When I started to teach Fly tying last year I thought about how so many simple patterns are so successful on our waters. The San Juan Worm was my go to fly all spring and through the run off. My biggest fish of the year eagerly took one in Montana this June. It costs next to nothing to make and is the First fly I have my students tie. After a certain amount of time people always want to move into more complex flies right away. It is fun to look through the books and magazines and see what everyone else is tying and how big the trout are they are catching on these multi material patterns. It is funny to think about how I too get caught up in the hype. But then I remember that most of my big fish were caught on small RS2’s, Zebra Midges and yup you guessed it San Juan Worms. Buying some different color thread, Flash and hooks isn’t much and you can make a lot of flies for the cost of half a dozen at the shop. My point is simple, Keep it simple and easy.
It is still amazing to me to talk to so many people who bypass Clear Creek on their way to the Blue or South Platte. I know it does not get much press besides the usual White Water Rafting. At time I enjoy this because it keeps the crowds down and gives me a lot of time to try new flies and tactics. No Clear Creek is not ” Blue Ribbon” water. No it does not have big fish, but fish it has. Smaller Rainbows and medium size Browns, Good surface action at times and great nymphing everyday. Caddis are everywhere and Hopper fishing is just as fun as everywhere else. There are so many opportunities and so much open accesses that it is hard for me to think about driving an hour or two to fish. Take the time to check it out and see what you have been missing all this time.
The CC is running great and the fish are Very active right now. You can see fall arriving with the changing of the leaves and I think the browns will start to fatten up real soon. We hit “The LANE” Just after “Big Rock” and killed it in the morning. After taking samples last night from the river there was a lot of web spinning Caddis out there a size 16 straight hook dubbed with tan and silver and a black bead head did the trick! I had four fish on in the first section all with good takes. Nymphing seemed to be the best bet, but i did switch over by noon to a stimi-dropper and had some success. BWO’s came off about the same time but the constant 10 mph winds blew them all over. Pattern suggestions: Caddis nymph’s in grey, white or tan, BWO size 20 and BWO emerger or small nymphs. Stimi’s in yellow or orange and if the timing seems right a crippled hopper should do the trick! ( try smaller to medium sizes)
We Got to the parking area about 10a.m. and hiked midway up the canyon bypassing the early riser fisherman. The temperature grew hot quickly and it seemed to put the fish down in the mid afternoon. Water temps stayed about 50 F. and the flows were a good 150. Brett from the Windy Saddle killed it today nymphing deep with Barr’s Graphic Caddis and trailed various mayfly nymphs. Blue wing olive’s were emerging and Stonefly husks were present on the shore. (We saw little to no top water feeding all day) After taking samples we discovered how numerous the Golden Stones were! The only downside today was the constant battle with the wind that seemed to only stop when I was untangling line or tying on a new fly! Get your Caddis box out and grab some Golden stones size 6-10, BWO’s dry and nymphs, and some extra weight for those deep pockets.
I fished Evergreen Lake early this morning and late this afternoon. The fishing was slow but I got a few rainbows in the net. The float tube from Sportsman’s is a great buy and is the same as the fishcatts but CHEAPER! It was great to be able kick around again and the more expensive fins are worth every penny. I fished a double streamer in the afternoon and was trying hard to locate some Tiger’s this A.M.. The storm hit about 1430 and dumped rain on and off. The fish appeared to be pushed down do to the pending storm. Something new to me is all the aquatic vegi’s growing close to the Lake House.
The river remains strong and the fish are very active. We hit it big mid morning with Stimi Chew toys size 12 in yellow. No dropper action so I took it off after the 5th fish. Rainbows were doing some of the best acrobatics I have seen. No sipping off the top they were slamming. Took me awhile to remember how to set the hook while dry flying seems I have been nymphing way too much! I must have missed a dozen hook ups!
HINT: Always allow a drowned fly to finish it’s drift through a pocket. Keep your eyes on it as fish will take a drowned fly very quickly. I call this the ” Drowning Mona”. When there is lots of bug activity on top and nothing rising I will tie a bead head on and my second fly will be a dry. It will sink just below the surface and use an indicator to help hook up!
Fishing was great today until the wind picked up about 2 o’clock. I fished below the damn in evergreen and the browns were hitting hard. They were taking emergers trailed off a Gs-81 dry. Perfect clarity in the water and the fish are stacked. If you haven’t fished this section get there for a quick hitter and then catch a beer at CJ’s down the road!