Fishing has been good to great depending on the day throughout the Black Hills, particularly in the mornings and late evenings when the weather and water temps are cooler. We have one more really hot day on tap this week, but then it looks like we will get back to more seasonable temperatures. Cooler temps will definitely bump the fishing into high gear!
Rapid Creek above Pactola is fishing well from Silver City well past Rochford. The further upstream you get, the better the dry fly and terrestrial fishing will be. In the Rochford area, hoppers have been working really well. Try a Micro Chubby, Morrish, Donkey Kong, or Fat Frank Hopper in size 12-14 and you'll pick up lots of fish. Perdigons and Skinny Jigs are good droppers below the hopper. If you're fishing closer to Silver City, try Perdigons or Midges trailed below a worm, Mop Fly, or Tungsten Rainbow Czech.
Rapid Creek below Pactola has been hit and miss as per usual, but you can run into some nice fish on various terrestrial patterns during the day and on PMDs most evenings. Various crickets, hoppers, and beetles have been good bets on fish that are hanging closer to the bank or higher in the water column. Keep changing until you figure out what they want on any given day. You can nymph with smaller midge, PMD, and BWO patterns during the day as well, but it's been hit and miss. There's a good PMD hatch most evenings starting around 4-5, and the fish have been up on them. Fishing further downstream near Johnson Siding and Hisega has been good with hopper-dropper rigs. Micro Chubbies and other hoppers will pick up a fair number of fish, but you'll get a lot more on the dropper. Perdigons, Peacock Jigs, and Assassins are good bets in size 14-18.
Rapid Creek in town has been fishing great, but can get a little hot on the warmer days in the afternoons. If the temps are in the 90s, you're better off to go higher elevations during the afternoon. Hopper-dropper fishing has been our go to method over the past few weeks, and is still working well. We're getting a few less fish on the hopper, but you still get enough on top to keep it interesting. Perdigons and Skinny Jigs in various colors and sizes are good droppers. If you want to catch a few more fish on the dry, try a smaller terrestrial like a Bionic Ant, Amy's Ant, User Friendly, or Hi Viz Beetle. A lot of fish in town are in 1-2' of water, so don't overlook the shallower riffles and edges.
Spearfish Creek has been fishing very well both in the canyon and in town. In the canyon you'll catch most of the fish on nymphs, but you can do rather well in town and downstream of town with hoppers and other terrestrials. In the canyon, tightline nymph fishing has been the most effective technique. Perdigons in olive and purple, Rio's Mic Drop, He Man, and French Dips have been great producers over the last week. You can get the occasional fish in the canyon to eat a hopper as well, so if you want to fish dries focus on grassy banks and try a User Friendly or hopper in size 14-16. If you're fishing in town, try a Micro Chubby in tan or black as your dry, with a perdigon, He Man, Peacock Jig, Scud Muffin, or Frenchie in size 14-18 as the dropper. As with Rapid Creek, there are lots of fish in the sub 2' water depths, so don't hesitate to spend some time in the riffles and edges.
Castle Creek has been fishing well above and below Deerfield, and is a great option to get out of the heat on warmer days. Above the lake, you really don't need to fish anything other that attractor dries. The meadow off West Deerfield road is fishing great with hoppers, beetles, and ants. The fish aren't going to be huge, so keep your flies in the 12-14 range and you'll catch lots of wild brook trout. The fishing below the lake has been good as well, but you'll pick up more fish on the nymph than the hopper. The same flies as Spearfish will work well, with the addition of tungsten midges in black and tan. The fish are spookier below Deerfield, so be mindful of your approach to the stream and you'll do great.
There's been some good bass fishing around the area over the past week. Poppers on Angostura are working for both largemouth and smallmouth, as well as on Sheridan and Stockade early in the morning. Prairie lakes are fishing well early with topwaters, but you'll have to fish deeper during the day. Grim Reaper style patterns fished slowly along the bottom will pick up some nice fish. Pike fishing should be greatly improving with the cooler temperatures into September.
Fishing has been good, and will get better with the cooler temperatures later this week into next week. Swing by the shop or give us a call for all your fly fishing needs!