Fishing Beaver Creek Below Skaguay Reservoir

A Popular Local Year-round Hideaway Entices Anglers

Bob Volpe

Most people who fly fish for trout in our fair area only venture into the well known waters of the South Platte River, or the reservoirs of South Park.

These waters are well known and can be very crowded, particularly on weekends.

Fortunately for the fisherman who would rather spend a day in solitary pursuit of trout far from the maddening crowds, there are a myriad of small streams waiting to be explored.

One such small stream is Beaver Creek below Skagway Reservoir. Better yet, this hideaway offers year-round opportunities,  

Beaver Creek is one of the most beautiful streams to fish! It is a sizable stream year-round. Its headwaters reach to the top of Pikes Peak. The section below Skagway Reservoir is a long, gentle meadow that runs almost 3 miles before it drops into an untamed, un-trailed, harsh canyon that few venture into. The meadow section does receive a fair share of adventurers because of its beauty, easy access, and fishing opportunities, but it is not nearly as crowded as the more popular sections of the South Platte.

This is a great place to take kids and beginner flyfishers with runs, pools, and an ample supply of Brookies, Rainbows, and Brown Trout. You can start fishing right below the dam where a good size pool forms the starting point of the main section of creek. Just below this pool a culvert dumps into a deepish pool that also holds fish, but to really experience the beauty of the area you should take the hike down stream for at least an hour and fish, working your way back up stream.

The fish here are not very big compared to what you find in the larger waterways, but they are wild and give a great fight on a light weight rod setup. When fishing for fish in the 6 – 12” size range, you want to use a lighter weight rig. The ideal rig for these streams is a 6 – 7’ long, 2 or 3 weight rod. Occasionally, a fish in the 14 – 20” range will be hiding in an undercut bank and decide to take your offering. If you are lucky enough to get into one of these fish, you are in for a real ride on a light weight fly rod rig.

Another nice thing about this area below Skagway is the weather. While the reservoirs are now socked in solid with ice, (fine if you like ice fishing) Beaver Creek stays ice free in most places. Even on winter days when the sun is out the ambient temperatures are quite bearable. Be forewarned though. Never let your guard down anywhere in the Colorado outback. The weather can and does change in a heartbeat. Always bring extra layers of clothing, and the usual items you would take on a winter hike.

Directions from Woodland Park and Lower Ute Pass are as follows:

Take Highway 24 west to Divide and go south on Highway 67. When you reach Gillette Flats take a left onto CR 81. When your get to Victor follow the signs for Phantom Canyon Rd. and follow it to the reservoir. It is about an hour and a half drive.

When you arrive at Skagway Reservoir, stay on the upper road to park, as the trail is accessed from there, above the dam. The hike down from the trailhead to the stream is somewhat steep initially, then pretty flat with gentle ups/downs the rest of the way. The longer the hike, the better the fishing as fewer people will have hiked in. The trail is wide and the hike is easy. At one point you’ll hit a Y in the trail – stay lower, near the stream, or you’ll end up on private property and backtrack.

Camping is allowed in the area and considering the beauty and relative ease of the hike, an overnight trip would be a great way to take in this trip.