South Platte: Eleven Mile

Weekly Overview:

April 6, 2020:

  • Technicality: 3/5

  • Flows through Eleven Mile Canyon are on the decline and currently sit at 90 cfs. While flows are technically still above the historical average, trout have pushed back into the pronounced sections of the river. While you may find some trout holding in shallow water during the morning or on an overcast day, you’re better off spending your time fishing the pronounced pools, runs and transition areas. Finding a deep pool/run along a large boulder or rock wall is even better. Trout feeding is still a bit slow during the morning but that will drastically change in the afternoon. Midges and BWOs have been active between 12 pm and 4 pm and these trout are taking full advantage. If you don’t see trout rising, fish a light weight nymph rig with a JuJu Baetis or Pheasant Tail followed by a Chocolate Foam Wing Emerger, olive/grey RS2 or WD40. In addition to midge and baetis, egg patterns have been hot. Either lead with an egg or tie a peg egg 1 inch above your trailer. Once trout start to rise, switch to a #22 Griffiths Gnat or Parachute Adams.

  • Ideal Days to Fish: Wednesday, Thursday & 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

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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