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Where to Go South Platte River – Deckers

Current Reports

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WINTER HOURS- 9am to 6pm Daily

Covey Guide Jon Easdon. Photo: Jared Sanders

Report Date: 2/6/2023

Current Conditions: 

Flows are right about average for this time of year. The Deckers was free of anchor ice this weekend and fishing opportunities are now possible throughout the entire corridor.  Look for the corridor to fluctuate flow rates through the winter to support downstream water demand. If we get a stretch of nice weather, you can expect the flows to come up. Denver Water will be augmenting downstream water demand through Cheesman and the North Fork later this winter. It would be wise to keep an eye on the flows in this area. We are seeing good midge hatches and the fish are responding to them nicely.  It's winter mode in the corridor right now, but the fishing can be great.

Hatches: 

It's winter and the focus should be on midges. The menu gets a little easier in the winter with limited food sources for the fish.  Be sure to have an assortment of small midge patterns in various life stages in sizes 20-26!

Tactics: 

Nymphing and sight fishing will be your best bet right now. Fish are holding in deeper water and moving into seams as the midges are hatching. With the warmer weather coming, don't be surprised to see some good dry fly activity. It won't be long lived, but you could find yourself in a pretty good hatch some days.

Weather: 

 This weekend was gorgeous in the canyon as we had a little "spring preview". Temps for the most part, will continue to be slightly above average this week. Thursday we could see some snow and colder temps. This coming weekend looks great as well. Next week could be a little more interesting though. We will keep an eye out on that. Make plans to go fishing, it will be well worth it!  The mornings will still be chilly , Give it some time before you hit the water. There is no need to be there early.  

Tips: 

Keep an eye out for anchor ice! Move around and work areas that see the most sun. These areas will usually have great hatch activity each day. The river has been busy so keep that in mind when planning your trip. Weekends have been the busiest.

Keep this in mind while fishing in cold temperatures- While winter time fly fishing is not impossible, a couple of things should be considered. In temps below 20 degrees, be sure to take extra special care of the fish after you catch them. Keep them in the water and handle them the least amount possible. The eyes and the gills of the fish can freeze in temps colder than 20 degrees. Add in some wind and this freeze can happen almost instantly.

This is an area we offer guided walk/wade and float trips, please give us a call if you are interested! 

RECOMMENDED PATTERNS 

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

Our Top 6 Nymphs for Today:

  • Black Beauty, size 20 & 22 
  • Top Secret, brown. Sizes 22 & 24 
  • Cheesman Emerger, green. Size 22
  • Money Midge, brown. Size 22
  • RS2, grey. Sizes 20 & 22
  • JuJu baetis, brown. Size 22 

Our Top 6 Dry Flies for Today:

  • Mole Fly, brown. Size 22 
  • Neils BWO, green. Sizes 22 & 24
  • Matts Midge, black. Size 22
  • Iwane Dun, green. Sizes 22 & 24
  • Comparadun, green. Size 22
  • Griffiths Gnat, black. Sizes 22 & 24 

Our Top Streamer Patterns for Today:

  • Laser legal, Natural. Size 4
  • Double Gonga, yellow. Size 4
  • Butt Monkey, brown. Size 8

Standard South Platte nymph rig set up:

Screenshot the diagram above to reference while you're out on the water!

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT OUR "WHERE TO GO" PAGE FOR DETAILED INFORMATION ON OTHER AREAS!

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, 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