Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Rapid Creek - Above Pactola - South Dakota

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Afternoon #20-22 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
February Midges Afternoon #20-22 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
March Midges Afternoon #20-22 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
Blue Winged Olives Afternoon #18-20 Blue Dun, Pheasant Tail
April Blue Winged Olives Afternoon #18-20 Blue Dun, Pheasant Tail
Caddis Afternoon - Evening #14-16 Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis
May Caddis Evening #14-16 Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis
Yellow Stones Afternoon - Evening #12-14 Yellow Sally, Stimulator
June Yellow Stones Afternoon - Evening #12-14 Yellow Sally, Stimulator
PMDs Afternoon #14-18 Parachute PMD, Compare Dun
July PMDs Afternoon #14-18 Parachute PMD, Compare Dun
Terrestrials All day #8-14 Trico Spinner, Foam Beetle
August Terrestrials All day #8-14 Trico Spinner, Foam Beetle
Midges Evening #20-22 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
September Blue Winged Olives Afternoon #18-20 Blue Dun, Pheasant Tail
Midges Evening #20-22 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
October Blue Winged Olives Afternoon #18-20 Blue Dun, Pheasant Tail
Midges Afternoon #20-22 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
November Midges Afternoon #20-22 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
December Midges Afternoon #20-22 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

Rapid Creek, above Pactola, offers incredible fly fishing opportunities. Some of the best spots include:

  • Whispering Pines: This area offers plenty of enticing wild trout, with clear water that’s perfect for stalking fish.
  • Johnson Siding: This spot is full of brook and rainbow trout, making it perfect for fly fishers looking out for these species.
  • Thunderhead Falls: This is an exciting location for adventurous fishers. It’s a bit rugged, but it’s well worth it for the brown and rainbow trout.
  • Silver City: This spot is teeming with brook trout, and it’s a bit further upstream providing an engaging fishing experience.

Make sure to double-check fishing regulations, as they can change year to year. The fly fishing experience at Rapid Creek above Pactola is a must for any passionate fishers, regardless of your skill level.

Best Access Points

The Rapid Creek above Pactola reservoir offers excellent fly fishing opportunities. Accessing the best fly fishing points could be a bit challenging for those unfamiliar with the area. Below are some optimal access points:

  • Dark Canyon: This remote fishing spot is beautiful but requires a hike to reach the river.
  • Silver City: This serene village provides ease of access to Rapid Creek.
  • Pactola Dam/’The Spillway’: From the bottom of the dam, you can access the water downstream.

Note, due to the terrain, some spots on Rapid Creek can be hard to negotiate. Always acknowledge land ownership, respect private property and be cautious of steep slopes and loose rocks.

When fly fishing in these waters, remember to follow all fishing regulations and gear restrictions, especially practicing catch and release to help preserve the fish population.

Local Fish

  • Brown Trout: This species is common in the waters of Rapid Creek.
  • Brook Trout: These fish are an ideal target for fly fishing due to their vibrant colors.
  • Rainbow Trout: Easily recognized by their colorful stripes, they’re also found in this area.
  • Black Hills Gold Trout: A unique variation of the Rainbow Trout, specific to this region.
  • Mountain Whitefish: A popular target for fly fishermen, known for their fighting spirit.
  • Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout: This species is native to the Yellowstone River but has been introduced to Rapid Creek.
  • Golden Trout: Originally from California, these fish were successfully introduced to Rapid Creek and are popular with fly fishers.
  • Northern Pike: While not traditionally a fly fishing target, skilled anglers can catch them in Rapid Creek’s waters.

About The River

Your journey around Rapid Creek – Above Pactola, will introduce you to a thrilling page of history. Originally known as Harney’s Peak District, this area in the enchanting Black Hills of South Dakota has been cherished for its rich mineral resources since the Gold Rush.

Intriguingly, it’s the 1857 expedition of Colonel George Armstrong Custer that sparked widespread interest in the region. Upon discovering gold in this area, there followed an unprecedented gold rush, attracting settlers and adventurers alike.

  • Pactola Lake, today’s primary feature, didn’t exist back then! In a dramatic turn of events, the Pactola Dam was constructed in 1956 to create the largest reservoir in the Black Hills – the bewitching Pactola Lake. This impressive transformation now provides recreational activities, including fishing, camping and hiking, which keeps the magic of the area alive.

Today, all these years later, the age-old charm of Rapid Creek – Above Pactola lingers, forever etched in its hills, waters, and the heart of history.

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