South Boulder Creek Fishing Report Header

South Boulder Creek

South Boulder Creek has to be one of the most scenic rivers within a half hour of downtown Boulder. This creek starts up in the Indian Peaks near the Moffat Tunnel and gains momentum on its journey towards the cool deep waters of Gross Reservoir. Below Gross Reservoir, South Boulder Creek becomes a great tailwater flowing through the Walker Ranch open space. This area is the most popular section of the creek due to the great hatches and consistent flows through the summer months. The access to this section is fairly easy taking visitors up and over Flagstaff Mountain, onto a dirt road, and into the wilderness.

There is no road following the creek so if you are looking for some solitude this is the spot. The aquatic insect activity in this part of the creek is incredible, it sees hatches of Caddis, BWO’s, PMD’s, Midges and great Terrestrial fishing.  South Boulder Creek might be your best chance for a big wild brown in Boulder County.  Every year anglers routinely catch browns in excess of 18 inches. The river heads east through some public and private water before dumping into Eldorado Canyon State park. After the plunge pools of Eldorado, the creek mellows out upon entering the flats of Boulder and eventually joins Boulder Creek.

Latest Guide Report

Fishing Report Date: 01-29-2016

With an optimal flow of 100cfs the fish are on the feed big time in SBC.  Boulder’s closest tailwater fishery is generally kept at a much lower flow in the winter months, but with the recent raise in flow, this option should be high on any anglers mind.  As long as flows stay in the 50-100cfs range, the fishing should continue to be great and the canyon should remain relatively ice free.  Whether you are doing the Walker Ranch Loop, or parking off of Damn Road, it is time to hit it while its up! Definitely focus on your standard winter lies; deeper, softer water but also look to the edges (even if it is shallow) and work the pockets.  The fish are spread out and can be found in most portions of the canyon.

For nymphs, use smaller stones, hares ears, and pheasant tails as your point fly and trail a smaller zebra, black beauty or san juan worm off the back.  Don’t go too heavy, but make sure your bugs are getting down!  Most of our success was on nymph rigs.

Don’t be afraid to give a dry dropper set up a shot as well.  We had several fish take a swipe at our indicators so switched to a mayfly on top with a small dropper below.  This picked up fish throughout the shallower water and on the edges.

6x fluoro tippet seemed to be the ticket.

Come by the shop if this area is new to you and we can point you in the right direction, get you loaded on bugs, and get you out fishing.


Report Statistics
5/5Time on Water: 7
Number of Anglers:
Hoook Ups: 20
Fish Landed: 15
Weather Experienced

Temperature: mid 40's
Wind Conditions: Calm
Precipitation: None
Water Observations

Water Temperature:
Flow Level: 100 CFS
Runoff? Clear
Zach Lass

Report Submitted By: Zach Lass

South Boulder Creek Water Flow Graphs

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