fly fishing black hills august 2022

Black Hills Fishing Report August 3rd

Warmer weather this week. Highs are in the 90s through Friday. A bit of a break as temps cool down Saturday and Sunday. Flows are holding fairly steady on Rapid, Castle, and Spearfish Creeks. These streams have the most consistent flows and water temperatures, and as a result, they have the best fishing. During the hottest days, it's best to get out early or head higher into the hills.

Rapid Creek is fishing well above and below Pactola Reservoir. Through Rapid City conditions are decent but best to check with a stream thermometer. Head above town closer to Pactola Reservoir once water temperatures get above 68 degrees. Fishing is good below Pactola in the tailwater section. Water temps are nice and cold below the dam. Rapid Creek continues to fish well above Pactola all the way up past Rochford. Good dry fly fishing in the highest sections. Great place to fish attractor dries to hungry fish.

Other hatches on Rapid Creek - Tricos hatching in town in the morning. PMDs and caddis hatch throughout the watershed, mostly later in the day and into the evening. Hoppers and terrestrials are picking up daily. Not as many hoppers as we would like to see, but fish will hit a hopper. We have had better luck with small cicada patterns, ants, and beetles.

Castle has great water above and below Deerfield Lake. Not much changed since the last report. Great opportunities to fish smaller water and find some brook trout. Some PMDs and small Baetis are hatching. Caddis towards the evening. Hopper bite is picking up.

Spearfish Creek continues to fish well in the Canyon and in town. Water flows have come down a fair amount. Smaller flies and lighter tippets are a must for more pressured areas. Fish small midge larva patterns and Baetis nymphs for the pickier fish. For not-so-picky fish, try fishing the faster pocket water. Good dry fly fishing in the evening. Try to get out after the sun gets below the canyon rim. Dry fly activity picks up when there is more shade on the water. Caddis and small pale evening dun mayflies are the primary hatches. Small Craneflies are also hatching.

Here's another gentle reminder to keep an eye on water temps. When the highs in the 90s return we are seeing warm water on Rapid Creek through town. This afternoon water temps were in the high 60s by 2:00 pm. If you are going to fish Rapid Creek in town, get out early in the morning. Please carry a stream thermometer.

The primary concern fishing in warmer water temperatures is causing 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 report. Look for afternoon hatches of Pale Morning Duns, along with caddis hatching into the evening. There are some very small yellow olive summer Baetis (Accentrella?) hatching in the late afternoon and evening as well. 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.

Repeat from the last report- 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 the last report- 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, Cheesman Canyon Emergers

Streamers- Small Thin Mints

Tippet Sizes- 5x-7x

Back to blog