Effective Patterns: #22 Stalcup's Baetis, #14-16 San Juan Worm, #14-16 UV Scud, #16-18 red Copper John, #20 Juju Baetis, #20-22 Chocolate Foam Wing Emerger, #18-20 Mercury Pheasant Tail, #20 RS 2, #18 Buckskin, #16 Barr's Graphic Caddis, #16 Mercer's Swing Nymph, #14-16 Elk Hair Caddis, #16 Yellow Sally #16 Stimulator, #18-20 Sparkle Dun, #20-22 Matt's Midge, and #20-22 Parachute Adams.
Elevenmile Canyon Stream & Fly Fishing Conditions on the South Platte River in Colorado
The South Platte River below Elevenmile Reservoir is absolutely beautiful. The South Platte River tumbles and twists through a majestic canyon as it carves its way downstream to the small community of Lake George. Parts of the scenic canyon remind you of the fabled Cheesman stretch while others look much like the renowned Deckers area. Elevenmile Canyon is a great winter and early spring fishery with tremendous opportunity to consistently hook nice fish. The river is loaded with Rainbows and Cut-bows with the occasional brown trout.
The average fish ranges between 12 and 17 inches and are strong as an ox. Occasionally you will hook fish between 17 and 24 inches in the upper reaches below the dam. The river is comprised of riffles, runs, shelves, gravel bars, and nice pocket water. The scenery is fabulous with logjams, huge granite boulders, fallen trees, waterfalls, and bald eagles soaring above the canyon’s lip. The ideal flow for Elevenmile Canyon is between 150 and 250 cfs. The best fishing is in the upper two miles. The aforementioned two-mile stretch is flies and lures only. This section is catch and release and all fish must be returned to the water immediately. Pinch down your barbs and protect this incredible resource.
Eleven Mile Canyon is known for its superb dry fly fishing. The Trico hatch is one of many that anglers should concentrate their efforts on. Mark Adams photo
Tips & Other Information:
Flows are high in Eleven Mile Canyon due to spring run-off. Inflows to Spinney Mountain Reservoir are currently 625 cfs and rising, so look for the river to rise even higher in the next few days. Anglers should prepare themselves for hatches of midges, sporadic blue-winged olives, caddis, and yellow sallies. I’d break out some of the big-bites as well, including stoneflies, San Juan Worms, scuds, leeches, etc. and trail a Buckskin, Mercury Pheasant Tail, Juju Baetis, Chocolate Foam Wing Emerger, red Copper John, RS 2 behind it, all in sizes 18-22.