South Platte flows at Deckers have kept us on our toes lately as Denver Water has increased flows by 100 cfs the past two weekends, only to reduce flows by the same amount a few days laater. We’ve observed this pattern the past two weeks and still don’t have a full understanding of the reasoning, so keep a close eye on flows today and tomorrow. Currently sitting at 160 cfs, flows are on par with historical averages. Water clarity is high but trout have been at ease and aggressively feeding thanks to cloud coverage this week. Cool and damp weather has led to strong afternoon BWO hatches and sporadic midge hatches. Griffiths Gnats, Parachute Adams and Parachute BWOs are great patterns to have on hand when trout are rising. Trailing a Chocolate Foam Back Emerger, RS2 or Black Beauty behind one of those patterns will attract trout feeding on and just below the surface. Aside from midges and BWOs, we’re still seeing late afternoon caddis activity but this has been hit or miss this week due to colder air temps. While you’ll come across dry fly opportunities, nymphing is the most consistent method of fishing right now. Midge and baetis offerings are receiving the most attention but don’t underestimate large lead patterns such as leeches, worms, scuds, caddis larva and searcher patterns. As brown trout gear up to spawn, they will feed opportunistically on higher calorie meals. Scuds and worms will be particularly effective if we receive another bump in flow this weekend, so stock up on UV Scuds, San Juans and Squirmy Worms. With colder air and water temps, trout are beginning to favor softer water over faster riffles and runs, so spend most of your time picking apart slow runs, pools, pockets, seams and tailouts.
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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.