Overall River Rating:

4/5

South Platte River - Deckers

Last Update: 12/4/14- Winter is closing in on the Deckers stretch of the South Platte River. Look for the slower, deeper runs to be concentrating fish. Midges, Baetis, Eggs and Worms will all catch fish. Sunnier days, between the hours of 10am to 3pm will generally see the most feeding activity.

River Information

While a tailwater by definition, the Deckers section of the South Platte is another example of a Colorado river with considerable freestone characteristics the further downstream you head. The river holds approximately 4,000 fish per mile and sight fishing opportunities abound. If solitude is a necessity of your fishing, don't head here. This stretch of river is very popular for a variety of reasons mentioned above, however dealing with the crowds can result in some truly amazing catches. Fish over 20" are not uncommon here, and many much bigger than this are taken every year. Whether you're looking for a 22" or a 12" fish here, the same rule will always apply---get a good drift. These fish can be very eager to please, but due to the year round angling pressure, have become very wary of a poor presentation. The upper few miles of this section are definitely the most popular to fish, however anglers should take the time to explore while here. The entire 18 miles from Cheeseman Reservoir to the confluence with the North Fork all hold significant numbers of fish per mile and typically get much more "catchable" the further down river you head.


Hatches

Winter/Spring: Midges, Baetis

Summer: Caddis, Mayflies, Stoneflies, Small Streamers, Terrestrials

Fall: Caddis, Mayflies, Small Streamers, some Terrestrials


Seasonal Conditions

On any given day throughout the year, Deckers will produce fish. Winter time will be most productive between the hours of 10am and 3pm when the sun is at it's highest and water temps gain a degree or two. Midges will rule the game through the coldest months but Baetis can be a major player during a warming trend with a few clouds thrown in the mix. 

Spring can be absolutely fantastic here. With an increase in water temps will come an increase in feeding activity. The river can gain considerable CFS due to runoff, however typically remains clear. Nymphing will continue to rule the game here but catching typically becomes more consistent throughout the day.

With summertime comes the abundant bug life we all come to love fishing during these warmer months. Consistent caddis, mayfly, and stonefly hatches will all be seen thoughout various parts of the day. Dry fly fishing opporunities can be fantastic given the right conditions and a dry/dropper or hopper/dropper rig can put many fish in the net. 

With the onset of fall, feeding will slowly begin to revert back the mayfly and midge game, however some caddis will still be hanging around. Terrestrials can still be a good bet during the early months of autumn as well. The fish will continue to feed with enthusiasm, as long as the all important dead drift is utilized.  


River Access

River access here is phenomenal. From below Wig Wam (up YMCA Camp Road from Deckers) clear down to the confluence with the North Fork, public access will be the rule. There are a limited number of private stretches throughout here but they are very easy to pickout and are clearly marked. Countless public parking "P" signs line the river banks and anglers will have no trouble finding a place to wet a line.

 

**One item to note for anglers venturing here for the first time: Cell phones do not work along the entirety of this stretch of river. There are a few pay phones located at the town of Deckers, as well as at some of the campgrounds along the river.