Fishing continues to be solid throughout the Black Hills! From the southern hills to the northern hills, the fish have been pretty darn willing as of the last couple weeks or so. The weather is feeling more like fall, and fishing has been great. It’s a great time to be in the Black Hills!
Rapid Creek near Silver City has been fishing well. Hippie Stompers trailed by a jig in the 14-16 range have been a good bet in most of the water up there. If you want to fish some of the deeper holes, you might have to put a couple nymphs and an indicator on, but beyond that you can fish most of the water with a dry dropper rig. Good droppers have been jig Hare’s Ears, Pheasant Tails, Red Butts, and Red Fox Squirrel Nymphs in size 14-16. There’s a surprising amount of fish willing to come up and eat the dry as well! Below Pactola has been fishing well, but the fish are their normal selves. There’s BWO’s coming off most days, but they’re small. Students and F Flies in a size 18-24 should get the job done, but adjust accordingly. Nymphing has been the way to go if you want to catch numbers. Tungsten Rainbow Czechs or worm patterns trailed by a Zebra Midge, Tungsten Split Back BWO, or Two Bit Hooker should get the interest of most of the fish up there. You can catch some fish on smaller beetle and ant patterns as well, especially if they’re close to the bank. Fishing in town has gotten significantly better with the cooler weather! There’s Tricos coming off in the mornings still, and with the cooler temps they’ve been lasting until 11-12 a lot of days. Throughout the middle of the day, the regular ol’ jig and a midge rig has been working plenty well. Red Butts, Brush Hogs, and Hare’s Ears have been good lead flies, with whatever flavor of midge you like below as a dropper. Small terrestrials have been good as well, especially it’s sunny and warmer.
Spearfish Creek has been fishing very well, both in the canyon and in town. Nymphing has been the way to go most days, but there’s definitely a few fish looking up as well. Like most of the summer, jig nymphs have been the way to go. Assassins, Red Butts, Hare’s Ears, and Soft Spots are good lead flies. Try a Peacock Jig, Zebra Midge, Split Back BWO, Two Bit Hooker, or any other small, slim dropper in a size 16-20. The fish have been a touch pickier on nymph patterns lately, so definitely have a good assortment of smaller dropper flies. There’s been a few times in the last week where I couldn’t get them to eat nymphs, but they’re more than willing to come up and eat a size 16-20 parachute dry fly. Adams and Purple Hazes have been the best flies lately for the fish on the surface. Don’t be afraid to try worms/scuds either, especially in town!
Castle Creek has been fishing well, mostly with dry flies. The water is a little on the low side and it’s made it hard to fish nymphs in a lot of the creek. That being said, the fish have been very willing to come up to the surface. Stimulators, Parachute BWOs, Purple Hazes, Parachute Caddis, Adams, and smaller beetles and Hippie Stompers have been working well. The brookies are getting their fall colors right now, and they’re really pretty! Both above and below the lake has been fishing well. The walk in area below the dam has been fishing well, but there’s a lot of water below Slate Prairie that doesn’t get fished much at all. Above the lake doesn’t get touched much either, so don’t overlook Castle and Ditch Creek upstream of the lake.
Crow Creek and Sand Creek are fishing great, and have been a lot less weedy lately. There’s a lot of fish up on the surface on BWOs on the days when the sun isn’t fully on the water. The same flies as Rapid Creek and Spearfish Creek will work well, along with various other BWO patterns and any regular old parachute. There’s still enough beetles and ants around to interest the fish as well, so have a few small dark terrestrial patterns in your arsenal as well. Walk slowly and you’ll be surprised how many fish you find and where you find them at!
Most of the lakes around the hills have been fishing well also with the cooler temperatures. Center, Sylvan, Roubaix, Bismarck, and many of the other small impoundments are fishing well. Leeches and other larger nymph patterns in a size 8-14 are working well, both on a slow strip and fished under and indicator if the wind is making a little chop on the surface. Indicator fishing a leech/scud combo has been a solid bet!
Fishing continues to be solid! We’ve had some great guided trips out lately, and we still have a few openings through October. Give us a call if you’d like to set up a day on the water with one of our guides, or swing by the shop and we can show you the latest bugs and places to go!