The Black Hills offer anglers excellent year-round fishing opportunities, including trout-filled rivers and streams ideal for fly fishing, and numerous lakes and reservoirs teaming with walleyes, northern pike and more.
Whether you prefer standing in a pristine river and casting dry flies with your bamboo rod, or trolling big water with spinning tackle, the Black Hills provides ample water filled with a range of fishable species.
Blue-ribbon trout streams include Rapid Creek, Spring Creek, Castle Creek and Spearfish Creek. Lake Pactola and other reservoirs house large browns and other species.
South Dakota Game and Fish offer 1-day, 3-day and annual licenses while Wyoming Game and Fish offer 1-day and annual licenses. Licenses can be purchased through Game and Fish websites, or at local sporting goods shops, hardware stores, through outfitters or other retailers.
Fishing limits vary depending upon location and species. Always check regulations prior to fishing.
For personal safety, check water flows and temperatures, wear life preservers when required, and abide by rules of the waterway.
- Rapid Creek – Located in the heart of Rapid City, swing a nymph or try a caddis, adams or blue-winged olive for large autumn browns.
- Spearfish Creek – Cast for wild trout while taking in the unbeatable scenery of Spearfish Canyon.
- French Creek – Head to Custer State Park and search the riffles and pools, or trek into French Creek Wilderness for rarely-fished sections of water.
- Castle Creek – Catch gorgeous brook trout in this Deerfield Reservoir tributary.
With several lakes and ponds in Black Hills National Forest, fish to your heart’s content within Pactola and Deerfield Reservoir Complexes or try Sheridan Lake, Sylvan Lake, or Cook Lake. Productive lures include spinners and spoons while night crawlers, grasshoppers, and salmon eggs work well when and where live bait is acceptable.
Several of these lakes are also open to ice fishing, so don’t hesitate to travel here in wintertime, wrap up, and head onto the ice for an afternoon of angling fun.