Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing On The St. Vrain Creek In
The St. Vrain is a very beautiful creek. It offers about
everything a small stream could possible offer. All
four species of trout are present in the stream. There
are mostly brown and rainbow trout in the lower
sections but the higher elevations hold plenty of
brook trout and cutthroat trout. The creek offers
about everything any avid small stream angler could
ask for. Casting is easy in most places, yet most of
the time, a twelve foot cast is all you need. It offers
pocket water fishing at its best.
The stream offers just about all the challenges a
small stream should offer. It has areas of tight cover
and thick streamside vegetation. You have to make
very good presentations in most cases. You have to
pay attention to what is hatching, and that isn't
exactly easy because multiple hatches are common.
Fly fishing St. Vrain Creek can be a little challenging
The St. Vrain Creek has three main forks that form
the main stream. Colorado state highway #7 follows
along about ten miles of the South Fork of St. Vrain
Creek. There are many places you can park and fish
along the road. There is a trailhead for the South
Fork located on County Road 96 off highway #72.
The trail will take you back into the high country.
The Middle Fork can be accessed from a trailhead in
Peaceful Valley. The trail goes all the way to the
headwaters of the Middle Fork. Some of the lower
part of the Middle Fork flows along highway #72.
The North Fork is found on Colorado #7. There is a
trailhead at Wild Basin that goes into the high country
of the Rocky Mountain National Park at this location.
You can also access the North Fork below Button
St. Vrain Creek is a small stream fishing paradise.
That probably only makes sense to a die hard small
stream angler but when compared to other streams
called "small" streams, it ranks right up at the top of
the list. The trout aren't all that big, but when you
catch a good one, you know you have done a good
job or got lucky one or the other. It is rare to blank.
The trout are far less than selective. Unless the
waters almost frozen, you can expect to hook into a
few little monsters. You won't have to fight the
competition, and if you use a little caution you won't
have to worry about fishing behind someone. Most of
the anglers are fishing the other more popular
streams in the nearby Rocky Mountain National Park.
St. Vrain Creek
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 ft., 5 or 6X Nymphing: 71/2 ft.,
3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Most of the headwaters of this creek is in
very high country. It is a very cold stream.
The fishing generally starts in mid-April.
June is the time of the runoff.
Fly Fishing Guide to St. Vrain Creek
The three branches of the St. Vrain Creek
are quite small and run through canyons.
Fly fishing the St. Vrain backcountry is an
completely different from the fly fishing
along the road. You are almost unlimited to
just how far you want to go up the
headwater streams, however, generally
speaking, the farther you go the smaller the
streams and the smaller the fish get. Big
trout just don't live in small streams at
higher elevations. A big plus is that the
small cutthroat and brook trout that do
survive there are very aggressive and fairly
easy to catch.
These streams start at elevations as high as
12,000 feet. Just how far you venture
upstream will greatly depend on the physical
shape you are in. Most anglers heading into
the backcountry take only a minimum
amount of fly fishing gear. Most of the time
the basic gear consist of one shorter, light
fly rod and a small fly box with a few select
flies. The big advantage of the backcountry
trip is being able to get away from
everything and everybody where you can
just enjoy the natural beauty of the Rocky
Theres a lot of water readily accessible
from highways #7 and #72. When you are
fishing only a few yards from your vehicle,
you can take just about anything you want
along with you. You have a lot of options
fishing the mid to lower elevations that are
easily accessed. You will usually have a lot
more company consisting not only of other
anglers, but tourist as well. This Front
Range area gets a lot of visitors during the
Most all of the water, except for some
meadow type sections, consist of pocket
water. The three branches of St. Vrain
Creek decent from high elevations at a
steep decline. The best procedure, with
some exceptions, is to fish in an upstream
directions. The riffles and runs usually
produce the most fish. You can catch trout
from the pools but for the most part, we
suggest concentrating on the faster water.
One good tip we can give you is to place
your fly where you see the lines of
bubbles. That is where the food is most
likely to be drifting and where the trout are
most likely feeding.
St. Vrain Creek Hatches and Trout
Our information on aquatic insects is based
on our stream samples of larvae and
nymphs, not guess work. We base fly
suggestions on imitating the most plentiful
and most available insects and other foods
at the particular time you are fishing. Unlike
the generic fly shop trout flies, we have
specific imitations of all the insects in St.
Vrain Creek and in all stages of life that are
applicable to fishing. If you want to fish
better, more realistic trout flies, have a
much higher degree of success, give us a
call. We not only will help you with
selections, you will learn why, after trying
Perfect Flies, 92% of the thousands of our
customers will use nothing else.
Remember the elevation of the St. Vrain
Creek changes drastically from the
headwaters of its three branches to the
foothills. Hatch times vary considerably with
changes in elevation due to varying water
temperatures. Keep in mind our time tables
cover the entire spectrum so the hatch at
any one area may not be near as long as
the period of time stated.
The BWOs, or Blue-winged Olives,
consisting mostly of baetis species hatch
during April and May. These are bi-brooded
insects and hatch again about the middle of
September through October. They are as
important as any mayfly on this stream. The
next most important mayflies are the PMDs
or Pale Morning Duns which hatch from
about the last week of June through August.
Western March Browns hatch during the
month of April. These mayflies are very
plentiful on the St. Vrian Creek. Green
Drakes hatch during the months of July and
August. This hatch varies depending on the
location on the creek and the type of water.
Red Quills also hatch during July and
August. These mayflies are very plentiful in
Golden Stoneflies hatch from about the
middle of June into the month of August
depending on the location and elevation.
Little Yellow Stoneflies, or Yellow Sallies,
hatch from late May into August.
Brachycentrus Americanus or Little Black
Caddis, referred to as the Mother's Day
Hatch in many Western streams, start
hatching in late April. The hatch generally
last about three weeks but progresses
upstream each day.
Helicopsyche borealis, or the Speckled
Peter Caddisflies, hatch during June. They
can be very plentiful in certain
areas.Several species of Green Sedges, or
Green Caddisflies whichever you prefer, are
present. It includes the Rhyacophila
acropedes. The larvae of these caddisfiles
are called "Rock Worms" and imitations of
them are very effective just about anytime of
the year. These caddisflies hatch from
about the middle of May until through
Terrestrial insects become very important
from about the first of July through the
month of September. Imitations of
grasshopper, ants, and beetles will all catch
Streamers can be important flies to use
during low light conditions, or when the
water is stained from rain or melting snow.
The stream has a large population of
Sculpin, so imitations of them are always
As always, we recommend our "Perfect Fly"
trout flies. They are the most realistic and
most effective trout flies you can purchase.
If you haven't already done so, please give
them an opportunity to prove their
effectiveness to you. We are confident that
you will be glad you did.
Arctopsyche grandis, or the Great Gray
Spotted Sedges, hatch during the month of
July. These are very large caddisflies.
Hydropsyche species hatch throughout the
summer. They are the most plentiful of all
the caddisflies on the stream. Imitations of
their larvae, pupae and of the adults will
catch trout throughout the summer months.
They hatch from June through August.
The summer months are usually the best
months to fish.
Fly fishing St. Vrain Creekis great but low
flows can make it tougher to hide from and
fool the trout.
St. Vrain Creek Fishing Report:
01/10/14 You can fish the St. Vrain Creek
year-round but you must check to see the
roads are clear enough to reach it and
select the best, warmest days during the
winter. We don't have any reports of anyone
fishing it lately.
Thumbnails: Click on image to enlarge
Thumbnails: Click on image to enlarge
St. Vrain Creek Fy Fishing
Report Updated 11/25/16
(Bottom Of Page)
01/17/14 A warming trend is in effect
for the coming week with no rain or
snow in the forecast. Give it a try.
01/24/14 We didn't receive any reports
from the past week but conditions should
continue to be good for the coming week.
01/31/14 We received a fly order for more
Blue-winged Olives, mostly nymphs, from an
angler who reported he caught some nice
trout during last week's warm spell.
02/07/14 There is a chance of snow about
every day for the next week but slightly
warmer temperatures. No reports this past
week from anyone fishing.
02/14/14 Still no reports from anyone
fishing but much better weather is in the
forecast for the coming week. Conditions
02/21/14 No fishing reports of catches but
two regular customers ordering flies this
past week. I guess the warmer weather
turned them on some.
02/28/14 We still have not received any
fishing reports. Anglers are preferring
better options fishing tailwaters.
03/07/14 Conditions will improve slightly,
but water temps are still in the low thirties.
03/14/14 We received our first fly order
specifically for the St. Vrain in the last week.
The local angler reported slush ice and
very cold water temperatures and no one
03/21/14 One local angler reporting
catching a few trout last week. The water
warmed up a little but it is still very cold.
03/28/14 The water is warming us some but
we didn't receive any reports from anyone
fishing this past week. Conditions are
04/04/14 Local contact reporting he is
catching a few trout a week but fishing is still
very slow and the water still cold.
04/11/14 No reports came in probably due
to higher water levels but conditions are
improving, water temperature wise.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (email@example.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
04/25/14 Very high flows for the past week
has prevented anyone from fishing.
Conditions should improve soon. March
Browns should begin to hatch any day.
We have Perfect Fly
website pages on
each of these other
fine trout streams.
Click the links for fly
including a description
of the streams, access
locations, species of
fish, a fly fishing guide,
a fly fishing report,
flies, fly fishing gear
and equipment, USGS
stream data, local
weather and much,
Black Caddis have started hatching in the
lower elevations and will move upstream
as time progresses.
05/09/14 High water levels are taking place
and much cooler weather is in the forecast.
and stream levels high but they are falling
into good shape and much warmer weather
is in the forecast.
05/30/14 The stream levels are high due
will probably be that way until at least the
end of the first week of June.
06/06/14 The stream is still in runoff
conditions and the levels are high and the
water dingy. It will probably last a few more
06/19/14 The stream is still high and not
very fishable but dropping down rather fast.
07/04/14 No reports from anglers yet, but
the stream levels are down and hatching are
taking place. Let us hear from you.
07/18/14 Three good reports came in during
the past week from customers. The stream is
in good shape and trout are being caught
from the headwaters to the lower sections.
07/25/14 More good fishing reports came in
this past week. Plenty of PMDs, caddis and
Little Yellow stoneflies.
08/01/14 Stream levels have been a little
high at times but otherwise, conditions are
very good. There are still lots of aquatic
insects hatching and trout being caught.
08/15/14 Fishing has been great this past
week. We have three different customers
who have reported catching several nice
trout. Terrestrials and Ginger Quills are
08/29/14 The stream has been in good
shape now for the past week and anglers
are catching plenty of trout on PMDs, Little
09/12/14 High water has caused some
problems the past few days. Fishing is
otherwise, very good.
09/26/14 Stream levels are in good shape
the trout on. October Caddis should begin
to hatch any time now.
10/10/14 Excellent reports coming in from
customers. Stream levels are find and the
water much cooler. Blue-winged Olives will
be the most important insect to imitate for
the next several weeks.
10/17/14 One excellent report from a
customer catching a large brown and several
other nice size trout this past week.
Conditions are very good.
10/24/14 Another good fishing report from a
customer using our Brown Sculpin and BWO
nymphs and duns.
11/07/14 We did not get a report from the
past week but conditions are looking good
for the next week.
12/06/14 Two good reports just yesterday.
Warmer weather and good stream levels is
what it takes.
12/12/14 One report of some nice trout
being caught by one of the same guys just
above. Stream levels are good.
12/19/14 No reports from the past week.
Conditions are not that bad for the time of
12/26/14 One good report from this past
week but it is turning very cold and fishing
will be tough.
01/02/15 No report from the past week.
01/09/15 Still no reports but conditions are
going to be much better this week.
01/16/15 Still no reports from anyone this
month. Conditions are going to be much
better this week with warmer weather.
01/23/15 A customer reported catching a
few nice trout on our brown sculpin streamer.
01/30/15 The weather and stream conditions
have been fair and should remain fair, but
we didn't get any reports from anyone fishing.
02/06/15 We didn't get any reports from
anyone fishing but the conditions for the
coming week are about as good as they
ever get for this time of the year - good
stream levels and good weather forecast.
02/13/15 The weather has been very warm
and we received two good reports from
customers taking advantage of it.
02/20/15 We didn't receive any reports from
anyone fishing this past week.
03/06/15 Still no reports but much better
weather and stream conditions this coming
03/20/15 Along with warmer weather came
melting snow and high, stained water.
Thing should be back normal soon.
03/27/15 No reports from anyone fishing
this past week. Conditions are not that bad.
04/10/15 The water has been stained and
high but dropping and clearing. Hatches
should begin within a week or two.
04/17/15 Little Black Caddis and March
Brown mayflies should begin to hatch
within a week or two at the most.
05/22/14 Stream levels are very high and
the water badly stained.
06/12/15 Still blown out. It will be a few more
07/10/15 High water levels still exist from the
runoff. It shouldn't be much longer.
07/17/15 Reports of trout being caught at
MM 25. PMDs, Spotted sedges, Little
Yellow stones, and others hatching.
08/07/15 This creek is rebounding from
the big flood very well and fish are being
caught by those that fish it.
08/14/15 No reports from the past week, but
conditions look excellent. Let us hear from
08/21/15 Still no reports. We don't know why
because the stream still has a decent
population of trout unlike many think.
08/28/15 One report from a local, loyal
customer. He caught several rainbows this
past week on PMD duns (dry fly) and the
Brown sculpin streamer.
09/04/15 Cooler weather and good stream
levels should improve the fishing. We didn't
receive any reports from anyone fishing.
09/11/15 Dark Red Quills are hatching along
with a few other aquatic insects. Terrestrials
are also working good.
09/18/15 Good stream levels and good
weather is producing a good number of
trout in the headwaters.
09/25/15 We didn't receive any reports from
last week, but conditions remain excellent.
Great stream levels and weather.
10/03/15 The creek water temperature
should drop all this week because the
weather is going to be much cooler. October
Caddis have started to hatch.
10/09/15 No reports from anyone fishing this
past week but conditions are very good.
Some think the flood ruined this stream but it
has recovered fast and has plenty of trout.
10/16/15 Two customers called in with good
reports this past week. Conditions are
excellent and both caught some nice trout.
10/30/15 Two more good reports from the
past two days. Conditions are excellent on
the upper two branches. Lots of BWOs and
some October Caddis are still hatching.
11/06/15 It is getting much colder and
hatches are reduced to Midges, cream and
Lt. Green and BWOs, size 20 and 16.
11/13/15 Stream levels are good and the
weather mild. No reports from anyone
fishing the past week, but they should have.
11/20/15 There has been a lot of snow in
the upper sections and the water is stained
but that should only help. Midges, midges
and more midges.
11/27/15 There is still a lot of snow falling and
we didn't receive any reports this past week. It
should end on Monday.
12/04/15 Good conditions ahead for this
coming week. Warmer weather and no
chance of snow/rain. Good stream levels.
12/25/15 The heavy snow should be ending
tomorrow and the skies clear for a change.
Fish the lowest end of the river trout exist.
The water will be a little warmer. Midges and
Winter stonefly nymphs is all you need.
01/08/16 There is lots of snow on the
ground and more falling through tonight.
There is lots of ice along the banks. Fish
the lowest section of the river. it will be cold,
about 36 degrees water temperature.
01/15/16 We recommend fishing a nearby
tailwater. The water is just too cold.
01/22/16 It will be a little warmer than last
week with less snow and you may want to give
the lowest section of the creek a shot with
midge larva and pupa - cream or red.
01/29/16 No reports from anyone fishing.
Rain and snow tomorrow and then snow for
the next week. The water is only 35 degrees.
02/05/16 The stream levels are in good shape
and the weather normal. Fish the lowest
section of the creek. Midges and Winter stones.
02/12/16 Look for slightly higher levels of
highly stained water from snow runoff. The
weather is going to be unseasonable warm.
02/26/16 Still no reports from anyone fishing.
The water is staying a little high and stained
due to melting snow. The water temperature
has come up a couple of degrees to 37.
03/04/16 The weather is going to be mostly
nice and very warm but it is melting snow and
staining the water as well as keeping it cold.
03/18/16 The levels are fine from the park to
the lowest section but melting snow has it
stained in many areas. Fish midges in holes
in the bottom where the water is mostly clear.
03/25/16 Same song, second verse. The water
is still cold and midges and little BWO nymphs
the best fly choice. Stream levels are fine.
04/01/16 The creek is in good shape but still
cold, of course. Midges and little BWOs are
hatching. Nor reports from anyone fishong lately.
04/15/16 Just as things were turning on and little
Black Caddis and March Browns hatching good,
here come the big April snow storm. It will be the
end of next week before things settle down and
the stream levels and weather is good..
04/22/16 There is some rain coming this next
week but much warmer weather, more melting
snow and higher water levels. Still not much
opportunity for fly fishing.
04/29/16 The weather is back cooler with snow
through Monday. Little Black caddis were
hatching in the lower river along with March
Browns but this may slow down this week.
05/13/16 The creek is in full runoff mode with
little to no opportunity for fly fishing other than
casting streamers from the banks.
05/20/16The river is still high from runoff and
not worth fishing. You will just have to keep
checking this site or the levels.
06/03/16 The stream level are still very high
and the water stained badly. We don't think it
will be worth fishing this coming week.
06/10/16 The levels are still very high and the
water dingy. You will just have to continue to
check on the levels.
06/17/16 The uppermost part of the
headwaters, or three forks and sections in the
Rocky Mountain NP are getting in pretty good
shape, but not the middle and lower sections
yet. Stoneflies are hatching.
07/01/16 The stream levels are down and
some sections can be safely waded. It is still
on the high side. Lots of hatching insects.
Send us an email for a list of fllies.
07/08/16 The stream levels are down in very
good shape in all sections of the river. There
are a lot of insects hatching and customers
are reporting some good catches.
07/15/16 More good reports from the few
fishing. Great condition in all sections. It is the
best it has been in years.
07/22/16 Conditions are still very good in all
sections from the headwaters to the lowest
section that hold trout. Tricos are hatching.
08/05/16 Customers are reporting some good
catches. Good hatches still exist along with
good stream levels. The creek is in good
shape in all sections. There is rain forecast for
the next few days.
08/12/16 The headwaters in the national park
are in great shape. The middle section is
fishing good as well. The lower section okay
but fish early and late in the day.
08/19/16 The weather is cooler and all sections
in good shape. The stream levels are low but
okay. Terrestrials are working good.
08/26/16 The river is in good shape from the
headwaters in the National park to the lowest
section that holds trout.
09/09/16 The stream is just a little low but
easy to wade. Fish are being caught in all
sections from the headwaters to the lowest
section.Terrestrials are working good.
09/16/16 The river is in as good shape
although a little high in some sections. It is
falling out fast. October caddis are hatching.
Anglers are scoring well in all sections from the
headwater to the lower end.
09/30/16 The river is low and you have to use
stealth and stay hidden from the trout. The
water is cooler and hatches are continuing.
10/07/16 The river is still low but the cooler
temperatures are keeping the fish active.
You just have to stay hidden from the trout.
10/28/16 Sorry to miss two reports. The
fishing has been excellent. Western Ginger
Quills and BWOs are hatching good.
11/05/16 Stream levels are still low. We
recommend fishing the lower section of the
river. There are some good BWO hatches.
11/18/16 The stream levels are fine just a little
below normal. The water is much colder. Fish
the middle and lower sections.
11/25/16 We didn't receive any reports from
the past week, but conditions remain good.
Streamers like the Brown sculpin should catch
the larger trout.