Hills on the Fly

Education, experiences, and information about fly fishing the Black Hills and beyond.

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What do you think when someone is given the "expert" title? Better yet, what are your thoughts on self proclaimed "experts" in any field? I read an email lately from a membership organization regarding an upcoming meeting. The email referenced a guided trip that has been offered to the auction block for an upcoming fundraiser. The individual offering the trip was proclaimed an "expert" in the particular fishing experience being considered. I don't know this guide, and I don't know if the "expert" title was given by his constituents, or self proclaimed. One thing is for sure, the "expert" title does nothing to sell me on one's abilities. What does it take to acquire the expert title? Do you have to write a book? Host a seminar? Have so many year experience in a particular field? Know so much more than everyone else?

I cringe when I hear the term "expert". I think of elitists. I think of talking heads who speak at people rather than with people in their given field. I think of people who demand respect and admiration because of who they are or things they've...

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A lot of people we fish with have an expectation that they will resemble Brad Pitt while elegantly casting a big salmon fly across the Gallatin River to a hungry rainbow trout. In fact, most beginners believe that fly fishing revolves around throwing top water adult insect imitations, maybe because that is how it began. We have learned that the vast majority of a trout's feeding activity (90% or more) will occur under the water's surface. Yes, trout (and other species) commonly feed on adult bugs and terrestrial creatures, this is true. They are, after all, opportunistic feeders always looking for an easy source of protein. But the majority of the food available in streams and rivers begins underwater. Larva, pupae, nymphs, leeches, crawfish, minnows, beetles, frogs/tadpoles...all have substantial lives in the drink. For the fish...chasing adult insects is just not as easy as tracking down the slower development stages and struggling emerges as they strive to live out their destiny as adults propagating the species. It can be tempting to tie on that BWO at the first sign...

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Welcome to the new Spearfish Creek Fly Shop site. This isn’t just a place for you to find the right flies, fishing spots, or outdoor gear. This is a place to find friends, education, fun, and members of your new fishing family. We believe that walking around with this long stick and hand-tied deliciousness is more than just catching fish. It’s about the relationships and memories made while being a member of this cohort. It’s about reliving our adventures and bringing others along for the ride that makes this so special. Fishing is a part of our legacy, and we are not afraid to admit it! Can’t wait to see you on the water.