Copyright 2017 James Marsh
Fly Fishing On The South Platte River In
The South Platte River is one of the state of Colorado's
finest trout streams. It is formed by the confluence of the
Middle Fork, a freestone stream, and the South Fork, a
tailwater of Antero Reservoir, which join above Spinney
Reservoir. The river flows though several more lakes and
reservoirs providing several more miles of superb trout
fishing opportunities before it reaches the city of Denver.
Fly Fishing the South Platte River is considered the best
Colorado has to offer by many anglers.
Both rainbow trout and brown trout are found in the
South Platte River in large numbers. The trout average a
large size. It flows through several lakes and reservoirs
presenting all types of fishing challenges from streams to
still waters. Knowing the current regulations of the section
you are fishing is imperative. Several sections have
special regulations. Be sure and check with the state.
The most popular and probably most productive section
of the river is below Cheesman Reservoir and Dam.
Another productive stretch of river is above and below
Spinney Mountain Reservoir. Here, browns and
especially rainbows have been known to reach immense
In it's headwaters, about twenty miles west of Lake
George, the South Platte River's two main prongs form
the main river. You don't necessarily need to ignore the
fly fishing opportunities on its South Fork or Middle Forks
though. Both of these streams have excellent trout
fishing. Fish move in and out of these two branches
throughout the year. Fish from Antero Reservoir move up
into the freestone section. Fish from the mainstem of the
South fork move upstream into both branches at certain
times of the year. Trout move into both of these branches
as far away as Spinney Mountain Reservoir to spawn.
During the spawn, these small streams produce rainbow
trout, cutthroat trout and brown trout up to twenty inches
and better. You can access these headwater streams
from Route 9 and Route 24. U. S. Highway #24 also
provides access. You may have to find some of the many
side roads or even do a little hiking, but it's usually very
rewarding if you fish them at the right times of the
season. These are small streams, less than twenty-five
feet in width
The area below Spinney Reservoir, called the Spinney
Mile, is one of the better sections. This tailwater section is
known for its large trout that migrate upstream from
Eleven Mile Reservoir to spawn. It is one of Colorado's
better tailwater fisheries. It's know as the Spinney Mile.
It's actually three miles long. This short tailwater flows into
the Eleven Mile Reservoir.
The trout in the Spinney Mile are huge. They average
over 16 inches but get much larger. Spawning trout are
both resident trout and fish from the Eleven Mile
Reservoir. There's a spring run of rainbows and a fall run
of brown trout. Trout up to 30 inches have been caught
during the spawn. The stream is rather large in this
section, averaging over 70 feet.. It has deep runs
connected by riffles with nice pools in the mix of water.
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 ft., 5 or 6X Nymphing: 71/2 ft.,
3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
The Spinney Mile can be accessed from
County Road #59. This is wide open country
surrounded by hills and large open areas of
grasslands. Wind can be a problem in this
section because it is very openly exposed with
nothing to block it.
Below the Eleven Mile Reservoir, the river
flows through a canyon that provides excellent
fishing along its course to Lake George. Its
length is actually eleven mile and it is called
the "Eleven Mile Canyon". Good size trout are
found in this longer section of the South
Platte. Many prefer the canyon section over
the Spinney Mile because it's protected from
the harsh wind.
There's yet another short section between
Lake George and Cheesman Reservoir that
also provides good fishing opportunities.
Downstream of Cheesman Reservoir you will
find the most popular section of the South
Platte River. Parts of this section are easily
accessed and other parts aren't easy to
access. The part from the dam to Deckers
requires a good hike into the canyon to reach
the stream. By good hike, we mostly mean a
steep hike to get out of the canyon. This is
classic pocket water. In our opinion, this is one
of the top spots in the state to fish.
The diverse river offers year-round fishing
Trout can be taken in the tailwaters if
Spring can be excellent if the flows are
Fly Fishing Guide to the South Platte
The methods and strategies for fly fishing the
South Platte River vary greatly depending on
when and where you fish. The South Platte
River is one of the most diversified trout
streams in the nation. It has just about every
type of water conceivable. You would need to
use just about every fishing method and
technique anyone ever heard of the fish all of
its waters effectively. Much of the water is on
private property, but there is still an ample
amount left for the general public.
Don't forget that there are several different
special regulations areas on different
sections of the South Platte River. These
regulations vary. Although the most popular
area to fish the South Platte River is below
the Cheesman Reservoir and dam, keep in
mind the river flows through several lakes
and reservoirs and has several sections of
the river that provides excellent fishing. The
section of the river below Spinney Mountain
Reservoir is also very popular because of the
size of its trout.
If it is the right season, don't forget about the
spawning trout that move out of Spinney
Mountain Reservoir up into the river to
spawn. This includes the brown trout that
spawn during the fall months and rainbow
and cutthroat trout that spawn during the
spring months. These fish are usually very
large and provide some excellent
opportunities for anglers that enjoy catching
big fish. In this area the river is fairly small in
width, averaging only fifteen to twenty feet
wide in most places. It is a beautiful stream
with some big fish during the spawning runs.
It is also an excellent place to fish any other
time of the year.
The Spinney Mile, or tailwater section located
below Spinney Mountain Reservoir, also has
some big trout. Spawning trout move out of
the Eleven Mile Reservoir to spawn. It is
called the Eleven Mile Reservoir but it is only
about five and a half miles below Spinney
Mountain dam. This water is much wider in
this section, averaging probably eighty feet
and wider in most places. This section, called
the "Dream Stream", is included within the
popular South Park area. It is mostly a wide
open area where strong winds are normal.
The water releases in this section of the river
are controlled by the Aurora Water Board
and are often very low. Stalking huge trout in
this section is very popular.
The section below the Eleven Mile Reservoir,
called the Eleven Mile Canyon, is also a good
fishery with quality size trout. It flows for nine
miles into Lake George. The big advantage
of this section is that you can avoid most of
the high wind that prevails in the other
sections, especially the South Park area that
is surrounded with open land.
You have just the opposite type of access
at Deckers. Little effort is required to reach
the water but it's far best to get away from
the easy road access. This is also a
popular section to fish due to the easy
access. Although it is easy to reach, it too
provides some very fine fly fishing.
Several more miles of productive fishing lies
downstream of Deckers before the stream
flows into the Strontis Spring Reservoir,
Platte Canyon Reservoir and the city of
Denver. The last section below Platte
Canyon Reservoir and above Denver has
fewer trout and less fishing opportunities.
As you may well suspect, a large variety of
fishing methods can be successfully used
for fly fishing the South Platte River. It
strictly depends on the section of water
your fishing. Be sure and read our "Hatches
and Trout Flies" section of this site.
This section has a lot of pocket water
created by some huge boulders. Areas in
the canyon can be difficult to navigate and
access. Below Lake George, down to
Cheesman Reservoir, is also good, but not
near as popular as the other sections.
The not so easy hike into the Cheesman
Canyon between Cheesman Reservoir and
Deckers doesn't seem to steer many
anglers away because it can be just as
crowded as any area on the South Platte
River. I guess that just attest to the fact it is
a great location to fish. Even so, it is one
of the most difficult to fish areas on the
South Platte River. It has huge boulders,
rough pocket water and highly trained
trout. It is a beautiful canyon about three
miles long. This is a Gold Metal
Designated section with trout that probably
average 16 inches.
The area around Deckers is easy to
access and also popular. It consist mostly
of riffles but there are some sections of
pocket water. It too, sees a lot of fishing
pressure, but it often give up some very
The closest tailwater section to Denver is
the five mile long Watertown Canyon
section. The upper section of this canyon
is probably the best section to fish. There
is no vehicle access to this part of the
South Platte, so you must hike in to fish it.
There are two different sets of special
regulations within Watertown Canyon.
Most of the stream, and especially the
tailwater sections, require longer, accurate
cast. You must get a good drift to catch
trout, especially where there is a lot of
fishing pressure. It's one of Colorado's and
for that matter, the Western United States,
best trout streams. Even though it is very
close to Denver and many people, and
even though it is dammed from one end to
the other, it is still a great location to fish
for trout. It offers such a wide variety of
water, you have a good chance to catch
trout on any day of the year.
Hatches and Trout Flies for the South
Our information on aquatic insects is based
on our stream samples of larvae and
nymphs, not guess work. We base fly
suggestions on imitating the most plentiful
and most available insects and other foods at
the particular time you are fishing. Unlike the
generic fly shop trout flies, we have specific
imitations of all the insects in the South Platte
River and in all stages of life that are
applicable to fishing. If you want to fish
better, more realistic trout flies, have a much
higher degree of success, give us a call. We
not only will help you with selections, you will
learn why, after trying Perfect Flies, 92% of
the thousands of our customers will use
nothing else. 1-800-594-4726.
Since this river is both a freestone stream
and several tailwater streams all in one, it is
difficult to identify specific hatch times for
some of the insects without doing several
individual hatch charts for each section.
However, that said, you will find that the
hatch times usually come within the time slots
we provide. Remember that the time a
specific hatch occurs may change with the
weather and water conditions, but order in
which the insects hatch shouldn't change.
You will find midges hatching most everyday
of the year. Midge fishing is most popular
during the winter months when there are no
other hatches occurring, but it is actually
The first mayfly to hatch on the South Platte
River is the Blue-winged Olive. The hatches
start about the middle of March and last
through the month of May at various points
along the river. This is a bi-brooded hatch
that occurs again from September through
the month of November. It consist of several
different baetis species.
Pale Morning Duns or PMDs begin to hatch
around the middle of June. The hatch can
last into the middle of August depending on
the location. It is heavy in areas and don't
exist in other areas.
The little Trico mayfly is another important
hatch that takes place in some locations
where the water flows slow to moderately.
They hatch from about the first of August
through the middle of October.
Golden Stoneflies hatch from about the
middle of May through the middle of July.
Little Yellow Stoneflies, called Yellow Sallies,
hatch from about the first of June through
September depending on the particular
There are several species of caddisflies
that hatch on the South Platte River. The
first major hatch are Little Black Caddis or
species of Brachycentrus caddisflies. They
start hatching around the first of May and
last on until the first week or two of June
depending on the particular location along
Probably the most important or plentiful
caddisflies are the Spotted Sedges. These
caddisflies can hatch from June through
September, depending on the particular
species. There is also a hatch of their Little
Sisters that takes place in late June and
July. Green Sedges are fairly plentiful in
parts of the stream. Imitations of their
larvae, called Rock Worms, are effective
flies to use. They hatch from around the
first of May through June, depending on the
Terrestrials are very important in the
meadow sections of the South Platte River,
however, they can be found anywhere on
any section of the stream. Ants, beetles and
grasshoppers, are all important terrestrials
to imitate. They become available from
about the middle of June through
Scuds are available for the trout to eat
through the year. They are plentiful and a
major source of food for the trout in some
areas of the river.
Streamers are always effective flies to use,
but especially during the times the water is
high or slightly off color from rain. The river
has plenty of sculpin and various species of
minnows and baitfish. They are also
important flies to have with you when trout
are moving out of any of the many lakes
and reservoirs up into the river to spawn.
If you haven't done so already, we hope you
will give our "Perfect Fly" line of trout flies a
try. They are the most realistic and effective
trout flies you can purchase. Several of our
patterns have proven effective at catching
trout on the South Platte River. We believe
in them so strongly, we guarantee your
Summer provides the most productive
Big spawning browns can be caught in
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|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (email@example.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
Headlines: The stream levels are
all in good shape in all sections of
the river. Discharges are relatively
low but should be checked. Our
customers are reporting catching
good numbers of trout and in all
sections. The hatches vary a lot
from section to section due mostly
to water temperature difference.
There are two species of caddis
and lots of Pale Morning duns
about everywhere. Keep up with
the latest information by clicking on
the fishing report link just above.
We have Perfect Fly
website pages on
each of these other
fine trout streams.
descriptions of the
location, species of
fish, a fly fishing
guide, a fly fishing
report, hatches and
flies, fly fishing gear
USGS stream data,
much, much more
Map of South Platte River
10/16/15 Great fall weather is perfect for fly fishing the South Platte River. October Caddis are
at the peak of their hatch. Blue-winged olives in two sizes are hatching good. Brown trout are in
the pre-spawn and spawning stage depending on the section of water. Conditions are as good
as they get.
10/23/15 Blue-winged Olives have begin to hatch in two sizes, 20 and 16. October Caddis are at
the peak of their hatch and the egg layers are bringing trout to the surface to feed on them.
Brown trout are in the pre-spawn stage and aggressive and territorial. Flies like our Brown
Sculpin and White Belly Sculpin do a great job of fooling them.
10/30/15 Not much changes in the conditions. It is raining right now but should be clear for the
next five days. The streams have been high but are back down almost to a normal level for this
time of the season. October Caddis are stil hatching in some sections. Blue-winged olives are
the main insects to imitate at this time.
11/06/15 Stream levels are good throughout the system. The colder weather is rapidly changing
the hatches and flies you need to be using. The top fly would be a Perfect Fly brown sculpin.
The river is full of sculpin. Blue-winged olives and midge are the only things that will be hatching
in decent quantities for the next few weeks.
11/13/15 There are some nice hatching of Blue-winged olives taking place in many sections of
the South Platte. Midges are becoming more and more important. The Brown Sculpin has been
catching a lot of brown trout in the various stages of the spawn, so don't overlook it.
11/20/15 There has been a lot of snow as I'm sure most of your are aware of. Melting snow
stains the water just enough in some cases to really help. Levels are okay in most places and
will get better later in the week. Midges and Blue-winged olives continue to be the only hatches
of importance. The Brown Sculpin fly has caught more large trout than any fly lately.
11/27/15 It is finally acting a lot like winter in the Denver area. There are winter storm warning
out and it is snowing hard. This should all clear up by Sunday and offer some decent fly fishing
opportunity, thanks to the fact most of the water is bottom discharged from lakes and reservoirs.
MIdges will be about the only insect you need to be concerned with this coming week.
12/04/15 Great conditions exist in all sections of the South Platte. The weather is going to be
nice and warm and the water temperature in a good range. Midges and Blue-winged olives
should be hatching. The stream levels are all good and should remain that way all week. Don't
forget about the Brown and White Belly sculpin streamers. They have been catching some very
12/11/15 Very good conditions still exist on the South Platte River. This coming week should be
good to those who don't mind a little snow. The trout don't mind it. The skies will be covered with
clouds and that will be a help to the angler. Midges are still the most important insects to be
imitating. Notice that Winter stoneflies have started to hatch. The Brown Sculpin streamer should
continue to work good.
12/17/15 The weather forecast looks like it was written by someone wanting to fish the South
Platte River. It shows no rain or snow until Christmas day. The stream levels are all in good
shape and the water is reasonably warm that's to the bottom discharge tailwater. Midges and
Winter stonefly nymphs should get you plenty of opportunities to hook up with some trout.
12/25/15 There is more snow today and then it is ending for a few days. The weather forecast
isn't bad at all for the last week of December. Fish the bottom discharge tailwaters with midges
and winter stonefly nymphs and you should catch trout. There's one thing for sure. You won't
catch any sitting on the couch.
01/01/16 The conditions are going to be much better this coming week. There is no rain or snow
in the forecast and the temperature is going to be much warmer. Fish the tailwater discharges
as near the dams as you can for the warmest water. The flows should be good for wading most
of the time. Midges and Winter stonefly nymphs should get you some trout.
01/08/16 The weather is clearing up after today but will be colder. We recommend fishing one of
the two bottom discharges. The water will be a little warmer. Midges, Winter stoneflies and
Sculpin is the main items of food you should be imitating. The winter stoneflies are already
hatching in some sections. Fish the nymph until you see egg laying females.
01/15/16 The weather is going to be great this coming week. There isn't any snow or rain in the
forecast after today. Midges, with the larva and pupa in tandem, and winter stonefly nymphs are
the flies you need to be using. The tailwater sections of the river have the wamest water.
01/22/16 Wow! The weather is unreal, nice and warm, almost spring like. Yes, the water is still
cold but ranging from about 36 at the lowest to forty degrees, plenty warm enough to catch
trout. Blue-winged olives could hatch this coming few days along with plenty of midges. The best
odds is still probably near the bottom discharge tailwaters but the entire river is fishable.
01/29/16 There were some blue-winged olives reported hatching this past week but we don't
think that will be the case for the next few days. The weather is turning a little colder with lots of
snow in the forecast. Stream levels are fine and anglers were catching trout this past week. You
should be able to do well this week if you can put up with the snow.
02/05/16 What a good looking week for the month of February, well, that is a good looking
weather forecast. Highs will be in the forties to high fifties. The water will still be cold but it should
warm up some and conditions improve. Midges and little winter stoneflies are still the most
important insects to imitate but we think the Blue-winged olive nymph may be the hot fly to use.
02/12/16 Don't get our your bathing suits yet, but the weather is going to be even warmer this
week. It is a good time to fish the South Platte River. There is no chance of rain or snow but
melting snow may stain the water in some sections. The warmest water will still be just below the
bottom discharges of the dams. Midges, winter stoneflies and Blue-winged olives are the insects
02/19/16 The warm weather is going to continue for a few more days. It actually warmed up
some of the lower sections of the river and got the water out of the almost frozen state. Some
water is up to the low to mid forties but most still in the mid and high thirties. Midges, both cream
and red, will still work, but more emphasis should be put on the Blue-winged Olives. They could
hatch this coming week.
02/26/16 Another week of great warm weather is on the way. There's almost no chance of rain
or snow. The warm air is melting a lot of snow in the water shed and keeping some of the
sections of water stained and high. Midges, Winter stoneflies and little Blue-winged olives will
continue to be the main insects you need to imitate. Streamers will work best where the water is
03/04/16 The El Nino weather is nice for anglers but not so much for the trout. The warmer
weather at this time of the year causes as many problems as it helps. Where the snow is
melting, the water is stained and cold. Midges, winter stoneflies, and at times, little Blue-winged
olives are hatching. In the stained water, your best bet is to use streamers.
03/11/18 The coming week is looking great for fly fishing the South Platte. The stream levels are
all okay and the water in good shape from the uppermost sections to the lowest sections trout
exit. Midges and Blue-winged olives are hatching good. The weather forecast for the coming
week is excellent and conditions should remain very good.
03/18/16 It has turned a little cold again in South Platte River country, but that won't last long. It
is snowing today but clearing up for the next several days. We expect March Browns to hatch in
the lower section of the river very soon. Midges and Blue-winged olives are hatching good now,
along with some Little Winter stoneflies.
03/25/16 The South Platte river is in good shape but it is still mostly midges and little Blue-
winged olives that you need to be able to imitate. All sections of the river are okay to fish, stream
level wise, but the tailwater are probably the warmest and best places to fish right now. It won't
be long before some major hatches begin.
04/07/15 The water is getting a little warmer but melting snow and ice is keeping it down from
where many anglers think it is. There is a lot of rain in the forecast and the levels are likely to be
a little high but otherwise, conditions are great. March Browns and little Black Caddis have
started to hatch in some sections of the river.
04/14/16 The weather has been nice but it taking a big swing. This isn't abnormal for the month
of April. It is going to be raining or snowing, mostly snowing, for the next six days. The water
temperature will drop a little and the surface activity slow down. Hatches will slow down. You can
still catch trout but watch the stream levels and fish mostly nymphs.
04/21/16 The weather has gone from a snow storm to very warm days with little chances of rain.
The stream levels are still high, mostly from melting snow runoff and of course this keeps the
water temperature down. Hatches should resume full blast very soon. March Browns, Little Black
Caddis and Blue-winged olives will be the main ones.
04/28/16 The river is higher than ideal but anglers are still able to fish in certain areas and
sections. The clarity has varied greatly, thanks to the melting snow. The weather has returned to
a more seasonable pattern. There is rain or snow every day for the next few days through.
05/06/16 The river is still high in all sections. As mentioned in the report, the water temperature
varies with the section some, but still mostly BWOs, midges a few March Browns and Little black
Caddis. The are the American Grannoms some call the Mother's day hatch. There is more rain
forecast everyday this coming week.
05/13/16 The past two days have provided some very good opportunity. Our customers did well
and should continue to catch trout as long as the stream levels stay low enough to wade. There
is a lot of rain in the forecast for the coming week. Hatches are going good and the dry fly
fishing has been excellent the past couple of days as well as nymph fishing.
05/20/16 Some sections are high and stained a little and some in good shape. It is much better
than most of the Colorado streams. Customers were catching trout in good numbers this past
week. You must keep a close check on the discharges and water levels. The are subject to
change a lot from more runoff and rain.
05/27/16 Two good reports from yesterday. Most sections of the river are in good shape with
mostly clear water. The levels are fine in most sections. Lots of insects are hatching but keep in
mind it varies from section to section. There are some Golden stoneflies starting in the lowest
section of the river.
06/03/16 While about every trout stream in the state of Colorado is in the full runoff stage, the
South Platte is offering several good option for anglers to fly fish for trout. Several different
insects are hatching and the stream levels are mostly in good shape in all the sections of the
river. The water is warming up fast and we expect to see some more hatches begin soon.
06/10/16 Currently, the flows are up in all sections of the river - Cheesman, Dream Stream, 11
mile canyon, Deckers and others. The fows and levels constantly change and you should
continue to check them. Often there is some good fly fishing opportunity even in the middle of
June. Let us help you plan you next trip by sending us an email. The address is on your right.
06/17/16 The stream flows are still high in most areas, making wading difficult to not safe but the
water is mostly clear. The canyon is in decent shape with few anglers fishing it, and lots of
stoneflies hatching. The Deckers section is busy with anglers but they are catching some trout. It
too has lots of insects hatching. You just have to pick and choose your spots to fish.
06/24/16 The river is in good shape but high in most sections. The water is much clearer and
there are more aquatic insects hatching. There are lots of Pale Morning duns and caddis are
thick in some areas. Our customers are doing well on the late afternoon egg laying caddiflies.
Little Yellow stoneflies are hatching good in the fast water sections of the river.
06/30/16 The river is in good shape right now from the headwaters to the lowest section. There
are flash floods warning for today and rain forecast for every day this coming week, so this is
likely to change some. There are a lot of different insects hatching depending on the section
you are fishing but we have added terrestrial insects to the fly list because they will soon
become important. The river is
07/05/16 We have received some good fishing reports from customers this past week. All
sections of the South Platte are in good shape with good stream levels. The Cheesman Canyon,
Deckers and Eleven Mile Canyon sections are all producing good numbers of trout. The weather
forecast calls for clear weather this coming week. Pale Morning duns, Spotted Sedges and Little
Yellow stoneflies are the most important insects at this time.
07/22/16 The river is in good shape in all sections. You can fish about anywhere and have a
good opportunity to catch plenty of trout. The canyon sections are probably the best but require
a little more effort to get to and fish. Fish as early and as late in the day as you can. The late
afternoon spinner falls and egg laying caddis and little Yellow stoneflies bring a lot of trout to the
surface to feed.
08/04/16 The river is in good shape in all sections with decent stream levels and lots of hatches
taking place. The hatches vary greatly from section to section except for the Spotted Sedge and
Green Sedges (caddisflies). Pale Morning duns are still hatching in most places. There is rain in
the forecast everyday this coming week, so what the stream levels.
08/12/16 The river is in very good shape in all sections for mid August. Stream levels are
flowing at a normal rate and there are still a lot of insects hatching. The hatches do vary
depending on the type of water and section of the river. Pale Morning Duns, Caddis or two
species and little Yellow stoneflies are the most common. Some of our customers are doing well
08/19/16 The canyon sections of the river have been the hot spots to fish lately but for now, all
sections of the river are turning out trout for anglers. Those fishing early and late are doing the
best. Most hatching are caddisflies and the egg laying is taking place the last two or three hours
of the day. Terrestrial imitations are working as well. Hoppers are best in the meadow sections.
08/26/16 Our customers continue to send in good reports from fishing in the Deckers section of
the river. Most flows are just a little above normal for this time of the season, which is good.
There is almost no rain in the forecast this coming week. Tricos are hatching everywhere. Fish
the spinner fall in the mornings and hatch that follows it. These are size 20 insects.
09/02/16 The river is running a little high in most sections but okay and safe to wade if your
careful to select your spots. There are lots of caddisflies hatching. Our customers are continuing
to catch larger trout in the early morning using Sculpin Streamers like the White Belly and Brown
Sculpin. Fish the caddis hatches and egg laying in the late afternoon.
09/09/16 The Dream stream, Cheesman Canyon, Deckers and the Eleven Mile canyon are all in
very good shape with good stream levels and water temperatures. Conditions are about as good
as they get during this time of the season. Our customers are sending in some very good
reports on a regular basis. There are lots of hatching taking place but they do vary greatly from
section to section.
09/16/16 Flows have varied this past week depending on the need for water. They varied from
low to strong depending on the section. There are still hatches taking place in all sections but
they vary some. The most consistent are the caddisflies. There are still plenty of Triocs and
baetis Blue-winged olives, size 16, are showing up in the upper sections of the river.
09/23/16 The river is in excellent shape for the first part of the Fall season. Stream levels are
good in all sections. The water is cooler thanks to the much cooler weather and the trout are
active. Our customers are catching good numbers of trout fishing mostly, the canyon sections.
October Caddis and Mahogany duns have started to hatch along with lots of Blue-winged olives.
09/30/16 Some sections are in good shape and others not so good and all to do with
discharges. You have to keep a check on the section you intend to fish. When levels are
decent, our customers have been catching good numbers of trout. There are Blue-winged olive
hatches most places and still a few Tricos. The forecast looiks good for the coming week and
things should settle down and be stable for a while.
10/07/16 The river is in pretty good shape in all sections. Some are a little low and will require
some stealth to catch trout. Stay low, dress like the background and use lighter, longer leaders
and tippets to help with that problem. The middle and lower end of the river seem to be a little
better than the two uppermost sections. There are still plenty of hatches taking place.
10/14/16 Low discharges and stream levels continue with little to no rain in the forecast for the
coming week. You will have to stay hidden to catch the trout but wading is easy and the fish
eating well thanks to the good water temperatures. Stay low and make longer, lighter
presentations. The trout can see the fly good and is the main reason you should be using
10/21/16 All sections of the South Platte River are turning out trout for our customers. The two
canyons, Cheesman and the Eleven Mile canyon are probably the best bet right now but all are
in good shape. There are lots of insects still hatching including Bluw-winged olives and Tricos.
Mahogany duns and October caddis are hatching in some sections. It is a good time to fish the
10/28/16 The South Platte is a little low in most sections but in good shape for this time or the
season. The weather is nice and beautiful, few anglers are fishing and the fishing about as good
sas it gets. There are some large Blue-winged olive hatches taking place. Our customers are
catching lots of trout. The canyons probably offer the best opportunity right now.
11/04/16 The river is in good shape with good stream levels in all sections. There are some
good Blue-winged olive hatches taking place. Midges are starting to hatch good as well. There
have been some big brown trout caught recently on the Brown and White Belly sculpin
streamers. The weather is turning just a little cooler. There is no rain in the forecast for the
11/11/16 The weather is absolutely great with no rain or snow in the forecast. Midges and Blue-
winged olives are hatching and trout are being caught in all sections of the river. It just doesn't
get much better than this in November. The biggest problem you will have is deciding on which
section to fish. Don't forget to use Brown sculpin streamers early and late. They are catching
some big trout.
11/18/16 There has been some colder weather and tonight will be a cold one. This is going to
begin to drop the water temperature. It will vary depending on the section and whether or not it
is tailwater discharge. You may want to avoid fishing the early mornings. Blue-winged olives are
hatching good. Cream Midges are hatching along with some blood or red midges in the soft
11/25/16 The lower sections of the river are preferred at this time. The upper sections are a little
colder. Fishing close to the tailwater discharges is an advantage. The water temperature is in
the low forties. Sculpin streamers continue to catch larger trout. The Brown and White Belly
sculpin and well as the Matuka sculpin patterns. This next week should be a good one.
12/09/16 The river is in good shape in all sections. Most are running a little lower than normal
but that makes it easy to wade. The tailwater sections near the discharges are slightly warmer.
MIdges and little Blue-winged olives are hatching. We added Winter stoneflies to the fly list as
they are starting to hatch. The brown Sculpin streamers should continue to catch the larger trout.
12/16/16 The river is in good shape considering it is the middle of December. Fish the sections
just below the two tailwaters. Midges, Creams and Reds, or blood midges, are hatching. At time,
you can catch trout feeding on the top during a hatch. At times there are midge clusters in the
eddies. Otherwise, the Brown sculpin would be out top fly choice. Fish it right on the bottom in
the deeper sections of water.
12/23/16 The river is in good shape in all sections. Deckers, Cheeseman Canyon and the
Eleven mile canyon are all producing some good numbers of trout. The tandem rigged midge
(pupa and larva) in Red (blood midge) or Cream is the best fly arrangement but the Brown or
White Belly Sculpin streamers are catching some larger size trout for our customers.
12/30/16 The weather looks like it is going to be great for the coming week. It will be nice and
warm at times. The discharges and resulting stream levels are staying low, making it easy and
safe to wade. Deckers, Cheeseman Canyon and the Eleven-mile canyon are all in good shape.
Fish Cream and red midges and late in the day, Winter stonefly nymphs.
01/06/`7 Both canyons and Deckers have been choice locations for our customers. We are
finally getting a few good reports, not that the fishing has been off, rather the holiday affect.
Midges are the main insects to imitate. There are lots of creams, and where there is any soft
bottom, a lot of blood midges. Fish the larva and pupa in tandem, with the upper pupa imitation
about 16 inches above the larva.
01/13/17 The weather continues to be good for mid January. We received two good reports from
customers this past week. The warm weather may bring on some BWO hatches. Cream and Red
or blood midges are hatching good. Winter stoneflies are hatching good. Both the Eleven mile
and Cheeseman canyon are in good shape. Decker is also turning out trout. The water levels
are low everywhere.
01/20/17 The river is low in Most of the sections, but otherwise, in good shape for this time of
the year. I will repeat this since for a while back since this is the most frequent question we get.
Cheeseman canyon is at 62 cfs and normal at 250 to 400 cfs. Deckers is at 97 cfs and best at
150 to 325 cfs. The Eleven Mile Canyon is at 67 cfs and best at 150 to 250 cfs. Midges and
Winter stoneflies continue to be the main menu.
01/27/17 The river is in pretty good shape in all respects. Even the Dream stream turned out
some trout this past few days. Cheesman, the Eleven Mild and Deckers all are in decent shape
with okay flows and water that is in the high thirties. There is no rain or snow in the forecast for
the next few days. There are some Witer stoneflies and lots of Midges - Creams, Reds and
some light Greens. Fish the larva and pupa in tandem.
02/03/17 This is going to be a very nice week from a weather standpoint. The warm weather will
bring out the anglers and some sections will be a little crowed. There should be some little Blue-
winged olive hatches, or size 20's, non-baetis species, Winter stoneflies and lots of midges. All
the stream levels are running low. Cheesman is still low, flowing at 59 cfs, Deckers flowing at 79
cfs, Eleven mile flows are at 66 cfs.
02/10/17 Another good week of fly fishing opportunity is ahead for te South Platte. We had
some good reports this past week in spite of some heavy snow fall at times. Midges, little Blue-
winged olives, and some small black caddis are hatching. Two customers caught most of their
fish on Sculpin streamers. The Black and Olive Matuka scupins worked good.
02/17/17 The river is in good shape with decent levels and clear water except for where bank
snow runoff has stained the water. Cheeseman Canyon, Deckers and the Eleven Mile Canyon
all turned out some nice fish for customers this past week. This week is going to be very warm
with little precipitation. Midges and little Blue-winged olives should be the main insects you
imitate. Fish the Cream or Red midge with the larva and pupa in tandem.
02/24/17 All good things must come to an end and the warm springlike weather has ended. It is
back to more colder weather and some snow. That actually has little effect in much of the river,
especially the water near the bottom discharges of the tailwaters. We received three good
reports this past week but that was mostly just more anglers fishing. Midges are still the main
insects you should be imitating.
03/03/17 The stream levels are all in decent shape. There are some sections with off colored
water due to melting snow and ice. The warm weather continues to improve the ice in the water
situation. Some anglers are fishing like it is the month of May, and that doesn't work very well.
Stick with midges, creams and reds, and streamers under low light conditions.
03/10/17 The river is in good shape from top to bottom. One customer reported catching some
nice trout in the Dream stream recently. All sections are running a little low but still in good
shape. Hatches mostly consist of Midges, Creams and Res with some little Greens beginning to
hatch. Fish the larva and pupa rigged in tandem. Sculpin streamers are also working good. Fish
them in low light conditions.
03/17/17 All sections of the river are in good shape stream level wise. The tailwater discharges
are still low. The weather is going to be very warm for this time of the season, and we expect the
stream levels to rise some due to runoff from melting snow and ice. You should keep and eye on
the levels. The water is stained in some areas and likely to get worse. Fish sculpin streamers
where that occurs.
03/24/17 The entire river is in good shape at this time. The reports come in from our customers
on a pretty regular basis. The weather has been nice and the discharges and stream levels in
decent shape. Midges, little BWO nymphs and Sculpin streamers are producing the best
catches. Fish the sculpin streamer when it is cloudy or overcast.
03/31/17 The river is in good shape in all sections. Discharges and stream levels are normal for
this time of the year. The Cheesman canyon, Eleven mile Canyon and Deckers are all fishing
good. Midges are still the most important insects to imitate. Light Greens are hatching good and
there are some Reds and Creams still hatching. Sculpin streamers will catch the larger fish if you
fish them during low light conditions.
04/07/17 The South Platte is in good shape in all section of the river. The discharges and
stream levels are good, allowing plenty of wading opportunity. There are several new hatches
getting started including Skwala stoneflies, little Brown stoneflies, little Black Grannom Caddis
and Blue-winged olives. The coming week should be clear and free from snow or rain.
Conditions are as good as they get at this time of the year.
04/14/17 The river continues to be in good shape. The discharges from dams are low and
stream level in good shape to wade throughout the system. The weather is going to be good for
the next several days with even more insects starting to hatch. Conditions are about as good as
they could be for this time of the year. March Browns are starting to hatch good.
04/21/17 The South Platte continues to be one of the best destinations in the state. Discharges
and stream levels are good, and anglers are catching trout from the lakes to the lowest end of
the river that hold trout. Both Canyons are in good shape. There are lots of hatching insects.
This coming week should be another good one.
04/28/17 Our customers have been sending in some good reports and from two or three
different sections. All of them have low discharges and good stream levels. This coming week is
goig to be colder and that may slow things down some, but only for a day or two. There are a lot
of hatching insects. Both Canyons are fishing very good.
05/05/17 At this time of the year, fishing just doesn't get any easier or better than it is now.
Conditions are good in all sections of the river from it uppermost sections and lakes to the lower
sections that hold trout. Our customers are catching good numbers of trout in several different
sections. The hatches vary but there are plenty of them and likely to soon be more. The water is
getting much warmer..
05/12/17 The river is in very good shape in all respects. The discharges and stream levels are
normal and the water clear. There are multiple hatches taking place and all sections of the river
are in producing good numbers of trout. The weather is going to be clear and free from rain for
the next few days. We had two very good reports from customers fishing this past week.
05/19/17 The weather has turned much colder as I'm sure everyone knows. That has slowed
down the hatches and what is hatching is mostly cripples. Things should return to normal very
soon. Our customers were catching good numbers of trout and in several different sections of
the river. The hatches will pick right back up in a day or two.
05/26/17 The discharges in the tailwaters are low and the steam levels are all low enough to
wade safely about anywhere. There are lots of aquatic insects hatching. The water is clear and
getting a little warmer. The weather will be warmer this coming week. There is rain in the forecast
everyday as well. That may bring the stream levels up some.
06/02/17 The river is in good shape with good stream levels and mostly clear water. There isn't
any rain to amount to anything in the forecast for the coming week. The water should be getting
warmer and some new hatches starting us soon but for now it is mostly BWOs, March Browns
06/09/17 Some stream levels are up with stained water and some down in excellent shape. Both
canyons are in good shape. Deckers is in good shape. There are not many insects hatching as
there have been but this will be changing very soon. The stream has been receiving a good
amount of pressure from anglers since most everything else in the state is high from runoff.
06/23/17 The stream levels are still in good shape in all sections of the river. There are a lot of
new hatches beginning to take place. There are a lot of trout being caught and just about all
sections of the river. The coming week looks like it should be a good one. There are more insect
activity in the lower sections of the river.