Black Hills Fishing continues to be quite good. Stream conditions are great on our core streams. A nice mix of hatches creates ample dry fly fishing opportunities. Fishing on warmer days is better early in the morning or later in the evening.
General Stream conditions and outlook: Stream flows have fallen over the week. Warmer dryer weather has seen all Black Hills streams drop in flow. Thankfully there are some chances of storms and showers over the coming weekend. Most streams could benefit from a little freshening up. High temperatures will be around normal through Thursday next week. Highs are forecasted to be mainly in the 80s. Thankfully no highs are forecasted in the high 90s or 100. Rapid Creek, Castle Creek, and Spearfish Creek have the best all-around conditions and are at great fishable flows.
Hatches are picking up. Trico mayflies are hatching on Rapid Creek in town. The hatch starts around 7 and lasts to around 10 am. That could shift earlier after the hottest days. Caddis and PMD hatches are picking up around the Hills. Tan Caddis hatch has gotten stronger on Rapid Creek in town. Still a few BWOs on the tailwaters. Seeing a few Little Yellow Stoneflies as well. Don’t forget about terrestrials too- beetles, ants, and small hopper patterns.
Friendly reminder! It’s time to start carrying stream thermometers again. Whenever highs are in the upper 80s and 90s temperatures could spike on some of our lower elevation stretches. Rapid Creek in town in particular. We have seen temperatures reach the high 60s on Rapid Creek below Canyon lake this week. Remember, to protect the fishery, if water temps reach 67-68 degrees, it’s time to find a new place to fish. Head a few miles upriver and typically water temps will be cooler.
Flow Changes- Last Report (June 25th) to Now
• Rapid Creek above Pactola near Silver City- 75 CFS to 60 cfs
• Rapid Creek below Pactola Reservoir- 69 cfts to 69 cfs
• Rapid Creek in Town- 81 cfs to 69 cfs - Water temp this morning was 63 degrees below Canyon Lake
• Castle Creek above Deerfield- 17 cfs to 16 cfs
• Castle Creek below Deerfield- 24 CFS to 15 cfs
• Spearfish Creek at Spearfish- 85.1 CFS to 69 cfs
• Dries– Micro Chubby Chernobyls, Elk Hair Caddis, Sparkle Dun BWO, Sparkle Dun PMD, Foam Beetle, Hippie Stompers, Goddard Caddis, Spruce Moth
• Nymphs– Tungsten Jig Halo, Tungsten Blue Diamond Perdigon, Zebra midges, RS2s, Bubble Back Midges, Frenchies, Tungsten Split Case PMD
• Streamers– Lil Kim, Kreelex
Rapid Creek above Pactola reservoir is fishing well. Flows dropped again over the past week. This is a nice fishable flow for the Silver City area. Should open up some dry fly fishing opportunities. Larger nymphs and streamers can still work, but as flows drop anglers may need to use some smaller droppers to keep fooling fish. Try zebra midges and smaller flashback pheasant tails for droppers Fish dry dropper rigs through riffles and runs. May need to use a strike indicator nymph rig for the deepest pools. Fishing up towards Rochford should be picking up. This is perfect water for fishing an attractor dry and dropper.
Rapid Creek below Pactola - no real changes to report- flows are the same as last report. Remember, fishing in the Catch and Release area can be challenging. The conditions are great for dry fly fishing. Fishing in the catch and release are is seldom a numbers game. There are nice fish that can be picky. This is a great option for anglers seeking a bit of a challenge. Fishing will typically be better in the afternoon as bug activity picks up. Caddis, PMDs, and some Baetis are hatching, creating good dry fly fishing opportunities. Nymph fishing has picked up as well. Try a tungsten split case PMD or Baetis Nymph with a small RS2 dropper.
Rapid Creek in town continues to be quite good, however water temps can get warm by mid day and into the afternoon. Check the water temps on days with highs in the upper 80s and 90s. We have seen water temps get into the high 60s this past week. Water temp was 63 degrees downstream of Canyon Lake this morning. Dry fly fishing is good in town. Trico hatches in the morning and caddis hatches in the evening. Some tiny yellow olive mayflies (probably Acentrella) are hatching in the evening as well. Dry dropper fishing with a chubby Chernobyl is a great option mid morning into the afternoon. Some of the larger fish have pushed into fast shallow riffles, so don’t overlook shallower runs and riffles.
Castle Creek water conditions have remained much the same. This is a great option for anglers who like smaller water and some solitude. The higher elevation moderates temperatures nicely, so it is a good option on the hottest days. The stream is in great shape above and below Deerfield Reservoir. The flow has come down a fair amount below the reservoir in the past week. Flies for Castle Creek are similar to those below Pactola. Dry Dropper Rigs are an option as well. Attractor dry flies like Chubby Chernobyls and Hippie stompers are working quite well. PMDS, Caddis, and Baetis are hatching mid-day onward.
Spearfish Creek is in good shape in the Canyon and in town. Flows dropped once again over the week from around 85 cfs to 69 cfs. As flows drop anglers will need to use smaller flies and lighter tippets, especially in the slower runs and pools. Nymphing is quite good right now. We like TNT Baetis Jigs, jig assassins, perdigons, and mic drop jigs. Dry fly fishing was very good this past week and should continue to be. Our guides reported great dry fly fishing in the mornings through the canyon. Blue Winged Olives, caddis, little yellow stones, and a mix of yellow mayflies are hatching throughout the day. A dry-dropper rig with a chubby chernobyl up top is one of the best ways to fish Spearfish right now.
The lack of rain the past week has affected both Box Elder and Spring Creeks. Keep an eye on the stream temperatures and flows. Spring Creek below Sheridan has very little flow and the water will be increasingly warm. Probably best to find another place to fish. Box Elder Creek is in better shape than Spring Creek. Flows are better on Box Elder and water temps should be good, especially if you fish above Nemo. The upper sections of Box Elder are fun small water with both brookies and browns eager to take an attractor dry fly.
For more updates swing by the shop. See you soon!