We've been enjoying an unseasonably cool, wet summer, and it's been helping the fishing out greatly! The fish are fat, hungry, and they've been looking up.
Hopper fishing has finally arrived! The trouts aren't totally committed to them yet, but I've been having success with reasonable sized hoppers. Stuff like 10-14. The hopper fishing in the lower parts of Rapid City have been good, along with Sand Creek and lower Spearfish Creek. I'd definitely focus your efforts on those stretches if you want to throw bigger flies. Be prepared for lots of looks with some eats, they're still a little bit skeptical. Use more realistic, more sparse patterns for better success. Even better, throw a dropper off it and catch a few bonus fish.
Below Pactola is still your best bet for big fish. Lots of looks, lots of refusals, and a few eats. Pretty normal conditions up there. However, the fish are large, so it's worth it. Stick with really small stuff for best results. Size 20-24 Comparaduns, Sparkle Duns, Hackle Stackers, and F-Flies for the dry side of things should get the job done. For nymphs, Tungsten Split Case BWOs, PT Cruzers, Bubble Backs, T-Ready Baetis, and Two Bit Hookers will get some looks. Also, don't be afraid to throw some larger terrestrials, stuff like Big Secret Crickets, Hi-Viz Beetles, and Streambank hoppers in size 8-12 will get some action.
Spearfish Creek in the canyon continues to fish well, but they've become a little pickier. Use the same jig flies as before, but put a small dropper about a foot below it. Bugs like Two Bit Hookers, Cheesman Canyon Emergers, PT Cruzers, and Psycho nymphs have been getting good numbers of fish for me. The fish are still in the fast water, especially the edges of the ridiculously fast stuff. Good fishing, great scenery, and a little out of the way for most people.
Short and sweet, but not a lot has changed. Hoppers are around now, and the nymphing is still great. Lots of BWO's around, and the larger ones are just around the corner. Looks like some cooler weather is in the forecast for this weekend. Get out here and fish! Give us a call at the shop here at 605-341-2450 if you have any particular questions about local fishing conditions, flies, or where to go. Thanks for reading!