Taking Another Gambol On Upper Beaver Creek Near Cripple Creek, Colorado

Early July 2019

Note:  See my September 2018 article for more about fishing Upper Beaver Creek and the intriguing history of Skaguay Reservoir.

https://hooknfly.com/2018/09/07/taking-a-gamble-on-upper-beaver-creek-near-victor-co/

The epic runoff of 2019 continues and with it my search for fishable trout waters.  Most of my favorite rivers and streams—the Arkansas, Gunnison, Saguache, Cochetopa, and Tomichi—are still blown out.  But Beaver Creek below the gambling and mining town of Cripple Creek appears to be candidate based on the latest reported water levels.  It’s running at 18 cfs downstream at Penrose, eminently fishable, and the fact that it is a tailwater below Skaguay Reservoir means it’s probably clear as well.

I had a fun day on upper Beaver Creek late last summer and want to explore the next section further down.  Last trip I hiked in about two miles below the reservoir, stumbled on a small beaver dam and pond, then fished back up from there.  I caught dozens of brownies in the six-to-twelve inch range and a few bigger in the spillway just below the dam.  Now my plan is to hike another mile or so below that point and explore some new water.

I’m off a bit after 7 a.m. from the Indian Springs Campground near Canon City where I am giving my new smaller mobile fish camp a shakedown run (For the story of the demise of my former rig, see my article “A Trip Through Hades.”).

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The New Mini Mobile Fish Camp At Indian Springs Campground

My route is up through Phantom Canyon, an endlessly scenic but rough track that everyone should do at least once.  It’s very slow going, taking me almost two hours to cover the 25 miles or so to Cripple Creek/Victor and Skaguay Reservoir.

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Phantom Canyon Scenic Route

It’s hard to believe this route was carved out of this rugged country for a railroad in the late 1800s.    But my mind is on fishing, so I push on.

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Taking A Gamble On Upper Beaver Creek…Near Victor, CO

Late August 2018

See also my Fall 2017 and June 2018 articles on fishing Lower Beaver Creek.

https://hooknfly.com/2017/12/14/beaver-creek-legend-of-the-late-fall-3-near-canon-city-co/amp/

I’m off from Salida to Denver to spend the Labor Day weekend with my #1 fishing buddy, my 2 ½ year old granddaughter Aly.  After some on-line recon, I have decided to take the long way that will let me sample the waters of Upper Beaver Creek below Skaguay Reservoir, just a stone’s throw from Victor, the historic mining and now gaming town perched at nearly 10,000 feet.  The lower three mile stretch at the mouth of the canyon some 14 miles downstream near the hamlet of Penrose is one of my favorite early and late season spots, holding lots of smaller brownies and an occasional lunker rainbow trout.

The drive from Salida starts down U.S. 50 then a few miles west of Canon City veers  onto an official scenic byway (C0 9/HighPark Road) that more than lives up to its designation.  It’s a perfect late summer day with bright sunshine and light winds.  After a leisurely two-hour drive, I navigate my way through Cripple Creek and Victor, two of the three towns in Colorado where gambling is allowed, past the gargantuan Newmont gold mining operation, and start the six-mile descent to Skaguay Reservoir.

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