Time: 1:00PM – 5:00PM
Location: Lair of the Bear Park
Fish Landed: 6
With temperatures in Denver touching the 90’s, snow melt was kicking in. I checked the flows and Bear Creek remained at 27 cfs. In an earlier outing I fished Bear Creek at 22 cfs, so I knew this was probably fishable water.
I packed up my gear and lunch and headed out the door at around 11:30. I arrived at the Lair of the Bear parking lot at around 12:15 and was fortunate to get a parking space. I ate my lunch in the car and then put on my waders and rigged my rod. It was quite warm and there were fishermen and picnickers and runners and bikers and dog walkers everywhere. I headed west on the Bear Creek Trail along the stream. It looked a bit high but very clear.
I was looking to begin fishing where I’d ended the previous visit to Bear Creek, and when I reached that point, another fisherman was already in the stream so I moved above him by 50 yards or so and entered the water. I initially tied on a Chernobyl ant trailing a beadhead hares ear. This combination wasn’t producing so I clipped off the BHHE and replaced it with a beadhead emerald caddis pupa. As I moved upstream I noticed the occasional golden stonefly fluttering up from the creek, so I removed the Chernobyl ant and replaced it with a Letort hopper. This proved to be a success and I landed two small browns on the Letort hopper after it got submerged in eddies.
I also managed a brown on the emerald caddis, but on two or three occasions during this time, I hooked branches too high up to remove the flies without breaking them off. I was doing this when I saw a pause of the fly, and set the hook too hard with no fish attached. After reaching a group of young girls wading into the creek for a refreshing cool off, I walked on the trail around them, and then re-entered. I hadn’t caught any fish for awhile so I returned to the Chernobyl ant trailing a beadhead hares ear and beadhead emerald caddis pupa. In between the Letort hopper and Chernobyl I also tried a small yellow sally with a quill body and a light gray caddis, but these didn’t produce.
When I came to a bridge I waded to the other side and began prospecting the water with the three fly combination and landed three small browns, two on the emerald caddis and one on the Chernobyl ant. I also had a couple refusals to the Chernobyl. I attribute the success in this area to being further away from the path and fishing nooks and small pockets along the opposite bank.
It was now late in the afternoon and I came upon a sign that announced the area was private property, and I was quite warm so I decided to quit for the day and hike back to the car.