South Platte flows at Deckers are holding steady at 95 cfs and water clarity is high. Even on warmer days, water temps are cold and only reaching a high of 40 degrees during the afternoon. Even as we move past this cold front, keep this in mind and fish the warmest hours of the day when trout are most active. Trout are favoring their winter lies (deep pools, soft runs, slack water etc.) and the deepest portion of the water column, making a heavy nymph rig the ideal setup. As air temps rise into the 40s and 50s over the next few days, we should observe more hatch activity and find trout feeding closer to the surface in soft water and feasting on pupa in transitions, tailouts and along seams. Small midge larva patterns, size #18 searcher/attractor patterns and eggs are productive lead patterns when nymphing. Rainbow Warriors and eggs were particularly hot this week. If trout are turned off by a larger lead pattern, switch to a midge larva. Patterns such as Bling Midges, Miracle Nymphs, Blood Midges and tube midges are always a safe bet this time of year. Midge pupa and baetis emerger patterns have been lights out in the trailer position. Think olive RS2s, WD-40s, Manhattan Midges and Mercury Black Beauties. Hatch activity is expected to improve and will offer dry fly opportunities during the late morning and afternoon. Sections that receive direct sunlight will produce the best hatches. Griffiths Gnats and Parachute Adams will get attention from trout looking up at the surface. Warmer weather will also increase angling pressure, so don’t expect to have the river to yourself. Explore the sections downstream of Deckers and look for sections with pronounced pools and runs.
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The Deckers stretch of the South Platte River is a heavily sought after and highly productive stretch of river located roughly one hour from Denver. It's proximity to Denver and it's wade friendly features makes for a great destination for anglers of all experience levels. According to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Deckers stretch of the South Platte contains just over 3,000 trout per mile with Rainbows, Browns and Cutthroats making up this healthy population. This portion of the South Platte is a tail water section, so depending on the will of the angler, productive fishing can be enjoyed year round.
Fishing the Deckers stretch of the South Platte River is arguably one of the most difficult but rewarding rivers in the state. Aside from the hoards of anglers that flock to this river every weekend, it is one of our favorites to fish. It's close to Denver, incredibly easy to access and can yield trout worth writing home about. Deckers is famous for it's deep holes and runs but can also provide great pocket water fishing. In the summer and fall, anglers can expect some incredible Caddis and Mayfly hatches that result in irresistible dry fly fishing. In the winter and spring, nymphing is the name of the game. Small tail water midges and Baetis patterns that strain your eyes to look at are the ticket for a productive day.
The Deckers section of the South Platte river is easy accessed from many locations. Anglers can drive along County Road 126, search for an appealing section of river and find a place on the side of the road to park. If you're not interested in searching for your own stretch of river, the intersection of County Road 126 and County Road 67 is a popular place to park and walk to the river.