Eleven Mile Canyon flows currently sit at 147 cfs. At this level, the flow is above the historical average but the river does feels skinny in some sections and underwater grass/moss can present a challenge when nymphing. To avoid frequent snags, fish a hopper dropper with one or two nymphs rather than a nymph rig. This setup will put your flies in front of trout feeding deep in the water column and attract opportunistic trout looking for a bigger meal on the surface. Effective sub-surface patterns include Flashback Pheasant Tails, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ears, Perdigons, Rainbow Warriors, JuJu Baetis, Zebra Midges, Mercury Midges, RS2s, Chocolate Foam Back Emergers and San Juan Worms. Pools, runs, pockets, outer seams and riffles are all viable targets with a hopper dropper. Other than that, we’re still seeing strong midge and trico hatches during the morning and BWO hatches in the late morning/early afternoon. Griffiths Gnats, Parachute Tricos and CDC Trico Spinners will attract trout during the midge and trico hatch. If you’re struggling to get them to commit, either switch to a single dry fly setup, decrease the size of your fly or switch to 6x tippet. For the BWO hatch, you can’t go wrong with a Parachute Adams or Parachute BWO. Soft runs and tailouts are ideal sections for targeting rising trout.
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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 $9 entrance fee that needs to be paid to enter the canyon. Plan on bringing a check or cash to pay this fee.