View Full Version : South Platte, Colorado WOW

05-16-2009, 05:13 PM
Well, to say that I got taken to school by this river and it's fish would be the understatement of the year. I had several chances to fish it, the last being the first half of Yesterday (Friday 15).

The first day I caught two, 12" browns using a chartreuse Copper John (the wire was chartreuse) that they sell at the Deckers Flies and Lies fly shop on the river. After that less that fruitful day I called a local guide that I know and he spent about 10 minutes telling me some of the tricks that catch fish on the river. It's amazing how just minor adjustments to your plan will suddenly change everything. SO yesterday I went back and starting catching fish first thing. I ended up with two fat rainbows and more browns that I kept count of (probably close to a dozen). The pictures show the fish that I landed close enough to shore to feel comfortable taking my cell phone out and not drowning it to take a pic.

I travel to Colorado Springs on business often so I will most definitely be back!

05-16-2009, 05:18 PM
Forgot, also caught this dude; biggest i've ever hookedhttp://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c231/highpockets/0106800226.jpg

David Knapp
05-16-2009, 05:42 PM
Nice fish! I got to fish the Dream Stream stretch and also Eleven Mile Canyon last summer. Saw a BIG brown in 11 Mile and broke off a really good fish on the Dream Stream. That is a fun area to explore...lots of really good water. If you get a chance, head up to the Dream Stream during the summer for the Tricos... Technical fishing but there's the potential for the fish of a lifetime...

05-16-2009, 07:01 PM
I wanted to try both but didn't have time dangit. The guide I talked to gave me directions to some holes in both places and I will definitely give it a try next time.

05-16-2009, 09:12 PM
I am headed up there to fish this river next week, any tips you want to share with me? I have heard that it can be a very difficult stream to fish but I am going to make the most out of it.

05-16-2009, 10:45 PM
Sure. Always want everyone to catch as many as they can!!

I won't tell you about all of my failures; just the successes.

I caught all the fish but one on a two-fly rig consisting of a Golden Stonefly with a chartreuse copper john below it. Half with an indicator and half without. My guide buddy told me to concentrate on the first third of every run because that's where most of the fish feed in the Platte. I have found that to be true elsewhere but in that river it was law. I used an adjustable stike indicator so that I could vary the depth as the depth of the run changed and tried to keep the copper john bouncing on the bottom with the stonefly at about mid depth. Each fly caught about the same amount of fish from what I remember but with the exception of the rainbow in the picture all the larger fish were on the stone.

DON'T IGNORE any spot. The fish were in all sorts of places that looked like they would never hold a fish. I spooked fish out of water that I would have never guessed held anything! One large brown spooked from under a rock in 6" of water with the nearest deeper water 10 feet away!

I'd say the reason that I caught most of the fish that I did was that I figured out how to fish the many deep holes created by the many turns in the river. When I got to a particularly good looking hole or place where the water turned against a bank it was almost invariably in a place that made casting to it from across stream impossible. So I would carefully wade in from downstream, lengthen my leader to 11 feet (yes, 11), crouch at the waste and sneak as close as I dared. Then I would cast the two fly rig without indicator upstream into the boil starting at the downstream end and working forward as to not cast across the fish near the end. I just watched my line and if it stopped I set the hook.

If you go stop by the "flies and lies" shop in Decker. It's a great little shop filled with local guides that will tell you the flies that are working and whatever hatches are happening.

Oh, almost forgot, there were some fantastic Dun hatches and a few small mayfly hatches while I was there. All in the afternoon and they all turned the fish on. That's the ohter fly I tried. I lost count of the strikes I missed. I didn't catch a SINGLE fish on a dry. Guide buddy told me that I was too quick on the gun and was pulling the fly out before they had it. Schooled again.

05-17-2009, 09:02 PM
wow thanks thats a lot of good info. I appreciate the help, I'll make sure to put up some good pictures.

05-18-2009, 01:47 AM
Awesome. And take some pics of the countryside if you can. The ones from my tiny little phone were not good and I wanted to show everybody how pretty it was out there!

Good luck!!

Rob GRiggs
05-19-2009, 03:44 PM
Welcome to the fish that have phd's in flyfishing. These trout are very smart. To say the least. That river gets hammered. If I were coming out to fish, there are alot of better places to fish. It is close to denver so its nice to just fish in the afternoon. But you also have Clear creek and its just as far as the south platte. Dont let people tell you there are not big fish there either. I have caught some hogs there. You just need to know where and when to go. If you really want to fish the Platte you should fish in 11 mile canyon. There is a great trico hatch there and in the evenings you can throw a elk hair caddis. This place also gets hammered but the top part of the river is catch and release flys only. That is also a very pretty river. 11 mile is not really effeted by run off. Run off is just getting started here. Glad to see you had a good time here. You should dig deeper into Colorado it also offers some great hopper fishing and caddis hatches.

05-20-2009, 11:06 AM
Yeah, I have heard a lot of that when i bring up the south platte lately. One of our main concerns is the runoff because we want to go up to RMNP but were worried that it is going to be a washout, and we also wanted to fish the high altitude lakes but were afraid that they are still going to be frozen so we are putting most of our efferts into fishing the tailwaters.

05-20-2009, 01:29 PM
I wanted to try 11 mile and was told my the guide I know that it was a great place to fish. PRessured like you said but he said there were some hogs and they get to keep living after being caught ;-)

I will definitely try a new spot next time. I went back to the Platte because I knew the way and I had a plane to catch and needed to know exactly how long it would take me to get to the airport. Lord knows i'm going to push it to the last minute!

Where's the hopper fishing you're talking about. One of the things that I have always wanted to try is fishing one of the many meadow creeks (not sure of real name) that flow through the west. You know, slow meandering stream with overhanging grass and undercut banks!

Rob GRiggs
05-21-2009, 07:14 PM
Michigan creek is a great place to fish hoppers and also in Rocky Mountain park there are some slow moving meadow rivers. I like to fish Michigan creek because you can also fish for grayling at Joe Wright reservior. I like to get a slam of snake river cut, grayling, green back cut , rainbow and a brown in one day. Its kinda hard to do but you can do it. Plus its so beautiful.

06-01-2009, 10:42 PM
I will be in the area in Late June, planning on fishing the South Platte around Deckers, where is 11 mile? Is that also called Cheesum canyon? Also planning on a couple days over on Williams Fork and around Hot Sulphur Springs on the Colorado. Any tips or suggestions?

06-01-2009, 11:10 PM
Just got back from fishing that area this past week, and it is one hard place to fish to say the least. But it is a very beautiful place that I think is definetly worth it. The first day we fished down at deckers. We started towards the south end of town and eventually had to move up because the water was high and stained. We moved up the dirt road north of the main part of town. We ran into some good looking runs and started hooking into fish on RS-2s and tiny phesant tails. All afternoon we were expected either a caddis or BWO hatch but did not end getting either. I did get a couple hits on a caddis emerger. I am pretty sure the cheesman canyon area you are talking about was above where we were fishing. The fish at deckers we did end up catching were very fat and looked healthy. One of the guys I was with caught an 18 inch rainbow that was one of the fattest 18 inchers I have ever seen. Eleven mile is about 45 minutes from deckers and was by far my favorite place to fish. It had tons of runs, pools, and riffles. The fish are a little more finicky I thought but there were more of them. We caught all our fish there on size 22 phesant tails and 24 BWO. Fish tiny tiny flies. An owner of a fly shop told me that those trout see so many flies and get caught so many times they are afraid to even eat the naturals float by. I witnessed one nice rainbow refuse a couple naturals then come to the suraface and hit a small piece of wood that i found quite humorous. He ended up taking my tiny BWO so it is not impossible to catch them. Watch out for rattlers here they are all over the place. If you get the chance fish over a spinney ranch (also known as the dream stream). It is a few miles in between eleven mile and spinney lake that is absolutely gorgeous. The fishing is harder than any where else on the the south platte in my opinion but it is worth it. The fish are larger there though. Sorry this is was really hurried so if you have any other questions just post them.

Rob GRiggs
06-09-2009, 09:05 AM
dukee, 11 mile canyon is way better than cheseman dam. You think its hard to catch some trout in the river wait until you try it below the dam. The fish are huge but you are using size 26 and 28 midges with 7x leaders and 8x tippet while you are practiclly laying on your stomach so you dont spook the fish. Well I am just kidding about the extreme but you will have a hard time catching fish there. I dont even go there because it is so frustrating. If you really want to fish there I think you should hire a guide. Like I said before there are WAY better places to fish if you just get away from the denver metro area. Right now the rivers are pretty blown out from run off. Its been quite cool and raining here snow is still falling in the mountains so its just prolonging the run off. I cant stress joe wright res. It is such a beautiful place to fish and you can catch so many different types of trout in on e place. Good luck where ever you go and I hope you really catch alot of fish. Ohh if you really want a chance to catch a fish of a life time you shouldnt be coming to Colorado right now you should be going to Wyoming to fish at Grays Reef it is going crazy up there.

06-16-2009, 11:50 PM
Thanks Rob, I fished the Pinedale area of the Green in Wyoming a couple years ago, really nice area. I hope to go back soon. I will be in the Williams Fork area next Wednesday and Thursday and down on the Platte on Friday and Saturday. Bringing my son so number of fish caught will trump over size.

Rob GRiggs
06-17-2009, 08:39 AM
Run off is slowing a bit but its still running pretty hard. I was down by Marble last weekend on the Crystal and it was running very hard. Good luck and I cant wit to hear how you do.