Clear Creek – 04/08/2024

Time: 2:30PM – 4:00PM

Location: Clear Creek Canyon

Clear Creek 04/08/2024 Photo Album

A high of 59 F on Monday April 8 prompted me to entertain the idea of a fishing trip. Of course, Monday, April 8 is notable as the day of the solar eclipse. Here in Denver the experts determined that 70% blockage of the sun was expected. The peak partial eclipse was supposed to develop at around 1:30PM.  Jane and I played pickleball in the morning, and upon my return I ate my lunch and loaded the car for fishing. As I was doing so, my neighbors appeared in the alley along with their dog, and I asked if they looked at the sun. They responded with an enthusiastic yes, and they asked if I had, and I replied that we failed to purchase eclipse glasses, My neighbor, Josh, immediately walked toward me and offered one set of their glasses. I stretched them across my regular sunglasses, and I was quite amazed at the image. Roughly 2/3 of the sun was covered in black. I returned to the house and offered the glasses to Jane, who was equally impressed with the partial eclipse image. I am so pleased that we did not pass up eclipse viewing, even a 70% event. The next full eclipse is on the calendar for some time in 2044.

Once my solar viewing was complete, I drove to Clear Creek Canyon west of Golden. I wish I could say this was uneventful, but the short trip required two detours and a ten minute wait due to construction in the canyon. My decision to check the maps app before departing proved to be a very worthwhile act.

The temperature in the canyon, when I arrived at my parking space, was 53 degrees, so I bundled with a long sleeved thermal undershirt, fishing shirt, North Face light down parka, and my rain shell. I wore my billed hat with ear flaps for ear coverage. Nearly the entire fishing time was in the shade of the canyon, and aside from my hands and feet, I was reasonably comfortable. For my fishing tool I fit together my Sage four weight, and after trudging along a fisherman and rock climbing path, I descended to the creek.

I began my quest for canyon trout with a yellow size 8 fat Albert and trailed a 20 incher and emerald caddis pupa. I prospected my way up the creek for 1.5 hours, and I am disappointed to report that I hooked only one small brown trout on the fat Albert. I tossed the dry/dropper in all the likely fish holding locales, however, the stream residents, if they, in fact, existed ignored my nymphs. I did observe a couple looks at the fat Albert, but the subsurface action was nonexistent. For the end fly I cycled through a beadhead hares ear nymph, ultra zug bug, black balanced mini leech, a salvation nymph and a go2 bright green caddis. My confidence fell to new depths, and I vowed to not return to Clear Creek for awhile.

The water was a bit off color, and I never saw signs of insect activity, so I speculated that low level snow melt from recent storms was impacting the water clarity and temperature. I tried lengthening the dropper leader near the start to obtain deeper drifts, but all my changes in flies and tactics failed to reverse the adverse fortunes. In my two most recent outings I got skunked and then landed one fish, so I am due for a change in fortunes. I will probably pass on fishing during the 2044 solar eclipse.

Fish Landed: 1