Eleven Mile Canyon flows have slowly risen over the past few days and are expected to rise a bit more through the weekend. There are plenty of places for trout to hold and feed right now, so cover everything from the banks to the middle of the river. During the low light hours, focus on the banks, pronounced pools and soft runs. Trout will feed in the upper half of the water column in these sections during the morning and evening hatches (midge, trico). Terrestrial patterns are also productive during this window and will provoke aggressive takes. When conditions are right, trout will feed on the surface during the late morning/early afternoon hatches (PMDs, BWOs, caddis, stonefly) but if you don’t see rising trout, nymph rigs are the way to go. Leeches, stoneflies, caddis larva and larger searcher patterns are productive lead flies that will either get the trout’s attention or encourage a strike. Below one of those patterns, go with a Chocolate Foam Back Emerger, Sparkle Wing RS2, Barr’s Emerger, JuJu PMD or Sparkle Pupa. Slower riffles, transitions and pockets are great sections to target during the afternoon.
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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.