Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Hatches and Trout Flies for the South Platte River Colorado
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
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 location.
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 the river.
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 location.
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 September.
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 satisfaction.
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