Fishing throughout the Black Hills continues to be good to great, depending on where you choose to go and the conditions. We’ve had some more seasonable temperatures along with some recent moisture which has improved the fishing quite a bit over the last couple weeks. Fishing is good, and will continue to get better with the longer nights and cooler temperatures!
Rapid Creek above Pactola is fishing well. The Silver City area is fishing good, as well as the Black Fox Campground area. Rochford area hasn’t been as hot for us, but your experience may vary. The water is pretty low, so a terrestrial-dropper rig will work well in just about anything but the deepest holes. Hippie Stompers and Klinkhamers are good dry flies, trailed by a small tungsten jig or other generic nymph pattern. Below the dam the flows have been dropped to 40 cfs, which has made the fish a bit tricker. Terrestrials like beetles, ants, and crickets have been some of our best bets recently, especially in the skinnier water. There’s some PMD’s coming off in the afternoon/evening, so definitely have a few of those if you’re heading up there late. during the day, nymphing with a scud/worm trailed by a PMD or midge dropper has been the most productive method. The water is pretty low and slow, so don’t be afraid to drop down to 6x, or even 7x if they’re being snooty. Fishing in town has been pretty solid, and has been better early and late rather than during the middle of the day. There’s tricos hatching early in the morning, and that’s really about it for hatches right now. There’s a lot of fish up on them in the morning, especially if you avoid the area directly above the lake that’s been getting hit pretty hard by the dry fly guys. Further down in town is just as good of a hatch and 10% of the pressure. If you’re out during the middle of the day into evening, small terrestrials like beetles and ants are great bets, and you can drop a small jig or tungsten midge pattern off the back of them to pick up a few bonus fish. Fishing is good in town now, but look for it to improve over the coming weeks.
Spearfish Creek has been solid fishing for us, and we’ve been taking a lot of our guided trips up there lately. The canyon and in town are both fishing very well, and you can fish both dries and nymphs. In the canyon, nymphing has been the most productive method for us, but the fish do like small terrestrials. Hi Viz Beetles and Parachute Ants will move fish, especially in the slower sections of the canyon. Savoy upstream is a great place to fish dries, and there’s not many people up there. If you’re nymphing, we’ve been doing well with the same old two-jig setup. A size 14 jig trailed by a size 16 is enough weight to get down in just about all of the canyon, and the fish haven’t been picky enough for us to fish many smaller flies. If you run across some picky ones, drop a small midge or baetis pattern off the back and you’ll do well. In town the same stuff has been working, but there’s a little more opportunity for hopper fishing. Morrish Hoppers and Parachute Hoppers are good flies. Drop a size 16 skinny jig off the back to pick up some bonus fish as well. If you’re nymphing, don’t overlook scud patterns on Spearfish Creek in town as well. Spearfish has been one of the consistently good options for fishing this summer, and that’s still true. Give us a call if you want to hire one of our guides to show you the ropes up there!
Castle Creek both above and below Deerfield has been fishing well. It’s a bit low, but the fish are more than willing to eat flies off the surface most days. Smaller attractor type dry flies have been the best bets – Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute Adams, Klinkhamers, Purple Hazes, Stimulators, and a number of other impressionistic flies in the 12-16 range have been great. If you run across a deeper hole or somewhere where you’d like to get down a little more, try a tungsten Zebra Midge or a smaller jig pattern. The fish up here aren’t super picky most days. The area above Deerfield on Castle Creek is a stream that you can jump across most places, but holds a surprising number of brookies.
Crow Creek is fishing well with hoppers and other terrestrial patterns right now, as well as Sand Creek. Parachute Ants, Morrish Hoppers, Hi Viz Beetles, Hippie Stompers, and whatever other terrestrial pattern you like will move fish right now. The bigger fish will sometimes move across the creek to eat a properly ‘splatted’ hopper pattern – it’s fun fishing! Be mindful of snakes on both of these creeks this time of year, especially when it warms up in the morning.
The smaller creeks around have been fishing pretty well too, as long as they have decent amounts of water in them. Box Elder, upper Whitewood, Ditch, Elk, Hanna, and little Spearfish are all fishing well. Attractor dries will be more than ample on most of these small streams. Bust the 3 weight out and have a blast!
Overall, fishing has been good despite some tough weather conditions last month. We’re springing back nicely, and the fishing has improved significantly. Swing by the shop for the latest intel, or give us a call to book a day with one of our expert guides!