After a taste of winter and some much needed moisture the last couple days, the weather has turned back to normal and the fishing has been solid. Rapid Creek and Spearfish creek are your two best bets, but some of the smaller streams and area lakes are fishing well also.
Rapid Creek above Pactola is still flowing around 40 cfs, which is what it's been at for the past few weeks. With the warmer weather coming up and the amount of snow above the lake, the creek will most likely come up quite a bit through this weekend. Nymph fishing will be your best bet, and with the reduced clarity you will be able to use a bit bigger flies. Mop Flies, Pat's Rubber Legs, and tungsten worms have been good lead flies. Try a jig Assassin, Czech Princess, Perdigon, or Pheasant Tail for a dropper in size 14-16. Most of the fish will be in the deeper holes, but with the higher water you might find a few in the shallower water as well.
Pactola has been starting to fish well for big rainbows, and there are a lot of spots where they are accessible wading from the bank. These fish usually aren’t too particular, it’s more a matter of getting your fly in front of fish. The most effective way to catch the rainbows in Pactola is to fish a two fly rig under an indicator, somewhere between 3′-8′ deep depending on the day and where you are fishing. Use a wooly bugger or Thin Mint for your lead fly, and drop a Soft Spot, black Zebra Midge, or whatever your favorite jig nymph is below. Days with a little wind seem to work better with this technique, as the waves cause the indicator to slowly move your flies. You can catch fish stripping various smaller streamer patterns as well. You can get away with pretty heavy tippet as well, 3x and 4x are typically light enough and they allow you to land the fish more quickly and not lose as many flies.
Rapid Creek below Pactola has been fishing well, with the afternoons typically having better fishing than the mornings. There are PMDs hatching most afternoons, as well as some small Blue Winged Olives. CDC Thorax Duns, Students, F Flies, Comparaduns, and parachute patterns have been good choices. The fish that are eating off the surface are usually pretty eager, so if you have the right fly on and a good drift you'll definitely have some action. If the fish aren't rising, the nymph fishing has been good as well, primarily with midges and PMD nymphs. Split Back PMDs, Green Weenies, Flying Zebras, and Flashback Pheasant tails have been productive in sizes 16-20.
Rapid Creek in town continues to have fantastic fishing, and hasn't been seeing a lot of pressure over the past couple of weeks. Nymph fishing has been the most productive, but you will see a few fish rising here and there as well. The fish have been pretty eager on a variety of nymphs, so don't be hesitant to mix your fly choice up. We've been doing well on Jig TNTs, purple and green Perdigons, various midge patterns, Czech Princesses in black, and jig Pheasant Tails have been working great. Be mindful of fish that are starting to spawn, and keep an eye out for redds and try to avoid them.
Castle Creek is fishing well, and there's not much change from the last fishing report with the exception of a bit more snow. Blue Winged Olives have been hatching consistently, and the fish are up eating them most days. CDC Thorax Duns, Students, F Flies, Parachute BWOs, and Comparaduns in size 18-22 will work well. If the fish aren’t rising, you can use any small midge pattern or thin bodied jig fly in the deeper holes and corners.
Spearfish Creek has been fishing well over the past couple weeks, and it will most likely see a bump in flow this weekend with the snow melting. That being said, larger flies will be your best bet if the flows come up. Jig TNTs, Czech Princesses, Perdigons, Jig Hare's Ears, Mop Flies, worms, and various midges are good bets. The fishing should be really good if the flows bump up a bit this weekend. Focus your efforts on the faster deep edges and seams - the fish in the big, slow holes can be a bit difficult and picky about flies.
Fishing has been great! Swing by the shop or give us a call for the latest news and hot flies.