Another winter mid-week snow storm closed down fishing activity over the weekend, though temperatures in the mid-70s predicted for Saturday and a diet of 60-degree days promised beyond should allow fishermen to work and hungry fish to bite.
With the fishing season in customary lull during the transition from ice fishing to open water fishing in the area, an angling week off while an added layer of moisture was added to the area was perhaps a small price to pay.
In addition, with spawning season on the horizon for a number of species, conditions seem ripe for a excellent spring bite throughout the region.
Angostura Reservoir: The lake is open and a few boats have been out seeking walleye though with limited success as lake is muddy from recent runoff. A period of warmer weather to raise water temperatures should contribute to an excellent walleye bite soon with spawning season soon approaching.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): Despite last week’s snowstorm quite a number of boats were on the water earlier in the week though reports have been sketchy. Docks are in on old boat ramp for sure. Warm weather predicted for weekend couple with a walleye spawn right around the corner is reason for optimism.
Black Hill Lakes: Lakes are open though recent snows created sloppy conditions and waters muddied by runoffs leading to little angling interest last week. A week or so of nice weather will likely spur renewed interest.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Until water flows subside from recent snows, the best fishing will be on Rapid Creek below Pactola Reservoir. Flows will be high there as well though fishable. Nymph and streamer fishing should offer opportunities for action while dry flies will work best on longer runs and pools.
Deerfield Reservoir: Fishing is at a wait and see stage on the lake as ice has broken up and open water conditions are not yet particularly favorable. Perch and trout are anxiously awaiting offerings of wax worms or maggots.
Pactola Reservoir: Lake is open though as elsewhere in the area access can be difficult. And waters are muddy from recent runoff. When conditions improve rainbow trout activity should be feeding in bays as well as northern trout.
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Prairie Lakes: Most area lakes and ponds are free of ice though levels are high and the waters are very muddy. And, understandably, very little fishing activity recently reported.
Spearfish Creek: Recent activity has been mostly an in-town affair with nice catches of trout reported by anglers using nymphs in mornings and dry flies later in the day.
Lake Oahe: Fortunately, recent snow storm resulted in a ground melt more so than a river runoff — much need as the lake was at 3.34 feet of capacity early in the week. Lake is open from face of dam north to the Cheyenne River area. Is also open water at Hwy. 212 bridge and areas will rapidly expand with a combination of warmer weather and wind. No reports of walleye activity though fish should be seeking warmer, shallow waters, while northern pike should be cruising the shorelines.
Lake Sharpe: The stilling basin is wide open now and a number of boats were out last week working from there down river to Ft. George area. Walleye bite should be heating up as weather warms with fish responding to bouncer presentations in warmer waters and jigging offerings in colder.
Lake Francis Case: Weather again stymied fishermen in the Chamberlain area though more reliable reports should be filtering in soon as weather improves.
Upcoming Fishing Tournaments:
• SDWU Angostura Spring Classic: April 27-28, Contact Michael Johnson, (605) 391-5193.
• 21st Annual Lake Francis Case Walleye Tournament: Saturday, American Creek Marina. Contact Scott Lewis, (605) 730-0283.
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.