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​Explore beautiful and peaceful South Boulder Creek and experience our year round fishing opportunities!

South Boulder Creek is considered one of the most consistent fly-fishing opportunities in the Boulder-Denver area. With very little pressure, these fish are hungry, healthy, and at certain times of the year, they are stacked in this one-mile stretch of water.

You do need a valid Colorado Fishing License, which can be purchased at the Sports Authority, Wal-Mart, McGuckin’s Hardware, or at one of the local fly-tying shops.

No Bait Restrictions or Size Limits

There are no bait restrictions or size limits and although we encourage catch and release, if you choose to keep some for dinner, the state bag limit of four fish applies. Fish caught in Eldorado Canyon State Park average about eight inches but occasionally fish are taken as large as twenty inches long. Starting as early as March, fish can be taken on nymph and pupa patterns with the dry fly action turning on in mid-April. Spring runoff makes fishing tough from mid-May to mid-June, but it really picks up again in late July and continues through October on the nicer days.

Where to Fish: Upper, Middle, Lower Sections

So, where can you fish in the Canyon? The Canyon has three parts: upper, middle, and lower sections.

Upper Section

The upper section is from the vehicle bridge upstream to our park boundary next to the Visitor Center. (NOTE: There are signs on the shore that designate the park boundary, and you are considered trespassing if you go beyond these signs.) Some consider this the best fishing for several reasons: it is very accessible, it is fairly open making for easy casting, and it has some beautiful holes.

Middle Section

The middle section the stretch from the vehicle bridge down to the footbridge next to the Bastille. This stretch is a little tougher. It has been called “commando fishing” because you have to scramble over and around rocks and boulders to fish it. There are some smaller waterfalls with some really nice holes, but they are pretty tough to fish. This is where the bigger fish hang out.

Lower Section

The lower section is from the footbridge down to the park boundary by the entrance station. There are two good holes created by the diversion dams that hold some nice fish, especially in the fall. There are also a couple of other good spots between the two dams. It is tough to get a good drift, but if you do, they will hit.

So many flies and so little time. Here are a few favorites fly patterns:​

  • Dry Flies: Sizes 14-16
  • Orange or Yellow Humpy 
  • Royal Coachman 
  • Terrestrials
  • Bumblebee
  • Ant
  • Beetle
  • Nymphs: Sizes 14-18
  • Hare’s Ear
  • Pheasant Tail
  • Prince Nymph

These are just a few favorites, but experiment and let us know!

Not everyone fly fishes. A good day’s catch can also be had using either lures or bait. You can’t go wrong drifting worms or salmon eggs through the deeper holes. Small gold or silver spinners work well too. Some good spots for these lures are those deeper pools in the middle section.

All of the secrets to fishing in Eldorado Canyon haven't been given away here, but hopefully this information will help you have a successful fishing trip here at Eldorado Canyon State Park. Happy fishing, good luck, and stop by the Visitor Center and let us know how you do.