Time: 2:30PM – 6:00PM
Location: O’Fallon Park
Fish Landed: 8
Bear Creek is a small creek, and the fish are rarely longer than ten inches, but the flows were ideal and it takes less than an hour to reach from my house, so that was my destination on Tuesday, July 2.
I finished everything I can accomplish for June closing on Tuesday morning and clocked out for the Fourth of July holiday. I arrived home around noon and ate my lunch while reviewing the stream flows. I had a half day to fish so I didn’t want to travel too far. Clear Creek and South Boulder Creek were still running high, and I was saving NF of St. Vrain for Wednesday, so I decided to visit Bear Creek. The flows were 14 cfs, and I remembered that this is close to ideal for the small stream that flows from Evergreen to Morrison and then to Denver.
I grabbed the last space in the parking lot at O’Fallon Park and quickly put together my Orvis Access four weight and pulled on my waders and walked down the dirt road that is now barricaded with signs stating that it is a fire lane. There were kids tubing and playing in the stream across from the parking lot so I moved above them and cut in just ahead of some picnickers. I tied on the Chernobyl ant with a yellow indicator and below that I added a salvation nymph. The water I began fishing probably gets pounded as it is in the western part of O’Fallon Park, but I worked it quickly with no more than three casts to promising water. I covered quite a bit of ground with no response, but then in a current seam next to a run the Chernobyl dipped and I set the hook and landed a nine inch brown trout.
The rest of my fishing afternoon on Bear Creek pretty much followed this same script. I limited my casts and covered a lot of water and landed the occasional small fish. I had the most success in water with decent depth (2-3 feet) right next to the bank with some sort of cover or structure. I landed two browns that grabbed the trailing nymph when I fed line downstream and allowed the two fly combination to drift right along the bank and under some overhanging branches.
I caught the first two fish on the salvation nymph, but when my success rate stalled I exchanged it for a beadhead hares ear and that pretty much took all the remaining fish. I noticed a fair amount of refusals to the Chernobyl but stayed with it due to its buoyancy and visibility.
In the nice water next to the restaurant in Kittredge I switched to a size 16 light gray caddis without any success, and I did the same at the nice pool below the bridge in Kittredge. In both cases I managed a refusal but returned to the Chernobyl/hares ear combination for better results.
I managed to land eight small browns in my late afternoon adventure, but it wasn’t easy fishing. I covered a lot of water and needed to make accurate casts in tight quarters, and the fish were quite spooky and not tolerant of sloppy casts or reckless wading. A day of catching small trout is better than not fishing at all.