North Fork of the South Platte

Man holding large trout near the bank on the North Fork of the South Platte River

14 Day Forecast: Look for excellent conditions for weeks to come. Denver Water plans to run the Roberts Tunnel throughout the winter.

Effective Patterns: #18 Hot Tail Flash Eggs, #18-20 Rainbow Warrior, #20-22 Manhattan Midge, #18-20 Red Larva, #18 Red and Pink Flossy Worms, #20-22 Mercury Black Beauty, #10 White Crystal Bugger, #10 Pine Squirrel Leech, #16-20 red Copper John, #18-20 Flashback PT, #16-18 Mercer's Psycho Prince, and #16-18 Bead Head Breadcrust.

Measurements

North Fork South Platte – Bailey

Flow: 143 ft3/s
Temp: 19 °F
Wind: 27 MPH W
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Stream Conditions, Effective Patterns, & Expert Fly-Fishing Tips from Pat Dorsey

The North Fork of the South Platte River offers yet another opportunity to sample the South Platte River system. The vast majority of this swift, fast flowing stem of the South Platte River is within an hour’s reach of metropolitan Denver, nevertheless, this branch gets over-shadowed by the renowned South Fork. The headwaters of the North Fork, as it is referred to, commence on the eastern side of legendary Kenosha Pass. The North Fork is extremely small and expeditious for the first several miles until it joins forces with diverted water from the bottom of Dillon Reservoir via the Roberts Tunnel. Another tributary—Geneva Creek—further adds a substantial quantity of water to the North Fork near the small town of Grant. This creek is especially influential during run-off as the North Fork swells and becomes high and roily. Several other smaller side-streams also enter the river but are not the magnitude of the two previously mentioned sources of water.

The North Fork is comprised of shallow riffles, runs, and an abundance of pocket water. Deep holes are uncommon throughout this section of river. The water is gin clear, and standard sight nymphing tactics work best on a day-to-day basis. Short-line nymphing is the most effective technique with the heavy brush, small pockets, and quick seams—all of which are key holding areas for the trout. Typically if it looks “fishy”, it generally is, and of course it’s always lucrative to find fish positioned where you think they should be.

Trophy trout await you on many of our leases on the North Fork of the South Platte.  To book a day on Boxwood, Long Meadow, North Fork Ranch, or the Meadows, call the Blue Quill Angler (303-674-4700) and we'll gladly assist you.

Tips & Other Information:

Fishing has been good on the North Fork of the South Platte River. Small midges, mayfly nymphs and a variety of bead heads have been effective as of late. The water is perfect right now. Denver Water plans to run the Robert Tunnel between 50 and 100 cfs throughout the winter months, so conditions will be pretty perfect for winter angling. That means with tributaries, flows will be tween 75 and 125 most of the winter. Pray for snow, we need a bunch of it!

Pat Dorsey Fly Fishing