Post-Inventory Fishing Day

After finishing our annual shop inventory in a record-breaking day and a half, we all figured we might as well reward ourselves and take a day off to enjoy the beautiful January weather and do a bit of fishing. Karl, Hans, Dave and myself headed up to the catch and release area of Rapid Creek yesterday morning to try and tempt a few trout, and it turned out to be an exceptional day of fishing! We left Rapid around a quarter to 8, with a little frost on the ground and the temperature a brisk 21 degrees - a far cry from the 52 high that was forecasted for later in the day. After shuffling around and drinking coffee, rigging rods, and trying to stay warm for a bit, we headed down to the creek and got after it. We all elected to throw nymphs, and it turned out to be a solid decision - we got into the fish shortly after getting there, and hooked fish pretty consistently throughout the day. Scud patterns trailed by a midge pattern of your favorite flavor worked excellent, though the majority of the fish I hooked were on the larger scud pattern. Here's a few pictures of some of the fish we brought to hand! I had farmed what I figured to be a decent fish earlier that morning, and I went back for redemption as Hans and Dave finished up in their final run of the day. I had an orange scud pattern trailed by a brown Serendipity, and fiddled with my indicator until I guessed it to be the right depth. The cast was a tricky one - sideways about a foot off the water to get the flies slid into the seam. I fumbled a couple casts, caught a smaller rainbow, then finally got the right cast into the edge. I tossed a mend, followed the flies downstream, and struck back when the indicator wiggled a little differently than I figured it should be wiggling. It took a few seconds for the hulking fish to realize it was hooked, then it proceeded to drag me around and make my old click reel squeal. After the tug of war, I finally slid the fish into Karl's waiting net, and was astonished at the size of the rainbow in it. It's one of the biggest rainbows I've ever had the chance to tangle with, and it was the icing on the cake of a great day.
Tank. Tank.
Karl snapped a few pictures, and I slid the fish back into the current and held on until he kicked hard enough that I was confident in his safe release. As quickly as he arrived, he ghosted back into the quick currents out of sight. It was an exceptional day of fishing - everyone caught a good number of fish, and we all caught a few good ones to top it off. All is good in the Black Hills. Ryan