Plenty of thunderstorms rolled through the Hills this week. We have updated conditions for Rapid Creek, Castle Creek, and Spearfish Creek. Hope you all get out this weekend. With the added rain stream conditions are prime. It’s time to get out and fish!
Above Pactola: Storms this week bumped flows up a bit. Fishing remained good despite the increase in flows. As of this report flows are around 86 CFS. With the higher water consider using patterns like Pat’s Rubber legs, san juan worms, and thin mints. Fishing above Silver City and downstream of Rochford should still yield positive results. Water will be clearer farther up from the lake. Caddis and little yellow stoneflies are hatching. Dry dropper rigs are a great way to fish the upper sections of Rapid Creek.
Below the Dam: Releases increased earlier this week to 50 cfs, up from around 30 cfs. The increase in flow will improve fishing below the dam. Fish should start to move out of the deeper pools and into the runs and riffles. Look for hatches of baetis mayflies and caddis during the midafternoon. Small sparkle duns and baetis emergers are the best options for rising fish.
In Town: Fishing in town continues to be very good throughout the day. With the higher releases from the dam, flows are up to around 70-80cfs. Caddis hatch is underway, and Blue Winged Olives are still present. Dry dropper rigs with micro chubby chernobyls as a lead fly and smaller tungsten droppers (such as Cheeseman canyon emergers and tungsten split case BWO) have been successful. Other patterns to try include sparkle duns, foam beetles, and green perdigons. Tricos are already hatching. Get out early to catch the spinner fall.
Below Deerfield Dam: As of today releases have increased below Deerfield to 20cfs, providing prime fishing conditions. Micro chubby chernobyls with droppers continue to be effective throughout the day. As fish start feeding on the surface, consider switching to sparkle duns or small terrestrials. Look for caddis activity to increase this week along with little yellow stoneflies.
Above Deerfield: Storms have bumped flows this week above the lake. Expect the water to have some color. Fishing remains good from the mouth of the lake up to the confluence with Ditch Creek.
City of Spearfish: The flow in town is down from 74 cfs to around 65 cfs. Spearfish Creek is fishing very well in the canyon and in town. In the canyon Baetis hatches are slowing down a bit, but will pick up on days with cloud cover. Caddis and small stoneflies will be more important we get further into June. Fly selection is essentially the same as Rapid Creek or Castle Creek, but be prepared to switch to smaller tungsten zebra midges or small baetis nymphs to increase your chances. Lighter tippet is recommended, as fish in the canyon seem to prefer smaller flies.
Other Options: Spring Creek: Wetter weather has kept the flow up on Spring Creek. Fishing was great this week along Sheridan Lake Road and up from the Trailhead. We hope flows stay up and conditions stay stable for a few more weeks. Spring Creek can drop quickly and warm quickly, the recent rains have benefited this stream immensely.
Lake Fishing: Pactola: Lake fishing has slowed down, but there are still opportunities to catch big rainbows. Dispersed fish are more common, so having a float craft will increase your chances. Reports indicate success on Sheridan Lake, where fishing with an intermediate line and thin mint buggers has been effective. Also try indicator rigs with blob flies. Deerfield lake should be in prime shape for lake fishing.
Pike Fishing: Pike fishing continues on Sheridan and Pactola. One customer caught a 24lb pike on Pactola yesterday. Slow sinking lines and chartreuse and white Murdich minnows continue to yield the best results. Bunny flies are another option, try olive, yellow, and black.
Tight lines and enjoy your time in the Black Hills! If you have any further questions or need assistance, feel free to stop by the shop. Happy angling!
Tight lines, Dakota Angler & Outfitter