Casting Fall Flies on Clear Creek

A Fly Fishing Team USA competitor on Clear Creek. Photo by Wayne D. Lewis/CPW.
Ron Belak. Photo by Wayne D. Lewis/CPW
Ron Belak. Photo by Wayne D. Lewis/CPW

If you want a reliable source of fly-fishing information in the Evergreen area, Ron Belak is much better than most. He is the editor of “The Evergreen Trout,” the newsletter of the Evergreen chapter of Trout Unlimited, and I would bet that Belak knows the waters around this Foothills town better than 99.9 percent of the residents. “These waters are my laboratory, where I try out new flies and techniques,” said Belak.

Belak is also a frequent contributer to Colorado Outdoors magazine, of which I am the editor. He recently pitched an article about a Fly Fishing Team USA competition that took place Aug. 8-9. His article will run in the upcoming 2015 Fishing Guide edition of Colorado Outdoors. During the competition, Belak’s primary duty was to function as a judge (actually referred to as a controller) and secondarily as a photographer and writer. I decided it was a great opportunity to capture some images for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife photo library and for this blog.

Competitors and controllers met at the Blue Quill Angler fly shop at 7:30 a.m. and from there drove to their beats, which had been randomly selected. The beats were on two sections of Clear Creek, lower Buchanan Pond and Georgetown Reservoir. While we will have to wait for Belak’s article, the groundwork that was laid for the competition can be a benefit to fall anglers — the beats for the event are prime fishing areas.

Since Blue Quill Angler (1532 Bergen Pkwy., Evergreen) was the starting point for the competitors, it will make an equally good starting point for this story.

Although the ponds at Buchanan Park Recreation Center are a great fishery, they are managed by Evergreen Parks and Recreation District and a fee is required to fish these waters. So I will concentrate on the waters that offer free, public access.

Fly Fishing Team USA competitor on Clear Creek. Photo by Wayne D. Lewis

Clear Creek is home to primarily small brown trout, but the fish are usually eager to bite. Most of the competitors were having success using the Czech nymphing techinque. For more on this techinque, read Belak’s article “Czech Nymphing” in the July/August 2012 issue of Colorado Outdoors.

Clear Creek Upper Beats – Driving Directions

  • Take a right out of the Blue Quill Angler to the traffic circle.
  • Go around the traffic circle and take the second exit (heading west) to the stop light.
  • Follow this road until it junctions with U.S. 40 — make a left.
  • Go to the top of the hill to the stop sign — go straight through — do not get on I-70.
  • Take this until it junctions with U.S. 6 East — make a right.
  • Follow U.S. 6 East for about three-quarters of a mile to mile marker 258. There will be a large parking area on your right. Some of the beat ran upstream for about 500 yards. For additional competion areas, cross the bridge below the parking area and then cast flies on the water between the bridge and the tunnel.

Clear Creek Lower Beats – Driving Directions

  • From the upper beats take the U.S. 6 downstream through two tunnels (No. 6 and No. 5) until it junctions with Hwy. 119 — make a right.
  • Follow this road for several miles through Tunnel 3 and Tunnel 2. A short ways after Tunnel 2 there will be parking on the left. The competion areas ran downstream for a quarter mile or so.
A competitor readies for the day's competition. Photo by Wayne D. Lewis
A competitor readies for the day’s competition. Photo by Wayne D. Lewis

Georgetown Lake is home to one of the state’s naturally reproducing brown trout populations. CPW also stocks it with a variety of rainbows and brookies. Keepers must be over 8 inches, limit four fish per adult and two per child.

Georgetown Lake — Driving Directions

• From Evergreen, drive west on I-70 to Georgetown, exit 228. Go south under I-70 to the second stop sign. Turn east and continue to the lake. The waters are managed by the City of Georgetown.

Photos by Wayne D. Lewis/CPW

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