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Rob Herrmann Photography

South Platte River: Eleven Mile Canyon

Difficulty Intermediate
Ideal Days To Fish 5/16, 5/21 & 5/22

Weekly Report

Report DateMay 12, 2022

Eleven Mile Canyon flows are stable and healthy for this time of year. High water clarity will make anglers slow down and focus on clean drifts but as long as you do that, you won’t have a problem putting trout in the net. Wind this week really put a damper on surface feeding but with calmer weather ahead, dry fly action should really heat up. Midge and BWO hatches are the most prevalent at the moment. With that said, caddis are slowly growing in numbers and a well-presented Elk Hair Caddis during the late morning may surprise you. Caddis aside, be prepared to fish dry flies during the mid-morning and evening midge hatch and early afternoon BWO hatch. Griffiths Gnats, Parachute Adams, and BWO Cripples are great patterns to have on hand. When trout aren’t feeding on the surface, fish a nymph rig. When water clarity is high, trout stack up and spend most of their time in deep pools and runs. If you fool a trout in a deep pool or run, stay there, because odds are you’ll find several others willing to eat. Aside from deeper water, riffles, pockets and transitions are highly productive during the afternoon. Trout holding in these sections are looking to eat and are generally easier to fool. Maintain a heavy nymph setup and focus on short and deep drifts. The earlier your flies get deep in the drift, the better. Pat’s Rubber Legs, Buckskin Caddis, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ears and Pheasant Tails are productive lead patterns but if trout seemed turned off by larger bugs, don’t hesitate to lead with a midge or baetis larva. For your trailer, match the hatch with the appropriate pupa/emerger. Top Secret Midges, Mercury Black Beauties, Cheesman Emergers, RS2s and Sparkle Pupas are some of our go-tos at the moment.

Recommended Flies

River Flow

Flow Region
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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.