While much of the canyon and stretches further west are largely covered in ice, there is plenty of open water in and around the town of Golden. Water temps are low and food sources are minimal which has made for difficult fishing. That being said, these nutrient deprived trout are not terribly selective at the moment and are feeding opportunistically during the warmest hours of the day. The mornings have been and will continue to be slow so give it until about 10:30 am before hitting the water. Simple nymph rigs with moderately sized searchers or attractors at the lead to one or more smaller midge imitations have been effective. If you go this route, fish the deepest water column and ensure plenty of weight. Otherwise, a dry dropper with a buoyant stimulator fly at the lead to one or more smaller nymph trailers has been the most versatile. In this case, you’ll want to make sure that your droppers have enough weight and length to reach the appropriate feeding lanes. By and large, trout will stick to the deep and slow water most of the day, but you’ll want to survey the mid to upper column during peak heat hours. Regardless, make sure to cover each spot thoroughly before moving on and to adjust depth and presentation before swapping out flies.
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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.