Fly fishing in the Black Hills

Most people don’t have any idea of how good the fly fishing is in the Black Hills because we have had very little written about us in the fly fishing literature. The fishing can be truly outstanding and can usually be done without seeing another fly fisher all day.
We believe we have some absolutely great opportunities for a combination of scenic beauty and outstanding fly fishing. Depending on the year you can fish almost any day from mid March to mid November but in the months of December, January and February you need to pick the warm days ( over 40 ) if you don’t want the ice to build up on your guides. We fish every month out of the year but usually not more than 5 or 6 days/month in the coldest winter months. During the winter the waters we fish are usually one of the two tail water fisheries in the hills ( Rapid Creek or Castle Creek below the lakes ).
Some of the streams we fish most are: Spring Creek both above and below Sheridan Lake, Rapid Creek both above and below Pactola Reservoir, Castle Creek above and below Deerfield Lake, Box Elder Creek along Nemo Rd., French Creek and Grace Coolidge Creek in Custer State Park as well as a vast number of small streams throughout the Hills. In the northern hills Spearfish Creek, Little Spearfish Creek and Crow Creek are the streams that are usually fished. We have natural reproduction in many of the Hills streams for Brook Trout , Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout, although, many of the fish are hatchery planted. If you are an experienced fly fisherman you can expect to catch 4 to 8 trout /hour on a good day and if you are fishing one of our trophy waters a few could be 16″ to 20″.
Our lakes are also great places to spend some time chasing big trout. We have three larger lakes in the Hills ( Pactola reservoir, Sheridan Lake and Deerfield Lake) as well as many smaller lakes that all hold good populations of trout. You can fish from shore but the best way to fish most lakes would be from a float tube or pontoon boat such as the Hobie Float Cat 75. Damsel and Dragon fly imitations and streamers are a good bet when fishing the lakes.
We have great hatches from April through September. Some of the insects hatches include: Baetis, Caddis and Little Yellow Stone Flies in the spring and early summer. We have good Hopper action in late summer as well as Tricos and another Baetis hatch in the Fall. Our midges hatch year round with some of the best action happening on the warm mid-winter days.
We hope you can come out for the scenic beauty of the Hills and enjoy some of the most productive and enjoyable fishing there is available anywhere.
See you in the Hills!
Historical Fishing Reports:
Local Fishing Report
*Note on fishing reports: we update the fishing report as fishing conditions change, that means the date of the report might be a couple of weeks or even a month old. If you want additional information feel free to email or call.
Hot Patterns: #20-22 Killer Mayfly Nymphs, #20-22 Bead Thorax Baetis Nymph, #20-22 BWO Sparkle Duns, #14-20 PMD Sparkle Duns,#18-20 Black Copper Johns, #20-22 Black Micro Mayfly Nymphs, #20-22 Bubble Back Midge, #14-16 Foam Fly Ants, #22 Morgans Midges, #14-16 Foam Black Beetles, #16 Sloans Mighty May PMD Nymph, #12 Parachute Hoppers, #12 Spring Creek Hopper, #12-14 Stimulators
Rapid Creek: Rapid Creek continues to be productive. Fishing has been good below the dam and downstream of Rochford. Below the Dam the fish are rising during warmer afternoons. Small Baeits, Pale Morning Duns, and Midges are the order of the day. Terrestrials are working well. Subsurface the fish are taking smaller nymph patterns. Hot nymphs are baetis nymph patterns and glass bead midge larvae. Look for evening midge hatches to bring fish to the surface. Tricos are hatching in town in the mornings.
Spring Creek: Wait until next year.
Castle Creek: The Stream below Deerfield Reservoir is fishing well. Great dry fly action for brook trout. Look for Caddis and PMD hatches in the afternoons. Try dry and dropper rigs and terrestrials on top.
Spearfish Creek: Fishing in the canyon and associated tributaries has been great. Pale Evening Duns and Small Baetis have been hatching throughout the afternoon and evening. Nymphing has been the best producer during the day. Try a stimulator with a copper john dropper in the pocket water. Fishing throughout the city of Spearfish has been very good.
Crow Creek: This spring creek has been quite good following the high flows earlier in the summer. Fish are taking terrestrials during the day and move the surface to feed on caddis in the evenings. Tricos should be hatching most mornings.
Sand Creek: This spring creek just across the border in Wyoming has also fished well following the high flows earlier in the summer. Fish are taking terrestrials during the day and move the surface to feed on caddis in the evenings. Dry dropper combos are quite effective.
Custer State Park: Sylvan and other lakes in Custer State Park are fishing well. Wooly Buggers in Black and Olive will work well in shallow water.
Deerfield Lake: The lake is fishing well in the deeper stretches of the lake. Get down deep with sinking lines and streamers. Fishing is best early and late.
Sheridan Lake:
Evening Chironomid hatches are getting fish to the surface. At off hatch hours use buggers, flashback PT’s, and chironomid larvae patterns- best fished with a Rio Aqualux line.
Pactola Lake:
Fishing in Pacotla Reservoir has been productive. Streamers are catching fish in the bays around the lake.

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