Judging by recent reports, area anglers remain in a month-long hiatus as fishing activity in area lakes and streams was slow last week. Not an unusual occurrence this time of year as waters transitioning into winter mode teeter on the balance imparted by warm days and cooler nights.
With the upper elevation Black Hills area lakes icing up, lake fishing has been largely relegated to Pactola (some trout activity), Angostura (a few walleye reported) and Orman (dead standstill).
That said, working a trout stream with fly rod in hand remains seems clearly the best option at present as streams at lower elevations are fishing well.
And with the state volleyball tournament in town this weekend, an easily accessible outing to an area stream might provide a nice balance of “spiking and striking”.
Also, central South Dakota remains an ideal outing for sportsmen looking to combine fishing (a nice walleye bite reported on Oahe from the mouth of the Cheyenne northward) with pheasant and waterfowl hunting, and the beginning of East River deer season which opens on Sunday.
Angostura Reservoir: Though the walleye bite has been extremely slow throughout the summer months, there was a report of a few small walleye showing up last week. A pure happenstance of time and place?
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Cold and wind have shutdown activity, a situation likely to continue until good ice forms.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Trout bite in area streams remains excellent at lower elevations. Rapid Creek below Pactola and through town continues to produce nice catches, particularly on overcast days. Streamers are working best. Other area streams are active as well with nymphs the recommended presentation.
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Deerfield Reservoir: No reports received this week as apparently few fishermen are making the trip up until water situation is clarified.
Pactola Reservoir: Rainbow trout are active in bays and off points where accessible. Northern pike likely as well in similar circumstances.
Sheridan Lake: Lake was glazed over earlier in the week though warmer daytime temps may open water in places. All in all, an iffy proposition until safe ice develops.
Lake Oahe: A late season walleye bite, and with large specimens among the catches, continues from near the mouth of the Cheyenne northward. At least on days when cold winds don’t bite too hard. Bouncer/spinner and crawler presentations recommended. Pike and catfish are being caught in shallows as well.
Lake Sharpe: Fishing activity on the lake slowed a bit last week though some walleye are still being taken by anglers working current breaks.
Lake Francis Case: Walleye are being caught near Chamberlain area—spinners and crawlers in 10-20 feet of water, and at locations farther south, anglers are finding success working crankbaits in 25-30 feet of water.
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.