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Where to Go Middle Fork of the South Platte

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Updated 7/16/2024

Current Conditions:

The flows have finally dropped and the middle fork is in prime shape right now! After 5 weeks of very high water we are now seeing closer to average flows in these locations. This is the best time to hit these areas. One big thing to remember here is that the mosquitos are EXTREMELY BAD! Be sure to wear insect shield clothing and douse yourself in bug spray.

Spinney Mountain SWA-

This area does not hold a whole lot of resident trout, but it can be a great place to gain some solitude and some fish eager to take a hopper. Work the banks with a hoper or hopper/dropper set up.

Badger Basin SWA-

Same as Spinney SWA.

Tomahawk SWA-

The perfect time to hot Tomahawk. Work those banks with hoppers!

Alma SWA-

This area has been great for smaller brook trout and cutthroat. Work the stream and the beaver ponds. Smaller hoppers (size 16) are doing great. Ant, beetles, etc. are also working well.


Short Term-  After an extremely hot period of weather, we will see things cool off a bit and return to near average for this time of year. Daily rain chances will also increase significantly this week. This is a welcome sign with the higher water temps we are seeing in the lake. Temps will be in the mid to upper 70's with chances of rain around noon each day. This is a typical pattern we see this time of year and really marks the start of our "monsoon season".

Long Term-  Looking past this coming week, it appears we will see more of the same. Monsoon season typically arrives about this time of the year. Longer range forecasts are pointing at at least a couple weeks of this pattern. After the extreme heat we are hoping these daily storms follow through. As we hit mid summer the focus will be on the severity of wildfire season. These storms will help mitigate this. Forecast trends are pointing at some drier conditions in the August timeframe, but we will have to wait and see how that develops.

Run Off update-

After about 5 weeks of extremely high flows all over the state, we are finally starting to see things on most rivers return to normal. This runoff season was one for the books.

These are areas we offer guided fly fishing trips. This is a great time of year to hit all of the middle fork. There is not better way to learn an area like the middle fork than hiring one of our Orvis endorsed professional guides!


  • Amys ant, green, size 14
  • Chubbies! all colors, sizes 12-16
  • Hippie Stomper, red, size 14
  • Ant Acid, red and yellow, size 14

For a custom fly assortment for this location, click here! 



About Alma SWA

Middle Fork of the South Platte River finds its headwaters above Hoosier Pass. Water is diverted from the Breckenridge area and passed through a tunnel under Hoosier Pass into Montgomery Reservoir. This augments the flow particularly in the early summer.

About Tomahawk

Tomahawk is the Middle Fork of the South Platte River. This stretch of the river is a great place to find solitude from the crowds. Summer and fall are a great time of the year to throw big hoppers to eager brown trout. In the summer, bring insect repellent because the mosquitos can get bad. In the fall, bring heavy leaders because large browns come out of their typical hiding spaces and move up river from Spinney to spawn.

This is an area we specialize and are permitted to guide, so give us a shout if you have any questions or if you are interested in allowing one of our Orvis-Endorsed guides show you how best to conquer Middle Fork of the South Platte.

Interested in Booking a Trip?

Directions to Alma - 88.9 miles - 1 Hour 42 Minutes

  1. From Angler's Covey head west on US 24 W/Cimarron St, go 63.2 miles
  2. Turn right at CO-9 N towards Fairplay, go 16.1 miles
  3. Turn right at US-285 N, go 1.0 mile
  4. Turn left at CO-9 N/ Main Street, Fairplay and through Alma, 8.1 miles
  5. Watch your speed, this area is famous for speed tickets.
  6. Turn left at Co Rd 4, Park along stream in desinated areas.

Directions to Tomahawk - 70.5 miles - 1 Hour 19 Minutes

  1. Head West on US-24, go 63.2 miles
  2. Turn right on Co-9, go 7.2 miles