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Fly Fishing Muddy Creek – Colorado

Fly Fishing Muddy Creek – Colorado

Muddy Creek is a Colorado tailwater outside of Kremmling, Colorado. Muddy Creek flows out of Wolford Mountain Reservoir, and offers anglers a beautiful setting with some large trout. After a few miles of water, it flows into the upper Colorado River just outside of Kremmling.

Although there is only a few miles of access, the water quality is top notch, and there is lots of river structure. For it being a small river, Muddy Creek holds some of the nicest trout in the area. It is an often overlooked tailwater, but it should be on every anglers list.

As you’ll read below, there are some downsides to fishing here. The mosquitoes and horse flies can get really bad, which is unusual for Colorado.

If you’re on the hunt for a big trout and you’re willing to deal with some bugs, consider taking a day trip to Muddy Creek.

Muddy Creek Access

There are a couple of different access points. The easiest one is to travel on highway 40 towards Wolford Mountain Reservoir. From Kremmling, travel on highway 40 for 5 miles towards Wolford Mountain Reservoir, you will then take a right onto the dam access road. Here, there is a small lot where fly fishers can park – you can then follow the trail down into Muddy Creek.

You can also access Muddy Creek lower down. Follow highway 40 until you reach road 227. Take a quick right and follow this down to the parking lot. This small lot has vault toilets, and you can work your way upstream or downstream. The spillway here actually holds lots of trout.

Although there is limited access on Muddy Creek, you can still spend hours working the different pools and runs. Don’t be fooled, there are large trout here – some that are trophy size.

Flies To Use

During the winter, midges are going to be your best bet here. Try Zebra midges, Mayhem midges, Top Secret midges, and Brassies in sizes #18-#24. On warmer days, you may encounter midge hatches, and the trout will start to rise. For these midge hatches, try Sprout midges, Para midges and Griffiths gnats in sizes #20-#22.

During the spring, Blue Winged Olives will start to hatch on Muddy Creek. For nymphs, try JuJu Baetis, Barrs BWO Emergers, Pheasant Tails and Rainbow Warriors in sizes #18-#22. For Baetis dry flies, try Parachute Adams, Extended Body BWO’s and Gulper Specials in sizes #18-#22.

In the summer, fishing a hopper dropper setup is the best method here. For the top fly, try Morrish Hoppers, Chubby Chernobyls, Parachute Hoppers and Amy’s Ants in sizes #8-#14. For droppers, try Rainbow Warriors, Pheasant Tails, Hares Ears, and Pats Rubberlegs in sizes #12-#18.

In the fall, it is time to break out the streamer rod to hunt down the brown trout. My favorite streamers here are Dungeons, Mini Dungeons, Sculpzillas, Sparkle Minnows, Goldies, and Woolly Buggers in sizes #4-#10.

Watch Out For Mosquitoes!

Although Colorado isn’t known for having mosquitoes, Muddy Creek has lots of them. If you plan on fishing here in the summer, make sure to have bug spray and long sleeves. Cover up as much as you can, because the bugs can be really bad here. It is actually what keeps lots of anglers from fishing here.

Here in Colorado, we are spoiled by hardly having any mosquitoes. Since Muddy Creek is such a moist area, the mosquitoes love it here. If you really don’t want to deal with this, then simply avoid Muddy Creek in the summer months. Fishing it in the spring and fall will mean much less mosquito activity.

There are also horseflies here in the warmer months, which can be a real pain. Again, make sure to have bug spray, long sleeves and long pants.

Best Months To Fish Muddy Creek

Since Muddy Creek is a tailwater, you can fish it 12 months out of the year. It is dam controlled, so the water temperature stays consistent. However, I find that the most productive times on Muddy Creek are summer and fall.

The hopper dropper fishing in the summer can be very productive, with willing browns and rainbows coming up to the surface. Work the undercut banks as you make your way upstream.

During the fall, the streamer fishing can be amazing on Muddy Creek. This is often when you’ll hook into some of the big brown trout that live here. A 7 weight rod with a sink tip line is my favorite way to fish here during the fall season.


Muddy Creek is a wonderful tailwater that is often overlooked. With all of our more famous tailwaters, anglers often forget about Muddy Creek. If you are looking for some solitude and bigger trout, be sure to visit Muddy Creek. Often times, you’ll be the only angler fishing it – which can be a great experience.

If you can deal with the mosquitoes, horse files, and picky trout – you can have some really good days here.