Rob Herrmann Photography

South Platte River: Eleven Mile Canyon

Difficulty Intermediate
Ideal Days To Fish 5/11, 5/12 & 5/13

Weekly Report

Report DateMay 6, 2021

Despite Eleven Mile Reservoir sitting at 99% capacity, flows remain low and we’re starting to feel like the “boys who cried elevated flows.” Putting our ego aside, we still anticipate a bump in flow sometime in the near future. Until that happens, enjoy the sight fishing opportunities that clear water provides and take advantage of the midge and BWO hatches. If you come across rising trout, tie on a Parachute Adams, Sparkle Dun or Mole Fly. Dry droppers are another effective tactic as you’ll attract trout feeding on the surface and trout feeding just below the surface film. If you don’t see trout feeding on the surface, nymphing with a midge pupa or baetis emerger trailer will get the job done. There are a ton of amazing midge and baetis patterns out there, but the Mercury Black Beauty, Top Secret, Chocolate Foam Back Emerger, olive/grey RS2, Barr’s Emerger and Darth Baetis are our favorites on this river. Focus on pronounced pools and runs in the morning and adjust your depth until you find success. As air/water temperatures increase in the afternoon, switch your focus to slow riffles, pocket water and transitions.

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 $7 entrance fee that needs to be paid to enter the canyon. Plan on bringing a check or cash to pay this fee.