Black Hills Fishing Report - 8/15/2020
We've had some warmer, drier weather over the past few weeks, but the fishing on Rapid, Spearfish, and Castle Creek is still solid. There have been increasing numbers of hoppers around, which has created some good dry fly opportunities!
Rapid Creek above Pactola has been good, particularly in the higher elevations. Nymph fishing has been good near Silver City with various jigs and midges. Assassins, North Fork Specials, Optic Nerves, and Jig Prince Nymphs have been great bets. If the fish get picky, drop a Zebra midge in size 16-18 behind as a dropper. The further upstream you get the better the terrestrial fishing is, particularly from Rochford up to Black Fox campground. Chubby Chernobyls, Amy's Ants, and Hippie Stompers are all good bets. You can fish a dropper below the hopper, but you can do nearly as well fishing just the dry. There's lots of fish in the faster edges and the tails of pools as well, so mix it up a bit and you'll find plenty of extra fish!
Rapid Creek below Pactola has been fair during the morning and midday, but can be really good if you can hit the PMD hatch in the evening. Comparaduns and Sparkle Duns in an 18-20 will work well if you can find some fish on top. If there's not fish rising, the nymph fish has been tough to decent depending on the day. Try lots of different droppers until you figure out what they like that day. Fishing further down near Hisega and Johnson Siding has been better for average sized fish, and you can use a dry/dropper rig and catch plenty of fish.
Rapid Creek in town has been fishing great, but the water temps are getting into the high 60s on warmer afternoons. Fishing in the morning and later in the evening will be the best fishing, and you won't stress the fish fighting them in water that's too warm. Hopper fishing has been really good with Chubby Chernobyls, Morrish Hoppers, and Amy's Ants in size 10-14. Good droppers include perdigons in green and purple, Assassins, Skinny Jigs, jig Hare's Ears, and Jig Pheasant Tails. There's a good caddis hatch in the evenings as well.
Spearfish Creek has been fishing well both in the canyon and in town. We've been fishing the same hopper/dropper rig as about everywhere else, and it's working equally as well! Morrish Hoppers and Micro Chubbies are your best bet, but you can mix it up and catch fish on various other terrestrials as well. Good droppers are similar to Rapid Creek - Perdigons, French Dips, Scud Muffins, and tungsten midges will all work great. There's lots of fish spread out into the fast riffles and edges right now, particularly on stretches with more hoppers.
Castle Creek has been excellent both above and below Deerfield. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, hopper/droppers are the way to go. The same flies as Spearfish Creek will work great. The section above the lake doesn't look like much, but it can offer some fantastic terrestrial fishing for wild brook trout! Below the dam is fishing well and often has larger fish, but they can be a bit more technical at time. Focus on spots with a broken surface and places where the creek bends and you'll do better than fishing the straight flat water.
Spring Creek is low and hot - there's some fishing to be had, but it's best to leave it until we get some cooler temps and it's easier on the fish.
Warmwater fishing has been good for bass and panfish on the prairie. Fish poppers or sliders early and late, and sinking flies once the sun gets high. Pike fishing has been decent on Stockade, Sheridan, and Pactola. If you can catch a day with less boat traffic the fishing seems to be better. Once the water starts cooling off a few degrees the pike fishing will really pick up again.
Thanks for reading our latest Black Hills Fishing Report - sishing has been solid throughout the area! The lower elevation streams will start fishing slightly better with a few cooler days and longer nights next week as well. Swing by the shop for all your fly fishing needs and we can get you headed in the right direction!