Black Hills Fishing Report - 4/27/2017

We had a little bit of winter over the past few days, but it looks like nicer weather is here to stay. Fishing has been consistently good just about anywhere you want to go, and there have been good Blue Winged Olive and Little Black Stonefly hatches many places as well. Rapid Creek above Pactola is still a bit muddy, but you could probably catch some fish on streamers if you're going to be up there. Kreelexes, Home Invaders, and Lil' Kims will all move a few fish. Below Pactola is fishing well, and hasn't been particularly busy. Nymphing has been the best bet to get into numbers of fish, and there have been a good number of smaller, more willing fish around as well. Our best luck has been with a heavier lead fly like a scud or worm trailed by a midge or baetis pattern. Boat Anchor Scuds, Tungsten Rainbow Czechs, or a tungsten worm make a good lead pattern, and T Ready Baetis, Two Bit Hookers, Cheesman Canyon Emergers, Split Back Baetis, and various flavors of Zebra Midges will all work well for dropper flies. The fish are spreading out a bit, so don't overlook the shallower stuff as well. There's been a few BWO's coming off most days as well, and there have been some fish up on them. They're some picky little buggers, so be willing to change flies frequently and spend some time on a single fish to figure them out. Smoke Jumpers and CDC Thorax Duns have been good bets in 16-20, but adjust as necessary. Streamer fishing has been decent as well. Change until you figure out what color they dig on a given day! Rapid Creek in town has been fantastic fishing. I've been fishing a Hippie Stomper with a size 16 jig fly dropper and having no problems catching fish whatsoever. There's BWO's coming off in good numbers most days, and the fish are definitely up on them. If you don't dig the Hippie and a dropper setup, try a CDC Thorax Dun, Student, F Fly, or a Purple Parachute Adams. Fish 5x-6x and be stealthy and you'll catch a pile of them. If you want to nymph, I would fish some variety of jig fly in a 14 or so to a midge dropper. The Rapid Creek fish dig purple for some reason, so that's the route I would go with my Zebra Midge. If the water comes up from rain or snow, worms and various scud patterns will work well. Fishing in town has been fantastic and definitely shouldn't be overlooked! Spearfish Creek is fishing very well also. Both in town and in the canyon have been fishing great. It's mostly a nymphing affair, with the same rigs as the last several months working well. I would use a larger jig for a lead fly, trailed by either a smaller jig in a 16-18 or a smaller midge. Jig Assassins, Skinny Jigs, Quill Jigs, and Soft Spots are all good bets for your first fly. Frenchies have been a fantastic dropper fly, as well as smaller jig flies and midges. Spearfish is a little on the low side, so there's a lot of fish in the fast, shallow water. Don't overlook stuff in the foot deep range! There's a few BWO's around as well, so I would have a couple CDC Thorax Duns or Smoke Jumpers if you're headed that direction. Castle Creek above Deerfield is flowing pretty high right now, but the fishing has been solid. There's rainbows running out of the lake, and with the higher water they will eat some larger flies. Tungsten Rainbow Czechs, Worms, and various jigs in the size 12-14 range will find plenty of fish. Below the lake is fishing fantastic as well, primarily with hopper-dropper type setups. Hippie Stompers trailed by a small jig or Tung Teaser will work well. There are some Little Black Stoneflies around as well, so I would have some Henryville Specials or F Flies as well. The brookies have a sweet spot for those miniature stones! Spring Creek below Sheridan is too low to fish very well. Hope for some rain down there! The creek above the lake has a fair number of rainbows milling around, and is a good bet for folks that are new to fishing and what to get into some easier fish. Crow Creek and Sand Creek are fishing well, and are pretty much the same story as they have been for the past several months. Scuds and worms trailed by a small midge or BWO pattern will work if the fish aren't on the surface. If you see fish up on top, try a BWO or a Little Black Stonefly pattern. They're typically not too selective, so long as you get it in front of them without spooking them! Overall, the fishing has been fantastic. Pike fishing is starting to get hot, and we've been seeing some big boys around at Pactola. We've had some guided trips over the past week, and they've all been incredibly successful. There's not much competition out there in the way of other folks fishing this time of year, so it's a great time to get out on the water with one of our expert guides! Swing by the shop and we can get you headed in the right direction with flies and places to go. It's going to be a good week to be out! Ryan