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Clear Creek Fishing Information
Canyon Section - near Golden, CO
The Canyon Section of Clear Creek is a great place to get away for a day trip or even a few hours after work. It’s only 30-40 minutes from the Denver Metro Area and holds a surprising amount of fish for the amount of pressure it receives. During the weekends, the pull offs are pretty full but not all of them are fishing. With over 10 miles of fishable water in the canyon, even on a crowded day you can find water to yourself. This section is higher gradient than the upper section, but still holds a bunch of holes and runs. Fish ranging from 3” – 18” can be found in this section, though most of the fish over 15” get eaten by anglers looking for a meal instead of an experience.
Midges, BWO, Caddis, and Stoneflies all live in this section and hatch at their given times in the year. It is not a difficult river to catch fish and most beginners find good success on this section. Experienced anglers can land over 50 fish in a day without much trouble and makes it a fun place to try new techniques, fly patterns or just spend a relaxing day finding success and trout. That said, the river has a on and off personality. Weather impacts temps which impacts bugs. If you aren’t finding fish, try a new location as different sections will behave differently even on the same day.
There is a new river walk being built in the upper canyon that makes it highly accessible and easy to bike or walk to a lot more water that used to be difficult to access. Try fishing near the tunnels and hiking around them where the river leads the road. These places are less often fished and it makes the fishing even easier and gives a chance at bigger fish as well.
The North Fork of Clear Creek runs through Blackhawk and though the fishing isn’t as productive, it is somewhere you can fish and gamble, which is pretty rare anywhere you go :). I don’t think they allow wet waders in the casinos however, so bring a change of clothes. There are some brook trout up in the further reaches as well.
Lastly, there is the town section which provides even quicker access right in Golden. During the summer, tubers and kayakers dominate this area, but as the flows drop below 125 cfs, you see a lot less people on the water and more wading it. This is a good time to get a hopper-dropper or dry-dropper rig and find some eager fish right in town. Fishing for trout is decent from I-70 upstream to the canyon. Most of the trout are caught right in the town of Golden above Coors brewing however.
Fish: Some Small-Sized Fish
Best Techniques: Dries & Nymphs
Best Seasons: Spring - Fall
River Type: Small Freestone
Fish Types: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Cutthroat Trout
Dog Friendly: Yes but Leashed
Located in the South Platte River Basin near Golden, CO
Fishable Seasons & Current Weather
The best seasons to fish this river are Spring - Fall. See the current weather reports for the next 5-6 days listed below for the nearest city.
wind: 3mph SSW
H 66 • L 56
Weather from OpenWeatherMap
Knowing what flies to use is only have the battle. You have to know when the insects are active on the water and when it's likely the trout are feeding on them. Refer to our hatch charts below to understand when the insect categories and some of the possible hatches on the river.
Midges hatch year round, but their importance is from September through winter into April. During the warmer months, the trout often focus on larger insects as they are more active on the water like mayflies, caddis and stoneflies.
Aside from Blue wing olives, mayflies are active most commonly from May to August in Colorado. There are many different mayfly hatches found on most rivers and the most common are listed below.
Blue Wing Olive: September throut winter to April
Pale Morning Dun: June to Mid September
Colors: White, Yellow
Sizes: #14 - #20
Caddis hatch starting early in May and continue to the end of October.
Colors: Olive, Green, Yellow, Tan, Orange, Brown and Black.
Sizes: #10 - #20
We have some great stonefly hatches in Colorado and while not all rivers carry all species of salmonflies, you can often fish stonefly adult patterns with confidence from May to September. Start off in bigger sizes and get smaller till September hits (size 8 - 16)
Yellow Sally Stonefly: Mid June to August
Colors: Yellow, Tan
Sizes: #12 - #18
Terrestrials don't hatch since they are out of the water, but they can have importance starting in Mid April and ending in September.
These are the the top flies we sell for this river. Use the hatch chart above to know what flies you will want to have in your fly box during your adventure on the river and then select the flies here 30 days before your trip to get them at a great price. All of our flies are hand tied to each order to ensure quality and to keep our prices low for you.
Click on a fly below to select a size and color for purchase.
If you need an easier solution than selecting each fly and size, try out our top fly assortments for this river that will put all the flies you need in a single order for this river. We've already selected the flies we use in our fly box for this river including the sizes and colors and put them in these assortments so you can fish with the confidence that you have the right flies in your box.
Click on any of the pictures to see what flies, colors and sizes we recommend in each assortment.
Use these epic resources to get ready for your adventure. Whether you're planning your trip, learning your insects, improving your fishing with expert tips or getting detailed resources from the USGS streamflows or DoW, we got you covered to help you find the river and find the success you want.