Black Hills Fishing Report - 5/25/2017

The weather has been on the windy side over the last few days, but the holiday weekend weather looks to be excellent! There's a few chances for rain this weekend as well, which will be helpful in keeping our streams flowing full all summer. The fishing has been great, and the weather is going to make it a fantastic weekend to get out on the water! Rapid Creek above Pactola has been fishing rather well, even though it's a bit off color from the rains last week. Because of the clarity, nymphing has been the name of the game. Jig Soft Spots, Tungsten Rainbow Czechs, Prince Nymphs, and various worm patterns have all been working rather well. There's a lot of fish in the edges of the fast water, so be sure not to overlook the in between stuff. Streamers are a good option up there as well. I'd stay in the 2-6 range and keep it pretty flashy. Kreelexes and Lil Kims are always money just about everywhere! Below the dam has been fishing good as well, and the flows have been bumped up to around 80 cfs, which is good for the fishes and gives them a little room to spread out. There's been a good Little Black Stonefly hatch, as well as some midges thrown in as well. Henryville Specials, CDC Black Stoneflies, F Flies, and Morgan's Midges have been solid bets if you see some noses poking up. Nymphing has been the normal hodgepodge of everything working. I usually run some sort of scud/worm for a lead fly, trailed by a smaller BWO or midge pattern. Two Bit Hookers, T Baetis, Juju Baetis, Annelids, and various midge patterns have been moving good numbers of fish. You can get away with a little larger flies when the flows are up to what they currently are as well. Make sure you're dragging it right on their noses! Streamer fishing can be good to great on any given day if you're so inclined. Have some different colors and sizes of stuff to throw around and keep changing until you figure out what they dig on that day. Rapid Creek in town has been fantastic. I'm still fishing the Hippie Stomper Dropper rig nearly exclusively, and it's been working great. With the flows up near 100cfs in town, you can get away with a size 14 jig in most places rather than the size 16s we've been fishing mostly. There's BWO's coming off in good numbers on the cloudier days. CDC Thorax Duns and Students will work great, especially in the choppier water. The fishing in town has been outstanding, and isn't to be overlooked. If you're looking for some pickier fish that can be fun, check out Canyon Lake in the last hour before dark. There's a lot of fish in the 16-20" range that are actively feeding on midges, but they're not particularly easy to fool. It's a good time! Spearfish Creek has been fishing very well also. There's a ton of fish around and they're pretty darn willing to eat most days! A heavy jig pattern for a lead fly trailed by a midge larvae has been the ticket lately, with the fish eating about 50/50 on each fly. The new Brush Hog jig pattern we have is a moneymaker in Spearfish Canyon, as well as the ol' reliable Jig Assassin. Vary the size of your jig depending on how swift/deep the water is - the fish will eat a 12 just as eagerly as they'll eat a smaller fly oftentimes. Red and purple midge larvae have been working exceptionally well lately, but any small dropper pattern has the potential to be a star on any given day. Have a good selection of small flies and you're going to find the fish. Large green and olive caddis czech nymphs have been working well in the lower parts of the canyon as well, and they make great weight flies! Spearfish in town has been fishing just as well as the canyon, with primarily the same flies. Try a Hippie Stomper in the choppy stuff in town also! Castle Creek has been another solid bet for those in the central Hills. The rainbows are following the suckers out of the lake and eating their eggs, so any type of bright scud or czech nymph pattern will get the job done. Below the dam has been fishing well also, so long as you can get the fly in front of the fish without spooking them. Fish the edges and the faster water and you'll find some fish that are less squirrely than the fish in the glassy water. Klinkhamers are a great indicator fly, trailed by a tungsten Zebra, Psycho Nymph, Tung Teaser, or any other smaller fly with enough weight to get down. There's a few fish rising to midges and stoneflies as well, so have a few Henryville Specials and midge adults and you'll do great. Crow Creek and Sand Creek are staring to get into summertime, terrestrial and a dropper mode. Like everywhere else, the Hippie Stomper is king of the terrestrial flies. As we've said before, the biggest obstacle fishing these two creeks is getting your bugs in front of the fish without spooking them. If you get it in front of them, they're pretty opportunistic buggers. Sand Creek fish have a sweet spots for ants and beetles as well, so have a few foam beetles and CDC Ants in your box. There's sporadic BWO hatches throughout the remainder of May and June as well. CDC Thorax Duns and Students are good choices! French Creek in Custer State Park is fishing good as well, mostly near the Hazelrodt Campground area. Dry Dropper type rigs will get the job done. There's been talk of good fishing near Blue Bell and the horse camp as well! Pike fishing has been good as well. Pactola has been a little on the slow side, but Sheridan has been pretty darn good. Smaller flies like Murdich Minnows and EP patterns have been great. White Bass fishing at Pierre is in full force, and will continue to be great for the next couple weeks. Murdich Minnows, Bully Buggers, and Clouser Minnows are all good bets, and you'll catch the occasional bonus walleye or smallie! Overall the fishing has been great! We've had guided trips out regularly over the past few weeks, and we've had some great fishing. Swing by the shop if you're headed out and we can get you the right bugs and show you where to go, or give us a call at 605-341-2450 to book a day with one of our guides! Ryan