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Rob Herrmann Photography

South Platte River: Eleven Mile Canyon

Difficulty Intermediate
Ideal Days To Fish 12/3, 12/4 & 12/6

Weekly Report

Report DateDec. 1, 2022

Sitting in the low 100 cfs range, Eleven Mile Canyon flows are healthy for this time of year. The fishing isn’t overly technical right now but you’ll need to pay close attention to your indicator to identify subtle takes. Even with warmer afternoon air temps, the morning hours are still bitter cold and unproductive. Around 10 am, the water will warm up enough to increase trout activity. Trout are stacked up in deep and soft water for the better part of the day. Drifting a double or triple nymph rig through the deepest portion of the water column will put your flies in front of the most fish. Eggs, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Rainbow Warriors, JuJu Baetis, red Zebra Midges, Demon Midges, Pale Ale Midges and Miracle Nymphs are productive lead patterns. Below one of those patterns, trail a Mercury Black Beauty, Mercury Midge, Top Secret, Shot Glass Baetis, black/chocolate Foam Back Emerger, RS2 or Cheesman Emerger. #22 pupa and emerger patterns have been the ideal size with #24 patterns coming in handy when trout are selective. Midge and BWO hatches were hit or miss this week but with a string of warmer weather in the forecast, we should see more hatch and surface activity. Sections that contain structure and receive ample sunlight will produce the strongest hatches and hold more trout willing to feed on or near the surface. Start with a single Griffiths Gnat or Parachute Adams. If you’re not seeing any action, trail a midge pupa or sunken dry fly 8 – 10 inches with 6x tippet.

Recommended Flies

River Flow

Flow Region

Detailed River Info

Background:

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.

Angling:

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! 

River Access

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.