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  • Rusty and Cindy Stimmel

South Dakota Fish: Black Crappie, Bluegill, Perch, Largemouth Bass, Red Eye Rock Bass

We are Domiciled in South Dakota so we visit there once a year for our annual Doctor’s visits.

We arrived in Rapid City in Mid-June for a one week stay which turned into 3 weeks. We fished Rapid Creek twice for trout with great success. Cindy caught about 10 fish with an orange mepps spinner our first time and Rusty caught about 10 trout on a gold ribbed hare’s ear. The second time we went, Cindy had a migraine, and did not fish long and only caught 3 or 4 fish. Rusty fished for about an hour with good results, four or five fish. Rusty made a couple of cast in a run just upstream when some worm dunkers, who were downstream from him, saw his long-distance release on a nice trout. As he was walking away from the run he was fishing he could hear them wondering why a trout would be in moving water. Then they went and fished the run behind him.

We went to Angostura State Park to fish for a couple of days between Doctor appointments and did not do well. The wind was blowing the entire time we were there. The lake was high and up into the trees, bushes and reeds on the shore. Fly fishing from the shore was not possible, and we saw that there were old, touring rental kayaks at the camp. We inquired of the camp host about renting them and found out that they needed to be rented from headquarters which was 8 miles away and the speed limit was 35 mph. We chose not to rent a kayak.

After a few days in Rapid City, while waiting for the paperwork for Rusty’s CPAP to be processed, we went to Sheridan Lake. We got a beautiful campsite just above an inlet. We had purchased a float tube at the Cabela’s bargain cave in Rapid City. Rusty fished from the float tube in the inlet for panfish and bass with a woolly bugger, a worm fly and a Crappie Candy fly he tied from a pattern he found on the internet. He caught bluegill, perch, bass and crappie on the woolly bugger and the worm fly. The crappie fly was very successful for crappie. The catch rate was about double the catch rate for either the bugger or the worm fly. The Crappie were spread out and not in a school, making them harder to find. Rusty caught in excess of 20 crappie in about 90 minutes.

Cindy has decided she will fish with a spinning rod, not learn how to fly-fish. We bought Cindy a St Croix travel rod in Pagosa Springs and she is using it. We also bought a Cabela’s travel rod in medium weight in Rapid city. Cindy caught several bluegills, rock bass and perch on artificial worms. She tried to use the Cabela’s rod and it was a little heavy. Rusty used it to catch several bass and a pike fishing from the shore when there was not enough time to put the float tube in or it was too dark to use the float tube.

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