Trip Report Couple Outings in the Black Hills

#1
Decided to take some photos from my last couple outings in the Black Hills of SD. This first set of photos are from a few days ago after we had just gotten some snow. This was my favorite way to procrastinate studying for some finals. Couple pretty rainbows and a bunch of browns. This area is my favorite to fish in the winter, not for the size of the fish just for the surroundings. 08E30A68-5B73-489E-8806-9756A4485E61.jpeg 82D35B35-3BB7-479A-9322-D848B335CF0D.jpeg 52585FC4-4B6D-44A6-BE91-ACD65B5C1D1D.jpeg F007D2B6-A3A1-4A54-93DE-1FC20BDE912B.jpeg B9241346-8099-4F0A-8231-729DB025CAEC.jpeg D4EEB339-7F7C-48AE-BF6D-BFD7840A6BC6.jpeg
Today was my first day of winter break. There's a neat state run area that has a hatchery located on it that I've only fished a couple times before. It’s located on the SD/WY border and has a good amount of walk-in land for hunting and a spring creek running through it. Figured it would be a good opportunity to do a little waterfowl hunting (if they were around which they aren’t yet), and fish. There’s a lot of little springs that feed the creek and create some small ponds that stay open through the winter. Only saw one goose so I spent the whole time fishing. The area isn’t exactly pretty this time of year, although it does have some bucolic charm in the summer. This creek has a good population of wild browns, is stocked with some large ugly trout, and is the best opportunity this side of the state to catch a trophy native river redhorse. Unfortunately, no natives to the net, only some invasive browns (; lot of little wild browns and one big ugly stocker. 8A07A894-9C1A-46E8-BB42-0137FBB6CB68.jpeg 0BD62D11-D095-4BCB-AF54-15CFC917F3CE.jpeg E7477176-FFFE-4088-BB2F-869C9A917AB2.jpeg Beavers are the most inconsiderate of all aquatic mammmals. Be otters or be nothing. This was one of the best runs for good sized wild fish and native fish. I bet those furry suckers did it on purpose. E754D7FB-865E-41C4-8EF1-81F500F7EBC4.jpeg BB923FBA-B4A7-4568-87AA-3024613DE5A4.jpeg
Big ugly stocker. Wayyy too many of these guys in the creek if you ask me but they still put a bend in the rod 60456705-017D-4860-AE6E-A5978BF522F3.jpeg
 
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Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
#3
Nice, but lookin' rather chilly. Out here, otters are just as obnoxious as beavers. The otters will follow you and sometimes even try to take a searun cutthroat you are playing, although they usually wait until you release a fish, then its easy pickins for them to chase down. Even worse are the Harbor Seals that swim upstream following the salmon. I watched one chasing some Coho once. I then experienced evil thoughts! I prefer to see mink prowling the banks.
 
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#5
Nice, but lookin' rather chilly. Out here, otters are just as obnoxious as beavers. The otters will follow you and sometimes even try to take a searun cutthroat you are playing, although they usually wait until you release a fish, then its easy pickins for them to chase down. Even worse are the Harbor Seals that swim upstream following the salmon. I watched one chasing some Coho once. I then experienced evil thoughts! I prefer to see mink prowling the banks.
I worked on a fishing boat last summer in Alaska and I will agree that seals are buggers. We had one eat 7 reds out of our net and chase another three over the side of it. Sea otters are nice. I’ve never had any run ins with river otters while fishing but I’d make an exception for those cuties. I’ve had mink eat trout off of my line before so not a huge fan of them either hah. Beavers are another story though
 

Young Engh

Active Member
#6
I imagine the black hills as a slightly more mountainous driftless region. Like you said not the size of trout but the surroundings. I’m sure those wild browns don’t keep you away though. Thanks for the report.
 
#7
I imagine the black hills as a slightly more mountainous driftless region. Like you said not the size of trout but the surroundings. I’m sure those wild browns don’t keep you away though. Thanks for the report.
Thanks! Those rainbows are wild as well and might have a smidge of Yellowstone cutthroat in them because that’s where the first trout in the area were stocked from. Looking at pictures and videos, some areas of the hills are like the driftless especially those in the foothills and closer to the flatlands. The driftless seems to be mostly spring creeks (from my understanding) while we have a few small freestones and a couple nice tail waters as well, but overall probably pretty similar!
 
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