Flows at Clear Creek have been fairly erratic over the last couple of weeks, but are holding below the historical average for this time of year. Rain at the beginning of the week led to the most recent bump to which water clarity was impaired momentarily. Productivity suffered briefly, but has since improved alongside clarity. On Thurs (10/14), we’re expecting a chance of light snow and cooler temps. As a result, productivity will be slow in the morning, but should improve in the afternoon during peak heat hours. Starting on Fri (10/15), the weather should clear up and air temps will rise. Regardless, the dry dropper will continue to produce the best results. Lead with an Amy’s Ant, Chubby Chernobyl or Elk Hair Caddis followed by one or more smaller searchers/attractors like a Flashback PT, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear, Perdigon, Rainbow Warrior, red/green Copper John or Frenchie. Otherwise, smaller imitations in the midge and baetis variety will do the trick. Black or purple Zebra Midges, Black Beauties, Mercury Midges, RS2s, Darth Baetis and Juju Baetis are a few of our go-to’s right now. Nymphing is a viable option, especially in the deeper runs and pools. However, you’ll likely need to adjust your depth on a frequent basis. During periods of cooler weather, you’ll want to focus on the banks and slow water and when temps moderate look for trout to spread out into the faster runs, riffles and seams.
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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.