Black Hills Fly Fishing Report June 26th 2019
Rapid Creek continues to be higher than normal, however if anglers are willing to travel towards the headwaters above Rochford there is good fishing near Black Fox Campground. Intrepid anglers can find fish on the lower sections of the stream as well. Despite the high flows, fish can be caught in and around Rapid City. Fish the slower edges on the grass line. Use tungsten jig nymphs, worm patterns, and streamers. The fish in town are feisty and are willing to eat if you find the right water- longer runs and slow edges.
Castle Creek is fishing well above and below Deerfield Reservoir. It is slightly higher than normal, but fishing has been consistently good. Above the dam fish jig nymphs (princes and jig rainbow assassins) below and indicator. Below the dam the same nymph patterns will work, but you should find the terrestrial fishing picking up. Try a hippie stomper, yellow stimulator, or small grasshopper as a lead and drop a size 14-16 jig nymph as a dropper. Baetis and PMDs could offer late afternoon dry fly activity.
Spearfish Creek is at a normal flow and has been fishing well. Since the water clarity is excellent and the flows are normal, it is best to use smaller patterns and lighter tippets. We like skinny jigs, slim jigs, and smaller pt jigs for lead flies and green weenies and purple zebra midges for droppers. Nymphing will produce the most fish, however there are some caddis and small BWOs around. Fishing has been quite good in town as well. Fish slightly larger jig patterns in town - sizes 12-14s will work in the faster runs and deeper pools. Jig PTs and Hare's ears are working through town. Should see the hopper fishing and terrestrial fishing pick up in town out into the prairie this week.
Spring Creek is fishing quite well. Mostly nymph fishing but throwing streamers will also produce fish. Larger nymphs have worked well the past few days, including jig hare's ears, jig brush hogs, and rubber legs. Some caddis around and a chance at evening dry fly fishing. For streamers use larger leech patterns and flash flies like the Kreelex.
Sheridan Lake has been fishing well for bass and we are finding a few pike too. Popper bite is good early in the morning, rocky points are producing smallmouth and largemouth are on the weed lines. Pike are on the drop offs and weedy edges. Yellow flies are working well for pike- bunny flies and murdiches. For bass later in the morning try Ehlers Grim Reaper in either black or brown. Sinking lines will produce more bass late morning through the afternoon. Popper bite picks back up late in the evening.
Pactola Lake is still slightly in the flood pool. Larger boats should be able to launch soon via the north boat launch. Smaller float craft (kayaks, pontoons, and belly boats) can still access the lake. Should be plenty of pike shallow enough to target in the bays and on the points. Sinking lines will be best for pike fishing- either an intermediate or a type 3. Plenty of trout fishing to be had in the bays. Streamers like the thin mint, grinch, or lil kim will work. Intermediate lines are a big help in targeting trout on Pactola this time of year.
Custer State Park is back to normal-ish flows. Best fishing will be on the Grace Coolidge Walk-In area and on French Creek near Blue Bell. On Grace Coolidge fish a dry dropper rig with either a yellow stimulator or hippie stomper up and a red copper john dropper. French Creek near Blue Bell lodge is fishing decent. Concentrate on the deeper runs and pools. There are quite a few creek chubs around, but there are some quality brown trout and brook trout to be found. Fish deep with black copper johns, jig hare's ears, jig copper johns, or jig PTs. Streamers will also work here. Later in the day caddis and little yellow stones could bring fish to the surface.
Prairie Lakes east of Rapid City are fishing well for largemouth and bluegills. We have heard of good fishing on new and old wall dams. Curlew is high and muddy so it won't be the best bet until its levels drop a bit. There are plenty of other areas to explore such as the National Grasslands ponds south of Wall. Popper bite is good early and frog patterns will work into mid day. As the sun gets higher and the temps rise it is best to fish deeper pockets with worm patterns such as the ultimate worm and jiggy worm. Pike fishing has been decent on some dams such as tisdale. Bear Butte could produce a few pike as well.
Black Hills Fly Fishing has been great. Our guides have been having excellent fishing, if you are looking to learn and want to book a trip give us a call at 605-341-2450. This is a great way for visitors and locals alike to experience the best of what the Black Hills have to offer. Stay tuned for next weeks report. Happy Fishing!