Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Rapid Creek - Rapid City - South Dakota

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

Water Flow Chart

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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

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Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Winter Stoneflies Mid Day #12-16 Black & Tan Nymph, Black Zebra Midge
February Winter Stoneflies, Blue Wing Olives Mid Day #14-20 Thorax Dun, BWO Emerger
March Midge, Blue Wing Olives Mid Day #18-22 Griffith's Gnat, BWO Emerger
April Midge, Blue Wing Olives Mid Day #18-22 Griffith's Gnat, Pheasant Tail
May Midge, Caddis, Blue Wing Olives Mid Day, Evening #14-20 Elk Hair Caddis, Foam Caddis
June Caddis, Pale Morning Dun Mid Day, Afternoon #14-18 Steve's Midge, Elk Hair Caddis
July Yellow Sallies, Terrestrial Insects Mid Day, Afternoon #14-16 Dave's Hopper, Black Ant
August Terrestrial Insects All Day #14-18 Dave's Hopper, Black Ant
September Terrestrial Insects, Blue Wing Olives Mid Day, Late Afternoon #18-22 Black Zebra Midge, Foam Beetle
October Terrestrial Insects, Blue Wing Olives Mid Day, Late Afternoon #18-22 Black Zebra Midge, Pheasant Tail
November Winter Stoneflies Mid Day #12-16 Black & Tan Nymph
December Winter Stoneflies Mid Day #12-16 Black & Tan Nymph, Black Zebra Midge

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

Often regarded as an angler’s paradise, Rapid Creek in Rapid City offers countless spots ideal for fly fishing. Here are some noteworthy areas:

  • The catch-and-release area between the Rapid City limits and Pactola Reservoir is stocked with large numbers of brown, rainbow, and brook trout. This area offers plenty of room for backcasts.
  • The stretch known as ‘Below the Pactola’ is abundant in salmon and trout. It’s consistently rated as one of the top fly-fishing spots in the Black Hills. It’s less crowded, making for a peaceful fishing experience.
  • Above Pactola Reservoir, in Silver City, trout populations flourish. Pactola Lake’s north side is ideal for fly fishing but requires a small hike.
  • Designated as a fly-fishing only area, ‘Canyon’ section of Spearfish Creek is another must-visit spot for anglers. It offers opportunities for pocket water and sight fishing.

Best Access Points

Rapid Creek in Rapid City offers many excellent fishing spots for anglers, particularly for fly fishing. Here are some of the best access points:

  • Canyon Lake Park: Easily accessible, this location west of Rapid City provides perfect ground for trout fishing.
  • Cleverland Street Bridge: This urban fishing area is suitable for brown trout fishing.
  • Founders Park: This downtown section of the creek is another productive site for anglers.
  • Star Village: A favourite amongst locals, excellent for fly fishing.
  • Roosevelt Park: This location has a small dam that slows the water creating a perfect spot for fishing.

Remember, the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks issues the necessary fishing licenses and ensures regulations are followed.

Local Fish

  • Brown Trout – Generally the easiest and most common to catch on Rapid Creek. They are available year-round.
  • Rainbow Trout – A popular target for fly fishing, you’ll usually find them in the deeper pools of Rapid Creek.
  • Brook Trout – Small and often overlooked, can be a fun challenge to catch.
  • Golden Trout – More elusive than other species, making them an exciting catch. Only present at certain times of the year.
  • White Sucker – Ignored by some anglers, they can still be a rewarding catch for fly fishers.
  • Yellow Perch – Not typically targeted but can be a fun, colorful addition to your fishing day.
  • Mountain Whitefish – A unique fish to target on Rapid Creek. Great for catching during colder months.
  • Channel Catfish – Occasional catches at Rapid Creek, these fish require a different approach to other species but can be a rewarding challenge.

About The River

Rapid Creek – Rapid City is an intriguing part of South Dakota’s story. This area began to take shape back in 1876 during the Black Hills Gold Rush. Settlers named the city after its bubbly counterpart, the Rapid Creek.
  • Surviving the test of time, Rapid Creek is notable for a significant event in 1972 – the dreadful flood that tragically claimed 238 lives and caused massive damage to properties
  • The city made remarkable recovery efforts and turned this tragic event into a stepping stone for growth
  • Today, Rapid City stands as a thriving urban center and is often called “Gateway to the Black Hills“, known for its scenic beauty and tourist attractions
Rapid Creek itself provides canoeing, fishing, and offers a robust ecosystem. Indeed, the history of both Rapid Creek and Rapid City are testimonies of resilience and recovery.
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