We got out and fished on Rapid Creek in town yesterday, and had excellent success! Every winter as some waters in the Black Hills start to freeze, we spend more time in town fishing and I’m always pleasantly surprised. I can go ten minutes or less from my house and be standing in the creek, casting to wild brown trout. Nothing wrong with that if you ask me!
Yesterday we didn’t start fishing until a little before two in the afternoon, so there wasn’t a whole lot going on for surface activity. There’s been spotty reports of rising fish however, so I wouldn’t be without a few midge patterns and a few BWO’s as well. Nymphing was great yesterday – we caught fish on a variety of patterns, both big and small. Quill body jigs, UV Czechs, Root Beer Midges, Jig Pheasant Tails, and some other homebrew jigs all caught plenty of fish. It seemed like most of the fish were in the knee-deep or more, medium-pace water – more or less the stereotypical ‘trout pool’. However, there were a decent number of fish in the skinny stuff as well so don’t overlook that either. 6x tippet and getting your fly right in front of the fish was important, but once you got the fly to the fish they were more than willing to eat it.
Looking into the next couple weeks, I would look for the dry fly activity to start to drastically increase. By the first week in February, the Blue Winged Olives are starting to come off pretty steady, along with a good number of midges. It often lasts into the beginning of May, giving us a broad window of some of the best dry fly action of the entire year.
As always, if you have any questions about Black Hills fly fishing, don’t be afraid to get in touch. Call us at the shop, email us, message us on Facebook, or send a carrier pigeon – we aren’t picky. Thanks for reading!