South Platte flows at Deckers bumped ~50 cfs earlier this week. Sitting at 252 cfs, flows are at a healthy and productive level. Due to cool water and overnight air temps, focus most of your attention on softer water (pronounced pools, soft runs, outer seams and slack water) during the morning and evening. As the sun rises and warms the water, cycle in riffles, transitions and pockets. As we transition to fall, trout are still looking up at the surface but are a bit more selective, so do your best to match the hatch. Midges are still coming off strong during the low light hours and you’ll find a few tricos during those windows as well. Midge patterns such as Griffiths Gnats and trico patterns such as Parachute Tricos and CDC Trico Spinners are good patterns to have on hand. The BWO hatch is really picking up and putting on a show during the afternoon, so be prepared to fish baetis emergers leading up to noon and dry flies (Parachute BWOs, Hi Vis BWO etc.) between 12 pm and 2 pm. As long as overnight air temps hold above freezing, terrestrial patterns will encourage opportunistic takes along the banks. Fish a terrestrial pattern on its own or trail a searcher and a pupa/emerger pattern for a hopper double dropper. When trout aren’t actively feeding on the surface, a nymph rig is your best bet. Lead with a Blood Midge, Miracle Nymph, Zebra Midge, Two Bit Hooker, Micro Mayfly or Flashback Pheasant Tail. Behind one of those patterns, trail a #20-22 midge pupa or baetis emerger. Think Mercury Black Beauties, Top Secrets, Jujubee Midges, Chocolate Foam Backs, RS2s, Mercury Baetis etc. Squirmy Worms, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ears, eggs and Pat’s Rubber Legs are good slumpbuster lead patterns if you’re not getting looks.
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The Deckers stretch of the South Platte River is a heavily sought after and highly productive stretch of river located roughly one hour from Denver. It's proximity to Denver and it's wade friendly features makes for a great destination for anglers of all experience levels. According to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Deckers stretch of the South Platte contains just over 3,000 trout per mile with Rainbows, Browns and Cutthroats making up this healthy population. This portion of the South Platte is a tail water section, so depending on the will of the angler, productive fishing can be enjoyed year round.
Fishing the Deckers stretch of the South Platte River is arguably one of the most difficult but rewarding rivers in the state. Aside from the hoards of anglers that flock to this river every weekend, it is one of our favorites to fish. It's close to Denver, incredibly easy to access and can yield trout worth writing home about. Deckers is famous for it's deep holes and runs but can also provide great pocket water fishing. In the summer and fall, anglers can expect some incredible Caddis and Mayfly hatches that result in irresistible dry fly fishing. In the winter and spring, nymphing is the name of the game. Small tail water midges and Baetis patterns that strain your eyes to look at are the ticket for a productive day.
The Deckers section of the South Platte river is easy accessed from many locations. Anglers can drive along County Road 126, search for an appealing section of river and find a place on the side of the road to park. If you're not interested in searching for your own stretch of river, the intersection of County Road 126 and County Road 67 is a popular place to park and walk to the river.