black hills fly fishing rainbow trout

Black Hills Fishing Report August 31 2022

Not too many changes since the last fishing report. We had some rain last weekend. Bumped flows on the core streams a bit. The best fishing continues to be on Rapid, Castle, and Spearfish Creeks. These streams have the most consistent flows and water temperatures. Warm weather coming later this week and into the weekend. The best fishing will be earlier in the day.

Rapid Creek is fishing well above and below Pactola Reservoir. For Rapid Creek in town please get out early and get done by 12 or 1 pm. Water temps can be an issue by afternoon. The Trico hatch has picked back up in town. Best action between 7-9 am. PMDs continue to hatch throughout the watershed, mostly later in the day and into the evening. Hoppers and terrestrials are working well. More hoppers have shown up since the last report. Later in the afternoon, we are seeing very small BWOs. Fish are on these, but flies need to be size 22-24 to match.

Castle has great water above and below Deerfield Lake. Flows have remained steady on Castle. Will be a nice place to get away from the crowds and the heat. Great opportunities to fish in smaller water and find some brook trout. Some PMDs and small Baetis are hatching. Hopper bite is picking up. Terrestrials are a good bet overall. Great water for fishing a dry dropper rig.

Spearfish Creek continues to fish well in the Canyon and in town. Water flows have come down a fair amount, although there was a slight bump with rain last weekend. Smaller flies and lighter tippets are a must for more pressured areas. Fish the fast pocket water to find eager fish. Good dry fly fishing in the evening. Hoppers and Chubby Chernobyls are working on top. In slower clearer runs and pools will need to fish small midges and baetis nymphs to find best success.

Warm Water Warning– Rapid Creek in town. Please carry a stream thermometer and stop fishing when water temps hit 68 degrees. This will be an issue when we have highs in the mid 90's later this week.

The primary concern of fishing in warmer temperatures is it causes undue harm and mortality to the fish. There’s no sense in risking the fishery for a few hours of fishing when there’s colder water just a short drive upstream. And as we have said this primarily applies to the section of Rapid Creek within the city limits. Temperatures just above Canyon Lake are cool enough to fish on most days due to the spring water coming in from Cleghorn Springs.

Hatches have remained much the same since the last reports. Look for afternoon hatches of Pale Morning Duns, along with a few caddis hatching into the evening. There are some very small yellow olive summer baetis (Accentrella?) hatching in the late afternoon and evening as well. Regular Baetis hatching below Pactola Reservoir on Rapid Creek. Terrestrials continue to pick up steam. Hoppers, ants, beetles, and cicadas are all worth fishing. Especially as part of hopper/dropper or dry dropper rigs.

For lake fishing seek out the solitude of Deerfield Lake. This large reservoir offers great fishing from kayaks, float tubes, personal pontoons, etc. It’s a no wake lake so almost no motorized boat traffic is around to disturb anglers.

Repeat from last several reports- It’s carp fishing season. The most reliable spots are on Angostura Reservoir and Belle Fourche Reservoir. This time of year, carp are just as likely to be feeding on the surface, cruising to find cotton and terrestrials out in the middle of the reservoir. This is some of the most exciting and exhilarating carp fishing of the season.

Hot Flies

Dries- PMD Sparkle Duns, PMD Parachutes, Yellow Stimulators, Chubby Chernobyls, Hippie Stompers, Hoppers, Ants, Beetles, Fathead Cicadas, Elk Hair Caddis, Bloom’s Parachute Caddis, Trico spinners

Nymphs- Perdigons, Zebra Midges, Torin’s Soft Hackle, Czech Princess Olive, Tungsten Split Case PMD, TNT Jig PMD, Frenchies, Cheeseman Canyon Emergers, Split Case Nymphs

Streamers- Small Thin Mints

Tippet Sizes- 5x-7x

Back to blog