We have a warm few days ahead of us, but it looks to be a little cooler towards the end of the week into the weekend. Fishing has continued to be solid, and should continue to be great. Fall fishing is some of our favorite of the year, so take advantage of it!
Rapid Creek above Pactola is still fishing well. In most of the water you can get away with a Hippie Stomper or other terrestrial trailed by a tungsten nymph in size 14-16. Red Butts, Soft Spots, Pheasant Tails, Slim Jims, and Jig Assassins are good nymph patterns. If you’re fishing in the bigger holes, try the same dropper flies behind a larger size 10-12 tungsten nymph to help get the smaller fly down. There’s lots of average browns in the riffly water, and a few bigger rainbows in the holes. Fishing is good from the Castle Creek confluence down to Silver City, so there’s lots of water to explore. Below the dam is fishing well also, with PMDs being a key food source. There’s a few fish up on terrestrials as well, so don’t be afraid to try various hopper and beetle patterns. Nymphing has been good with a scud pattern trailed by a midge or small mayfly nymph. Two Bit Hookers, Split Back PMDs, Barr’s Emergers, Tungsten Zebra Midges, RS2s, and small Pheasant Tails are all good bets in size 16-22. Make sure you’re getting down to the fish and you’ll find a few. There’s fish up the surface on BWOs and PMDs – Blue Winged Olives will gradually take over in the next couple weeks. Sparkle Duns, Comparaduns, Hackle Stackers, F Flies, Students, Para Sippers, and regular Parachute Adams will all work if you see fish on the surface in size 16-22. Rapid Creek in town has been fishing well, mostly with dry-dropper type rigs since the water has come down. Hippie Stompers, Fuzzy Wuzzys, Parachute Ants, and Morrish Hoppers are good bets for the dry fly, and you’ll pick up a good portion of your fish on the dry most days. We’ve been fishing mostly with various jig droppers, but a number of smaller tungten nymphs will work. Red Butts, Brush Hogs, Slim Jims, Assassins, Tung Teasers, Skinny Jigs, and many other slender bodied tungsten flies will work great. If you’re in the deeper water, put two tungsten flies and a bobber on to help get down. There’s Tricos hatching in the mornings right now, and Caddis in the evenings as well. BWO’s will get fired up in the coming week hopefully with the cooler weather towards the end of the week. Lots of opportunities on Rapid Creek!
Spearfish Creek is fishing well, and the canyon is beautiful right now. Nymphing is the name of the game for the bulk of the day, but there are a few hours of solid dry fly fishing available most days as well especially in the canyon. If you’re nymphing, try some slightly smaller dropper flies than we’ve been using. Size 16-18 are good bets, as the fish have become a little more keyed in on smaller BWO nymphs over the past week. Two Bits, Skinny Jigs, and Psycho nymphs are good choices, as well as all the standard fare. Fish them behind an appropriately sized jig for the depth and speed of water you’re in and you’ll find plenty o’ fish. There’s good numbers of Blue Winged Olives up most days in the mid afternoon, and the fish are very keyed in on them. CDC Thorax Duns, F Flies, Purple Hazes, Students, and Smoke Jumpers in size 18-20 are good flies if you see fish up on the top. If you’re fishing in town, you can still catch good numbers of fish on beetles, ants, hoppers, and crickets as well. The water is lower and clearer than it has been, so you’ll have to be a bit sneakier than you’ve had to be the rest of the year.
Castle Creek below Deerfield has come down to 10 cfs, which is slightly on the low side, but the fish are a little easier to find. Hippie Stompers with a small tungsten dropper in size 16-18 will work well, as well as nymphing with a jig trailed by a small dropper fly in the deeper water. BWOs will start hatching up there any day as well, so if you’re heading up make sure and have a few BWO adult patterns. Fishing from the Castle Peak campground all the way up to the lake is good, as well as above the lake in the walk in area. This is fun, unsophisticated fishing that won’t last a whole lot longer, so give it a shot before it gets cold!
Crow Creek and Sand Creek are fishing well also, primarily with dry flies. You can do well nymphing as well, but the weeds are still a bit of an issue for sinking flies. Terrestrials are still a really good option as well, especially beetles, ants, and crickets. The fish are pretty visible this time of year, so you shouldn’t have much of a problem finding them. There’s BWO’s hatching as well, and the same flies as Spearfish and Rapid Creek will get the job done!
Smaller streams haven’t changed much, same story as the last couple last weeks. Flows have dropped a bit, but are still at solid flows for this time of year and fishing well. Hanna, Little Spearfish, Box Elder, French, upper Rapid, and upper Spearfish Creeks are all fishing well. Dry Droppers with various attractor dry flies trailed by smaller Slim Jims, Tung Teasers, Assassins, or Jig Pheasant Tails are all good bets. Get a fiberglass 3 weight and head out to some of our smaller, overlooked water. It’s tons of fun!
Pike fishing has been solid on Pactola, Sheridan, Stockade, and various prairie lakes. Swing by the shop for the latest intel and gear!
Fishing has been great – Give us a call or swing by the shop for the latest hot flies, a map of where to head to, or if you’d like to book one of our guides for a day on the water in the Black Hills!