Spearfish Creek- Fly Fishing

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Spearfish Creek in the Black Hills offers year round fly fishing, along with a number of other outdoor recreation opportunities.

Written by

Chris Allington


0.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

33.6 miles


3 of 5 diamonds

Conditions can be tricky to figure out, as it depends on the weather and creek flow. Some of the access points require hiking or maneuvering stretches of creek with large boulders and rugged terrain, which can be strenuous at times.

Time To Complete

2 hours

The best time to fish here is in the morning or late afternoon, but you could spend a day or a weekend here, in any season.


All Seasons

Even in the winter, the creek typically doesn't freeze over completely, though there will be some ice.

Dog Friendly


Fees Permits


South Dakota fishing licenses are required for anyone over the age of 16. For in state residents, year round licenses are $28, or a single day is $8. For non-residents, a year round license is $67 or a single day is $16.



Spearfish Creek in the Black Hills offers year round fly fishing, along with a number of other outdoor recreation opportunities. Incredible scenery, waterfalls, hiking, climbing, camping, and fishing are all available within minutes of one another in this deep limestone canyon tucked into the northern hills of Black Hills National Forest. 

What Makes It Great

Even though trout are not native to the cold water streams of the Black Hills, they were introduced from Colorado in 1899, and several populations have become naturally self sustaining from year to year. Now, Spearfish Creek is known for plentiful  brown, rainbow, and brook trout. The creek itself is about 29 feet wide, and freezes from the bottom up, making it accessible and fishable year round. There are many good fishing spots here, but the best areas are near Spearfish Canyon.

Spearfish Creek combines this abundance of trout with easy access, incredible scenery in Spearfish Canyon, and the wide variety of outdoor recreation opportunities into one beautiful package. Spending a weekend fishing, camping, hiking, and sight seeing here can make for a great escape into the wilderness, but with the convenience of nearby towns.  

Who is Going to Love It

Serious anglers will like the varying conditions and types of fishing on the creek. Stretches of rapids, lazy ponds and pools, and dams offer a variety of fishing experiences. Because of the flow rate of the creek it also doesn't freeze in the winter and reliable midge hatches occur on warm, winter days, making it accessible year round. While the creek is primarily known for its trout, there are freshwater lakes and streams nearby where you can find walleye and largemouth bass.

Less experienced fisherman or those just looking to get some quick casts in will love the scenery and accessibility here and the ability to combine it with some of the other activities in the canyon.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

From either I-90 in the town of Spearfish, or South Dakota 385 coming up from the south: Follow signs for South Dakota 14A or the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway. Regular parking areas/ pull offs/ camping and picnic areas offer parking and access to the creek as it parallels the road. 

There are U.S. Forest Service campgrounds available (for a fee), including both primitive sites and camper spots. 

Lodging is also available in Spearfish.

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Spearfish Creek

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