Fall is here, and the fishing continues to be solid. The weather is taking a turn towards the cooler side at the end of the week as well, which is a nice change from the warmer weather we had earlier this month. Fall is here, and the fishing is great!
Rapid Creek above Pactola is fishing well, mostly with nymphs. Larger weight flies trailed by smaller, generic nymph patterns have been working well. Try a Jig Hare’s Ear, Brush Hog, or Tungsten Rainbow Czech in size 12-14 for your lead fly. Trail a size 14-18 Skinny Jig, Slim Jim, Soft Spot, Prince Nymph, or Zebra midge a foot behind your lead fly. If you’re getting down, you’ll catch some fish. They’re not super picky, but getting it close to the fish is important. Terrestrials are still an option as well – try a Hippie Stomper, Foam Beetle, Stimulator, or Klinkhamer.
Rapid Creek below Pactola is good, but the fish are their normal, picky selves. Blue Winged Olives are the bug of choice, with a few midges thrown in for good measure. If you’re nymphing, use a big scud or weight fly as your lead pattern to help get down, and trail a smaller midge or mayfly below. Two Bit Hookers, Killer Mayfly Nymphs, RS2s, WD-40s, and Barr’s Emergers in size 16-20 are good bets for a dropper fly. Persistence pays off in the basin, as well as being willing to change flies or rigs. There are some fish on top on BWOs a lot of days as well, so make sure and have a few adults. Comparaduns, Sparkle Duns, and F Flies in size 16-22.
Rapid Creek in town has been fishing well, but the fish have been liking slightly smaller flies than a couple weeks ago. Smaller Jigs and tungsten midges have been working well. Skinny Jigs, Jawbreakers, Green Weenies, Slim Jims, and various midges are good bets. You can fish them under a nymph, as well as underneath a terrestrial like a Fuzzy Wuzzy, Klinkhamer, or Hippie Stomper. Red and Black Hippie Stompers have been really good dry flies.
Spearfish Creek is fishing great, and the canyon is beautiful right now with the fall foliage. Blue Winged Olives are hatching pretty regularly most days from about 2-5, and the fish are up on them. Brook’s Sprouts, F Flies, Students, Smoke Jumpers, Comparaduns, and Sparkle Duns are all good bets in size 18-20. Use a long, light tippet and you’ll get a better drift and catch more fish. Nymphing is solid as usual, with the good old jig and a midge working from Cheyenne Crossing all the way through town. Good jigs include Assassins, Slim Jims, Optic Nerves, Brush Hogs, and Jig Pheasant Tails in size 12-14 trailed by whatever your favorite color of midge pattern is. Small Mayfly patterns are working well as dropper flies also.
Castle Creek both above and below Deerfield is fishing well, with a good Blue Winged Olive hatch below the dam. Use the same flies as Spearfish and Rapid Creek if you run into fish eating BWOs. If not, use a Hippie Stomper, Klinkhamer, or Stimulator trailed by a small tungsten jig, Psycho Nymph, Tung Teaser, or small Tungsten Midge pattern.
Crow Creek and Sand Creek are same as last week. Fishing is good, primarily with dry flies. Blue Winged Olives are very much on the menu right now, and the fish are up on them for a good portion of the day. CDC Thorax Duns, Para Sippers, F Flies, Students, and various other small BWO patterns will work well. The fish aren’t super selective, but they are fairly spooky. 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.
Pike fishing has been good lately, and should be great through October. With the cooler temps this week, water temperatures should come into their prime by this weekend. Pactola and Sheridan are both good options, as well as various lakes on the prairie. The key to being consistently successful on Pike is having the right sinking line to get your flies to them and keep them there. On any given day, we might change densities of sinking line several times depending on where the fish are holding in the water column. If your flies aren’t in front of them, they can’t eat them! Most of the fish now are in 5-10 feet of water, so we’ve been using a type 3 or Intermediate/3/5 line to keep our flies down. Various flies have been working well, mostly mid sized stuff in the 6″ range or so. Don’t be afraid to change colors.
Fall is a great time to be fishing in the Black Hills. Give us a call or swing by if you have any questions about Black Hills fishing or want to spend a day with one of our guides!