It’s been a hot one out there the past few days, but the fishing has been solid! With the continued hot weather, getting out early or staying out later has been beneficial, especially in the lower elevations. The higher up you get, the more consistent the fishing has been throughout the day. That being said, there’s no shortage of great opportunities for fantastic fly fishing in the Black Hills right now. We’ve had a lot of trips out over the past week, and we’ve had some very solid days.
Rapid Creek near Silver City is becoming an early/late fishery for sure. Anytime before 11, as well as after 6 is going to be your best bet – the fish get a little funny during the middle of the day. Dry/droppers with some sort of attractor trailed by a generic nymph pattern should get the job done. Fishing has been pretty solid on the upper portions of the Rapid Creek drainage, especially from Rochford upstream to Black Fox. The fish aren’t very particular, and they’re pretty willing to eat attractor dry flies and pretty generic jig droppers. Rapid Creek below Pactola has been fishing pretty well, with not a lot of folks around most days. The dry fly fishing has improved quite a bit, and the fish are definitely looking up. There’s BWO’s hatching, but they’re pretty darn small – 20’s are predominant. Try various BWO patterns in a size 18-22 depending on how picky they are. Parachute Adams, Comparaduns, Sparkle Duns, F Flies, Smith’s BWO’s, and Students are good bets. They like various ant and beetle patterns as well, and hoppers will become increasingly important in the coming weeks. Nymphing has been good with the same old scud/worm trailed by a midge/BWO. Split Back BWO’s and an array of midge patterns have been working best, but it seems like they like something different every day so don’t be afraid to change. Fishing on Rapid Creek in town has been good, especially in the morning and the last couple hours before dark. There’s a good Trico hatch in the morning from 6-8 most days, and the fish are definitely up on them. If you’re out early, make sure you have some Trico patterns in 18-22 and fish a long tippet. During the day, I’ve been mostly fishing a Hippie Stomper/dropper in the skinny water. Sometimes when the water gets warm midday, the fish will push into the shallower, faster water it seems. Various colors of Hippie Stomper have been working well, as well as Peacock Jigs, Skinny Jigs, and Sweet Peas as a trailer. There’s some caddis action in the evenings as well, mostly in the last two hours before dark. Don’t be afraid to cast down and across and skitter your fly as well, the fish dig that some days!
Spearfish Creek has been fishing really well, both in the canyon and in town. Nymphing has been the name of the game, but there’s opportunity for some terrestrial and dry fly fishing as well in the right locations. There’s a lot of Yellow Sally stoneflies around in town, so definitely have some tan North Fork Specials or some variety of Yellow Sally dry fly. That aside, small jig patterns trailed by a midge or BWO have been solid nymphing bets. If you pick up a rock in Spearfish Creek, the whole rock is moving with various aquatic invertebrates, but the majority are midges and baetis mayfly nymphs. The fish in the canyon definitely like a little smaller flies than the fish in town, so adjust accordingly. The dry fly fishing from Savoy upstream has been pretty solid, with smaller attractor patterns working quite nicely. Klinkhamers, small Hippie Stompers, and Purple Hazes are great bets. The terrestrial fishing has been improving as well, with smaller beetle and hopper patterns working well. Hi Viz Beetles and smaller Morrish Hoppers are good patterns to throw. We’ve had some great trips on Spearfish lately!
Castle Creek has been fishing well, and is one of the better bets if you want to mostly fish dry flies. The fish are really willing to come up to the surface to eat a small terrestrial/attractor pattern – oftentimes they’re more willing to come up than they are to eat a nymph. Size 12-16 Hippie Stompers, Stimulators, Hi Viz Beetles, Elk Hair Caddis, Klinkhamers, and Parachute Adams are all working great. Make sure and fish everywhere where there’s a bend in the creek or where the surface is broken and you’ll find the fish. Both above and below the dam has been good. The brookies on Castle and Ditch Creek are really willing to come up to the surface, and it’s a ton of fun!
Crow Creek and Sand Creek are fishing well, mostly with terrestrial dry flies. Lots of snakes out there now, so be mindful of where your stepping and putting your hands on the bank. Morrish Hoppers, Parachute Ants, Chubby Chernobyls, Hippie Stompers, and various other terrestrial patterns have been good bets. They’re real mossy right now, so you’re pretty much going to be fishing the lanes through the weeds. There’s some fantastic dry fly fishing to be had on both of these creeks!
Fishing has been pretty solid overall, even with the heat. If you’re at lower elevation get out early, or take a siesta and hit the last couple hours of the day and you’ll do great! We’ve had a lot of trips out over the past couple weeks, and we’ve been really successful. If you’re looking for the best Black Hills fly fishing experience possible, hire one of our guides for a day. We have the most experienced and hardest working team of guides around! Feel free to swing by the shop as well, we can get a map out and show you where to go and what flies to throw at them.