Black Hills Fishing Report - 10/12/2017

We've been hanging on to some seasonable weather lately, and the fishing has continued to be solid. The water is a little low, but the fishing hasn't seemed to be affected much if at all. We've primarily been fishing Rapid, Castle, and Spearfish Creeks lately, but some of the smaller stuff is fishing good as well. The streams are pretty quiet this time of year, and the scenery can't be beat! Rapid Creek above Pactola has been fishing well. You can still get away with a dry-dropper type rig in most of the water. Hippie Stompers are a great indicator fly, and you still get a fair number of fish to eat them. As far as nymphs go, the fish typically aren't going to be super selective. Good bets for dropper flies include jig Pheasant Tails, Hare's Ears, Brush Hogs, Soft Spots, Tung Teasers, and Tungsten Psycho Nymphs. Make sure you're in the bottom third of the water column and you'll find plenty of fish. Below the dam has been fishing well, and the fish have been looking up a bit more lately. There's BWO's coming off some days, and the other days you can get some fish to look up at a hopper, beetle, or ant pattern. If there's BWO's coming off, try a Student, F Fly, Hackle Stacker, Parachute BWO, or No Hackle in a size 18-20. Nymph fishing has been the same old story for the most part - try a scud or worm with a midge or BWO trailed behind it. Good droppers include Two Bit Hookers, Annelids, Split Back BWO, and various midges. Try and avoid fishing to fish that are actively spawning as well. Fishing in town has been good to great depending on the day. Dry-Dropper rigs with many of the same flies as above Pactola have been working great. Jigs in the 14-16 range have been good bets, with skinnier patterns working best. Assassins and Skinny jigs are as good of a bet as anything else. If they're hanging a little deeper, use the jig as a lead fly and drop a midge or BWO off of the back. Spearfish Creek has been fishing excellent, especially in the canyon. There's been work being done on Maurice Intake, so most of the water is going over the dam rather than through the diversion. Because of this, the water in town is pretty darn low. The low water coupled with the spawning browns could make them a little stressed out, so I would avoid in town so you don't interrupt the spawning fish and stress them. The water should be back up within a few days I would expect. That being said, fishing in the canyon has been outstanding! It's still mostly a nymphing game, but there's no shortage of willing fish to be had. Jig Assassins, Soft Spots, Brush Hogs, Sweet Peas, and various other slender bodied tungsten flies are solid bets. I oftentimes will use a second jig in a 16 as a dropper fly, but smaller midge, BWO, and annelid style flies work great as well. There's fish in just about every type of water right now, so pick the style of water you like to fish and get after them. There's no such thing as too shallow on Spearfish Creek either, so make sure and fish everything! Castle Creek below Deerfield has been fishing great. I guided a couple folks up there last week and we had a lot of fun fishing dry-dropper rigs to willing fish. The lake is turning over right now, so the water is stained a slight blue-green color, which is actually helpful to get closer to the fish without spooking them. Hippie Stompers trailed by an Assassin, Tung Teaser, Psycho, or tungsten Pheasant Tail worked great all day. There's a good BWO hatch around 12-1, and the fish were definitely up on them. Brooks Sprout Emergers seemed to be the most effective, but have a few general BWO patterns in 16-18 and you should be able to find what they like on any given day. The Brookies are pretty right now! Crow Creek and Sand Creek are fishing well, and with the cooler nights the weeds have went down significantly. Dry dropper rigs with the same bugs as everywhere else will do the trick, with the addition of Hunchback Scuds or Boat Anchor Scuds as a dropper fly. There's BWOs hatching there as well right now as well - the same flies as Rapid Creek and Castle Creek will do the trick. Streamer fishing is another good option as well, especially if the fish seem to be laid up and not doing a whole lot. Circus Peanuts and Lil Kims are great streamers, but keep changing until you figure them out. Pike fishing has been gaining steam lately as well. The cooler water temperatures have the fish prowling around and feeding a lot more, and they've moved back up relatively shallow. We went out the other day and hooked 10 and landed 4, and had a bunch more follows and saw a lot more fish as well. Jake caught a big one in the Osprey Bay a few days ago as well that he estimated at 15 pounds, so there's some big fish to be had as well. Our best luck has been with medium sized flies in the 4-8" range on type 3 or 6 lines. The Scientific Anglers Titan line in the Int/3/5 density has been money for us! Fishing continues to be solid. No matter what type of fishing you line, there's good fishing to be had. Swing by the shop and we can get you pointed in the right direction with the right flies, or get you out on the water with one of our expert guides! Ryan