Indian Summer conditions continue to persist throughout the Black Hills, and its been making the fish happy. We continue to have highs in the sixties and it looks to continue throughout the rest of the week. which will make for some fantastic fishing conditions. We’ve had some great dry fly fishing recently, as well as some bigger fish chasing streamers!
Rapid Creek below Pactola is fishing well, with the majority of the fish being caught on nymphs. The most fish are being caught in the deeper holes and riffles, and the fish have been pretty willing. Fish a bigger scud or worm pattern as a lead fly with a baetis or midge below. Boat Anchor Scuds, Hunchback Scuds, Tungsten Rainbow Czechs, and various worm patterns in a size 10-16 have been good attractor flies and you’ll catch the odd fish on them as well. Green Weenies, Zebra Midges, Split Back Baetis, Serendipities, and the old reliable Flashback Pheasant Tail in size 16-22 have been catching the majority of the fish. Make sure you fish 6x to your dropper fly! If you’re hunting for a big fish, streamer fishing has been a good bet as well. Since the water is low, I would recommend a light sinktip – something in the 3 inch per second range should do the trick. Various streamer patterns will work, but the same stuff as the past few weeks has been working just fine. Doc’s Articulator, Sex Dungeons, Home Invaders, Kreelexes, and Circus Peanuts are moving fish. Have a few different colors and just keep changing until you figure out what they want on any given day. The dry fly fishing has been hit and miss, and the bugs have been incredibly small. Try a Morgan’s Midge in a size 22-24 and 7x. There are a lot of fish spawning right now both in the basin and in town, so be mindful of where you’re fishing at and avoid the spawning fish. These are the future of our Black Hills trout fisheries, and the hero shot isn’t worth it. There’s plenty of other fish to fish for! Fishing in town has been lights out, and there are a ton of fish on the surface eating Blue Winged Olives. The majority of the hatch is going on midday, and the fish are on them for the majority of the time the sun is on the water. A wide variety of flies will work, and the fish are eating reasonably sized patterns. A few of our favorites include CDC Thorax Duns, Parachute BWOs, Sparkle Duns, Comparaduns, Students, and Purple Hazes in size 16-20. Most of the time you can get away with larger flies in the 16 range. Nymphing has been good as well, but we’ve mostly been fishing dries since it’s been so good! If you want to go subsurface, fish a size 14-16 jig with a Zebra Midge trailed below it.
Spearfish Creek has been fishing great! Most of the fish have been feeding subsurface, and nymphing is your most consistent bet. As per usual, the jig fly trailed by a dropper has been as good of a setup as anything. Jig Soft Spots are one of my favorite patterns for this time of year. Pink is always good for whatever reason! Jig Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ears, Sweet Peas, Party Crashers, and Jig Baetis all make good lead patterns in size 12-16, depending on the speed of the water you’re fishing. For droppers, I like either a size 16 slender jig pattern or a BWO-type fly in size 16-20. Split Back Baetis, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Green Weenies, or a Two Bit Hooker will catch the pickier fish! If you’re in the canyon you can run into a few Blue Winged Olives as well, so be prepared with a few Students and Sparkle Duns in a size 16-20. This might be the last chance to fish the canyon before winter sets up, so get up there while you can!
Castle Creek below the dam has been good, and the brook trout look fantastic! Dry-droppers have been the name of the game, but you can fish a nymph rig if you want to fish a bigger, deeper hole. Every corner has a nice undercut and a pile of fish in it! Fish a Hippie Stomper or a Stimulator for a dry fly with your favorite jig or tungsten midge for a dropper. Pink is always good this time of year as well!
Crow Creek and Sand Creek have been fishing good as well, with a darn good BWO hatch happening most days! CDC Thorax Duns, Students, Sipper Midges, Comparaduns, and Parachute Adams are good bets. Make sure you fish a longer leader and a long tippet and cast as far as you comfortably can! The fish generally aren’t too selective about the particular pattern, but they can be pretty spooky so take your time.
Overall, the fishing has been fantastic along with the weather. Winter could come knocking any day now, so get out and take advantage of the great fishing and weather while you can!