Clear Creek 7/26/10

Time: 6:00PM – 9:00PM

Location: Philadelphia Mills Open Space

Fish Landed: 1

When playing tennis with Dan on the weekend, he asked whether I’d be interested in fishing the South Platte some night after work. I replied that I needed to check the conditions on the South Platte, but I was definitely interested in some after work fishing.

I checked the South Platte and flows were elevated to 366, but not coming from the bottom of the dam, and the previous week, while they worked on the dam, the flows were cut to a low level during the heat wave. Flies and Lies shop took temperature readings in the low 70’s. I decided the South Platte probably wasn’t a good choice as conditions were fluctuating too much.

I emailed Dan and told him the South Platte probably wasn’t a good choice, but I’d had a blast on Clear Creek, and that was only an hour away, so why not give that a try. He replied that he was in, and could we go on Monday after work. I loaded the car and picked Dan up at 5:15 and we drove to the Philadelphia Mills open space and parked a bit west of my Friday venture. There were several other fishermen that we worked around. We crossed the bridge and went down the road to the midpoint of the area I’d fished on Friday. I tied a Chernobyl Ant on for Dan, and he began fishing the likely pockets. I didn’t tie on a fly until Dan had been fishing for an hour or so. Dan landed a couple decent trout by Clear Creek standards in the first hour on the Chernobyl. He followed his fly and saw the trout take and set the hook. He was doing quite well, so I tied on a caddis and began fishing in parallel with him. I was still helping him a bit and netting the fish for him, so I was fishing sporadically.

When we reached one of the fishermen, we skirted him and re-entered the stream 40 yards further upstream. Dan caught another rainbow along the left bank in the glare, and I was quite impressed. I still wasn’t having luck, so I swapped the caddis for a royal stimulator. The stimulator brought a few refusals, but still no fish. We encountered another fisherman, so once again went around and under the bridge near where we parked. We went upstream from the bridge quite a ways while prospecting some narrow slots along the bank with no success. Finally near the bend where the creek widened out a bit, Dan landed a fourth brown that he hooked when he felt it as he couldn’t follow his fly in the low light and glare.

When we got to the wide area at the bend, there was a smooth pool on the far side. I spotted a fish working on the surface so I waded into position across from the pool. I had switched to a Chernobyl and tossed five to ten casts in the pool and had several refusals. It was now getting pretty dark at 8:30 or so, so I used my headlamp and switched out the Chernobyl for a light gray caddis. I couldn’t see my fly when I resumed casting, but watched for a rise in the vicinity of where I thought my fly was. I hooked and landed a tiny no-counter towards the top third of the pool. Dan was laughing at the minnow as I released it. I dried my fly and cast toward the middle and above where I’d seen the initial fish working. I felt a tug and set the hook and landed a 9 inch brown to prevent a skunking. We both decided to head back to the car over the boulder field while there was still a glimmer of remaining light.

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