Black Hills Fishing Report - 2/4/2020

Despite colder temps this week the fishing has still been fantastic, particularly at lower elevations. Rapid Creek in town and below Pactola has been fishing great, and Spearfish Creek has had solid fishing as well. The weather towards the end of this week looks to be in the low forties, which will be a perfect opportunity to get out on the water and do some winter fishing! Rapid Creek below Pactola has been fishing well, and is at a solid winter flow of 40 cfs. Nymph fishing has been the name of the game, but you might run into a few fish on the surface eating midges midday. Nymph fishing with pretty standard stuff will keep you into the fish most days - Frencies, Perdigons, Skinny Jigs, Flying Zebras, Bling Midges, and Quilldigons are good bets in size 16-20. Fish a worm or scud for a lead fly to help get you down. With the current flows the fish are slightly more spread out than they normally would be in the winter, so branch out from the standard winter water and you'll find some bonus fish. If you run into fish eating midges on the surface, good patterns include Morgan's Midges, Eric's Midges, Griffith's Gnats, and Sipper Midges in size 18-22. Fishing is good from the dam all the way to Placerville, so branch out and fish some different water and you'll be pleasantly surprised. Rapid Creek in town is fishing fantastic, and will be one of the best options over the next month. There are good numbers of fish eating midges on the surface most days, but the nymphing has been lights out most days. Good flies to try include Rio's He Man, Frenchies, Flying Zebras, Duracells, Perdigons, Gum Droppers, and French Dips in size 12-18. The flows in town are fantastic for this time of year, and the fish are spread out in many riffles and runs rather than just being stacked up in the holes. Tightline and Euro nymphing have been our go to tactics over the last few weeks, and we've been having excellent luck. If you run into some fish on the surface you can do well with Morgan's Midges, Eric's Midges, Purple Hazes, and Sipper Midges in a 18-20. Spearfish Creek is fishing great, both in the canyon and in town. If you're fishing the canyon, try and find places that get more sunlight throughout the day and you'll find better fishing than the spots that get little sunlight. Nymph fishing will be your best bet until the Blue Winged Olive hatch starts, which will likely be close to a month from now. That being said, the nymph fishing has been really good! French Dips, Duracells, Purple Pheasant Tails, Soft Spots, and Assassins are good bets for a lead fly in size 12-16. Try a Perdigon, Flying Zebra, Green Weenie, Quilldigon, or various colors of Zebra Midges for a dropper fly in 16-20. Most days the fish will happily eat flies in the size 14 range, but definitely have some smaller dropper patterns on hand for the pickier fish. Crow Creek and Sand Creek have good dry fly fishing opportunities, and Sand Creek in particular has great numbers of Blue Winged Olives most days. The fish are really up on them, and 10-1 or so seems to be your best timeframe if you want to take advantage of the fish on the surface. CDC Thorax Duns, Brook's Sprout Emergers, Parachute BWOs, Purple Hazes, Students, and No Hackles are good patterns in size 16-18. The bugs themselves are fairly large, so you don't need to go very small with your flies. If you don't see many fish on the surface, nymph fishing has been excellent as well. Tung Teasers, Psycho Nymphs, Soft Spots, Duracells, and Perdigons are good bets in 16-18. Fishing has been solid throughout the Hills and will continue to be over the coming weeks. Get out and take advantage of the nice weather later this week - swing by the shop for the latest hot flies and intel!