While the weather has been leaning towards the hot side the last couple weeks, the fishing continues to be solid on most all Black Hills streams. We're getting into some better dry fly fishing on a few areas, but the nymph rig has been putting up the most numbers still.
Rapid Creek above Pactola is down to a fishable level around 90 cfs, and there have been decent numbers of lake run rainbows around as well as lots of smaller wild browns. Nymph fishing with larger flies like worms, mop flies, jig Hare's Ears, North Fork Specials, and Pheasant Tails will pick up plenty of fish. There's a few areas that you can get into fish on attractor dries like Chubby Chernobyls and Morrish Hoppers, particularly further upstream near Kelly Gulch and below Rochford.
Rapid Creek below Pactola has been it's normal fickle self, but there are some nice fish to be had if you're persistent. There have been PMDs hatching in the early afternoon, and the fish are up on them with the lower flows. Sparkle Duns, Comparaduns, Brook's Sprouts, and light colored Students are god bets in size 16-18. Nymph fishing has been good as well, particularly with PMD and small baetis nymphs. Barr's Emergers, Tungsten Split Back Baetis, Split Back PMDs, and Green Weenies are good droppers trailed behind a scud or heavy jig fly. If you can find a fish that's hanging shallow, you can often get them to come up with a small terrestrial like a User Friendly, Parachute Ant, Foam Beetle, or Flying Ant as well.
Rapid Creek in town has been fishing excellent and is one of the best options around right now. There are tricos starting to hatch in the early morning, and the fish will start eating them more each day. Various trico patterns can work, just mix it up if you're not catching fish. The fish eating tricos will mostly be in the slightly slower water where the bugs congregate, but you can do well in some of the eddies in the faster water that collect bugs as well. The nymph fishing during the day has been fantastic, with lots of fish holding in the shallower riffles and edges. Various patterns can work well, with jig flies in the 14-18 range working best. Skinny Jigs, Peacock Perdigons, Assassins, Peacock Jigs, and Sweet Peas are good bets. Don't overlook the fast water - the vast majority of the fish we've been catching have been in shin to thigh deep water. There's a great caddis hatch in the evening as well, with lots of fish eating on the surface between 6 and dark.
Spearfish Creek has been fishing great over the past week, primarily with smaller nymph patterns. Lots of fish are in the same type of water as Rapid Creek - shin to thigh deep water will hold the vast majority of the fish. Nymph fishing with skinnier bodied flies has seemed to be the trick lately - Peacock Jigs, Assassins, Slim Jims, Rainbow Warriors, Peacock Perdigons, and pheasant tails have all been great flies in size 12-16. You can fish a midge or BWO dropper if you're in the slower water, but in the faster stuff you can get away with quite a bit larger flies. There's some opportunities for fishing smaller terrestrial patterns as well - User Friendlies, Parachute Ants, and Foam Flying Ants will pick up lots of fish in the right water.
Castle Creek below Deerfield is fishing well, and pretty much the same flies as Spearfish Creek will work great. The flows are a touch high still, so focus more on the inside bends and corners rather than the straight stretches and you'll catch considerably more fish. Terrestrial fishing has been solid with beetles and Micro Chubby Chernobyls as well.
Spring Creek got a much needed dose of water with the storms the past couple of days, and is fishing okay. Nymph fishing with various jigs and midges will pick up plenty of fish. Keep an eye on the water temps on Spring Creek if the air temps are staying in the mid nineties - anything above mid sixties will be slow fishing, and is lethal to trout that are being caught.
Fishing has been solid throughout the area, and will continue to be solid as long as we keep getting cooler nights and the occasional rain. If the air temps are in the mid nineties, fishing early and late will be the most comfortable time to be out and the best fishing. Give us a call at the shop at 605-341-2450 or stop by for the latest fishing report!