Bear Creek flows gradually decreased over the past week and are now at a more productive level for fishing. The water is still stained but there is enough visibility to get the trout’s attention. Trout are also able to spread out from the banks to hold and feed in pools, soft runs and pockets. Nymph rigs, double dry droppers with split shot and small streamers are the most effective setups. Buoyant dry flies such as Hippie Stompers, PMXs and Amy’s Ants are ideal when trailing multiple nymphs and weight. Whether you’re fishing a dry dropper or nymph rig, flashy and messy patterns are the way to go. San Juan Worms, Flashback Pheasant Tails, red Copper Johns, Rainbow Warriors, Psycho Prince Nymphs, Frenchies, Perdigons and Zebra Midges are all good examples. If you’re not snagging the bottom of the river every few drifts, add more weight or tie on a tungsten bead nymph. If you go the streamer route, dead drift a Woolly Bugger, leech or Thin Mint through a deep pool/run and erratically retrieve it upstream. Looking at the weather forecast, the water and fishing conditions are likely to change, so get after it sooner rather than later. Assuming that the forecast holds true, flows will quickly rise and water clarity will decrease. Trout will push towards banks or hold deep in soft water. In addition to streamers, heavy nymph rigs with large, messy and bright nymphs will be your best bet.
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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.