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Where to Go South Platte River – Deckers

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Updated 7/21/2021

The flows are perfect in the Deckers area right now.  With these flow increases, its time to mix those bigger bugs with the smaller ones. Tricos activity is very strong in the morning. Tricos are starting to move in the canyon which means fish will are keying in on anything small and black.

 The water is cold. Flows are being released from the bottom valve in Cheesman dam.

This area has been very busy so expect to fish with a lot of other people.

Mayflies are ruling the hatches in Deckers right now.  You'll see tricos first and some BWO's mixed in. Caddis and PMDs are also present as the day goes on. Don't be afraid to fish dead scuds (orange), stoneflies, cranefly larva, or worms as well.

Dry fly fishing has also turned on the last few weeks. Nymphing and dry dropper are the most effective methods at this time.


Effective Patterns


Egg patterns, Mayer's Mini leach in black or brown (18), Scuds, cranefly larva, pats rubber legs, worms, Juans 180 trio, black vis a duns
Miracle midge, Top secret, flux capacitors, Black Beauties, Blindside midge, Money midge, buckskins, red larva, Mercury midge, rainbow warriors, Juju midge, all in sizes 18-26. Caddis candy 16-18, Graphic caddis 14-16.
Sniper baetis, Jedi Master, pheasant tails, RS2 (grey and black), Cheesman Emergers, Barrs PMD emergers, foam back emergers, ice emergers, Stalcups baetis, all in sizes 18-22


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


With the bump in flows, tossing some meat would be a good bet. Lighter colors seem to be working best right now.

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