Black Hills Fishing Report
We’ve had a lot drier weather overall for the past few days, and it’s helped a lot of the local streams come down to fishable levels. Most places are back to normal, with the exception of most of Rapid Creek. A few places are still a bit off color, but that can actually be an advantage much of the time. The weather this week looks perfect to get out on the water in the Black Hills!
Rapid Creek above Pactola near Silver City is still high, and very dirty. It will be awhile before this comes down to a fishable level. Further upstream near Black Fox is fishable with generic dry/dropper rigs.
Rapid Creek below Pactola is a 471 cfs, which is very high. If you want to fish there, you might be able to scrounge up a few fish with big nymph rigs with worms/scuds. Fish really heavy with plenty of weight and you should be able to find a few. If you find some fish on the slower edges, try a Split Back Baetis or Two Bit Hooker for a dropper fly. If you can find somewhere that’s slower and knee deep or more you’ll find some fish.
Rapid Creek in town is very high, but is clear and the fishing is good if you’re willing to sniff out the slower spots. Mop Flies, Squirmy Wormies, Pat’s Rubber Legs, and various big jig flies will work well. The vast majority of the fish are within a few feet of the bank. Anywhere the current is broken you’ll find some fish!
Spearfish Creek has avoided much of the high water, and is even a touch on the low side. The fishing is good to excellent depending on the day, and the fish are pretty willing to eat. Standard jig flies will work just fine – Slim Jims, Assassins, Soft Spots, Pheasant Tails, Party Crashers, Skinny Jigs, and Peacock Jigs are good bets for lead flies in size 12-14. Good droppers include any of the previous jigs in size 16, as well as various Zebra Midges and Annelid type patterns. If you’re fishing in town, make sure and have a few caddis nymphs as well – the fish really like green patterns in a size 12-14. Spearfish is one of the best options around!
Castle Creek below Deerfield is a bit on the high side, but is fishing well. Dry-dropper rigs are working as well as anything else, and are a lot of fun to fish as opposed to a nymph rig. Hippie Stompers, Fat Franks, and Klinkhamers are good lead flies in size 12-14. Good droppers include Psycho Nymphs, Tung Teasers, Peacock Jigs, Skinny Jigs, Duracells, and jig Hare’s Ears in size 14-16. The fish aren’t particularly selective, just make sure you’re fishing in the slower water and inside bends. With the higher flows, the fish are definitely pushed into the slower spots more so than anywhere else.
Spring Creek is finally down to a fishable level, but the bridges on the trailhead are broken – make sure you’re comfortable wading, or bring a wading staff as the flows are definitely still high. That being said, the fishing is still solid both by the road and the trailhead. It’s mostly all nymph fishing – larger flies have been working well. For your lead fly, try a Mop Fly, Squirmy Wormy, Tungsten Worm, or a Pat’s Rubber Legs in size 10-12. The flows are still fairly high and the extra weight helps get you down. For a dropper, try a Hare’s Ear, Prince Nymph, Pheasant Tail, Skinny Jig, Soft Spot, or Assassin in size 12-16.
Fishing has been solid, and should continue to get better as the flows come down a bit. We’ve been having some great guided trips lately – give us a call to book your guided trip today! Swing by the shop or give us a call for the latest gear, flies, and fishing report.