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Where to Go South Platte River – Elevenmile Canyon

Current Reports


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Report Date: 9/22/2023

Current Conditions: 

Not much has changed in the canyon over the last few weeks. The flows are low at 140 cfs. and stable. We do not really expect any increase in flows through the rest of the summer and into fall. The fishing during the Trico hatches has been stellar. The fish have been seeing the Trico's for quite some time now. Perfect drifts and the right fly patterns are key in success. The canyon has been very busy, but the fishing has been good.


We have been talking about it for months now and the lowhead dam removal project (at the bottom of 11 mile canyon) has started. It is highly unlikely that we see any more flow increases in the canyon until spring of 2024. The flows will remain at or below 100 cfs for the entirety of the project (December 2023) The flows must be kept on the lower side so the contractor can complete their work. While we understand those logistics, its a bummer that the flows will remain so low. The canyon hasn't seen over 150 cfs. in all of 2023 and the river and the fish could sure use a break.

 If you're planning on fishing here be prepared for low flows, higher water temps,  and a lot of people. If you do plan to fish the canyon right now, fish early in the cooler mornings and be done around noon/1pm.


Its mayfly season in the canyon right now. We are still seeing some BWO's and Trico's very early, followed by the PMDs. Some caddis are still hatching as well. The trico hatches have been INSANE.


The dry fly fishing in the morning has been stellar. The fish are picky and perfect casts and drifts are required.  The trico hatches have been insane. Fish will key on the mayfly and caddis hatches so be sure to have a wide variety of different patterns and sizes. Small terminal tackle is also a must right now. The fish are pressured and spooky.  Anglers can expect some great dry fly fishing during the trico hatch WITH THE right patterns. They are picky! It has been extremely busy in the canyon.


  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 60's with morning lows in the 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!


As noted above, it has been extremely busy in the canyon. Spread out and dont forget that the entire canyon fishes well. Again, the low flows have really put the fish on alert. These fish have seen A LOT of pressure this year and are spookier than normal. It is not uncommon to have the fish move completely out of the way of your drifts. Water temps are increasing so please be sure to keep tabs on those water temps. Start early and end early. This section of river has seen extremely low flows all summer.

This is an area we offer guided walk/wade trips, and we are one of the only outfitters permitted to do so in 11 mile canyon, please give us a call if you are interested! (We are currently only offering trips that start extremely early here)


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

Our Top 6 Nymphs for Today:

  • Zebra midge, black, sizes 20-24
  • CDC RS2, black,  Sizes 20-24
  • Foamback emerger, brown, black, 20-22
  • Juans spliback PMD, brown. Size 20
  • Sparkle wing RS2, black. Sizes 20 & 22
  • Pheasant tail, brown. Sizes 16-22

Our Top 6 Dry Flies for Today:

  • 180 degree trico, black. Size 22 
  • Trico vis a dun, black. Sizes 22 & 24
  • Iwane Dun, black. Size 22
  • CDC spinner, black. Sizes 20-24
  • Tails up trico, black. Size 22
  • Amys Ant, green, purple,. Sizes 12-14

Our Top Streamer Patterns for Today:

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


Standard nymph rig set up for the South Platte:

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





Elevenmile Canyon is our local gem. Any seasoned angler will agree that the South Platte River in Elevenmile Canyon is the place to go for unparalleled beauty. Elevenmile Canyon is also the place to go if you just want to catch a fish. Per mile this stretch of river seems to consistently hold more fish than any other river within an hour's drive from Colorado Springs. It is the place to go where you stand the best chance to get into one of the various beautiful species of trout that call the South Platte River home.

If you needing some extra help, Angler's Covey is the only full service fly shop with a permit to guide in Elevenmile Canyon and our Orvis-Endorsed guide would be happy to set up a trip for you.

Elevenmile Canyon 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. If you can find a spot in the upper stretch of the canyon where the winter sun hits the water, 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 in 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 South Platte River – Elevenmile Canyon.

Interested in Booking a Trip?

Directions - 37.1 miles - 46 Minutes

  1. Head west on US-24 W/Cimarron St/Midland Expy toward S 21st St go 36.3 miles.
  2. Turn left in Lake George on Co Rd 96, go 1.1 mile, follow river into canyon