Did someone say Spring? Warming days with occasional showers?
Despite the fact that spring is experiencing a very bumpy landing, the up-and-down days are scheduled to move into the upper portions of the cycle again this weekend. Hopefully, area fishing will enjoy a similar resurgence as cold, muddy waters continue to limit fishing activity in the area.
Walleye activity on the bigger lakes — Angostura and Orman — remains slow despite the completion of spawning in those bodies, and upper elevation lakes, despite some trout activity, aren’t yet producing the usual perch and pike activity either.
The trout action in area streams might be the best bet at present though as elsewhere the murky water from persistent runoffs does require patience and larger presentations.
Angostura Reservoir: Walleye bite remains quite slow as a fishing tournament last weekend produced sparse numbers of sizeable fish. Though spawning is over, the dirty water makes it difficult to matchup bait and fish. A slow presentation is recommended.
Belle Fourche Reservoir (Orman): The walleye spawn is over and the few fishermen out last week were picking up a few though fish were scattered. Despite the fact that water is not being released over the dam and though only real inlet is Owl Creek, the water is quite murky, a situation that makes locating fish difficult. The High Plains Anglers Tournament this weekend should provide a test as to what conditions are, and will be.
Black Hills Fly Fishing: Stream fishing has been quite good though high water in most streams can make for challenging conditions. Despite that, fishing deep with nymphs and streamers continue to produce trout. Spearfish, Spring and other Black Hills creeks are fishing well on similar presentations though a baetis hatch forthcoming should provide some dry fly fishing opportunities as well.
Custer State Park lakes: Some trout activity reported at various locations on occasion though patience is required.
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Deerfield Reservoir: The unpredictable weather as kept anglers working the lake to a minimum. And reports of success a few pegs below that.
Pactola Reservoir: As elsewhere in the Black Hills, an occasional trout bite, particularly of large holdover hatchery rainbows, on flies, wooly buggers, or fathead minnows. Some northern pike have been showing up back in bays though on a limited basis.
Prairie Lakes: Mud getting there and muddy water once done.
Sheridan Lake: A few northern pike are beginning to how up near the mouth of the creek.
Lake Oahe: High-water coupled with the muddy, off-road conditions to be endured in gaining access to fishable locations are keeping a possible northern pike bite in low gear. Most walleye activity is farther north of the Pierre area.
Lake Sharpe: Though stilling basin does occasionally produce some walleye— smaller fish generally — the bite remains much below normal. With that, angler interest remains in a holding pattern for the most part. West Bend area should be heating up with the spawn wrapping up though the water is still quite murky from Bad River runoff even to that stretch of water.
Lake Francis Case: Anglers were catching some walleye from shore around the rip-rap though catches are typically small—fish under 15 inches.
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.