Fly Fishing the Hills

Golden in and out
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The best information to help you plan for your Black Hills adventure.

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Why recreate the wheel? They're tying great flies over in Yellowstone country. They'll all catch fish in South Dakota.

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You can't control the weather, but you can monitor it. This is a handy tool for determining where to fish and how to fish the area.

Fly Fishing the Hills? Here are some things you should know.

The Black Hills of South Dakota is home to some spectacular water. 1,000's of miles of trout streams await those seeking browns (most abundant), rainbows, and brookies. Our hight mountain lakes not only offer great trout fishing, but panfish, northern pike, lake trout, bass, and newly established walleye populations. These lakes are not open for guiding, but they offer great fishing opportunities for all anglers, avid or novice.

The Black Hills region is known as the banana belt. Warm(er) in the winter, cooler in the summer (generally speaking). Aquatic insect life is a constant in the Hills, and warmer winter days will often bring the midges out to play. This can be some of the best dry fly/emerger fishing anywhere around. Fishing is considered best in the spring and fall while temps are more moderate (as well as the crowds). Summer is a crazy time in the Black Hills with over 2 Million visitors coming out to see Mount Rushmore every year. You can certainly catch fish in the warmer weather, but there might be people around while you do it. Not many locals fly fish, so solitude isn't usually far off the beaten path.

Our favorite places to fish are listed below. Secret spots will be kept in the back pocket, but general knowledge will be enough for the adventuring angler to catch some nice fishing during their day. If you want to see the honey holes...you can let us know. : )

  • Spearfish Creek: One of the most scenic fisheries in the country with a blue ribbon brown trout population to boot. The cold clear waters offer pocket water, deep holes, and slow stretches all throughout the canyon and through the town of Spearfish.
  • Rapid Creek: Good fishing all year, whether in town, above Pactola, or below Pactola. A great fishery with BIG fish!
  • Castle Creek: Above and below Deerfield reservoir offer wild rainbows, brookies, and some browns. Amazing autumn fishing with a beetle and/or hopper!
  • Sand Creek: This small stream just over the border in Wyoming offers some of the best fishing one can find. Just because the water is a bit smaller, doesn't mean the fish have to be. You'll get consistent shots at 18" browns if you know what you're doing.
  • Whitewood Creek: One of the hidden jems of the Black Hills. You can fish right inside of Deadwood before hitting the blackjack tables. You can find all three trout species in Whitewood, and maybe even a tiger trout if you're very lucky.
  • Redwater River: A big river with BIG fish. Mostly situated on private land, this might be one of those honey holes you need to call us about.
  • French Creek: A drought really decimated the fish population in French creek, but a number of high water years have allowed it to rebound nicely. Trout are fat and happy, and have been joined by some 7-9" Stockade Lake resident panfish in certain spots. "The Narrows" is one of the favorites for its scenery and serenity.
  • Spring Creek: This creek has also suffered due to low waters in the past, but is fishing better now that flows have rebounded. Aquatic life is abundant in spring creek, making for fat fish willing to eat your fly.
  • Box Elder Creek: It is so close to Rapid City, and yet, you'll feel like you are in the middle of the Black Hills. Head towards Nemo and fish access points along the way. Many brown trout and brookies call Box Elder Creek home.
  • Crow Creek: One of those hidden gems of the hills. Super spooky fish, clear narrow water. Chances at BIG trout gorging on scuds, adult mayflies, caddis, midges, etc. Amazing place, but watch your step...snakes and sinkholes.

Underwater world of trout

Want to learn about trout and their behavior? Watch them underwater. You'll might surprised to find that a trouts actions underwater are different from what you originally believed to be true.

Bugs of the Black Hills

These are some of the bugs you'll find in the Black Hills. Check back for these pages to be updated with more information about the bugs and flies that imitate them.

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Stoneflies

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Cranefly

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Terrestrials

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Crawfish/Minnows

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Water boatmen

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Dragonflies/Damsels

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Midges

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Caddis

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Mayflies

Things You Might Be Wondering About:

May I bring my own gear?

You are welcome to bring your own gear. We will be happy to help you set it up if necessary. Remember, South Dakota does not allow felt soled wading boots. Please do not bring them along. We will not let you wear them.

When is the best time to fish the Black Hills?

Excellent fishing exists all year in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Tourist season runs from Memorial Day - Labor Day in the Hills, so fewer people will be found before and after. All seasons offer unique fishing opportunities and plenty of catching possibilities.

Can I pay with a credit card?

Yes, we can take your credit card over the phone.

Does my child need a fishing license to fish?

Anyone under the age of 16 does not require a fishing license to fish or keep fish.

I've never fly fished before. Is that ok?

Absolutely! We love introducing anglers and non-anglers to the sport of fly fishing. Be careful though...Once you try it, you might never look back.

Still got questions? 

Check with us at the shop for updated stream flows, fishing reports, or to book a trip

  • 313 W Jackson Blvd
  • Spearfish, SD 57783
  • (605) 717-2982
  • spearfishcreekfly@gmail.com