South Platte: Eleven Mile Canyon

Weekly Overview:

September 17, 2020:

  • Difficulty: Intermediate

  • Considering the Eleven Mile Canyon flow gauge is shut off right now, we don’t have visibility into current flows. With that said, Dream Stream flows continue to hold steady and based on historical observations, Eleven Mile Canyon flows tend to move in the same direction. Based on that, we believe flows remain in the 60 cfs range. At that level, the water is gin clear and trout are less inclined to spread out from deep pools, runs and pockets. The exception to this is during the morning and evening trico hatch. Slow runs, pools and banks are great places to focus during this hatch. During the trico hatch, use 6x – 7x tippet and focus on making clean presentations. When there are a lot of bugs on the water, your presentation has to be perfect. During the middle of the day, a majority of the feeding will be sub-surface. As a result, we recommend switching to a light nymph rig or dry dropper setup. Hippie Stompers, Amy’s Ants, All-Season Caddis and Elk Hair Caddis are productive dry fly patterns for a dry dropper. In regards to sub-surface patterns, we’ve seen the most action from baetis and midge patterns but if they aren’t responding to those, leading with an attractor pattern will help. Rainbow Warriors, red Copper Johns, Electric Caddis, Guides Choice Hares Ears and Two-Bit Hookers are good examples.

    • Ideal Days to Fish: Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday

  • Suggested Flies: 

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

    • Surface: Parachute Adams (#20-22), Sparkle Dun (#20-22), Parachute PMD (#20-22), Parachute Trico (#22-24), Elk Hair Caddis (#16-18), Griffiths Gnat (#22 - 24), Amy's Ant (#12-14).
      • 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

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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