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Elevenmile Canyon

Man and his dog fly fishing in Elevenmile Canyon with a rock wall in the background

14 Day Forecast: Look for hatches of midges, blue-winged olives, and Tricos. Mark Adams photo

Effective Patterns: #20-22 Chocolate Foam Wing Emerger, #20-22 JujuBaetis, #22 Stalcup's Baetis, #20 Mitchell's Split Case BWO, #20-22 Mercury Flashback PT, #20-22 Sparkle Wing RS 2, #20-22 Mathew's Sparkle Dun, #20 Matt's Midge, #22-24 Stalcup's CDC Biot Trico Comparadun, and #20-24 Parachute Adams.

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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:

Eleven Mile Canyon is low right now because Denver Water is working on the release-valves. Flows are expected to stay low until the first part of November.   Anglers should prepare themselves for technical fishing and hatches of midges, blue-winged olives, and Tricos. Nymphing has been productive in the riffles with Baetis nymphs, midge larvae, and pupae, and the dry fly fishing has been good in the slower pools and tailouts with midge adults, blue-winged olives, and Trico spinners. We’ll keep you posted as conditions change on the maintenance projects.

Note:  For more information on flows and Denver Water’s maintenance plans, check out my latest blog.

Pat Dorsey Fly Fishing