We got some much needed moisture this morning, and there’s more in the forecast for this afternoon and tonight. We’ll take all we can get in the moisture department, and today was a nice flush for a few streams. Most creeks around the central Hills bumped up a fair amount and are on their way back down now. The water is clear for the most part, and everywhere is fishing well! The weather this weekend is looking to be good – it’s going to be a great weekend to be out on the water!
This is the time of year where we rely pretty heavily on terrestrial patterns. Most of my fishing lately has been with a dry-dropper rig, with some variety of big, easy to see terrestrial as the dry. You can fish just about anywhere in the hills right now with a hopper, beetle, ant, or cricket as your dry. Quite often I’ll just fish with a Hippie Stomper or Stimulator, and won’t put a dropper on at all. Fish during this time of year are extremely opportunistic towards various things on the surface, and it’s a ton of fun to see a trout come up and eat a big fuzzy dry fly! There’s a number of different dry flies that will work just fine, but a few of our favorites are Hippie Stompers, Bloom’s Parachute Ant, Cricket, and Hopper, Purple Hazes, Morrish Hoppers, Hi Viz Beetles, and the always productive Yellow Stimulator. Humpies are another great fly that hardly anybody fishes anymore. For a dropper, stuff in the 14-18 range has been working well. Tungsten Psychos, Rainbow Czechs, Tung Teasers, Jig Pheasant Tails, Assassins, and Jig Hare’s Ears will work just fine. I usually fish 4X or 5X to my dry, and fish 5 or 6 to the dropper. Using heavier tippet on the bigger, air resistant dries helps them to not twist your leader up so badly.
Rapid Creek, Castle Creek, and Spearfish Creek have all been fishing very well. With the exception of the catch and release area below Pactola and the more obvious right-by-the-road spots in Spearfish Canyon, everywhere has been seeing pretty light fishing pressure. You shouldn’t have much of a problem finding secluded water. Crow Creek and Sand Creek are both fishing very well with terrestrials. Look out for snakes if you go either of these places, and bring plenty of hoppers and beetles. This is the time of year that I like going and exploring all of the smaller streams around the Hills too. Box Elder, upper Rapid, Hanna, Little Spearfish, Whitewood above Deadwood, and upper Spearfish Creek along Highway 85 are fishing fantastic. The fish aren’t usually all that big, but they make up for it in enthusiasm to come up to the surface. Mix up your usual fishing areas and you’ll be surprised at what you can find throughout the Black Hills!
Get out and fish for your 4th of July weekend. Stop by the shop and we can get you sent in the right direction with a few of the right bugs!