Traveling west from Denver, Clear Creek is the first stream you will come to. The most productive stretch of water is west of Idaho Springs near the I-40/Winter Park exit. The interstate follows Clear Creek through a canyon and is usually within casting distance of the river. Many feeder creeks fill Clear Creek making clarity an issue after rainstorms.
A Forgotten Gem
When conditions are right, Clear Creek is a forgotten gem near the Continental Divide. Even with hundreds of cars passing by the river each day, you will rarely encounter another angler. Within the city limits of Idaho Springs, anglers will find easy public access. Alvorado Road parallels I-70 from Georgetown to Downieville while Stanley Road follows the interstate from Downieville east to Idaho Springs. Both roads offer sporadic public access with pull-offs for parking.
The river is mainly pocket water and short riffles. When there is not a defined run, it is advisable to hit the deeper banks as you move between pools because you will usually find a few hidden brown trout.
A tandem fly rig is the default setup tied in the standard dry-dropper fashion. The lead fly should be a buoyant dry fly trailed by a weighted nymph. Anglers will cover two feeding lanes; however, the tandem hooks are more difficult to cast than one. A general selection of Colorado flies will cover most fishing conditions on Clear Creek.