Black Hills Fly Fishing Report August 10th 2023

Black Hills Fly Fishing Report August 10th 2023

rapid creek fly fishing summer 2023

Black Hills Fly Fishing Report August 10th 2023

Fishing conditions remain in very good shape thanks to the cooler weather and rain of the past week. Looking forward, we look to be staying mostly on the cooler side of things, with highs in the low 80s for most days in the upcoming forecast. The Black Hills have had rain almost daily for the last week. Thankfully not so much as to cause any flooding. For early August our water temps and flows are excellent. Terrestrials and attractor dries are working well. A good time for dry fly fishing with bigger bugs.   

Hot Flies- Perdigons, Tricos, Chubby's, Hippie Stompers, Zebra Midges, Hot Tag Hare's Ear Jigs, Jig Assasins, Rio's May It Be, 

Black Hills Streamflow Data is available here

Rapid Creek 

Above Pactola- As of today (Thursday) flows have leveled out and come down from the rain this past week.  Flows coming into Pactola Lake near Silver City are at 96 cfs down from 120cfs. The water was mud stained at the higher flow, but fishable. Water is clearing now but will continue to have a little bit of color. Fishing was very good this past week at Silver City. Larger nymphs worked well. Fish tungsten nymphs size 12-14- Jig Pheasant Tails, Rio's French Dip, and Frenchies. Don't be afraid to explore further upstream by Rochford. While there may not be as many fish per mile in the area above and below Rochford, it sees very little pressure. 

Below Pactola - No changes in releases as of this report. Fishing will be much the same as the last report. C&R area- Releases are at 103 cfs. This is a nice fishable flow. Flows have been stable now for a few weeks below the dam. Good fishing immediately below the dam. Nymphing with PMD nymphs, baetis nymphs, and midge larva patterns has proved effective. The flows have dropped enough to create opportunities for dry dropper and afternoon/evening dry fly fishing. Look for small Baetis, caddis, and some PMDs. Hoppers are showing up. 

In town- Not much change since last report, flows are essentially the same. Fishing is excellent in town right now. Flows are good, temps are good, and the fish are happy. Jig hares ears, perdigons, and Waltz worms are great options . Streamers are working as well. Fish the edges not the fast current. Fishing above canyon lake is another good option. Tricos in the morning. Caddis in the evening. Water temps should be in good shape with the cooler weather, but never hurts to check especially in the late afternoon. Hoppers and bigger terrestrials are working. 

Castle Creek

Castle continues to be in prime fishing shape. Flows are essentially the same as last week, coming into the lake around 20 cfs and out at 25 cfs. Dry Dropper is an option here now that flows have come down. Fish and attractor like a chubby chernobyl, stimulator, or hippie stomper, along with a split case PMD nymph dropper. Fishing above the lake will have improved with the drop in flows. Castle Creek is one of the best stream options in the Hills right now.

Spearfish Creek

Spearfish Creek remains in very good condition. Flows are up just a tad since last report, as of today the gauge at Spearfish is reading 75 cfs (up from 71 cfs last report). Up in the canyon there should be some dry fly activity later in the day with caddis and small summer BWOs. Anglers are having success with larger attractor dries in the Canyon. Chubby Chernobyls are a good bet. Nymphing remains the best overall option. With the lower flows some anglers are reporting that lighter tippet and smaller nymphs are needed. Don't be afraid to try 6-7x when nymphing in the canyon. Especially in the slower runs and pools. Fish small baetis nymphs and midge larva patterns for the best success when nymphing in the Canyon. 

Spring Creek

Spring Creek should be ok below Sheridan Lake this week. Watch out for water temps when daytime high temperatures reach above the high 80s. Flows are decent but could start to drop again when we dry out a bit. 

Box Elder Creek

Box Elder has settled down to 44 cfs down from 80 cfs near Nemo. Water will have cleared up since the last report. Nymph fishing and streamer fishing will be the best techniques for numbers of fish, however with the drop in flows dry dropper fishing with a Chubby Chernobyl and size 16 tungsten nymph will be more fun. Best fishing options will be at the Steamboat Rock Area or further upstream around Nemo. When flows drop anglers should see success with Tricos in the morning and caddis in the evening.


Good lake fishing conditions right now. Cooler daytime temps and cool evenings have helped water temperatures. There are good options throughout the Black Hills. Canyon Lake is fishing well. Float tube or other craft gives the angler more options, but fishing can be good from the gazebo island. Custer State Park lakes should pick up with the cooling weather, they likely slowed down due to the heat last week. A float craft makes for better access on these lakes as well, but fishing can be done from shore. Deerfield Lake is a great destination for lake anglers. Deerfield is a bigger reservoir, so having a float craft makes a big difference. Mini Leeches, Balance Leeches, Blobs, and chironomid patterns are the best bet. 

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