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Where to Go South Platte River – Elevenmile Canyon

Current Reports

dSUMMER HOURS: 6AM TO 6PM DAILY

Angler's Covey Bug of the Month :

February- Black Fly Larva

Bug of the month videos here 

Visit the blog here 

 

FALL HOURS: 9AM TO 6PM DAILY

 

Report Date: 2/22/2023

Current Conditions: 

As we would expect, the flows are still very low at 62 cfs. and inline with typical winter flows in the canyon. It is highly unlikely we will see any flow increases until the spring. These low flows will keep the technical side of things high. Good, dead drifts right on top of the fish are key right now. Anglers will need to bring their A Game to the river right now. The dry fly fishing has still been good, so be prepared for that. This is about as quiet as you will see the canyon. Get out and enjoy it! There is a good amount of ice on the lower river. Head closer to the dam for more open water.

Lowhead dam construction update!

UPDATE- The construction project at the bottom of the canyon is mostly finished. The construction crews have completed all major work and the heavy equipment is gone. That particular area will remain closed at this time and they have a few minor things to address in the spring. This is great news and should allow for a normal flow rate next year! The canyon hasnt seen flows over 150 cfs for about 16 months now, so we are excited at the prospect of more water in there!

 If you're planning on fishing here be prepared for low flows and a lot of people. If you do plan to fish the canyon right now, you do not need to arrive early. The best window has been from about 9 am to 3pm. 

Winter Tip* Fishing in temperatures of 20 degrees or less requires certain precautions when catching fish. In these cold temps, it only takes about 5 seconds for the eyeballs on a fish to freeze. Once this happens, it is irreversible and they will be permanently damaged. Its best to keep fish completely submerged when fishing in very cold temps.

Downstream water demand has waned and we are unlikely to see many changes in the flows clear through winter.

Hatches: 

We are seeing a lot of midge activity as expected. The focus for the next couple of  months will be midges in all life stages. We should start to see some BWO's in late march/early April.

Tactics: 

Nymphing is generally the best method here, but the dry fly fishing can be good in the warmer parts of the day. Midges will hatch and the angler could find themselves with some decent dry fly opportunity. Smaller terminal tackle is the name of the game. 5x and 6x is a must. Anglers can expect challenging fishing at low flows.

Weather: 

Short Term-  The next  5 days should be pretty quiet up here. This will be a lull between storm systems. Temps will be in the upper 30's and 40's and we should see a good amount of sunshine. Sunday does look to be very windy, so keep an eye on that. Morning lows will continue to be cold. Dont be surprised if you see some negative temps in the mornings up here. Things will warm up quickly though. In all, this will be a nice little break before things change. Those changes do look to be coming on Sunday night.

Long Term-  After this week, all models are pointing to some changes after this weekend. Next Monday and Tuesday look to be the time when the weather will be most active. Right now there are chances of snow late Monday and into Tuesday. We will keep an eye on that and details should become a little more clear as we get closer to those dates. After that, it looks like we will again hit a lull with very quiet conditions heading into March. With the 2 snowiest months of the season coming up (March and April), Lets hope we can get some more consistent storms in the high country. We can always use additions to the snowpack.  As of today, our snowpack in the South Platte basin is at 92% of average.

Tips: 

The low flows have really put the fish on alert. These fish have seen A LOT of pressure last year and are spookier than normal. It is not uncommon to have the fish move completely out of the way of your drifts.

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)

RECOMMENDED PATTERNS 

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

Our Top 6 Nymphs for Today:

  • Zebra midge, red/black sizes 20-22
  • Miracle midge, cream,  Sizes 20-24
  • Money Midge, brown, 20-22
  • Blindside midge, black, purple. Sizes 20-22
  • Bling midge, tan, black sizes 20-24
  • Rojo midge, red, sizes 20-22

Our Top Dry Flies for Today:

  • Mole fly. brown, green, sizes 22-24
  • Parachute Adams, brown. Sizes 20-24

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!

 

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT OUR "WHERE TO GO" PAGE FOR DETAILED INFORMATION ON OTHER AREAS!

 

 

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