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Where to Go South Platte River – Elevenmile Canyon

Current Reports

Angler's Covey Bug of the Month: 

February- EGGS!

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WINTER HOURS- 9am to 6pm Daily

Photo by Covey Guide Juan Ramirez

Report Date: 2/6/2023

Current Conditions: 

The flows are at 76 CFS and are just about average for this time of year. We expect similar flows to remain through winter and into spring. We have seen some ice in shady parts of the canyon and would recommend avoiding those areas. It's been key to fish in areas that at least see some sun throughout the day.


Things have pretty much switched to full-on winter mode. Midges are the top dog and will be as we head into spring. We have seen some pretty small midges in the canyon. You want to have a wide variety of smaller sized patterns in your box.


Nymphing is the name of the game right now. Smaller terminal tackle (5x and 6x) is key along with the focus on smaller-sized midge patterns. This is also a good time of year to be aware of your indicator color and size. The fishing has gotten rather technical, so be sure to focus on your approach, good presentation, and set the hook on everything. This is a great time to try your hand at Euro nymphing as well.


 We saw some absolutely gorgeous weather over the weekend. Temps will cool off a little this week but remain slightly above average. We could see some snow on Thursday as well. This coming weekend looks nice again, but we will have some big changes coming next week. Its too early to tell how much of a change we will see. Mornings are still cold and you definitely want to give it a little time before you hit the water. While still chilly, we will see temps gradually increase as we head through the week. Give it some time before you hit the water, there is no need to be there early. 


Fish are feeding opportunistically in deeper runs and tailouts. You will need to have perfect presentation and the right terminal tackle and flies. The fish are not moving a whole lot right now. It has been less busy in the canyon recently and there is some more real estate to fish. Give other anglers space -- there are fish everywhere. Shady river sections are pretty locked up in ice. Be sure to find sections of the river that see some sun. Don't be surprised if on some mornings there is a lot of ice on the river. If you see this, head closer to the dam as there is usually open water all of the time up there.  The crowds have still been on the thick side on weekends.

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! 


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

Our Top 6 Nymphs for Today:

  • Black Beauty, size 20 & 22 
  • Warrior perdigon. Sizes 16 & 18 
  • 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 
  • Neil's BWO, green. Sizes 22 & 24
  • Matt's Midge, black. Size 22
  • Iwane Dun, green. Sizes 22 & 24
  • Comparadun, green. Size 22
  • Griffith's 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 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