Black Hills Fishing Report
Black Hills Fishing Report for August 18th 2017. Continued cooler weather this August has kept fishing good to excellent around the Black Hills. Recent storms have helped streamflows stay in good shape. Cooler nights have dropped water temps and increased fish activity. Good dry fly fishing opportunities exist with tricos, PMDs, caddis, and terrestrials (hoppers, ants, beetles). Seeing good response to attractor dries as well. Best fishing continues on Rapid Creek, Castle Creek, and Spearfish Creek.
Flows have increased above Pactola Reservoir making upper Rapid Creek a good bet. Start around Silver city and hike up into the canyon. Otherwise try from just below Rochford on up to black Fox campground. Upper Rapid Creek is a good bet with attractor dries and hoppers. Below Pactola the flows have been cut back a bit. This will make for a bit tougher fishing directly below the dam. Try further downstream around Johnson Siding down through Rapid City for the best luck. Tricos are still hatching in the morning in town. Caddis later in the afternoon and evening. Small psuedo mayflies late in the afternoon and the evening as well. Great options for dry fly fishing here. Nymphing remains the most consistent technique throughout the day. Start with a dry dropper rig to cover the shallow riffles and runs. Fish deeper in the big pools. Another fun technique is to experiment with swinging soft hackles later in the afternoon. As fish are getting ready for the hatch they are looking for bugs rising to the surface. Had a great time feeling the grab last week while swinging a partridge and yellow or partridge and orange soft hackle. This is an awesome and underused technique on Black Hills streams.
Spearfish Creek is another great option. Flows are down from earlier in the summer- water is a bit clearer and lower. Fish smaller flies than normal. When a nymphing fish a heavy lead fly with a small midge or baetis nymph dropper. Tight line nymphing is working the best in the fast water. Fish the deeper runs and pools with an indicator. Further down the stream fish a hopper dropper rig. Fishing has been good from Spearfish Canyon all the way down to the prairie.
Castle Creek continues to fish well below Deerfield Reservoir. Fish dries as much as you want here- sporadic hatches throughout the day- small baetis, caddis, little stones, etc. Fish the hatches or try terrestrials and attractor dries. Nymph the deeper runs and corner pools. Reports have been good from above Deerfield as well. Take a lightweight rod up from the lake and fish a small hopper pattern- that’s all you will need.
Other options include the lakes throughout Custer State Park and the Ponds in the Grace Cooldige Walk In area. Cooler night time temps make for better fishing on the stillwaters. Not a bad time to try float tubing on Center Lake, Sylvan Lake, or even Sheridan Lake.
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