Fishing in the Black Hills continues to be good, with the cooler weather helping things out a bit. The mornings have been feeling a bit more like fall – last week it was 36 up in Spearfish Canyon one morning we were guiding. Most all of the various waters of the Black Hills have been fishing good to great, with a fair bit of dry fly fishing. We’ve been out guiding and catching plenty of fish, and have had some happy clients! There’s not very much difference between our last fishing report and the current conditions now, so this report will be a bit more brief.
Rapid Creek has been good both above and below Pactola. Above the lake is fishing well, especially if you don’t mind catching smaller wild browns. There’s an abundance of 6-12″ fish up there right now, and they’ve been pretty willing to eat dry-dropper rigs. Hippie Stompers and Klinkhamers have made good dries, with Tung Teasers, Psychos, and various jigs in 14-16 making good dropper patterns. Fish everything that’s deeper than your boot with a broken current! Below Pactola has been fishing well, and has seen some decent PMD hatches in the afternoon. If the fish are up on them – which some days they won’t be for whatever reason – a size 18-20 Sparkle Dun or Comparadun has been getting the job done on a careful drift. If the PMD’s aren’t rocking and rolling, terrestrials have been a good bet as well. Hippie Stompers and Big Secret Crickets are good bets. Nymphing is good if they aren’t on the surface, with the same old story being true. Keep changing from PMD to BWO to midge patterns in different sizes and colors until you find exactly what they dig. Scuds and worms make good lead flies. Fishing in town has been good as well, with a good trico hatch in the morning. With the cooler weather, they’ve been coming off later so you don’t need to be out at 5 am to catch fish – 8 has been about the time the fish really get up on them. Dry-dropper rigs have been the best bet outside of the trico hatch, with the same flies as above Pactola working well!
Spearfish Creek has been fishing great – I’ve been up there several days in the last week and it’s been quite good. Nymphing is the name of the game, with the ol’ big jig trailed by a little jig working great! Fish a 12-14 Pheasant Tail, Assassin, Prince, or Hare’s Ear as a lead fly and trail behind a 14-18 version behind it. For a dropper, the skinnier the body the better you’re going to do. If the fish get real picky, tie on a small midge or BWO dropper. If you’re fishing in town, dry droppers aren’t bad either. There’s a fair number of fish looking up, so don’t be afraid to fish the dry if you see a fish in shallow water. Hippie Stompers trailed by any of the various jig patterns will work great!
Castle Creek is fishing great below Deerfield. Dry-droppers are the name of the game. Small Morrish Hoppers, Chubbies, and Hippie Stompers trailed by a tungsten midge, Tung Teaser, Psycho Nymph, or size 16 jig pattern. From the dam all the way to the confluence with Rapid Creek is fishing well. The fish are kind of spooky, so make a careful presentation from 20-30 feet and you’ll do much better!
Fishing has been great, with little to report in the way of change from last week. If you have any questions or want to have us head you in the right direction, give us a call or swing by the shop and we’ll get you squared away!