Despite some crazy weather over the past week, the fishing has been pretty darn solid. We’ve been out guiding a lot recently, and we’ve been having some great luck. The fish are happy and really willing to eat, and it’s been making for some happy fishermen!
Rapid Creek has been fishing very well, especially in town. Above Pactola is fishing alright, and keeps getting better the further you get upstream. The Rochford area upstream to Black fox has been fishing very well, and you can use dry/dropper setups in the vast majority of the water up there. The fish generally aren’t very selective, but your presentation is key. I like fishing a Klinkhamer, Stimulator, or a Humpy as a dry fly, with a Flashback Pheasant Tail, Tungsten Psycho, or Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail as a dropper. You can usually get away with 4X or 5X tippet, and keep your leader pretty short so you can cast into the tight spots! Below the dam is fishing well, but the fish have been pretty selective at times. Nymph fishing has been pretty good most days, but the key has been to keep changing flies. Boat Anchor Scuds, Tungsten Rainbow Czechs, and various scud patterns have been doing well, trailed by something in the 18-22 range. If they’re not eating it, change. Dropper flies to try include Two Bit Hookers, Tungsten Split Back BWOs, Green Weenies, and any color of Zebra Midge. If you like fishing dry flies, I would toss some crickets or beetles in front of fish close to the bank – Big Secret Crickets are a shop favorite! Streamer fishing has been good as well, and can move some of the fish that seem to be glued to the bottom. If I was going to throw streamers in the basin, I’d go big or go home! The fishing on Rapid Creek in town has been fantastic, with many opportunities to fish dry flies. There’s a good Trico hatch in the morning, Caddis in the afternoon and evening, and the fish will eat terrestrials all day. You can really fish dry flies most of the day in town! If you’re into nymphing, you can do very well on a number of flies, just don’t overlook the shallower fast water. Jig PT’s, Assassins, Party Crashers, and Hare’s Ears are excellent choices, trailed by a smaller dropper pattern will put fish in the net.
Spearfish Creek has been fishing fantastic, both in town and in the canyon. The fish have switched over to preferring a little smaller flies, but have been eating eagerly. The pattern selection will be similar both in town and in the canyon – Jig PT’s, Party Crashers, Hare’s Ears, and Jig Prince Nymphs in size 14-16 have been really good bets. Trail them with a CDC Midge Emerger or Three Dollar Dip to pick up a few bonus fish. Don’t overlook the edges of the really fast water – most of the big fish we’ve caught lately have been out of the edges of near whitewater. If you’re fishing in town, there’s good opportunities to fish terrestrials and hoppers. Morrish Hoppers, Chubby Chernobyls, Parachute Ants, and the ol’ reliable foam beetle have been good bets. Toss a dropper on below for added fun!
Castle Creek has been fishing well, especially below the dam. Dry-dropper rigs are my setup of choice for this time of year, and a wide variety of flies will get it done. I like Klinkhamers, small hoppers, Parachute Ants, Stimulators, Elk Hair Caddis, and Purple Hazes for dry flies. Put a Tungsten Soft Hackle PT, Tung Teaser, Tungsten Psycho, or a small jig below as a dropper and you’ll pick up a few extra fish! Above the lake is fishing really well, with many of the same flies. Both Castle and Ditch Creek are fishing well, so either fork you want to take will treat you well.
Crow Creek and Sand Creek are fishing well, but are pretty snakey this time of year – keep your eyes peeled. That being said, these are two of the best creeks around to fish hoppers on! Fish will often move ten feet across the stream to eat a ‘splatted’ down hopper quite often. Morrish Hoppers are some of my favorites, but there’s a lot of others that will work also. Parachute Hoppers, Dave’s Hoppers, Streambanks, and Parachute Ants are all good bets. Fish them close to the bank or right on the weededge!
All the small streams around the hills are fishing well. You can just about pick any small stream north of Hill City and you’ll find fish. Box Elder, Hanna, Little Spearfish, Upper Rapid, and upper Whitewood are fishing great! Pick your favorite dry dropper setup and get to fishing!
Fishing has been great just about everywhere. Swing by the shop and we’ll get you pointed in the right direction, or give us a call to book a day with one of our guides!