We’ve finally had some fall-like weather this week, and the forecast for the weekend and coming week looks to be fantastic as well! Fishing has been excellent throughout the Black Hills, with the lower elevation stuff fishing a bit better than the higher elevation streams.
Rapid Creek is fishing great, both below Pactola and through town. Rapid Creek above Pactola near Silver City is fishing okay, but the water temps are really cold and it will start to freeze more and more with the cooler nights. For in town and the basin, the fish have keyed in on smaller patterns with the cooler water temperatures. Try a Duracell, Soft Spot, Assassin, or Jig Pheasant Tail for a lead fly in size 14-16. Drop a Skinny Nelson, Zebra Midge, Flashback Pheasant Tail, Two Bit Hooker, or Skinny Jig in size 16-20 as a dropper fly. Streamer fishing has been good to great depending on the day, with overcast days being better typically. Dungeons, Heisenbergs, and Kreelexes are good bets on a light sink tip. With the cooler water temperatures, a lot of the fish have moved into more of the deeper and slower runs. The fishing in town has been excellent!
Spearfish Creek is fishing well both in town and in the canyon, mostly with nymphs. Many of the pretty standard flies have been working great – Mop Flies, Pat’s Rubber Legs, Jig Pheasant Tails, Assassins, Skinny Jigs, Optic Nerves, and various midge droppers are all good flies to try. Most days you will get them equally on either fly, but there’s definitely days where the fish are keyed in on the smaller dropper flies. Don’t be afraid to change your dropper fly and you’ll definitely pick up some bonus fish. There’s a lot of fish spawning on Spearfish right now, so try and avoid the obvious redds and fish in abnormally shallow water.
Spring Creek is fishing excellent, and is a great option to get out of town but still be a short 20 minute drive. Nymph fishing will be the most productive method, but you’ll find some fish on the surface eating midges in the slower pools as well. If you see rising fish, a Morgan’s Midge or Eric’s Midge are good bets in size 18-22. Nymph fishing is good with a Pat’s Rubber Legs, Mop Fly, Optic Nerve, Jig Hare’s Ear, Pheasant Tail, or Assassin as a lead fly. Try various colors of midges for a dropper – tan and olive are a couple favorites, but nearly any color can work. The fishing is good on the trailhead, by the road, and even as far down as Storm Mountain.
Crow Creek and Sand Creek are fishing well, and are good options all throughout the winter. Nymph fishing is your best bet, but you’ll see the occasional fish on the surface eating midges as well. Duracells, Optic Nerves, Soft Spots, Assassins, Tung Teasers, Perdigons, and various midge patterns will keep you into the fish. Indicators are a good bet on Crow Creek, but we’ve found dry/droppers work better on Sand Creek. The water is a little shallower on Sand Creek and the fish are a bit spookier, so a stealthier approach with a dry/dropper or New Zealand Strike Indicator (great choice on Crow Creek as well) will find a few more fish typically.
Pactola is still fishing well for rainbows, and there’s a lot of fish in the 16-20″ range, with fish larger than that not uncommon. Fish a Mini Leech, Balanced Leech, or your favorite jig fly trailed by a midge under an indicator and you’ll find fish. You can slowly strip buggers and leeches and do very well also, and it’s a great way to find the fish. Finding the fish is the key to doing well – they’re not that picky, so once you find them you’ll know. This has been one of the more popular options around, with the fishing being really good and not particularly difficult.
Fishing has been excellent, and the next week looks to have fantastic weather as well. Give us a call or swing by the shop for the latest intel!