Jul 04, 2015
June 18, 2012
The forks of Cottonwood Creek are providing some excellent small stream action. South Cottonwood, with its many beaver ponds, is a great option for those who like to work their way right up the middle of the creek. Stimulators, hoppers, caddis and beetles/ants are all producing well. Up Middle Cottonwood, the steeper gradient and rougher terrain are only for the undaunted bushwacker/log hopper set. However, the rewards are in there for those willing to work for them.
The several forks of Cottonwood Creek drain a large area of the middle Sawatch Range, including the southern part of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. Among the different branches, South Cottonwood Creek probably offers the most for the fly-fisherman, with a gentler gradient and more beaver ponds than the other forks. There are also two USFS campgrounds and plenty of primitive camping in this basin. Additionally, Cottonwood Lake, an impoundment about four miles up the creek from the confluence with the Middle Fork, has a nice population of resident fish and is regularly stocked by Parks and Wildlife. The lake is well-suited to fishing from a float-tube, canoe, or kayak and there is a boat ramp adjacent to where the creek flows in to the west end of the lake.
Current Flow rate: 218 cfs