Try it, you won’t be disappointed! The water temperatures have cooled down a fair amount over the past couple weeks, so we’ve started to use a few smaller midge and BWO dropper flies. Jigs have been our go-to lead flies still, and the standard Pheasant Tail jig has been doing great for me lately. Put a Split Case BWO or Zebra Midge in cream, tan, black, or gray below it for best results!
Overall, the fishing has still been exceptional over the pasty week, and should continue to be! As we’ve mentioned over the last few weeks, please be mindful of the spawning fish right now – let them do their thing, there’s plenty of other fish to catch. If you have any questions on particular creeks or where to go, stop by the shop or give us a call – we’ll get you headed in the right direction!