The flows are continuing to drop, and the fishing has been good to great just about everywhere. Most all of Rapid Creek is finally fishable, and is fishing well! Smaller streams in the Black Hills are starting to see some good terrestrial fishing, and that should spread to Rapid Creek with the continued drop in flows.
You can fish most places with a hopper/dropper rig right now and expect to get a few on the hopper. Good dry flies include Fat Franks, Morrish Hoppers, User Friendlies, Parachute Ants, Bionic Ants, and various other mid size terrestrials. Stuff in the size 10-14 range will get the most looks, but if you’re fishing some heavier water you can get away with a little larger pattern that will float a bit better. If you run into some fish that won’t eat the big fly, smaller foam ants and beetles have been working great, particularly on Spearfish Creek and it’s tributaries. If you can find a fish that’s sitting in skinnier water, chances are you can get it to eat a small terrestrial. It’s fun fishing that isn’t particularly complicated, plus it’s fun to see them eat the fly!
Nymphing below your dry fly will pick up a good number of fish, and definitely increases the number of opportunities you’ll get. Larger flies are working on Rapid Creek with the higher flows, but slightly smaller flies are working better with the lower summer flows most places. Peacock Jigs, Optic Nerves, Assassins, Purple Pheasant Tails, Duracells, Skinny jigs, and Tungsten Midges are good bets. If the fish get picky or you’re fishing in slower water, definitely give the midges, a Juju Baetis, or Shotglass Baetis in size 16-20.
Warmwater fishing on various prairie lakes is great for largemouth and bluegills, and Orman and Angostura are good bets for Carp fishing as well. Get out and try something different this late summer! Swing by the shop or give us a call for the latest flies and reports.
Get out and fish this week – it’s been solid, and will continue to be great with the dropping flows!