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Black Hills Fishing Report – 10/28/2021

October 28, 2021 3 min read

We’ve had some fantastic fall weather so far this year, and the fishing has continued to be great as well. Rapid Creek and Spearfish Creek have been the best, and will continue to be throughout the fall and winter.

Rapid Creek above Pactola has been fishing well, but the fish can be a bit spread out. Nymph fishing will be the most productive, and a little larger flies will work well with the slightly off color water. Mop Flies, Pat’s Rubber Legs, Jig Pheasant Tails, Soft Spots, and Jig Assassins are good bets. Most of the fish will be in the deeper pools, but you can find a few fish in the runs as well.

Pactola has been the same as the last few weeks, so no change in the report. Pactola has been fishing well for big rainbows, and there are a lot of spots where they are accessible wading from the bank. These fish usually aren’t too particular, it’s more a matter of getting your fly in front of fish. The most effective way to catch the rainbows in Pactola is to fish a two fly rig under an indicator, somewhere between 3′-8′ deep depending on the day and where you are fishing. Use a wooly bugger or Thin Mint for your lead fly, and drop a Soft Spot, black Zebra Midge, or whatever your favorite jig nymph is below. Days with a little wind seem to work better with this technique, as the waves cause the indicator to slowly move your flies. You can catch fish stripping various smaller streamer patterns as well. You can get away with pretty heavy tippet as well, 3x and 4x are typically light enough and they allow you to land the fish more quickly and not lose as many flies.

Rapid Creek below Pactola has been tough, but you can catch some nice fish if you’re persistent. The best fishing has been when the fish are rising to PMDs in the afternoon – try a CDC Thorax Dun, F Fly, or Sparkle Dun in size 16-18 if you see fish on top. Nymph fishing has been spotty, but if you change flies frequently and figure out what they want you can catch some nice fish. Tungsten Split Back PMDs, Flashback Pheasant Tails, WD-40s, RS2s, and CDC Emergers in size 16-20 are a good starting point. Fish them below a Tungsten Rainbow Czech or Hunchback Scud.

Rapid Creek in town has been fishing excellent. Nymph fishing has been the most productive, with a wide variety of flies working well. Skinny Jigs in Olive or Brown, Zebra Midges in purple, black, or tan, Blowtorches, Czech Princesses, and Perdigons in olive or purple have been working well. There are some browns starting to spawn in the shallow riffles and tailouts, so try and avoid those places and concentrate your efforts in the deeper holes so you aren’t messing with spawning fish. You can get the occasional fish to come up and eat a cranefly or hippie stomper, and there are a few BWOs around on cloudy days as well.

Spearfish Creek is fishing well both in town and in the canyon. As with most other places, nymph fishing is going to be your best bet. For your lead fly, fish a Blowtorch, Czech Princess, He Man, or Jig Pheasant Tail in size 12-16. For your dropper, try a Skinny Jig, Perdigon in olive or purple, Flying Zebra Midge, CDC Emerger, or Split Back BWO in 16-20. Fishing in the canyon has been best midday when the water temps warm up a bit – there’s not a lot of reason to be out before 9-10, and the best fishing will be from 12-2 or 3. Most of the fish are in the deeper runs and holes with the cooler water temps. Try and avoid the shallow water and fish that are obviously spawning.

Fishing has been solid and should continue to be good over the next couple weeks. Give us a call or swing by for the latest report or hot flies!


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