We’ve had some significantly cooler weather over the past week, and the fishing has improved quite a bit! The cooler nights have helped keep the water temperature down a bit, and it’s made the fishing better throughout the middle of the day. Castle, Rapid, and Spearfish are still the best bets with the drier year we’ve been having, but some of the smaller streams are fishing well also.
Rapid Creek has been fishing well, mostly from Pactola down to Rapid City. Above the dam can be good as well, especially if you get up above Rochford to the Black Fox area. Attractor terrestrial patterns and generic droppers will catch plenty of fish! Below the dam the fish have been their normal picky selves, but we’ve been doing alright fishing smaller black terrestrial patterns like beetles, ants, and crickets. The PMD hatch should start any day now, so if you’re headed up there in the afternoon I would have a few PMD dries with you. Tungsten Split Back PMDs are good dropper patterns below a larger scud lead fly, as well as whatever kind of midge pattern you like. Rapid Creek in town has been fishing well, especially with the cooler nights we’ve been having. There’s Tricos coming off in the morning on the upper part of town, and the fish are definitely up on them. Try a variety of trico spinner patterns to figure out what they want on any given day, as they’re fairly selective. During the middle of the day, you can fish a lot of dry-dropper type rigs. We’ve been using Hippie Stompers, Stimulators, and smaller Morrish Hoppers as the indicator fly, trailed by a smaller 14-16 jig dropper. Peacock Jigs, Skinny Jigs, Tung Teasers, Psychos, and Tungsten Zebra Midges are all good bets. Make sure and fish all of the skinnier water as well, as there’s a lot of fish in the 10-30″ deep stuff.
Spearfish Creek has been fishing really well, both in the canyon and in town. The same old size 12-16 jig fare has been working great for me, but if you’re in the slower, deeper water you may have to put a smaller midge or BWO dropper pattern on. In the fast pocket water, you can do very well with a Peacock Jig, Skinny Jig, Sweet Pea, or whatever your favorite slender-bodied tungsten pattern is. Make sure and fish everything! The upper canyon from Savoy upstream to Cheyenne Crossing is fishing well with dry-droppers rigs. The fish in the canyon really dig Klinkhamers as a lead fly. Spearfish Creek in town has been fishing good, with many of the same patterns as the canyon working well. You can do well in town on smaller hopper patterns as well, but it often takes some fly changing to figure out what one they want. Morrish Hoppers are a good place to start, but I would make sure and have a few others as well. If they won’t eat hoppers, fish a beetle or an ant in the thin water and you’ll find ’em!
Castle Creek has been fishing well, mainly with dry-dropper rigs. The water is a little on the low side, so there’s not much room for regular nymph rigs. That being said, smaller attractor type dry flies are working well. Klinkhamers, Hippie Stompers, Elk Hair Caddis, Stimulators, Purple Hazes, and various other generic dry flies will bring fish up. If you’re in something slightly deeper, try a skinny jig or a Tung Teaser for a dropper pattern. Anywhere where the current slows down and is about twice as deep as a brook trout is tall will have a fish in it!
Crow Creek and Sand Creek are fishing well, and are definitely into the terrestrial season. Morrish Hoppers, Parachute Ants, Parachute Hoppers, Hi Viz Beetles, and crickets are good bets. This time of year, there’s fish pretty much anywhere where there isn’t weeds. They primarily sit in the slots between the weedbeds, and wait for something to plop on the surface by them. It’s not easy fishing, but it’s fun!
Overall fishing has been solid, and has improved with the lower temps. We’ve had trips out more or less every day for the past few weeks, and we’ve been rather successful. Give us a call if you want to book a day with one of our guides, or if you just have questions about where to go or what to use. Swing by and we can show you where to go on a map and get you the best bugs for where you’re headed!