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Exploring Fly Fishing in Denver: Hidden Gems and Tips

Finding Quality Fly Fishing Opportunities Near Denver

Denver is often associated with the pristine rivers deep within the Rockies, but there are hidden gems for fly fishing enthusiasts closer to the city. With a bit of creativity and hard work, Denver offers beautiful fly fishing experiences in the western United States.

Denver South Platte: A Legendary Fishing Spot

The South Platte River is a legendary location for anglers in Colorado. While the famous “dream stream” is farther from the city, the “Denver South Platte” section still offers excellent catches. Stretching 26 miles from Chatfield Reservoir to 120th Ave, this portion is home to over 15 species of fish, including trout, walleye, carp, bass, and catfish. The water might be slightly cloudy, but there is an abundance of food and fish to be found.

Exploring the “Denver South Platte” Waters

A convenient trail called the “South Platte River Trail” provides access to the 26-mile stretch of water near Denver. Whether you choose to bike, walk, or take public transportation, you can easily reach the fishing spots. Johnson Habitat Park is an excellent access point to start your fishing journey, allowing you to explore the river upstream or downstream.

Clear Creek: Trout Haven in the City

Clear Creek, located just 30 minutes west of Denver in Golden, offers a haven for trout fishing enthusiasts. The creek provides ample public access in the “canyon” area and around Golden. After the spring melt subsides in May, the fishing becomes highly productive, with rainbow trout, brook trout, and brown trout actively feeding on dries throughout the summer.

Where to Fish in Clear Creek

For those looking to stay close to Denver, the “Golden Mile” section of Clear Creek is a great place to start your fishing adventure. Beginning above the kayak course near the White Water Park and flowing to Vanover Park in Downtown Golden, this stretch of water offers excellent wading opportunities.

Fly Fishing South Boulder Creek: Worth the Drive

If you’re willing to travel approximately 40 minutes north of Denver to Boulder, fly fishing in South Boulder Creek is a unique experience that rewards your efforts. A tailwater flowing out of Gross Reservoir, South Boulder Creek is home to brown trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and even brook trout. The stream’s clear waters and large boulders create challenging conditions that test your skills as an angler.

Exploring South Boulder Creek

To maximize your fishing time on South Boulder Creek, focus on the tailwater section. The South Boulder Creek Kayak Run provides easy access, allowing you to park your vehicle nearby and head down to the creek. From there, you can explore upstream or downstream, taking caution in the fairly deep pools and considering wet wading.

Recommended Flies for Denver Waters

While the choice of flies depends on the specific water you’re fishing, there are a few patterns that have proven successful in the greater Denver area. Worm patterns, heavy buggers, and Adams flies have all produced desirable results. Patterns like the Crystal Bugger (size 6), Squirmy Worm, and Parachute Adams (size 18) can attract various fish species in Denver waters.

Essential Gear for Denver Fly Fishing

When it comes to gear, simplicity is key for fly fishing in Denver. A standard 9-foot, 5-weight moderate fast or fast action rod is suitable for throwing dry flies, high sticking nymphs, and stripping streamers. It offers versatility for all fishing techniques. The Orvis Clearwater combo is a perfectly balanced option for a complete fly rod setup, ensuring an optimal casting experience. For targeting carp in the South Platte, consider bringing a heavier rig with a 7 or 8-weight rod.

Make the Most of Denver’s Fly Fishing Resources

Before heading out to the waters near Denver, it’s essential to refer to resources that provide valuable information. Visit the Colorado Parks and Wildlife fishing page for location details and fishing license requirements. Joining one of Denver’s fly fishing clubs, such as the High Plains Fly Fishing Club or the Colorado Women Fly Fishers Club, can also offer networking opportunities and educational events.

Fly Fishing Guides and Shops in Denver

For expert guidance and a wide range of fishing gear, Trouts Fly Fishing is a reputable fly fishing shop and guide service in Denver. They offer guided trips and have a wealth of knowledge about local waters. Ascent Fly Fishing is another top-notch fly fishing company in Denver, known for its great selection of flies and helpful information on fishing the area’s waters.

In conclusion, fly fishing in Denver provides ample opportunities for anglers willing to venture beyond the conventional mountain waters. With the right gear, knowledge of productive spots, and a willingness to explore, catching impressive fish near the city becomes a reality. Whether you choose the Denver South Platte, Clear Creek, or South Boulder Creek, Denver’s hidden fishing gems await your angling expertise and dedication.

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