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Where to Go South Platte River – Deckers

Current Reports

 Updated 2/25/2021

Deckers is finally thawing out and there is open water throughout the corridor. Flows are super low

Go small on your bugs!! 22-26

Currently, Cheesman Reservoir is only at 57% full. Denver Water will be trying to fill that in the coming months. With our current snowpack in the South Platte basin only at 90% of average, we will need to hit at least an average year to return to normal flows this summer. Our drought has taken a toll on the water storage in the entire basin, thus affecting the flows.

This area has been extremely busy and is fishing just okay right now. Cold mornings will have anchor ice, slush and ice chunks floating downstream. There is no reason to get there early. Afternoons have actually been quite nice in the Deckers area, if you can find any water. Keep in mind that extended low barometric pressure will slow the fishing way down, lending the most productive times to be after 12 noon.

Midges are making up most of the bug activity and definitely think SMALL. Sizes 24-28 are common right now.

Cloudy days can provide some great dry fly opportunity. With nighttime temperatures getting pretty cold, the fishing doesn't really turn on for several hours after sunrise. Think very small on your nymphs and dries.


Effective Patterns


Egg patterns, Mayer's Mini leach in black or brown (18), Scuds
Miracle midge, Top secret, flux capacitors, Black Beauties, Blindside midge, Money midge, buckskins, red larva, Mercury midge, rainbow warriors, Juju midge, all in sizes 20-28.
Sniper baetis, Jedi Master, pheasant tails, RS2 (grey and black), Cheesman Emergers, foam back emergers, ice emergers, Stalcups baetis, all in sizes 18-26


Mole fly (20-22-24), Neils BWO (22), Almost Dun (20), Griffiths gnat (20-26), Matts Midge (22-24)


Tan, white, and orange have been taking a few fish.

You won't turn a lot of fish, but those you do will be good sized.

The South Platte River at Deckers was devastated by debris in 2002 from Colorado's largest fire in its recorded history followed by two huge floods. Since then, Deckers has been making great progress toward recovery and the debris left over from the fire and floods is being used by caddis for making their cases. The caddis have taken over the river the last few springs. Caddis hatches that rival the famed Arkansas River's "Mother's Day hatch" have happened in Deckers the last four years. It's showing no sign of slowing down.

When the fish aren't coming up to caddis, a tandem nymph rig with typical fare can still be deadly. The summer months can be a lot of fun for anglers that are into throwing streamers and big dry flies. Elk hair caddis, Amy's Ants, stimulators, and foam hoppers such as the streambank hopper are great dry flies to have. Good nymph patterns to carry are: Mercury Pheasant Tails, South Platte Brassies, San Juan Worms, Pat's Rubber Leg Stonefly, RS-2's, Murphy's Bubbleback Midge, Blindside Midges, Bubblegut Midges, Buckskins, Top Secret Midges, Medallion Midges, and Black Beauties.

I'm so pleased to see this fishery come back strong after the Hayman fire. Deckers has been producing some of the area's strongest, most beautiful trout in the last couple of years. While the area may get crowded, there is a ton of water along the corridor and it's always fun to go seek out new water. As with anywhere on the South Platte, be sure to check the flows before you go. Sudden bumps or drops in the flow will negatively affect the fishing on this river.

Jon Easdon, Guide and Director of Services

Deckers is also a great winter fishing destination because it is a tailwater. A tailwater fishery is where a river comes out below a dam; consequently, during the winter months the water temps are just warm enough to stay relatively ice-free all year. Sections where the sun hits the water is where you can find feeding fish. This time of year can be the most productive for solitude-seeking anglers who aren't afraid of using light tippets and very small flies.

This is an area we specialize and are permitted in, so give us a shout if you have any questions or if you're interested in allowing one of our Orvis-Endorsed guides show you how best to fish the Deckers area.

South Platte River – Deckers.

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Directions - 40 miles - 49 Minutes

  1. From Angler's Covey head west on US 24 W/Cimarron St, go 16.7 miles
  2. Turn right at CO-67 towards Deckers, go 23.1 miles