We received some much needed moisture last night, and the weather has been feeling more like spring lately. Some of the creeks came up a bit last night, but all of them are still very fishable. Fishing has been great as of late, and there’s no shortage of opportunity to go out and find some willing fish!
Rapid Creek above Pactola spiked a little bit last night with the rain, but should still be fishing well. Larger nymph patterns and streamers will be your best bets, as there’s not a whole lot going on as far as surface activity goes. North Fork Specials, Tungsten Rainbow Czechs, San Juan Worms, and various jigs in the 12-14 range will find plenty of fish. If you want to fish streamers, try Kreelexes, Thin Mints, Lil’ Kims, or Home Invaders on a lighter Versileader. They’ve quit stocking rainbows up there for a couple years now, so there’s a great population of wild brown trout that’s rebounding nicely! Below Pactola has been fishing well, especially on days where it’s not as busy. There’s been good BWO hatches most days, and there’s a lot of fish up on them. Pullover Baetis, CDC Thorax Duns, F-Flies, and Smoke Jumpers fished on 6x will get some attention, but change as needed. Nymphing has been good as well, with the same rigs as usual producing. Scuds and worms trailed by a small midge or BWO pattern fished pretty close to the bottom will catch a lot of fish! The new Darth Baetis pattern will be a great dropper fly. Streamer fishing has been good as well, with the same patterns as above the lake working. Fishing on Rapid Creek in town has been insane. Lots of fish have been really willing to move to a fly lately, and they’ll eat big foam dries a lot of the time. I’ve been mostly fishing a Hippie Stomper and a Frenchie dropper lately and doing very well. If you fish the shallower edges and riffles you can easily get away with fishing a dry-dropper type setup. If you’re fishing the deeper slots and holes, a two nymph rig with a heavier tungsten lead fly and a smaller midge dropper will get the job done. There’s been some good BWO hatches on cloudier, overcast days as well!
Spearfish Creek has been fishing excellent. Nymphing has been the name of the game for sure, especially in the faster pocket water. I would use a double jig setup or something similar, as it doesn’t seem like you need to fish a very small fly right now. I’ve been using size 12-14 trailed with a size 14-16. Jig Assassins, Pheasant Tails, Caddis Green Czech Nymphs, and Skinny Jigs have been moneymakers lately. The caddis green czech has been a fantastic fly in the lower parts of the canyon especially. If you find some fish that are pickier for one reason or another, try a smaller midge dropper or BWO dropper in a 16-20. Fishing in town in Spearfish has been great as well, with the same flies working well. If the water comes up, worms and craneflies are a couple more bugs to not overlook as well. We’ve had a number of guided trips on Spearfish Creek lately, and they’ve all been very successful – give us a call to book a day with one of our expert guides!
Castle Creek above and below Deerfield is fishing well. There are rainbows above the lake, and they’re pretty willing. Bigger, brighter flies will work well. Rainbow Warriors, Tungsten Rainbow Czechs, and Jig Soft Spots are all good bets above Deerfield. Below the dam the fish will eat a pretty wide variety of flies, but the Hippie Stomper with a dropper is still my favorite way to fish. Droppers in the 14-18 range are good bets. Jig Assassins, Frenchies, Tung Teasers, and Tungsten Psycho Nymphs will find plenty of fish! There’s a good BWO hatch some days up there as well, so don’t be without a few Baetis dry flies if you’re headed up that direction. Make sure and fish everything on Castle Creek, as there’s fish in water that’s barely ankle deep pretty frequently. Anywhere where the current runs into the bank is a solid bet, as well as all of the old ‘lunker structures’ in the Kinney Canyon walk-in. There’s a pile of fish in Castle Creek, and there’s a lot of nice brook trout!
Crow Creek and Sand Creek are fishing good, and the story hasn’t changed a whole lot over the past few weeks. There’s the occasional BWO hatch, and caddis could be around any day now. If there’s no fish on the surface, a scud and a midge or BWO dropper will get the job done. As always, the fish are more spooky than they are selective, so tread lightly!
Warmwater fishing has been solid as well. Pike fishing at Pactola has been slow, but as always there’s an opportunity for a giant if you’re persistent! The prairie lakes have been better bets for numbers if you’re into that. Bass fishing has been great as well on most of the prairie lakes. The white bass have started running at Pierre on the Missouri River as well! Don was over last weekend and caught a pile of them at all of the usual haunts. The Missouri should be good through the remainder of the month, and possibly into mid-June. It’s a ton of fun, and definitely something to look into if you haven’t done it before!
Overall fishing has been great. We’ve had guides out a number of days recently, and all of the folks in the shop are reporting great fishing. Give us a call if you have any questions or want to book a day with one of our experienced guides! Swing into the shop and we can get you the right bugs and show you where to go.