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North Fork of the South Platte

14 Day Forecast: Look for excellent fishing!

Effective Patterns: #20 Rainbow Warrior, #20 Red Larva, #18 Hot Tail Flash Egg #18 Red Flossy Worm, #20 Manhattan Midge, #20 Mercury Black Beauty, and #14 San Juan Worms


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 at North Fork Ranch, Shawnee Meadows, or Rawhide (upper and middle) Fly Fisher's call the Blue Quill Angler (303-674-4700) and we'll gladly assist you.

Tips & Other Information:

The Roberts Tunnel is shut off and will stay that way for a while. With all the recent rainfall, the stream is up and there is no downstream demand in the city of Denver. The river is “all natural flow” and off-colored. Plus run off has kicked in as well. If you opt to fish there, fish with brightly-colored flies, streamers, and bead heads…5/24/23

Pat Dorsey Fly Fishing