South Platte: Eleven Mile

Weekly Overview:

January 20, 2020:

  • Technicality: 3/5

  • Flows through Eleven Mile Canyon continue to hold around 90 cfs but due to the recent increase on the Dream Stream, we wouldn’t be surprised if we see flows increase later this week. Regardless, flows are at a healthy level and trout continue to feed on various midge and searcher patterns. Our biggest piece of advice right now is to avoid getting in the river, if possible. The water clarity is high and these trout are on high alert. Making a longer cast from the bank will generally produce better results than short casts from the river. These trout are very sluggish and their takes are subtle. Applying a little extra weight to your line and setting the hook at even the slightest indicator twitch, will greatly improve your odds. Our go-to flies right now are Black Beauties, Manhattan Midges, Mercury Midges, Bling Midges, Top Secrets and Chocolate Foam Wing Emergers.

  • Ideal Days to Fish: Tuesday, Wednesday & Sunday

  • Suggested Flies: 

    • Sub-surface: RS2 (#20-22), Barr's Emerger (#20-22), Chocolate Thunder (#22-24), JuJu Baetis (#20-22), Mercury Pheasant Tail (#20-22), WD 40 (#20-22), Mercury Midge (#22-24), Black Beauty (#22-26), Zebra Midge (#20-24), Blood Midge (#20-22), Disco Midge (#20-22), Top Secret Midge (#22-24), Guides Choice Hares Ear (#16-18), Rainbow Warrior (#18-20), red Copper John (#18-20), pink/green scud, leech pattern and San Juan Worm.

    • Surface: Parachute Adams (#22 - 24) and Griffiths Gnat (#22 - 24).
      • Need flies for your trip? FlyCast has collaborated with our friends at Anglers All ​to package a dozen flies that are hot in Eleven Mile Canyon right now - Click here for hand selected flies

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Credit: Colorado Division of Water Resources
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Weather Provided by Weather Underground

Detailed River Info:


The Eleven Mile section of the South Platte is a gorgeous stretch of river that offers anglers amazing fishing year round. The canyon experiences some great hatches throughout the warmer months and because it's a tail water, it can be fished in the winter. As you explore this river you'll notice that it has blended characteristics of the Cheesman Canyon and Deckers sections of the South Platte. While the best fishing usually occurs within two miles of the dam, the road that parallels the river makes it easy to jump in and out of the car to explore different sections. Eleven Mile has quickly become one of our favorite places to fish.


The Eleven Mile stretch of the South Platte offers a wide range of features that caters to any style of fly fisherman. The canyon sections of the river provide deep pools for the streamer junkie and the nymph fisherman who likes to sling around a lot of weight and drift flies down deep to try and catch a picture worthy fish. Other sections of the river remind us more of Deckers with medium depth riffles, runs and tail outs. Considering this section is a tail water, the standard South Platte flies are the way to go. Classic examples are size 18 - 24 RS2's, Top Secrets and Zebra Midges. Other than the beauty, our favorite part about this river is it's ease of access and the ability to fish 2-4 sections in a day. Our favorite thing to do is drive up close to the damn, fish a quarter mile section, jump back in the car and move down river until we find another quality section to fish. No need to haul around a big back pack either! With the road so close to the river, you can access your lunch and river beers with ease! 


River Access:

The Eleven Mile  section of the South Platte river is easy accessed from County Road 96. County Road 96 is a dirt road that starts in Lake George and runs along the river up to the dam. The road consists of pull-offs and designated parking lots making it easy to jump in and out of the car to fish different sections of the river. One thing to be aware of is the $7 entrance fee that needs to be paid to enter the canyon. Plan on bringing a check or cash to pay this fee.  

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