Despite a couple days of damp, gloomy weather, excellent fall weather is predicted to return to the Black Hills area this weekend and continue for at least a week or so beyond.
With that, fishing prospects look bright as cooler evening temperatures will hopefully spur an active fall bite on area lakes. And continue what is has been first-rate late summer trout fishing in area streams.
Already there has been indications that the walleye bite is improving, albeit slowly, in Angostura and Orman, and northern pike activity shows signs of life in Pactola—along with plenty of rainbow trout action.
Overly positive? Perhaps, but there is good fishing to be had in the area and here are some spots where baited hooks are most likely to stir the waters.
Angostura Reservoir: Reports indicate a slight uptick in walleye activity perhaps due to cooler weather the last few days. And are, hopefully, indicative of a nice autumn bite following a very slow spring and summer on the lake.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Walleye activity picked up somewhat last week along with smallmouth bass and perch bites. And the mid-week cold snap may help to perk up action even more so. Most the of the perch and bass activity has been centered below the dam while the walleye bite is scattered and generally requires a bit of searching. As for baits, minnows are becoming more popular though crawlers remain effective as well.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: The brief midweek cold snap shouldn’t hamper activity on area streams though a hard freeze will adversely affect hopper fishing. Nonetheless, good hatches of blue-winged olive mayflies should continue. And nymph and streamer fishing will quickly rebound.
Canyon Lake: Rainbow trout bite continues on spinners and powerbait with catches in the 3-5-pound range reported.
Deerfield Reservoir: Perch and trout activity continues. Perch are being located at depths of 25-30 feet of water and responding to nightcrawlers. Rainbows have been responsive to spinner baits as well as various fly presentations.
Horsethief Lake: The lake continues to produce nice catches of trout on spinners and powerbait.
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New Underwood Dam: Bluegill activity reported with crawlers the bait of choice.
Pactola Reservoir: Plenty of rainbow trout activity reported including some nice-sized specimens. Most of the action is taking place in bays and off points with both leeches and nymphs working well with fish typically located in 4-6 feet of water. Pike activity remains fairly steady as well and should improve with the onset of cooler weather.
Shade Hill Reservoir: Walleye bite has been improving with some limits of walleye being reported. High water can be a problem, however, particularly in locating fish as areas that were once 8-10 feet in depth are now deeper.
Sheridan Lake: Pike activity continues —on large chubs--particularly near the Spring Creek inlet. Also, trout and crappie bites reported near Dakota Point on small jigs and minnows.
Stockade Lake: A steady crappie bite reported on small minnows.
Lake Oahe: Though walleye bite has dropped off a bit near Mobridge area, the Spring and Cow Creek areas farther south are still producing limits —bouncers with spinners and crawlers in 10-20 feet of water. Does require searching however. Smallmouth bass and catfish activity continue as well. Salmon bite has picked up somewhat though awaits cooler weather before optimum activity occurs.
Lake Sharpe: Walleye activity remains unchanged. Anglers working current breaks in 5-10 feet of water are finding plenty of action including nice catches of overs. Lower Brule and Iron Nation areas have been hot spots though the immediate Pierre area is producing fish as well.
Lake Francis Case: Walleye bite is in the steady if not spectacular category depending upon weather. Kiowa area has been busy, and in the Chamberlain area, the bite is slowly improving. Spinners with either crawlers or minnows at depths of 10-20 feet recommended.
Dakota Angler & Outfitter, 513 Seventh St., Rapid City; The Rooster, 1441 W. Main St., Rapid City; Wheel and Bait, 18696 Fisherman’s Road, Fruitdale; West Prairie Resort, 28354 182nd, Pierre (605-264-5303), Horsecreek Inn and Campground, 23570, Hill City, and Angostura State Resort have contributed to this report.