Black Hills Fishing Report - 3/31/2022

Black Hills Fishing Report - 3/31/2022

Spring weather has arrived, and it seems like it's here to stay for the most part. Fishing has been great, and the Blue Winged Olive hatch on Rapid Creek has been the star of the show. Nymph fishing outside of that has been good as well.

Rapid Creek below Pactola is pretty much the same story as last week - nymph fishing with little flies will get you the most luck. Split Back Betis, Zebra Midges, Flashback Pheasant Tails, and Skinny Nelsons in size 18-22 fished behind a scud or tungsten jig fly will bring the most success. The water is low, and the fish are pretty podded up in the deeper holes. You can catch some nice fish here and there below Pactola, but the fishing will improve considerably with some higher flows hopefully coming soon.

Rapid Creek in town has been excellent, especially during the Blue Winged Olive hatch. The bugs start coming off between 10-11 most days, and will usually hatch until at least 2 in the afternoon. Lots of the fish will push up into shallower riffles and faster runs to eat the adults off the surface. Good flies to try include Klinkhamers, CDC Thorax Duns, Sparkle Duns, Students, and Parachute BWOs in size 14-18. If the fish are picky about the dry, you can do really well fishing a Zebra Midge, Tungsten Split Back BWO, or Flashback Pheasant Tail in size 16-18. If you are fishing outside of the hatch, nymphing has been good with Perdigons, Skinny Jigs, Assassins, Jig Hare's Ears, and the same droppers as you would use underneath of the dry fly above.

Spearfish Creek has been fishing well, and should continue to get better with the warmer temps and longer days. It's mostly nymph fishing now, but you should start seeing BWOs hatching pretty soon. The fish have started to move into the slightly faster water, so you can branch out a bit from the holes that the fish have been in most of the winter. Good nymphs to try include Perdigons, Rio's He Man, Skinny Jigs, French Dips, Optic Nerves, and various small midge droppers. The water is still pretty cold, so indicators made of yarn or wool will let you see a few more bites than a bobber style indicator. If we get some moisture and the water comes up over the next couple of weeks, try using a worm or mop fly as your lead pattern.

Castle Creek below Deerfield is starting to fish well with the warmer weather. As with most other area streams, there are BWOs hatching, particularly on cloudy or overcast days. Try and find places where the creek bends or has a bit of chop - the fish on Castle can be pretty spooky, so fishing spots where the fish can't see you as easily will be advantageous. Klinkhamers, Students, CDC Thorax Duns, MGT Perdigons, Skinny Jigs, Green Weenies, and Split Back BWOs are good flies to try.

Sand Creek and Castle Creek are still fishing well and have a good BWO hatch. The same flies as Rapid Creek will work well. As with Castle Creek, a stealthy approach is really helpful with the slow, clear water.

Pactola has been fishing really well for big rainbows. Fish a balanced leech, Thin Mint, Wooly Bugger, Soft Spot, or Pat's Rubber Legs underneath of an indicator 3-6' for the best luck. Try and find drop offs or some sort of structure that the fish will use to travel and you will find lots more fish.

Fishing has been solid! We have good guide availability over the next month as well if you are looking to get out on the water to learn, try somewhere new, or learn a new technique. With the low water conditions it looks like we are going to have this year, some of the best fishing of the year might be over the next two months. Swing by the shop or give us a call for the latest intel, hot flies, and gear!

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