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Where to Go South Platte River – Elevenmile Canyon

Current Reports

Updated 2/22/2021

It looks like the canyon is thawing out a bit after last weeks arctic blast. The canyon is fishing fair right now. Gin clear and spooky fish. Tread lightly!

With Cheesman Reservoir (downstream) being at 57%, we expect Denver Water to begin dumping water towards Cheesman in the coming months. A flow increase would do wonders in this stretch. Keep an eye on those flows.

Fishing will be its usual technical form in the canyon with the current flows. Fish are spooky, move slowly.

The fishing has been decent in the canyon but crowds have been rather thick in the canyon. It has been getting cold at night and anglers will find quite a bit of ice on the river in the shady stretches. There is no sense getting to the water any earlier than 9am as it's been very cold at night there. Be prepared for cold weather fishing here.

Teeny-tiny bugs in both baetis and midges are the game right now, and will be for quite some time. Sizes in 22-28 are the go-to's.

Don't be afraid to throw an egg or leech as an attractor pattern and follow that with your small baetis and midges.


Effective Patterns:


Eggs (18), Mayer's mini leach in black (18)
Miracle midge, Black Beauties, pale ale, top secret, zebra midges, Blindside midge, Money midge, buckskins, red larva, Mercury midge, Juju midge, all in sizes 20-26.
Sniper baetis, Jedi Master, pheasant tails, RS2 (grey and purple), purple haze, red headed stepchild, Cheesman Emergers, Barr's emerger in BWO, Stalcups baetis, all in sizes 18-28


Matthews sparkle dun (20), BWO Comaparadun (24), Iwane Dun (22), Neils BWO (22), Almost Dun (22), Griffiths gnat (20-26), Matt's Midge (22-24), Mole Fly (22-24)


Small leech or slump buster patterns. Pretty slow

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