Fall has arrived in the Black Hills this week. High temps in the 40s and low 50s coupled with night temps in the 30s have heralded in the changing colors in the trees and a crispness in the air that many outdoorsmen look forward to.
Hunting seasons have nearly started, and the higher elevations here have seen their first snowfalls! And the kickoff of the fall bite should start any day now, as the water temps continue to drop and fish in the area begin to feed heavily in preparation for winter. The bite is reported to be picking up thanks to the weather, so the next week could be a great time to wet a line. With that in mind, here's some reports from around the area:
The walleye bite at Angostura and Orman Dam is starting to pick up after an extremely slow and trying summer season. Water temperatures have begun dropping significantly, which should continue to spur on the action. No specifics have been mentioned from Angostura, but on Orman, once walleyes are located after extensive searching, they are beginning caught on bottom bouncers with worms or jigs and minnows. As the fish return to the shallows, the dam, Fruitdale, and Gavins Point areas should see more action.
Pactola is seeing a large uptick in rainbow trout being caught in the bays and off points, including some very nice specimens. The pike bite is starting to pick up as well in bays and back in Jenny Gulch on large chubs.
Sheridan is also seeing an increasing pike bite, particularly in the Spring Creek area along Hwy 385 on chubs as well.
Stockade has remained fairly quiet, but the cooler weather should spur on the bass and pike in the lake, especially in the mornings along weed lines. The crappie bite is starting to heat up on slip bobbers and minnows.
Deerfield is also the site of some hot trout action, particularly from trolling using shallow running crankbaits, such as the 2.5" Salmo Rattlin' Hornet, in less than 10' of water. Perch are being in 25'-30' of water as well, responding to jigs and worms. The trout lakes (Sylvan, Center, Roubaix, Lakota, Horsethief) are also seeing increasing action with fish responding to spoons, spinners, and salmon eggs.
These cool days have a way of breathing life back into the outdoors for many of us. With the dog days of summer behind, the fields and waters in our areas beckon to us. Fall is the time when we can hunt in the morning and fish into the afternoon or vice versa. Some of best days to be an outdoorsman or woman are in front of us. Be sure to take advantage of it!