We’ve had a good couple weeks of fishing throughout the Black Hills, and the coming weeks should bring more of the same! The next couple days are forecasted to be pretty nice, with a bit of a cool down towards the end of the week. Fall is a great time to be outside in the Black Hills, and the fishing has been solid.
Rapid Creek above Pactola has been fishing well still. Dry-dropper rigs will catch the most numbers, but streamers are an option as well for the larger fish that move out of the lake. Hippie Stompers have still been the dry fly of choice for most. They make a great indicator, and you will get a few looks and eats on them as well. Size and color doesn’t really seem to matter much, so pick whatever color you like. Good dropper flies include Tung Teasers, Jig Pheasant Tails, Soft Spots, Psycho Nymphs, and Tungsten Rainbow Czechs in a size 14-18. If you want to fish streamers, keep them a little on the smaller side. Thin Mints and the new Mini Dungeons we just got in are good bets, but adjust accordingly. Below the dam has been fishing well, mostly with nymphs. Use Tungsten Rainbow Czechs, San Juan Worms, Hunchback Scuds, or various jig patterns for a lead fly. Zebra midges, Two Bit Hookers, and any other small BWO or midge pattern in a size 18-22 will work as a dropper. Don’t be hesitant to change your flies often! Rapid Creek in town has been fishing well, and will get better and better as the leaves work their way through the system. Hippie Stompers trailed by smaller jigs, Tung Teasers, Psychos, and Tungsten Midges will work well. There’s a lot of fish in the faster water right now, so don’t overlook stuff that you might typically walk past.
Spearfish Creek has been fishing well, mostly in the canyon. The water is still low due to the diversion, so in town hasn’t been a good option. Wait for the water to come back up and the fishing will be great. The canyon has been fishing very well, and throughout the entire length of the canyon. It’s mostly a nymphing game, but you’ll run across a few fish that are up on small BWO adults. We’ve been doing well on a double jig setup, as well as a jig fly with a midge dropper if you’re in the slower water. The flies haven’t really changed much – Jig Assassins, Skinny Jigs, Soft Spots, Jig Hare’s Ears and Pheasant Tails, as well as Two Bit Hookers and midges for droppers if you run across some pickier fish. As per usual, fish faster water than you might typically fish and you’ll do better. The faster water fish are less picky, and less spooky. Spearfish has been one of the most consistent bets over the past few weeks, and the fishing has been great!
Castle Creek below Deerfield is fishing well. There’s a good BWO hatch in the early-mid afternoon. The fish aren’t super selective typically, so you can probably use whatever your favorite BWO dry is. Brook’s Sprouts and Sparkle Duns have been working well, but a number of different patters should all get the job done. If you don’t see many rising fish, a dry dropper will cover all of the water up there at the current flows. Hippie Stompers or Klinkhamers are good dries, trailed by a Tung Teaser, Bird’s Nest, Skinny Jig, Psycho, or any other small-ish tungsten fly. The fish on Castle Creek typically aren’t too selective, so long as you get it in front of them without spooking them.
Crow Creek and Sand Creek are fishing well, and the weeds should be gone for good. Typically there’s good BWO hatches a lot of days this time of year, especially if the weather is rainy/cold/overcast. Brook’s Sprout Emergers, CDC Thorax Duns, Students, and F Flies will all get some attention if the fish are up on the surface. Good nymphs include Hunchback Scuds, Flashback Sowbugs, any jig fly in a size 14-16, Rainbow Czechs, and various worm patterns. You typically don’t have to fish really small flies up there, but if they get a little picky drop your favorite flavor of midge off the back of a bigger fly.
Pike fishing has improved quite a bit over the last couple weeks, and Pactola and Sheridan are both fishing well. Having a heavy sink line has been the key lately, with a type 3 or type 6 being the best bet to keep your flies down in the fishy zone longer. I don’t think the fly pattern really matters, so long as you fish it confidently and aren’t afraid to change if it’s not getting much action. If you’re fishing good water, you should be getting looks and follows pretty consistently. If you’re not, you’re either not getting down to the fish or they don’t dig your fly. Change is good when chasing pike, so don’t be afraid to change your setup if it’s not working!
Fishing continues to be solid, and should continue to be the same. Swing by the shop and we can get you pointed in the right direction with the right flies!