Spring Creek SD fishing

Fishing Spring Creek in South Dakota

Spring Creek is a freestone stream in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Located just outside of Rapid City, this productive stream contains a variety of different fish. It holds a good total number of fish too. Especially for a creek of its size.

Spring Creek rises on Odakota Mountain. It flows a very long way before finally emptying into the Cheyenne River near Creston. Along its path, Spring Creek is dammed up several times. It is the source of the sizeable Sheridan Lake.

spring creek sd trout fishingA good Spring Creek rainbow

South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks stocks rainbow trout into Spring Creek. Some of these fish hold over. Several other introduced and native species can also be found in the stream. Drought can negatively effect Spring Run. Releases from Sheridan Lake are meant to mitigate the risk.

This stream flows through an incredibly scenic area. It is also a fertile stream that produces a good amount of aquatic insects for fish to feed on. Even pike can key in on these insects. I’ve caught them on small flies during a hatch.

Fish species in Spring Creek

Spring Creek is home to a number of fish species. Rainbow trout are probably the most common fish in Spring Creek. Especially in the section below Sheridan Lake which offers a more suitable habitat for trout.

south dakota bluegillA chunky bluegill from Spring Creek

Other fish common to the stream include northern pike, bluegill, largemouth bass, white sucker and creek chub. These fish can be found throughout the stream.

This is a warm water fishery that holds some cold water fish. This makes for an interesting mix. In Spring Creek you can sometimes catch blue gill, pike and trout out of the same hole.

common rudd south dakotaI caught this rudd in Spring Creek

The common rudd, which is native to Eurasia, can also be found in some portions of this stream. It is not necessarily common, but it is there.

Fishing in Spring Creek

Spring Creek is very long. A good amount of these stream passes through private land. Still, significant sections of the stream are easily accessible. That includes the portion below Sheridan Lake. A trail starting at Spring Creek Trailhead follows the stream up the outflow of the lake.

northern pike south dakotaThis Northern Pike took a small fly

Just downstream of the trailhead you can find a picnic area. This and other pullovers on Sheridan Lake Road also offer some access to the stream.

This is not a particularly fast flowing stream. Don’t expect a cascading mountain creek. Spring Creek has characteristics that is closer to a meandering meadow stream. There are some faster sections where the stream turns or narrows. But overall this is a pretty smooth flowing water.

south dakota rock bassA Spring Creek rock bass

I’ve caught all sorts of fish in Spring Creek. A variety of approaches have worked for me here. When fly fishing, Montana nymphs and perdigons have been very successful. On a spinning rod rigged with light line I’ve caught fish on everything from trout worms to soft plastic stoneflies drifted under a float.

Spring Creek isn’t a particularly difficult stream to fish. As with many small streams the key seems to be to stay relatively concealed from the fish and make a natural presentation. If it looks like food and drifts naturally with the current, there is a good chance a fish will take it.

Spring Creek fishing regulations

Spring Creek falls under Black Hills fishing regulations. The stream is open to fishing year round. Fishing can be done with traditional angling methods using bait, lures, and flies.

Most people seem to fish the Spring Creek on a catch and a release basis. As trout are introduced fish stocked into the stream for anglers, there is nothing wrong with keeping a few for the dinner table if you wish.

USGS Water-data graph for site 03045000

The daily limit on trout is 5. You cannot possess more than 10 total trout. Only one trout measuring 14″ or more caught from any Black Hills stream can be kept each day.

The daily limit on bluegill is 15. The daily limit on pike is 6. The daily limit on largemouth bass is 5. There are no minimum sizes on these fish.

To the best of my knowledge, this is accurate as of the time of writing. Of course regulations are subject to change. For current regulations be sure to check the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks website.

Spring Creek fishing at a glance

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