Time: 2:00PM – 4:00PM
Location: Downstream from Hidden Valley exit off of I70 along bike path
Fish Landed: 10
When I arrived at work on Monday and checked with the office manager, I discovered that she hadn’t finished her piece of August closing so I completed my routine weekly reports. The city of Denver is doing work on the water, sewer, and electrical lines in front of our studio and the water was cut off, so I decided it was a good time to take the afternoon off and go fishing. By the time I drove home, ate lunch, loaded the car and drove to Clear Creek it was around 1:30. It took me another 15 minutes to gear up and then I hiked down the bike path for another 10 minutes before I began fishing at 2PM.
I began with the traditional yellow Letort hopper trailing a beadhead hares ear. I picked up a couple small browns (6-8 inches) on the beadhead and then as it clouded up I added a RS2. I was covering a lot of water as I was fishing mainly the pockets along my side of the creek. The section I was in was quite fast with the main current a straight chute down the center of the streambed, and the flows were still strong enough that I couldn’t find a safe spot to cross to the north side, although I would have loved to explore those pockets. Eventually I swapped out the hopper for a Chernobyl ant, and I landed a couple small fish on the Chernobyl. But I was experiencing a huge quantity of refusals and foul hooked fish as I reacted to surface movement and hooked fish on the trailing nymphs.
After an hour and a half I’d landed five small brown trout and experienced a huge amount of frustration due to refusals, foul hooked fish and resultant tangles. Since the fish were obviously looking to the surface I clipped off the nymphs and started to experiment with attractor dries. First I tied on a royal stimulator that I’d purchased, but that gained me one refusal and then not even any looks. Next I rummaged through my small plastic cylindrical container where I stash my large dry flies and attractors, and I noticed a gray parachute hopper. My son Dan told me he caught four rainbows in a trout pond over the weekend on the gray parachute hopper I’d given him, and they slurped it with confidence. I grabbed the parahopper and tied it on to my tippet and began working the side pockets.
It was magical. Over the next half hour I landed five brown trout and each fish was larger than any of the fish I landed in the first hour and a half. The fish didn’t typically jump on the fly on the first cast, but usually the second or third, and they exhibited a confident take as they calmly rose and sipped it in. Normally I’m a big believer that reading water, fishing where there is less pressure and making good presentations is more important than fly selection. But Clear Creek convinced me that sometimes fly choice can make a big difference.
I’d like to return to Clear Creek while the weather remains nice and cross to the north bank and see if the parachute hopper can continue to work its magic. Unfortunately I lost the productive parahopper in a tree, and my inventory is getting quite low so I’ll need to tie some more.