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Where to Go South Platte River – Deckers

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Report Date: 9/22/2023

Current Conditions: 

The flows came up a bit and are currently at 197 cfs. This is due to the fact that downstream water demand has increased and there is no precipitation in the forecast.  The fishing is still great, and any flow increase should not do anything negative to the system. These are excellent flows for this time of year. Dont be afraid to add some larger offerings mixed in with the standard tailwater favorites.  Clarity is good and the sight fishing has been a ton of fun. The good news here is we do not have to worry about water temps. The flows are being released from the bottom valve on the dam and are offering some nice cold water into the system. Water temps are in the 40's and 50's in the morning, so be prepared for that. It has been extremely busy in this area, especially on weekends.

Cheesman reservoir is currently 98% full.


 The environment has stabilized for the most part and its back to the hatch specific bugs. Trico's, PMD's, some Caddis, Fall BWO's, and even some yellow sallies are all active. Dry fly opportunity is still there, and a hopper/dropper can be deadly this time of year. The Trico's are still hatching and the fish are gorging on them in certain areas. We have also started to see a few of the fall BWO's hatching. Some afternoons, we have seen some absolutely epic PMD hatches.


For Nymphing- Depth and weight will be very important right now. The fish will spread out and feed opportunistically all throughout the river. The fish are feeding constantly during the above mentioned hatches.

Dry / droppers will again be an effective method to fish. Work hoppers with hatch specific beadhead nymphs. Dont be afraid to use those larger attractor patterns as your dry fly and get some weight on those droppers. And again, the dry fly fishing with hatch specific insects should be heating up.


 Be mobile and move around for the most success. The dry fly fishing will diminish a little with these higher flows. Nymphing will be the most successful method at this time, but its a great time to throw some streamers too. The fish are everywhere and there is opportunity all throughout the area.


  It definitely feels like fall, especially in the mornings. We will continue to see some absolutely gorgeous early fall weather over the next week. Today and Saturday will be pretty windy. Highs will be in the 70's with morning lows in the low 40's/High 30's. There does not look to be a lot of chances for rain, buts its always a good idea to keep an eye out for that rogue storm. This time of year its a good idea to have some warmer clothing options with you...Just in case.  In all, it about as perfect "fall" weather as we could ask for. Get out there!

This is an area we offer guided fly fishing trips. We are one of two outfitters permitted to operate in Cheesman. There is not better way to learn an area like Cheesman Canyon than hiring one of our Orvis endorsed professional guides!


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

Our Top 6 Nymphs for Today:

  • Stalcups baetis, green-sizes 20-22
  • RS2, black, cream. Sizes 20-22
  • Worms, all colors. Sizes 12-16
  • Pheasant tail, natural. sizes 18-22
  • Juan splitback PMD. Sizes 18 & 20
  • Foamback Emerger, brown. Size 22 

Our Top 6 Dry Flies for Today: Dry fly fishing will subside a bit with these flows

  • Mole Fly, brown. Size 22 
  • Neil's BWO, green. Sizes 22 & 24
  • Matt's Midge, black. Size 22
  • Iwane Dun, green. Sizes 22 & 24
  • Comparadun, green. Size 22
  • Amy's Ant, green, red, purple. Sizes 14-12

Our Top Streamer Patterns for Today:

    • Wooly Buggers, black, green, brown, Natural. Sizes 12-8
    • Baby Gonga, brown, grey. Size 6
    • Zoo Cougar, Olive. Size 6


Standard South Platte nymph rig set up:

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


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