Fishing has been excellent throughout the Black Hills, particularly on Rapid and Spearfish Creeks. Nymph fishing has been fantastic, and there’s been some good dry fly fishing some days as well. With the warmer temps and longer days, it’s time to get out and do some spring fishing!
Rapid Creek above Pactola should be opening up and fishing well. The flows have come up a bit and the water is a little off color, but you can do well fishing nymphs and smaller streamers. Mop Flies, San Juan Worms, and larger jig flies in size 10-14 will work well.
Rapid Creek below Pactola has good, predominantly with smaller nymphs. The flows are pretty low, so the fish will be stacked up in the deeper pools. Fish a scud or worm as your lead fly in size 12-16, and drop a Bling Midge, Flying Zebra, WD-40, RS2, or small perdigon in size 18-22 as a dropper. The bites will be really subtle this time of year, so fishing with a yarn indicator or pinch on foam indicator will help you see more bites. There has been some BWOs coming off some days as well, so it’s worth having a few dries in your box. CDC Thorax Duns, Students, and Sparkle Duns are good bets in size 16-18. Fishing has been good from Johnson Siding up to the dam, but the stretch between Johnson Siding and town will start opening up with the warmer weather.
Rapid Creek in town has been fishing fantastic. The nymph fishing has been really good most days – try an olive Perdigon, purple Perdigon, Bloom’s Optic Nerve, North Fork Special, Mic Drop, or Jig Pheasant Tail in size 14-18. If the fish are being picky, try a midge dropper in size 18-20. With the warmer weather and longer days, the fish have seemed to move out of their winter holes and into some of the shallower, slightly faster water, so you can fish through about everything and find fish. There has been a sporadic BWO hatch over the past few weeks, so it’s worth having a few BWO patterns incase you run into some rising fish.
Spring Creek is low, but has been fishing pretty well. With the construction the road is a bit of a mess, but as of now the trailhead is still accessible. Fishing by the road and on the trailhead has been good. It’s predominantly a nymph fishing game, but you’ll run into some sporadic rising fish as well. Pretty standard nymph patterns have been working well – French Dips, Perdigons, Jig Hare’s Ears, Soft Spots, Mop Flies, and Jig Pheasant Tails in size 14-16 will work well. The water is low, so the fish are going to be in the deeper runs and pools.
Spearfish Creek has been fishing fantastic. Pretty similar flies to elsewhere have been working well. Spearfish trout seem to prefer skinnier bodied patterns, so thin bodied flies seem to work considerably better most days. Skinny Jigs, Assassins, Purple and Olive Perdigons, Jig TNTs, Jig Nightmares, and Jig Baetis in size 14-18 are working great. The flows should come up a bit in the next few days, but at the current flows 6x tippet will definitely buy you a few extra strikes – you can catch plenty of fish on 5x, but if you’re not doing as well as you should try dropping down to 6x.
Castle Creek below Deerfield has been good on the Kinney Canyon walk in area, and has had one of the better BWO hatches in the area. Most days the bugs hatch from around 11-2, but that can vary depending on the day. CDC Thorax Duns, Students, F Flies, Brook’s Sprout Emergers, and Sparkle Duns are all good bets in size 16-18. If there aren’t any fish on top, you can do well fishing the same nymphs as Spearfish and Rapid Creek.
Fishing has been great throughout the Black Hills! The trout fishing should get nothing but better, and we’re getting into the start of pike season as well. Give us a call or swing by for the latest in BH fishing info.