Flows at Clear Creek continue to drop slowly and sit well below the historical average for this time of year. As such, water clarity is high and trout are spooky. While trout continue to favor the soft water along the banks, the bigger specimens are gravitating to the deeper water. The dry dropper is the name of the game right now. First, it allows you to cover all life-cycles and second, it makes for a light weight nymph rig and works great in times of low flows. If you come across a deeper run or pool, don’t hesitate to rig up a traditional nymph rig, but by and large you’ll want to stick with the dry dropper setup. Lead with an Elk Hair Caddis (MVP) or Amy’s Ant followed by one or more smaller searchers/attractors like a Flashback PT, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear, Brassie, Frenchie or Rainbow Warrior to start, but make sure to throw in some imitative midge, baetis and caddis into the mix. Zebra Midges, Black Beauties, RS2s, Jujubaetis, Stalcup’s Baetis, Sparkle Pupa and Electric Caddis are all good options. Don’t spend too much time in one place. Cover a lot of ground/water and move on after a few minutes.
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Clear Creek is a small freestone tributary to the South Platte river and spans 66 miles across north central Colorado. The stream, which is oddly named "creek", originates at the continental divide near Loveland pass and flows east through Georgetown, Idaho Springs, and the Clear Creek Canyon before joining the South Platte River in Denver County. The stream is often associated with the Colorado gold rush in 1859 as it was heavily mined in a number of locations. Additionally, it has been the primary water source for the Coors Brewery, in Golden Colorado, since 1873.
Clear Creek is heavily fished and holds an abundance of insect life and small to mid-sized Brown and Rainbow Trout. It is one of the more accessible fly fishing destinations near Denver, Colorado and is great for anglers of all skill sets. So if you're committed to afternoon tea and need a quick fly fishing fix, Clear Creek is the spot to be. Clear Creek trout are not picky when it comes to their diet, however, they spook easily and can spot a fake from a mile away. So choose your steps wisely and keep your shadow off of the water.
Clear creek has a number of easy access points through Clear Creek Canyon and along I-70 near Idaho Springs. If you're coming from Denver, Clear Creek Canyon is your quickest option. Take I-70 to Highway 58 or I-70 to 6 ave West to Highway 58 and head up the Canyon. There are roughly 3 miles of public access here.
Along I-70 the first access point is where the highway meets Highway 6. Exit 244 and park beneath the bridge on the left hand side. Drive further and you will see access points in Idaho Springs and as far west as Bakersville near Loveland Ski Area.