Bear Creek remains a viable option for anglers looking for a quick trip near Denver. Flows are low but stable and high water clarity provides plenty of sight fishing opportunities. Trout are on high alert, so take time to observe the water and approach is slowly to avoid spooking trout. Trout are relatively consolidated right now, so if you focus most of your time in deeper pools, runs and pockets, you shouldn’t have a problem locating trout. Trout are primarily feeding sub-surface but if you’re on the river during a midge, BWO or caddis hatch, you’ll have plenty of dry fly opportunities. Griffiths Gnat’s, Parachute Adams and Elk Hair Caddis are our go-to patterns for those hatches. When trout aren’t actively rising, a dry dropper with an Elk Hair Caddis, stimulator or hopper pattern is the way to go. A single nymph is sufficient in most sections but if you’re fishing a particularly deep run or pool, trailing a second nymph is a wise decision. Our top sub-surface patterns right now are Psycho Prince Nymphs, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ears, Frenchies, Rainbow Warriors, Pheasant Tails, red/black Zebra Midges and JuJu Baetis.
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Bear Creek is a small creek that starts in the Mount Evans Wilderness area and eventually feeds into the South Platte in Englewood. Bear Creek flows through the town of Evergreen, Kittredge and Morrison before it dumps into Bear Creek Lake. Only 30 minutes from Denver, Bear Creek is a solid option for anglers looking for a quick trip to scratch the fly fishing itch. While there are many access points, Lair O’ the Bear Park is one of the most popular access points. With that said, there are numerous parks between Lair O’ the Bear and Evergreen that provide easy access and great fishing. Anglers can expect to catch Brown and Rainbow Trout in the 6” – 12” range. If you’re looking for Brook Trout, the Mount Evans Wilderness area will be your best bet. Bear Creek is a freestone creek and therefore is best fished during the summer and fall.
If you’re looking for a true mountain creek fishing experience, Bear Creek is a great option for anglers of all experience levels. 3 weight – 5 weight rods will be all that you need and our go-to rig is leading with an Amy’s Ant followed by a size #18 - #22 Prince Nymph, Pheasant Tail or SJ Worm. These trout are eager but can be easy to miss so be ready to set the hook with each cast. Fish the obvious pools and runs but don’t rule out the pocket water. Some of our most productive days come from quickly moving upstream and making 1 – 2 casts to small pockets.
Bear Creek runs alongside Highway 74 providing for easy access throughout. From Denver, Take Highway 6 or I-70 to C-470. Take the Morrison Exit near Bandimere Speedway. Take Highway 74 west towards Evergreen and stay on this road for roughly 6 miles until you see Lair O’ the Bear Park on your left. Once you park, it’s a short walk to the creek.