Black Hills Fishing Report - 5/19/2017

We've had some rainy/snowy weather over the past few days, which is more than welcome! The forecast through the coming week looks to be seasonably warm, with a few chances for some rain as well. The fishing has been great throughout the Hills, and should continue to be fantastic for the coming week! Rapid Creek above Pactola came up a little bit from the moisture over the past few days, but is still at a fishable level. It will be a little off color, so streamers and larger nymphs will be the best bet. North Fork Specials, Tung Teasers, Tungsten Rainbow Czechs, and various worm patterns will be solid bets for nymphing. Kreelexes, Lil' Kims, and various other medium-sized streamers will move some of the bigger fish as well. The creek is fishing well all the way from Pactola up to the confluence with Castle Creek, so don't be afraid to put your walking boots on and put a few miles behind you. Below the dam is fishing well, and is more or less the same story as always. There's been some good BWO hatches on the cloudier, damp days. Sparkle Duns, CDC Thorax Duns, Smoke Jumpers, and Hackle Stackers are good flies if you see some noses poking up. Nymphing hasn't changed too dramatically either - scud/worm trailed by a midge/baetis pattern will move fish. The same lead flies as above the dam are good, trailed by a Two Bit Hooker, T Baetis, Zebra Midge, or small Pheasant Tail in 16-22. Streamers are a good bet if you want to move some of the bigger fish as well - there's almost no such thing as too big either. Rapid Creek in town has been fishing incredibly well! I've been using a Hippie Stomper trailed by a small jig or Frenchie, and getting about 1/5 fish on the big dry which has been fun. The fish in town are very willing to move to a terrestrial, which is unusual for this time of year. Jig Assassins, PT's, and Soft Spots in a size 14-16 are good bet, as well as Frenchies. A 20"-30" dropper has been working well for me, especially in the faster, choppy water. There's no shortage of fish in town that are willing to eat right now! Spearfish Creek and it's tributaries have been fishing very well. Nymphing has been the most productive method, both in town and in the canyon. Good lead flies are Jig Assassins, Tungsten Rainbow Czechs, Jig Hare's Ears, Tung Teasers, and Skinny Jigs in a 12-14. Trail with a Sweet Pea, smaller Skinny jig, Tungsten Split Case BWOs, small Pheasant Tails, or some variety of midge. There's a lot of fish in the shallower riffly water right now, so don't walk past all the good stuff looking for a big hole. Tightline fishing has been one of the most effective ways to fish the canyon, but a Hippie Stomper Dropper rig will work really well in the right type of water. If you dig fishing dry flies to fish that aren't too particular, head up Little Spearfish, Hanna Creek, or upper Spearfish Creek along 85. There's a pile of fish that dig big, silly dry flies!
Dave's client with a good one! Dave's client with a good one!
Castle Creek above the lake has a pile of rainbows hanging around right now, and they're not too hard to catch! It's a great option for taking a beginner right now. Many nymphs in the 12-16 range will work well. North Forks, Tungsten Rainbow Czechs, and worms will work plenty well. Below the dam has been fishing well also, mostly in the Kinney Canyon walk-in fishing area. Since it's about all I fish any more, the Hippie Stomper Dropper is a solid bet. Drop a Tung Teaser, Tungsten Psycho, or small jig fly below it and you'll find plenty of fish. There's a good BWO hatch on cloudy days, and there's midges most evenings as well! Crow Creek and Sand Creek are fishing well. Try various terrestrial patterns with smaller droppers, as well as BWO and midge patterns if you see some fish on the surface! Sparkle Duns, Eric's Midges, F Flies, Smoke Jumpers, and Purple Hazes are all solid flies. White Bass fishing at Pierre has been fantastic! We have a friend over there today, and he's caught a couple dozen already. Get over while the gettin's good! Clousers, Bully Buggers, and Murdich Minnows will work very well. This will probably only last a couple more weeks, so make the drive over while it's good! Fishing's been great. We've had a good number of guided trips out lately, and they've all been very successful. We're not too booked up yet for the next few weeks - give us a call or stop by and we can get you out on the water with one of our expert guides! Stop by and we can show you where to head and what to throw as well if you're headed out on your own! Ryan