Clear Creek

Weekly Overview:

December 9 , 2019

  • Technicality: 2/5

  • Things are starting to look a little icy in the canyon. You're probably looking at your last couple weeks of fishing Clear Creek. Ice accumulation along the banks has made for tricky fishing. Not only do you have to be careful where you step, but also where you cast. In these conditions, you're probably going to be best off with a heavy nymph rig. Target the banks to the best of your ability, but also look to fish the deeper runs. Ensure plenty of weight and cover a lot of water. When nymphing, lead with a Guides Choice Hares Ear, Pheasant Tail or Psycho Prince and trail a Mercury Midge, RS2 or red thread midge.

  • Ideal Days To Fish: Wednesday through Saturday

  • Suggested Flies: 

    • Sub-surface: Prince Nymph (#16-20), Pheasant Tail (#16-20), Copper John (#16-20), Rainbow Warrior (#18-20), Zebra Midge (black/red #18-22), San Juan Worm (#10-14).

    • Surface: Elk Hair Caddis (#18-20), Parachute Adams (#20 - #22)

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Credit: U.S. Geological Survey 
Department of the Interior/USGS

Detailed River Info:


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. 

River Access:

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. 

© 2019

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