Black Hills Fly Fishing brown trout

Black Hills Fishing Report June 25th

Dryer conditions over the past week have seen Black Hills stream flows come down some. Most streams are in good shape and fishing is quite good. The drier weather has affected some streams further south. The most consistent fisheries going forward will be Rapid, Castle, and Spearfish Creeks. More detail stream by stream later in the report. The weather going forward looks dry. A mix of warm and cooler days.

It's probably 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. Flows should be high enough and nights cool enough for lower elevation fisheries to stay cool. However, it’s always worth double-checking. Remember, to protect the fishery, if water temps reach the high 60s, it’s time to find a new place to fish.

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.

Flow Changes- Last Report (June 16th) to Now
• Rapid Creek above Pactola near Silver City- 103 CFS to 75 cfs
• Rapid Creek below Pactola Reservoir- 106 to 69 cfs
• Rapid Creek in Town- 124 cfs to 81 cfs
• Castle Creek above Deerfield- 17.4 to 17.4 cfs
• Castle Creek below Deerfield- 24 CFS to 15 cfs
• Spearfish Creek at Spearfish- 85.1 CFS to 69 cfs
Hot Flies
• 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

Stream Reports
Rapid Creek above Pactola reservoir is fishing well. Flows have come down a fair amount and water is not as murky as it was. There is always a bit of color in the water at Silver City. Larger nymphs and streamers can still work, but as flows drop anglers may need to use some smaller droppers to keep fooling fish. Large prince nymphs, pats rubber legs, and streamers are good options for bigger flies. Try zebra midges and smaller flashback pheasant tails for droppers
Rapid Creek below Pactola 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. Check the water temps on days with highs in the upper 80s and 90s. Water temps could jump with the high temps. Dry fly fishing is good in town. Trico hatches in the morning and caddis hatches in the evening. Some small yellow mayflies 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 is a great option for anglers who like smaller water and some solitude. The higher elevation moderates the temperature 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 again over the week. Water is clearing up and anglers may need to start using smaller flies and lighter tippet, especially in the slower runs and pools. Nymphing is quite good right now. We like TNT Baetis Jigs, jig assasins, perdigons, and mic drop jigs. Dry fly fishing was good this past week and should continue to be. 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 this weekend. Especially on Spring Creek. The stream will warm up considerably below Sheridan Lake. Caddis are hatching on both Spring and Box Elder. Dry dropper rigs are a great option for both. Nymph fishing the deeper runs and pools is always productive. Box Elder Creek is in better shape than Spring Creek. Flows have remained more stable there. 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!

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