Colorado Fly Fishing Conditions on Clear Creek today started out looking pretty good. Air temp in Devner at 7:15 am was 64 degrees with sunny skies mostly clear. Forecast was for 20 mph winds in the afternoon on Clear Creek.
My friend Brett and I started in Golden, CO behind the Community Center at the Kayak Runs. The water from here downstream past the 1st bridge behind the municipal building parking lot was highly silted in with lots of leaves on the bottom. The pools and runs for the kayaks were deep and or fast. Flow rate was between 126 and 150 CFS.
All the insects we saw on the bottom were small 22 to 26 as a result of the silted bottoms and inadequate oxygenation. I was testing a T.L. Johnson Velocity 7 ft 9 in 3 wt rod rigged with an M60 fly reel and a 4 wt line. I used a 3 fly rig with two weighted nymph on the top two flies. A size 12 beadhead hares hear, 2nd fly was a weighted 14 scud and the tail fly was a #16 black pheasant tail on the bottom. My leader was an old leader butt + 3 ft of 0X+ 2 ft 2X fluorocarbon + top fly + 18 in 4X fluorocarbon + fly + 15 in 6X fluorocarbon + the pheasant tail. (Would have used a size 18 or 20 black or purple pheasant tail if I had any.)
I saw one flash at my middle fly, the scud, but that was it. Brett had a couple of strikes but no hookups. We started up the canyon toward tunnel six.
On the west side of tunnel six the water was much cleaner than in Golden and the flow appeared some what less. Brett was fishing below a small water fall and had a hookup but did not land the fish. I took 15 minutes wading across the creek to fish some likely looking seams and a pool. The bottom was like skating on ice.
The Velocity light weight was performing great for such a light weight rod. River casts were on target and the roll cast worked well. Unfortunately the wind was starting to come up. Gusty but not too bad yet. I worked the pools and seams then waded back across the stream to the road side. Brett had several good strikes but no fish while I was playing around.
We headed on upstream above Idaho Springs to a large pull out where we had both fished. This area has some excellent water and should have some reasonable fish in it. I had changed out the bottom fly to a smaller 18 gray RS2. Several drifts down a seam to a small pool along the near bank, I hooked up with a small 8 inch bow but lost him. Some days old hands are all thumbs.
Brett and I fished a half river mile of stream hard for the next two hours. Brett saw one 14 inch rainbow in a pool but a dozen casts could not move it. He did catch a couple of small bows on the journey upstream. All this while the wind had come up to the steady 20 mph predicted with some gusts to 25 to 30 mph at a guess. Temperature was dropping too with clouds coming in.
I did talk to one othe flyfisher who had hooked 3 smaller fish on a beadhead pheasant tail size 18 or 20. Fishing the same pool head, the fisherman was working the tail of, I hooked an 8 inch bow on the middle fly (scud). That was it for me today.
I headed back for the car. Brett showed up shortly after I arrived at the car. He went down the bank to fish the tail of some fast runs. I watched him catch and land a 10 inch brown out of one small pool. Then we called it quits, broke down the gear and headed for beer time. (Some of favorite fishing time.)
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