Black Hills Fishing Report June 22nd 2023

Black Hills Fishing Report June 22nd 2023

Black Hills streams are in good shape. Aside from a couple of hot days early in the week, we have cooled off and are getting some showers. The cooler temps and chances of rain will keep fishing conditions in great shape heading into the weekend. 


Streamflow Data Available Here

Rapid Creek:

Above Pactola: Flows ticked up a bit from thunderstorms this week.  Flows are up from 80 cfs to 96 cfs at Silver City. There are chances of storms the next few days so flows could come up and the water may be stained. Due to slightly higher flows fish larger nymphs (12-14s) for the best luck. Streamers are working well. Our favorite nymphs are larger perdigons, jig prince nymphs, pat’s rubber legs, and worm patterns. For streamers try thin mint buggers and lil kims. Fishing is good from Silver City all the way up past Rochford. Caddis hatches as well as some tricos hatching. Dry fly fishing could pick up as flows stabilize.

Below the Dam: As of this report releases are down from last week. Current releases are at 79 cfs, down from 96.9 cfs. Fishing immediately below the dam should be quite good, although the fish are still quite picky. Look for dry fly activity late in the day. Baetis continue to hatch, and we are seeing some caddis and small yellow stones. 

In Town: Fishing in town continues to be very good throughout the day. The cooler daytime temps plus the cold water from the dam are creating near perfect fishing conditions. Caddis hatch is underway. Best dry caddis fishing is just before dark. 

Dry dropper rigs with micro chubby chernobyls as a lead fly and smaller tungsten droppers (such as Cheeseman canyon emergers and tungsten split case BWO) have been successful. Other patterns to try include sparkle duns, foam beetles, frenchies, jig hare’s ears, and green perdigons. Tricos are already hatching. Get out early to catch the spinner fall. The cooler weather and temps may be tempering the trico hatch a bit, but it will come back in full with warmer weather.

Castle Creek:

Below Deerfield Dam: Fishing has been great on Castle Creek. The releases are back up to 20cfs as of this report, they were 15 cfs last week. Micro chubby chernobyls with droppers continue to be effective throughout the day. As fish start feeding on the surface, consider switching to sparkle duns or small terrestrials. Caddis and little yellow stoneflies are hatching. Keep an eye out for Pale Morning Duns, as they should begin hatching anytime. 

Above Deerfield: Flows are about the same (16cfs) coming into the lake. If we get much rain this weekend, that could jump, but as of this report conditions are excellent. Fishing remains good from the mouth of the lake up to the confluence with Ditch Creek. Above the confluence with Ditch Creek, fishing is great. The fish aren’t big, but they make up for that with their willingness to take a fly. 

Spearfish Creek:

The flow at the gauge in Spearfish is reading to 85 cfs up from 75 cfs. Spearfish Creek is fishing very well in the canyon and in town. Not much of a change otherwise. Baetis hatches are slowing down a bit, but will pick up on days with cloud cover. Caddis hatches are picking up throughout the creek. Fly selection is essentially the same as Rapid Creek or Castle Creek, but be prepared to switch to smaller tungsten zebra midges or small baetis nymphs to increase your chances. Lighter tippet is recommended, as fish in the canyon seem to prefer smaller flies. Small perdigons are working very well. 

Other Options: Spring Creek: Flows are down a bit, but fishing continues to be decent. Focus on the larger pools along Sheridan Lake Road or hike up from the Trailhead. We hope flows stay up and conditions stay stable for a few more weeks- hopefully it gets a fresh shot of rain over the next couple of days.  

Lake Fishing:  Deerfield lake should be in prime shape for lake fishing. Try sinking lines with leeches and thin mints. Or fish indicator rigs with balance leeches, balance damsels, and blobs. The lakes in Custer State Park are also fishing well, especially Center Lake and Sylvan lake. 

Tight lines and enjoy your time in the Black Hills! If you have any further questions or need assistance, feel free to stop by the shop. Happy angling!

Tight lines, Dakota Angler & Outfitter

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