We’ve been real busy at the shop over the past few weeks guiding and getting people out on the water – we apologize for the lack of blog posts and reports lately. Despite the dry conditions prevalent throughout the Black Hills area, the fishing has continued to be great! We’ve been focusing our efforts on the central and northern hills, and we’ve had no problem finding plenty of fish!
Rapid Creek above Pactola has been fishing well, and gets better the further you’re willing to walk in. The fish in the Silver City to Mystic section will respond well to dry-dropper rigs, and you may even be able to get a few on terrestrials. Klinkhamers, Rubber Leg Stimulators, Chubby Chernobyls, and Bloom’s Parachute Hopper and Cricket all make great indicator flies, and will get eaten often as well. For dropper patterns, smaller jig flies have been working well along with various other tungsten nymphs. Jig Hare’s Ears, Princes, Red Fox Squirrel Nymphs, and Tungsten Rainbow Czechs have been getting plenty of action! Make sure and fish fairly heavy tippet to your lead fly to make sure it doesn’t twist badly – I like 4x to the dry and 5x to the nymph. Fishing below Pactola has been fair to good, and is definitely the place to go if you want to catch big fish. It’s been busy most days, but if you get there early or late you’ll have a better chance of getting into some fish. Nymphing has been the most consistent way to catch fish, with PMD patterns working well. Fish a large tungsten nymph as a lead fly, and drop a Tung. Bruised PMD or a Tungsten Split Case PMD below it. Barr’s Emergers work well as a dropper too. Fish 6x to your second fly, or even pick up a spool of 6.5X TroutHunter tippet to catch the real picky ones! If you run into some fish that are looking up, Bloom’s Crickets and Hoppers as well as Hippie Stompers have been moving a few fish for the dry fly guys. Streamer fishing has been consistent as well, with some really large fish being caught on big streamers. Home Invaders, Sex Dungeons, and Articulators have been good bets. Fish Maxima to them on a lighter Versileader to help get down a bit. Fishing in Rapid Creek through town has been fantastic. Dry-droppers are the rig of choice for most people as of late, with most of the fish being caught on the dropper. Hippie Stompers have been bringing some nice fish up to the surface, and you can see them from 40 feet easily so they make a great indicator dry. Droppers that have been working well for us include jig Hare’s Ears, Party Crashers, Jig PTs, Rainbow Czechs, and Jig Red Fox Squirrels. If they get picky, put a tungsten midge pattern!
Spearfish Creek has been fishing very well in the canyon, as well as through Spearfish and north of town. Nymphing has been the name of the game for the most part, with a wide variety of flies catching fish. Getting down to the bottom of the water column has been key, whether it’s in a foot of water or six feet. There’s fish in just about everywhere on Spearfish, so make sure and take your time and fish methodically through everything. Many of the biggest fish come out of a foot of fast moving water! Fly-wise, all of the same jig patterns as Rapid Creek have been working well, along with North Fork Specials, Tungsten Rainbow Czechs, and even Tungsten San Juan Worms have been getting some action. If you’re spending more time in the canyon, don’t be afraid to put a small midge or baetis pattern below your lead fly. Tungsten Ready Baetis have been one of my best flies, as well as various colors of midges. Experiment with different flies until you figure out what they like on any given day!
Castle Creek below Deerfield has been fishing very well, even with the lower water. The fish are more concentrated than usual, and are a bit spooky. That being said, if you can get a reasonable presentation over them without spooking them you’re in great shape. Klinkhamers and Stimulators have been good dry flies to try. Fish them close to the bank and especially near undercut banks. Drop a Tungsten Psycho, small jig pattern, or your favorite midge dropper to pick up a few bonus fish.
Crow Creek and Sand Creek have been fishing well, especially with hoppers and other terrestrial patterns. Both of these creeks get fairly weedy in the summertime, so dry flies are the best way to fish them most of the time. Any lane in the weeds more than likely has fish in it, and they’re looking up! Morrish Hoppers, Chubby Chernobyls, Bloom’s Parachute Ant, Hopper, and Cricket, and Streambank Hoppers have been working well. Try our new favorite, the Hippie Stomper, as well!
Fishing has been great overall! We’ve been out on the water every day, and we’ve been guiding some happy clients into wild Black Hills trout. Give us a call to book a day with our expert Black Hills fly fishing guides, or swing by the shop and we can show you what to try and where to throw it!