Time: 10:30AM – 3:30PM
Location: East end of bike path; above kayak course; below Georgetown Lake
Fish Landed: 9
Now that Dan and I set our plan to hike into Wildcat Canyon on Saturday, I didn’t want to travel too far on Friday so I elected to drive to Clear Creek. I parked and began fishing at the eastern end of the bike path below Idaho Springs just before Floyd Hill. Two other fishermen were already there ahead of me and were already casting flies as I prepared. When I was ready I walked down the path to a point thirty yards above them, but as I tied on my flies they decided to migrate upstream and jumped in above me. They were already cramping me so when I found a spot where the stream spread out I crossed to the opposite bank.
I began fishing with a Chernobyl ant and a beadhead hares ear and prospected along the bank with only refusals to show for my efforts. According to Blue Quill Angler, catching fish in Clear Creek is easy using large attractor flies. I was not finding it to be easy. I switched the Chernobyl for a parachute hopper and kept the BHHE and only refusals ensued. Next I tried an olive body caddis and a light gray caddis and these were equally ineffective. Finally I returned to the parachute hopper and added a beadhead pheasant tail instead of a beadhead hares ear, and I landed a brown on the pheasant tail. Phew! I had at least one fish before I broke for lunch at noon.
During lunch some light rain fell and it was cloudy and overcast most of the day, although there were more periods of sunshine in the afternoon than the morning. After lunch I tried a Letort hopper and a beadhead pheasant tail and landed a small brown on the nymph. When I reached the point where Dan and Adam and I began fishing during an evening in August I decided to move to a different location. I jumped back on interstate 70 and drove west and then got off at Lawson and drove to a spot above the kayak course. Unfortunately I didn’t remember that the stretch of water between the kayak course and the bridge for the I70 east bound on ramp was relatively short.
I put on a red body attractor fly and this didn’t bring any luck. Next I tied on a royal stimulator and this enabled me to added two more small browns to my fish count. When I reached the I70 ramp bridge, the only ways to continue fishing were to wade the stream through a long tunnel under the highway or to climb up to the shoulder and walk across the east and west lanes of the highway. I didn’t like either of these options so I returned to the car and decided to take a drive west on the frontage road.
The first mile or two was private, but I then came to a place where there was a parking lot for a hiking tail and then a bridge over Clear Creek a short distance up the road. I parked at the trailhead and hiked up the road to the bridge and dropped down to fish on the west side of the bridge. Initially Clear Creek was very fast with a high gradient. In addition it split into two and sometimes three channels and the willows and vegetation were very tight to the bank making upstream progression quite difficult. But I stuck with it and ducked under branches and pushed aside willows and found a few nice small pockets and holes to fish.
After fighting my way upstream a bit I reached a spot where there was only one channel and there were a couple larger pockets. Here I began to see a decent BWO hatch so I tied the Chernobyl back on and added a RS2 dropper. This turned out to be a good move as I landed three additional rainbows, two on the RS2 and one the Chernobyl. I cast the Chernobyl into the middle of a small deep pocket and the rainbow ambushed the fly on the plunk. In addition to the three landed fish I experienced a couple long distance releases as the action really picked up at 3PM when the hatch commenced. This left me wondering if the hatch also took place downstream at my starting point, but we will never know the answer to that.
I ended the day in some very enticing water just below the Georgetown Lake dam and behind a county maintenance facility. The grass was packed down in this area so it was obvious it received heavier pressure from other fishermen.