Good News! Water temps are cooler and dry fly fishing is good. Our core streams (Rapid Creek, Castle Creek, and Spearfish Creek) are fishing well. Hatches of Tricos are picking up. Grasshoppers are showing up in greater numbers. Great time to get out and fish with dry flies.
Rapid Creek has cooled down significantly in town. Water temps around 60 to start the day. Trico hatch in the earlier hours. A few tan caddis around as well. Terrestrials and attractor dries are working well through the day. Run a dropper nymph if you need to, but we have had some good days fishing only dries. Ants, beetles, and User Friendly’s have been good searching dries. Hopper in the afternoons.
Further upstream on Rapid Creek (above and below Pactola Reservoir) has been productive as well. Below the dam fish are a bit picker, but later in the day, dry fly options pick up with a mix of Baetis and PMDs. Terrestrials will work below the dam as well. Above Pactola there are Tricos hatching in the morning, however, this section is the most productive fishing nymphs.
Castle Creek below Deerfield fishes similar to Rapid Creek below Pactola. The water is very clear and the fish can be a bit spooky. Use stealth and stay low. Dry fly fishing opportunities pick up closer to evening, although attractor dries and terrestrials will work during the day. Fishing can be quite good below Deerfield, but as stated before stay low and cast upstream using a longer leader. There are some surprisingly big brown trout in this small water. Above Deerfield is a good option for an ultralight fly rod (1-3) weight and chasing brook trout. If you don’t mind fishing small water and chasing smaller fish, then you will have this fishery mostly to yourself.
Spearfish Creek can get a bit technical this time of year. When flows get lower the fish are more selective. Don’t shy away from lighter tippets and smaller flies. In the calmer water, you will need to use 6-7x and smaller midge larva and Baetis nymphs to fool many fish. Fishing the pocket water will be more productive. This is a little tougher wading but pays off in less picky fish. These pocket water stretches make for good Euro Nymphing. Another option is using a buoyant dry fly like a Chubby Chernobyl with a dropper. Keep your casts short!
Lakes should get better with the cooler water as well. As boat traffic slows on Pactola the bays and shallow edges will improve. Look for cruising rainbows. They are willing to hit buggers, a variety of streamers, as well as big attractor dries. Deerfield Reservoir offers more solitude. The fishing can be quite good there as well. Especially for anglers with a float tube, pontoon, or canoe.