Clear Creek, Idaho Springs, CO

After my last trip to South Platte, where I finally hooked something, I was feeling a bit better about maybe actually landing a fish at some point. My buddy (and brilliant co-worker) Michael mentioned fishing Clear Creek, so I thought I’d go and check it out and see if I could 1. find somewhere new to fish, and 2. actually catch something.

I basically just had a look on Google Maps, then plunked a pin down and got directions to head out there (not too hard — straight out 6th, onto 70 and keep going). When I got off at Central City Parkway however, I missed my turn/stop, and ended up on Central City Parkway itself. I figured I’d just turn around as soon as I found a good spot… which turned out to be Central City, another 9 miles down the road. That place was a bit creepy, so I checked my directions, flipped it around and headed back to where I was supposed to be.

Once I got back to the turn off, I stopped in and grabbed some jerky, and also asked the guy there if he knew of any good fishing in the area. He suggested I could go right behind the shop, or else under the highway and back towards Denver a little on the other side. I went down to the river behind the shop (which looked nice) but it was pretty windy and it seemed like casting would be a nightmare. Heading under the highway and down to the end of the frontage road turned out nicely, and lead me down to the river as it followed along the highway. There was one other angler there who looked a lot better equipped than me (waders, chest-bag etc), so I said hi, wished him luck, then headed off with my pack + rod.

Since I don’t have waders, I was relatively limited as far as where I could get into the creek. There were a few spots though, and when I walked down far enough I found a section where there was a little side-stream, separated from the main current by a long “island”. I managed to get across to it without getting wet, and trawled back and forth a bit working the smaller stream, trying to pick out a couple smaller fish I could see in there. They proved too sneaky for me though (and it was really hard to get a rod in there without getting tangled in the low trees).

Eventually I gave up there and went for a bit of a walk. I spotted a few fish in different places, but couldn’t for the life of me get a bite. Not a single nibble. I tried a dry-dropper rig and a straight dry fly, but couldn’t get anything to happen. I even spent a really frustrating period (mid afternoon) trawling through a group of rising, heavy-feeding fish, and couldn’t tempt a single one to take a fly. When I was packing up, out of interest, I even put my rod in the water and touched one of them — that’s how intent they were on feeding. I’m not sure what I was doing wrong there, but I guess I either didn’t have the right fly, or just wasn’t presenting it in a way that interested those fish. Frustrating.

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