Flows have held steady around 100 cfs in Eleven Mile Canyon but we are starting to see flows gradually increase thanks to a 30 cfs bump on the Dream Stream. While it won’t enough to dramatically alter trout behavior, it will give trout an opportunity to spread out a bit more and provide anglers some relief when navigating thick underwater vegetation. As flows increase, trout will respond to larger offerings such as leeches, worms, caddis larva and searcher patterns. Patterns such as olive leeches, San Juan Worms, Buckskin Caddis, Pheasant Tails and red Copper Johns are productive lead patterns. Midge and baetis larva patterns are alternative lead options if trout don’t respond to the big stuff. For your trailer, midge pupa patterns are productive throughout the day but really shine during the morning and evening. During the afternoon, baetis emergers are key. If you notice caddis activity in the late afternoon, consider trailing a Graphic Caddis or Sparkle Pupa. Absent a hatch, targeting pronounced pools, runs, pockets and riffles with a nymph rig or dry dropper is the most effective approach. As far as surface activity is concerned, trout are looking up for midges, BWOs and caddis. BWO hatches were particularly productive this week due to overcast skies but with clearer skies in forecast, baetis emergers will out produce dry flies.
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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!
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.