After a hot rally week, the weather has cooled off and looks to be solid for the next week! Fishing has been solid just about everywhere, and the cooler weather will help out the midday fishing as well. We’re starting to see some excellent terrestrial fishing on most of our streams as well – the next week will be a great week to be out on the water!
Rapid Creek above Pactola is finally down to normal flows, and is fishing well. If you’re in the bigger, deeper holes you’re going to want to be primarily nymph fishing. Use a big, heavy lead fly like a Tungsten Rainbow Czech, Tungsten Worm, or size 12 jig fly. Good droppers include Tung Teasers, Psychos, Frenchies, Skinny Jigs, and various other small jig patterns in the size 14-16 range. If you’re in the riffles and pocket water, you can fish a dry-dropper rig with the same smaller droppers as you would nymph with. Good dries include Hippie Stompers, Klinkhamers, Fuzzy Wuzzys, Stimulators, and smaller Morrish Hoppers. You’ll find a lot of the larger fish in the deeper water, with lots of aggressive little guys in the pocket water that are willing to eat terrestrials. Rapid Creek below Pactola is fishing well, with the fish being their normal picky selves. If you’re nymph fishing, PMD nymphs and midges are the name of the game. Split Back PMDs in both unweighted and tungsten are a solid bet, as well as Barr’s Emergers in size 16-20. Small midge patterns like Bling Midges and Zebra Midges in black, purple, tan, and red are good bets for droppers as well. Fish a heavy scud or worm pattern as your lead fly – you will probably need a small split shot in a lot of the water to get down as well. If you’re not within a foot of the bottom you’re not deep enough in most instances. There are PMDs hatching in the evenings as well, and the fish are up on them most evenings. Sparkle Duns, Comparaduns, F Flies, and Brook’s Sprout Emergers are good bets. Terrestrials are a good bet midday, so don’t be afraid to fish a hopper, beetle, or cricket pattern close to the bank. Rapid Creek in town has been fishing great, and we’ve mostly been fishing dry-dropper rigs with a beetle or small hopper as the dry. Fuzzy Wuzzys, Morrish Hoppers, Hippie Stompers, Bloom’s Parachute Ants, and various other small terrestrial patterns are all good bets. Don’t overlook the skinny water – there’s a ton of fish in water that’s a foot deep or so, especially if it has overhanging branches or grass. If you want to fish a dropper, try a small jig pattern or Tung Teaser in size 14-18. There’s tricos hatching early in the morning in town, and caddis in the evenings, so there’s no shortage of good fishing to be had in town. Take advantage of the good dry fly fishing while it lasts!
Spearfish Creek has been fishing excellent as well, both in the canyon and in town. The upper part of the canyon is fishing well, with attractor dries and small terrestrial patterns working well. Klinkhamers, Stimulators, Hippie Stompers, Foam Beetles, and small hopper patterns are working well in size 10-14. A lot of the fish you’ll catch in the upper part of the canyon are going to be in the long, riffly runs that are knee-deep or so. Most of the fish are willing to eat dry flies up there, but you can fish a smaller tungsten dropper and pick up some extra fish if you’d like as well. Tungsten Midges, Psychos, and smaller jigs will all work just fine. The fish in the upper canyon are pretty opportunistic, so don’t make it too complicated. The lower part of the canyon is fishing well also, and if you’re in the right type of water you can get away with hopper-dropper rigs as well. If you’re in the faster, deeper pocket water, two nymphs is going to be your best bet. I’ve been fishing two jigs for the most part, but you might have to fish a smaller midge or BWO pattern as a dropper in the slower runs. Make sure and fish anything that’s deeper than your shin, even if it’s really fast – there’s a lot of fish in the really fast water. Spearfish Creek in town is fishing great as well. You can nymph with the same flies as you’d use in the canyon – Slim Jims, Skinny Jigs, Bloom’s Optic Nerve, Jig Hare’s Ears, Soft Spots, and various other tungsten flies in 12-16 will all work well. The fish in town are looking up as well, so don’t be afraid to throw a Hippie Stomper, Morrish Hopper, Chubby Chernobyl, Parachute Ant, or Parachute Cricket as a dry with a jig dropped a couple feet below it. If you can find a fish that’s close to the bank on lower Spearfish, you’ll most likely be able to get them on a dry fly. Terrestrial season is here, and should continue to be solid through mid September.
Castle Creek from Deerfield Reservoir to Castle Peak Campground is fishing well. Same story as everywhere else – hoppers and terrestrials with a dropper below them are good bets. Fish a slightly smaller terrestrial on Castle than you would elsewhere – size 12-14 is a good size for Castle Creek Brookies. What they lack in size, they make up for in how aggressively they take flies! Morrish Hoppers, Hippie Stompers, Parachute Ants and Parachute Hoppers are all good bets for the dry. Tung Teasers, Psychos, small jigs, and Frenchies are good dropper patterns. The fish typically aren’t all that picky, but can be fairly spooky. Make sure you walk slowly, and focus on places where the water is choppy and slightly deeper – bends are where we find most of the fish on Castle Creek. Fun fishing that isn’t particularly sophisticated!
Crow Creek and Sand Creek are weedy right now – you’re going to be stuck fishing with dry flies only for the most part. There’s a few places you can nymph fish, but they’re limited, especially on Crow. Parachute Ants, Morrish Hoppers, Parachtue Hoppers, Bloom’s Cricket, and Foam beetles and ants are all good bets this time of year!
A lot of the smaller streams are fishing excellent right now as well. If you’re looking for solitude and fish that aren’t very sophisticated, this is just the ticket. Box Elder, upper Rapid, Hanna, Little Spearfish, upper Whitewood, and Castle and Ditch above Deerfield are all good bets that don’t see much in the way of fishing pressure. Various attractor dry fly patterns and terrestrials will work just fine – if they’re picky put a generic dropper on and you’ll do well.
Fishing has been solid, and should continue to improve with the cooler, wetter weather in the forecast. Give us a call at the shop or swing by if you have any questions about where to go, what to use, or if you want to book a day with one of our guides!