Weather and fishing reports remain closely bound as a continuation of a month of rainy weather last week continued to hamper fishing prospects in the area last week effectively shutting down angling on area streams and limiting interest on lakes.
Fingers crossed, a brighter, balmier future is promised for the week ahead and with that a possibility of kicking off an active summer season as the school year concludes and family activities take center stage.
Thus, while caution is advised in the area due to flood conditions and a checking of the boat ramp situation at a target lake suggested, a good weather forecast for the upcoming weekend—and hopefully a lengthy spell beyond—should provide a chance to enjoy a fishing experience minus raindrops and ponchos.
And since Saturday is National Trails Day perhaps a possibility to hike along a Black Hills lake with fishing pole in hand. If so, here’s a look at venues where fishing success might be more easily forthcoming.
Angostura Reservoir: Very few fishermen noted on the lake as Cheyenne River runoff has considerably muddied the waters. Some walleye and bass action along shorelines reported though finding the a hot spot can be tedious.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): The weather continues to dictate fishing on the lake in terms of both participation and success. As to be expected, very little activity earlier in the week though some walleye were caught by anglers out on Wednesday--a mix of overs and unders. Muddy Flats and Calvin’s Cove have been producing some walleye activity. Access to the lake can be a problem—Fruitdale is a muddy mess at present—and sticking to roads is recommended until conditions improve.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Stream fishing is at a standstill for a while until flows subside. On a positive note, smaller Black Hills area lakes have been providing excellent rainbow trout bites on nymphs and streamers.
Custer State Park lakes: Despite less than ideal weather, rainbow trout activity has been excellent. Flies or minnows worked in clear spots and pools recommended.
Deerfield Reservoir: The near constant presence of rain (and snow) have largely dampened angler enthusiasm this spring though a likely trout bite is in progress for those so inclined. With the slowdown, most of the news relating to the lake has focused on the controversy surrounding a proposed change in the no-wake rule.
Pactola Reservoir: Anglers are still finding lake trout activity in deeper waters. And northern pike are being caught in the bays toward the south end of the lake. Smelt is the preferred presentation in both instances. Rainbow trout bite has been steady as well.
Prairie Lakes: High water and muddy access have largely shutdown activity for a time.
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Shadehill Reservoir: Occasional walleye activity reported when weather allows, and access is possible.
Sheridan Lake: Northern pike were showing up — on smelt and chubs — near the highway 385 inlet. Rainbow trout bite is good throughout the lake, and a few perch are being taken near the buoy line across from the marina. Due to high water, the north boat ramp is presently usable only by high-clearance vehicles though the south ramp is more accessible.
Lake Oahe: Water temperatures have climbed into the 50’s, a condition that has led to steady pike and catfish bites. Both species remain in shallow water and typically responding to a smelt/slip bobber combination.
Lake Sharpe: Fishing success is very much a weather related activity, and will remain so until conditions stabilize. Limits of walleye are attainable from Pierre south to West Bend. Most of the activity is located in shallow water—10 foot or less- on minnows and crawler/bouncer rigs. Water temperatures are warming and walleye bite should improve accordingly. Also, bass and catfish are being taken as well. With warmer days ahead, and drier days as well, boaters should be arriving in bunches soon.
Lake Francis Case: Water levels throughout the system are high though shore fishermen working the rip-rap in the Chamberlain area have been finding walleye activity though fish taken are typically small. Lots of activity below Fort Thompson Dam last weekend both from boat and shore though reports were sketchy.
Jared Roe Memorial Fishing Tournament: June 1, Angostura Reservoir. Contact Jerry Roe (605-484-3495) for details.
South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 2 Fishing Tournament: June 8, Angostura Reservoir. Contact Jason Mitzel (605-786-4829) for details.
Father’s Day Fishing Tournament: June 15, Angostura Reservoir. Contact Stacy Reetz for details.
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.