Black Hills Fishing Report - 7/12/2016

We've been keeping busy with guiding, and the fishing continues to be great. We're definitely having a bit of a low water year thus far, but that doesn't keep the fish from eating! This week has been a bit on the cooler side, which has made for some more comfortable fishing conditions and has made the fish a bit more willing during the middle of the day. Rapid Creek has been fishing well above Pactola, from Silver City all the way up to the campground at Black Fox. The fishing from Rochford upstream has been very good, and the fish have been pretty willing to eat a number of different patterns. I would fish a dry-dropper rig with a Hippie Stomper or Rubber Leg Stimulator as the dry fly, with a Tungsten Psycho Nymph or Tung Teaser in 14-18 as a dropper fly. The fish in the upper section of Rapid Creek generally aren't too selective - get your fly in the right spot and you're more than likely going to catch some fish. Below the dam has been fishing alright, but has been getting pounded by both fly fishermen and spinning rod folks, and the fishing has begun to get significantly tougher. If I was going to fish the basin, I would fish a big terrestrial like a Bloom's Parachute Hopper or Cricket, and drop a small tungsten PMD like a Tungsten Split Case PMD or Bruised PMD below it several feet. Streamer fishing has been pretty good as well, with any number of big streamers. We just got a shipment of a sweet new fly called Doc's Articulator that's going to be a killer - stop by and grab a few! There's definitely the opportunity to catch some really big fish below the dam, but with the current level of pressure it's been seeing it's been tougher. Fishing in town has been fantastic however, with fish being willing to eat both nymphs and dries. Karl has been doing really good with Hippie Stompers, and there has been a good caddis hatch in the evenings. The last hour before dark is your best bet, and don't be afraid to move your flies and skitter them across the surface. The trico hatch has petered out a bit lately, but should pick up again any day. The hopper/beetle/ant/cricket fishing during the day has been pretty darn good, just keep your flies tight to the bank. Nymphing has been really good in town, with jig patterns trailed by a midge fishing best. Fish a 14-16 jig fly with your favorite flavor of 18-20 midge below it and you'll find plenty of fish. Spearfish Creek has been fishing very well, and we've caught some really nice fish over the past week or two. Nymphing has been the name of the game, especially in the canyon. Smaller flies have been working well, with slender flies producing extremely well. I've been having the best success with a size 14-16 Jig PT or Jig Assassin, trailed by a Tungsten Psycho Nymph or T. Ready Baetis in 18-20. We always preach about fishing the fast water, but don't overlook it. Most of the big fish we catch out of the canyon and in town are out of the edges of the really fast water, and they're very opportunistic. If you get the fly in front of the fish, they're more than likely to eat it because they have very little time to inspect it. If you're fishing in town, the terrestrial fishing is good as well. Bloom's Parachute Ant, Morrish Hoppers, Chubby Chernobyls, and Bloom's Parachute Hoppers and Crickets have been moving some nice fish. Drop a jig below them for a few bonus fish! Castle Creek below Deerfield all the way to the confluence with Rapid Creek has been fishing well. The flows are a bit on the low side, but the fish have been more than willing to eat if you can get it in front of them without spooking them. Smaller flies have been working best, with Two Bit Hookers and Purple Zebra Midges being my best two patterns. Your favorite flavor of small fly will probably work equally as well, so adjust as needed. Fishing smaller terrestrials has been a lot of fun up here as well! Stimulators, Klinkhamers, Morrish Hoppers, Parachute Ants, and Purple Hazes in 12-18 have been moving a good number of fish, just as long as you make a delicate presentation and don't spook them! Sand Creek and Crow Creek have been fishing well. Both of these creeks are their normal summertime weedy, so dry flies are going to be your best bets. Sand Creek is definitely better for numbers, but I think that the best opportunity for big fish is going to be on Crow Creek. Various Terrestrials are going to be your best option, with the same stuff as everywhere else working well. Fish on Sand Creek have a sweet tooth for ants, and we've had really good success on Bloom's Parachute Ant in a size 12-16. Fishing has been great! We've all been busy guiding just about everyday, and we've been having some great trips and happy clients. Give us a call to book your day with one of our guides, or stop by the shop and pick up a few flies and we can show you where to head! Ryan