St. Vrain Creek:
The St. Vrain flows out of Wild Basin, a large valley
on the southeast side of Rocky Mountain National Park.
It collects water from snow-covered flanks of towering
peaks, not the least of which is the 14,000 foot Longs
Peak, and tumbles down out of the Park, coming to rest
in Button Rock Reservoir just outside Lyons.
St. Vrain Creek remains cold late well into May,
with 38-40 degrees being very common. Even during the
summer this stream remains cold enough that wet wading
can be very uncomfortable. You’ll want to wear chest
or hip waders not only due to the cold waters, but
also to protect you from sticks as you wade among the
In late May through mid June, runoff raises this
small stream to a level where it can be dangerous to
wade it. Even during this time when the water is off
color, the fishing can be quite good. Baetis and caddis
patterns are the rule at this time of year.
- Caddis: May through September
- Baetis: April / May
- Green Drake: July / August
- Red Quill: July / August
- Golden Stone: July through September
- Terrestrials: July / August
Trout here, like most other places, still take 80%
of their food below the surface so a dry-dropper is
your best bet for success.
A small golden stone (#14-16) with a tungsten bead
can be a killer in late summer, and like the other
streams discuss here, most afternoons in July and August
will see some Green Drakes and Red Quills coming off.
This stream has a nice population of greenback cutthroats
and, lower down, some nice browns. From the small tributaries
such as Coney Creek to the pools at Ouzel Falls to
the main fork of the St. Vrain, trout will pounce on
a dry pattern during the summer.