Clear Creek

Weekly Overview:

December 2 , 2019

  • Technicality: 2/5

  • Similar to Bear Creek, Clear Creek remains largely ice free, so get out and enjoy it while you still can. You may find some ice build-up in the canyon and along sections that don’t see much sun, so look for sections that receive morning and afternoon sun exposure. Water temps are low and that has trout holding in the deep and slow sections that provide them the least resistance. Hit these soft water sections with either a dry dropper or nymph rig. In general, nymph rigs will produce better results in the morning. In the afternoon, dry dropper setups will attract trout feeding in the upper half of the water column. A Parachute Adams or Elk Hair Caddis followed by a Zebra Midge or Pheasant Tail is a solid dry dropper setup. 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, Thursday & 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
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Weather Provided by Weather Underground

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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