Copyright 2014 James Marsh
Fly Fishing St. Vrain Creek Colorado
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
Fishing Report Updated 11/07/14
(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 (email@example.com)
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.
More Colorado We
have Perfect Fly
website pages on
each of these other
fine trout streams.
Click the links for fly
of the streams,
species of fish, a fly
fishing guide, a fly
fishing report, hatches
trout flies, fly fishing
gear and equipment,
USGS stream data,
local weather and
much, much more
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
Yellow Stones and terrestrials.
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
and lower water temps have really turned
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.