The custom fly selection you are about to order will consist of a dozen hand selected flies from the fly bins of Anglers All. These flies will be selected by an Anglers All staff member using the knowledge, research and experience of the collective Anglers All team, based on the month you will be fishing Clear Creek. These selections will include nymphs, midges, dry flies and a streamer or two. Your package will include your ordered flies in a reusable Anglers All fly cup, as well as a list with names and descriptions of your flies. The dozen you will receive will not guarantee fish caught, but include the flies we would bring to the water if we were to fish it with you!
OK, you are about to get all dialed in on flies, but you will need a little more information on weather, flows and river access points, right? Check out our Fishing Report partners and friends at FlyCast River Forecast - CLICK HERE FOR RIVER REPORTS
The Clear Creek Basin
Clear Creek, similar to Bear Creek, is one of those streams you can easily pass on the way to other water. But, just like Bear Creek, Clear Creek is a gem of a fishery that can be an easy after-work escape for any angler on the Front Range.
Starting high up in the mountains at its headwaters on the Continental Divide, Clear Creek stretches 66 miles before emptying into the South Platte River just to the north of Downtown Denver. Along the way, it flows through Georgetown Reservoir, a respectable fishery in its own right.
In our opinion, the creek can be separated into two distinct sections: Loveland Pass to Idaho Springs and Idaho Springs to Golden.
From Loveland Pass to Idaho Springs, Clear Creek fits its description as a ‘creek’. Fishing the headwaters can be an excellent small stream adventure, especially if you like skinny water dry fly fishing. There are also a few beaver ponds in this section that hold decent populations of brook and cutthroat trout. Dry/dropper rigs and short 3wt. rods are the best way to fish Clear Creek above Idaho Springs.
From Idaho Springs to Golden, Clear Creek almost looks more like a river than a ‘creek’. The stream continues to pick up speed and size as it slides down the mountainside, before carving its way into Clear Creek Canyon. This is probably the most popular stretch of water, as the majority of the creek can be accessed via pull offs from HWY 6. This portion of the creek can best be described as pocket water, although there are a number of long, slow pools mixed in as well. The dry/dropper setup will still work for fooling the rainbow and brown trout that live here, but you’ll need a traditional indicator rig with some splitshot in a lot of places. 8’-9’ 4-5wt. rods are an ideal choice for fishing below Idaho Springs, as some of the water through the Canyon is home to a few trout that are way too big to be there.
Best Access Points
To give you the best actionable information we can find, listed below are the Clear Creek access points recommended by Clear Creek County.
That said, this is not a stream that can be boiled down to a few dots on a map. Don’t restrict yourself only to water that looks ‘fishy’ - take the time to explore the creek from top to bottom. Or bottom to top… Either way, covering as much water as possible is a winning strategy for Clear Creek.
Clear Creek Canyon – Junction of Hwy 6 and Hwy 119. Public access is permitted upstream from the intersection on the north side of the Creek 3 miles to I-70. Access the creek by parking along a Hwy 6, away from the road.
The Tributary at 244 – (Formerly Kermitts Roadhouse) Junction of I-70 and Hwy 6. Parking is available across from the Restaurant. Access is permitted 1 mile to Hidden Valley at Exit 243 along I-70 using trail on south side of Creek. Parking is also available on south side of I-70 at Exit 243.
Courtney Riley Cooper Park – Take Exit 241 from I-70 into Idaho Springs. Park is located south of the Creek across from Safeway and the Idaho Springs Visitor Center. Public access is available the length of the park. Facilities include picnic tables, grills, restrooms and wheel chair accessible fishing pier.
Clear Creek Ranger District Office – Take I-70 to Exit 240 in Idaho Springs. Go south on Hwy 103 about one block to U.S. Forest Service Ranger Office and park. Access follows Creek in both directions about one mile from ranger office. Restrooms and picnic areas available. Additional parking available to the east at 17th Avenue and Idahoe Street in Idaho Springs.
Lawson Hole Whitewater Park – Take I-70 to Exit 243 in Dumont. Continue on County Rd 308 West on the north side of I-70. Follow CR 308 under highway and through Lawson. At the end of Lawson, make a left on Alvarado Rd and continue west about ¼ mile. Property is directly west of Mile Hi Rafting. Public access from Park west to U.S. Hwy 40.
Bakerville Loveland Trail – Take I-70 to Exit 221. Public access west 5 miles from Exit 221 to Loveland Ski Area, Exit 216.