Ring in the new year the right way – get out and catch a few fish! The weather over the next several days is supposed to be exceptional, and the fishing will be great as well. 40’s in January? I’d be out fishing for sure!
Rapid Creek is fishing well, both in town and below Pactola. In the basin, a number of techniques have been producing fish. Nymphing with standard wintertime fare has been pretty darn good – use some thing bigger and bright in the front, like a UV Czech or Tungsten San Juan Worm. Trail it with a Root Beer Midge, Zebra Midge, Green Weenie, or Two Bit Hooker. If you’re nymphing, 6x is your friend. You’ll catch a lot more fish on lighter tippet! There’s some sporadic midge dry action in the basin as well, so I’d have a few Morgan’s Midges and F-Flies in my box just incase you run into some noses poking up. I’ve mostly been streamer fishing, and have been having good success with Lil’ Kims, Home Invaders, and Kreelexes fished on a 3-5 ips RIO Versileader. If you’re tossing streamers, just mix up your retrieve on each cast until you figure out what they want on each particular day.
Spearfish Creek has been fishing well also, but the fish have moved around a bit with the colder water. There’s still fish in the faster water, but they’ve moved into the slightly deeper water since the temperatures have dropped. Focus on the 2-5 feet deep stuff more than the summertime-type water. Jig Pheasant Tails, Jig Assassins, Soft Spots, and UV Czechs are great lead flies. Trail them with a Tungsten Midge, Green Weenie, Two Bit Hooker, or Rainbow Warrior in size 16-20. Make sure you’re getting down to the bottom this time of year – the water’s cold, and the fish are going to be within a few inches of the bottom. If you do that, you’ll have great success!
Spring Creek on the upper half of the Trailhead is mostly open, while the lower stretches are awful icy. Standard nymph fare trailed by a midge or something similar will get it done on that end of the program, and streamers are picking up some real nice ones also. Don’t be afraid to go big on your streamers – there’s a few giant browns I’ve seen lurking around there recently.
Castle Creek is pretty icy and froze up. I’d go elsewhere for the time being.
Crow and Sand Creeks are both fishing well, especially if you’re a dry fly kinda person. Dry-droppers will keep you into the fish without much issue most days. The predominant hatch is midges right now, but the BWO’s will be on their way soon. Drop a small jig or a tungsten midge or Baetis off a Klinkhamer for a great searching rig. If you run into actively rising fish, drop your fly size down and fine-tune to a more realistic pattern.
With the weather we’re having right now, there’s not many reasons to be off the water. The fishing is great, and the creeks are void of people for the most part. Great fishing in solitude – it doesn’t get much better than that. Stop by the shop or give us a call and we can get you pointed in the right direction and give you the latest fishing scoop!