We probably sound like a broken record, but the fishing in the Black Hills is still spectacular! The fish are plenty eager, the weather is great, and there's hardly anyone out fishing. The fall is going to continue to get nothing but better - great water flows and great weather are going to make this fall one of the best we've seen!
Rapid Creek is currently flowing right around 100 cfs coming out of the dam, which is just about perfect. Karl and I fished below the dam yesterday and did well. Nymphing was the most productive method, but we caught some fish on hoppers as well. The baetis hatch in the mid-afternoon is pretty darn good as well, so don't be without a few BWO patterns! Larger nymphs seemed to work the best - UV Czechs, Killer Bugs, and Worms trailed by a Green Weenie or Split Back Baetis kept the fish interested. Fishing in town is good also! I would fish a terrestrial like a T-Bug or Grand Hopper trailed by a size 14-16 Jig PT or Assassin, and focus on the slightly faster water. There are still a few Tricos around in the morning as well, so don't overlook that if you're getting out early. The streamer fishing throughout the entire creek will continue to get better as the weather gets cooler also - we're looking forward to some big browns on big streamers!
Rapid Creek brown from yesterday!
Spearfish Creek is my favorite creek to fish during the early fall, and this year is no exception! The BWO hatch in the canyon has been excellent in the afternoons, and the nymphing has been producing all day. The last couple weeks the fish have transitioned from their summertime small-fly pickiness, and have been back to eating size 12-16 jig flies pretty regularly. Skinny flies are your best bet in the canyon as usual, and a BWO dropper will pick up a few extra fish as well. Pseudo Baetis, Split Backs, and even a small standard Pheasant Tail will all get the job done behind a Jig Assassin or Red Butt. Spearfish in town is excellent as well, but it's mostly nymphing with just a few opportunities to fish dries. Party Crashers and Assassins in 12-14s have been keeping the rod bent for me. The fast water in Spearfish is your friend - the biggest fish almost always come out of the fastest, shallowest water for me.
Spring Creek is fishing pretty good as well, but it's a fair number of hatchery fish. That being said, these aren't going to be picky fish. UV Czechs, any number of Jigs, and Worms trailed by a smaller midge or mayfly pattern will keep you busy.
Castle Creek and Ditch Creek both above and below Deerfield are both fishing very well, especially if you like catching smaller, wild fish on dry flies and light rods! Hoppers of many varieties are working well, as well as beetles, crickets, and ants. If you don't need to catch 20" fish to have fun, these are both great options and the fish are more than willing!
Crow Creek and Sand Creek are pretty much the same story as last week - the terrestrial fishing is excellent, and the nymphing is exceptional as well. Grand Hoppers in a size 8-12 are fishing great - tans or yellows seem to be the best, but pink can be surprisingly effective also. I would put a Jig Pheasant Tail or Tung Teaser in a size 16 below the hopper in the less weedy sections and pick up a few extra fish.
That's a wrap! Fishing this fall is excellent and will continue to be excellent throughout the fall! This is going to be the fall to be here - come out and experience some of the best fly fishing the Black Hills has to offer.