Black Hills Fishing Update for September 2nd, 2021. Cooler weather makes for better fishing. Water temperatures have dropped and fishing has gotten much more consistent as a result. Fishing remains the best in Rapid Creek, Castle Creek, and Spearfish Creek.
Rapid Creek is fishing very well. The drop in temperatures has turned on the fishing in town. Tricos, caddis, and Baetis are hatching and creating dry fly fishing opportunities throughout the day. Hoppers and other terrestrials are working as well. Most fish are holding fairly shallow and looking up. This is a great time to dry fly fish. Adding a dropper behind a Hippie Stomper or hopper pattern is a good idea to pick up a few more fish.
Rapid Creek below Pactola is a bit more challenging than in town but worth the effort for those hunting for larger fish. Later afternoon Baetis hatches are getting larger fish up to feed on dry flies.
Above Pactola from Silver City up past Rochford, the best bets are using dry dropper rigs. Try a chubby chernobyl with a perdigon dropper. The deeper pools may require nymphing a bit deeper, but there are plenty of fish in the runs, riffles, and pockets. Look for scattered caddis hatches and afternoon Blue Winged Olive hatches.
Castle Creek below Deerfield will fish similar to Rapid Creek below Pactola. Fish can be a bit skittish here, however, if anglers employ a bit of stealth, excellent fishing can be had. Fish are looking up for terrestrials, PMDs, Baetis, and Caddis.
Spearfish Creek is fishing great both in the canyon and through town. Better opportunities for hopper fishing on the lower stretches of the creek. Up in the canyon, the most effective way to find fish is to cover water. Fishing the slow pools and runs can be a bit technical this time of year. The fish in the faster pocket water are grabbier. Chubby Chernobyls with a perdigon dropper is a good option for a pocket water rig. Euro Nymphing is extremely effective here.
After Labor day the lake fishing on Pactola will pick up due to cooler weather and less boat traffic. Indicator rigs with chironomids or balance leeches are always effective. Stripping woolly buggers or thin mints on an intermediate sinking line works great too. This is a popular fishery due to the size of the rainbows. It is not uncommon to catch fish in the 17-18" range.