Black Hills Fishing Report - 5/20/2016

The weather over the past week has slowly been warming up, but the fishing has been hot! We've been lacking in the moisture department a bit, but the trout have plenty of water and they're pretty darn happy. All of the waters of the Black Hills have been fishing great - this is a great time to be fishing in the Black Hills! Rapid Creek is fishing well below the dam, with some good dry fly activity most days. Little Black Stoneflies are the main hatch, and the fish have been taking notice of them and rising pretty predictably. Fish light tippet, and be stealthy. Henryville Specials and F-Flies in sizes 16 and 18 have been good bets! Nymphing has been good as usual, with the standard patterns working great. Tungsten Rainbow Czechs, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails, G-String Worms, and various jigs have been good lead flies in 12-16. Green Weenies, Two Bit Hookers, T Ready Baetis, and various sizes and colors of Bubble Back Midges have been good bets for droppers. Streamer fishing has been good as well - Lil' Kims, Home Invaders, and Circus Peanuts have all been great fished on a light Versileader. Fishing on Rapid Creek through town is fantastic, with a little bit of dry fly fishing thrown in. There's been good numbers of fish eating caddis in the evenings, and the fish are up on them. Henryville Specials, Elk Hair Caddis, small Stimulators, and Parachute Caddis have been good bets. Don't be afraid to skitter them as well, the fish will oftentimes prefer that over a dead drift! Nymphing is business as usual. Jig Soft Spots, Assassins, Skinny Jigs, Tungsten Rainbow Czechs, and Jig Baetis in 14-16 have been keeping us into the fish. Spearfish Creek has been fishing amazing! Fishing both in the canyon and in town has been great, mostly with nymphs. If you run into some slower stretches or in the ponds in the canyon you can run into some Little Black Stoneflies hatching as well. If you do, the same flies as Rapid Creek have been getting it done. Nymphing has been fantastic, especially if you're not afraid of the fast water. Jigs have been our flies of choice as usual. Jig Assassins, Soft Spots, Skinny Jigs, Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, and North Fork Specials have been good bets in 12-16. Trail them with a Three Dollar Dip or Green Weenie to pick up a few extra fish! Here's a link to a recent blog about fishing Spearfish Creek - Spearfish Creek - Tips and Techniques. Castle Creek has been fishing well below the dam and has seen some exceptional Black Stonefly hatches over the past week. I've caught more fish on a Black and Dun F-Fly for this hatch than anything else, but Dave really digs the Henryville Special as well. There's a ton of great dry fly water on Castle Creek below the dam! If the fish get a little selective, put a small dropper on below your dry. I like Tung Teasers, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails, and Tugsten Psycho Nymphs in 16-18 for a dropper pattern about 18" below the dry. There's some suckers running out of Deerfield into Castle Creek ab0ve the lake, and there's a fair number of trout following them out. Small, bright patterns will work best. Tungsten Rainbow Czechs, Rainbow Warriors, and small worm patterns will work well. Spring Creek has been stocked and is a great place to take a beginner. The fish aren't selective by any stretch, and will eat a wide variety of tungsten nymphs in sizes 12-18. Find water that's over a foot deep and moving pretty quick and you'll find plenty of fish. The trailhead is fishing well also, and the fish are a little bit more difficult to catch and also a little larger. Smaller flies have been working better up closer to the lake. Split Back Baetis, Green Weenies, and Three Dollar Dips have been good bets for droppers! Small streams throughout the Black Hills have been fishing great. From now throughout the remainder of the summer, dry-droppers are our setup of choice. I really like Klinkhamers or Stimulators for the dry in size 12-18, depending on the size of fish and the weight of my dropper. On small streams throughout the Hills you really don't need to get too particular about fly choice, but I've done well with a few different patterns consistently. Tungsten Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails are one of my favorites, as well as Tung Teasers and Root Beer Midges. White Bass action has been on fire at Pierre, and should continue to be great! Get over there while the fishing is hot. Swing by the shop for some fly suggestions and we can show you a few places to go. The Black Hills are fishing great, and continue to fish better and better! We've been having some fantastic guided trips lately, and everyone in the shop has been raving about the fishing. Give us a call to book one of our expert Black Hills fly fishing guides for a great day on the water, or swing by the shop and we can get you pointed in the right direction! Ryan