Eleven Mile Reservoir is currently at 101% capacity and with a small but gradual rise in flow the past few days, we may be in for a fill and spill situation. If they decide to let the reservoir spill rather than release from the bottom of the dam, you can expect water clarity to drop a bit more than normal. There’s been no change yet, but we are keeping a close eye on flows and will update as things change. Sitting at 70 cfs, trout are skittish and water temps have been a concern during the afternoon. As we mentioned last week, hot afternoon temperatures have the potential to rise water temps above 67 degrees, which is unsafe for trout. To be safe, plan on fishing from 6 am – 1 pm when water temps are at a safer and more productive level. If water temps hit 67 degrees in the afternoon, please postpone fishing until temperatures drop. During the morning and evening we’re seeing sporadic midge hatches which have led to fantastic dry fly opportunities. If water temps are in check, you’ll have more dry fly opportunities during the BWO, caddis and PMD hatches. A double dry fly setup with an Elk Hair Caddis and a Sparkle Dun is a great tactic during those hatches. If you don’t see trout feeding on the surface, nymphing riffles, pockets, transitions and faster runs will put trout in the net. Double baetis or caddis/baetis nymph rigs are a great place to start. If you don’t see any action, swap out your lead fly for a Pat’s Rubber Legs, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear, leech or Copper John.
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The Eleven Mile section of the South Platte is a gorgeous stretch of river that offers anglers amazing fishing year round. The canyon experiences some great hatches throughout the warmer months and because it's a tail water, it can be fished in the winter. As you explore this river you'll notice that it has blended characteristics of the Cheesman Canyon and Deckers sections of the South Platte. While the best fishing usually occurs within two miles of the dam, the road that parallels the river makes it easy to jump in and out of the car to explore different sections. Eleven Mile has quickly become one of our favorite places to fish.
The Eleven Mile stretch of the South Platte offers a wide range of features that caters to any style of fly fisherman. The canyon sections of the river provide deep pools for the streamer junkie and the nymph fisherman who likes to sling around a lot of weight and drift flies down deep to try and catch a picture worthy fish. Other sections of the river remind us more of Deckers with medium depth riffles, runs and tail outs. Considering this section is a tail water, the standard South Platte flies are the way to go. Classic examples are size 18 - 24 RS2's, Top Secrets and Zebra Midges. Other than the beauty, our favorite part about this river is it's ease of access and the ability to fish 2-4 sections in a day. Our favorite thing to do is drive up close to the damn, fish a quarter mile section, jump back in the car and move down river until we find another quality section to fish. No need to haul around a big back pack either! With the road so close to the river, you can access your lunch and river beers with ease!
The Eleven Mile section of the South Platte river is easy accessed from County Road 96. County Road 96 is a dirt road that starts in Lake George and runs along the river up to the dam. The road consists of pull-offs and designated parking lots making it easy to jump in and out of the car to fish different sections of the river. One thing to be aware of is the $7 entrance fee that needs to be paid to enter the canyon. Plan on bringing a check or cash to pay this fee.