Black Hills Fly Fishing Report July 21 2023
Streams in the Black Hills continue to be in great shape from the water we received early this summer. Fishing is good to excellent throughout the Black Hills. Flows continued to drop this past week. All streams are in good shape water wise. May need to keep an eye on stream temps in some places as hot weather rolls in on Sunday.
Hot Flies- Mop Flies, Perdigons, Frenchies, French Dips, San Juan Worms, Pat's Rubber Legs, Chubby Chernobyls, Elk Hair Caddis, Klinkhammers
Above Pactola- Coming into good shape. Flows coming into Pactola Lake near Silver City are at 113 cfs down from 169 cfs. Fishing has started to pick up and should get better over this coming week.
Below Pactola - C&R area- Releases are at 125 cfs as of today. Finally coming into a good fishable flow. Should really start picking up now that flows have come down. Worm patterns, scud patterns, along with midge or baetis droppers. The flows have dropped enough to create opportunities for dry dropper and afternoon/evening dry fly fishing. Look for small baetis, caddis, and possibly some PMDs.
In town- Fishing is very good 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 a another good option. Tricos in the morning. Caddis in the evening.
Fishing should be prime below the dam right now. Flows have stabilized, coming into the lake at 22 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 remains in very good condition. Flows are down slightly since last report, as of today the gauge at Spearfish is reading 70 cfs. Up in the canyon there should be some dry fly activity later in the day with caddis and small summer BWOs. Some anglers are having success with larger attractor dries in the Canyon. Chubby Chernobyls are a good bet. Nymphing remains the best overall option.
Spring Creek has dropped a fair amount, and the water could get warm this week below the dam. Best to take a thermometer just in case. There is good fishing below Sheridan Lake. This area has seen some pressure the past few weeks, best to get there early. Larger nymphs are the best bet. Jig Prince Nymphs, Jig Pheasant Tails, and jig hare's ear nymphs are all good options. Size 12-14.
Box Elder Creek
Box Elder has dropped as well. Flows are down, but in good condition. Might be good to keep an eye on stream temps in Box Elder as well. Especially during the heat of the day. Best fishing options will be at the Steamboat Rock Area or further upstream around Nemo. Despite the drop in flows the water may be a bit stained, but the nymph fishing will be good. Same types of flies as Spring Creek.
Once again Not much change here, good lake fishing opportunities throughout the Black Hills. Black Hills lakes are fishing well. Fishing could be tougher next week when daytime temps are in the 90s. Early and late might be better next week. Canyon Lake is fishing well right in town. Float tube or other craft gives the angler more options, but fishing can be good from the gazebo island. All the Custer State Park lake are fishing well, same deal a float craft makes for better access, 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. Thin Mint Buggers, Balance Leeches, Blobs, and chironomid patterns are the best bet.