Rob Herrmann Photography

South Platte River: Eleven Mile Canyon

Difficulty Intermediate
Ideal Days To Fish 9/29, 10/2 & 10/3

Weekly Report

Report DateSept. 28, 2023

Eleven Mile Canyon flows were holding steady until Dream Stream flows dropped by 100 cfs. On Tuesday, Eleven Mile flows started to decline and are expected to decline further. This decrease is likely in response to the lower dam removal project that was slated to kick off this month. Until the project concludes in December, flows are expected to hold at or below 100 cfs Water clarity is high and at the current level, flows are productive for fishing but that story will change as flows get closer to 100 cfs. While the fishing has been good, anglers will encounter skittish and selective trout. To fool these trout, downsize your tippet to 5x or 6x (6x is recommended for small dry flies), ensure your leader is 9+ ft long and move slowly along the banks. To avoid snagging underwater vegetation, either focus on deep pools and runs where vegetation is less abundant or fish a hopper dropper setup. Overnight temps are still holding above freezing, so there is still terrestrial activity in the canyon. Amy’s Ants, Chubby Chernobyls, Trigger Bellys and Hippie Stompers are buoyant terrestrial patterns that will bring trout to the surface and effectively tow one or two nymphs. Along with hopper patterns, trout are looking up for midges and tricos during the morning, BWOs during the afternoon and caddis (numbers are dwindling) in the late afternoon/early evening. When trout aren’t rising, olive leeches, Buckskin Caddis, Mercury Flashback Pheasant Tails, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ears, JuJu Baetis, red/purple Zebra Midges, RS2s, Barr’s Emergers, WD-40s, Chocolate Foam Back Emergers and Top Secrets will do the trick on nymph rigs and hopper droppers.

Recommended Flies

River Flow

Flow Region

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 $9 entrance fee that needs to be paid to enter the canyon. Plan on bringing a check or cash to pay this fee.