Author: Will Rice
We fished the Gold Medal water section of the South Platte River on Wednesday May 8th. The weather was dynamic – we had periods of sun, sporadic cloud cover, thunder showers, followed by a steady drizzle of rain – AKA – great spring fishing conditions.
The stream flow near Trumbull was right around 130 CFS. For the month of May, the water has been bumping back and forth between ~89 CFS and ~130 and the river has been fishing great.
We started the morning running nymph rigs and targeting slower moving pocket water. We were able to get into trout almost immediately. We fished smaller stone fly attractors as well as egg patterns. For our trailer fly we fished both midges and baetis patterns - the smaller midge patterns seemed more effective.
Around lunchtime the skies opened up and we decided to see if we could rile some fish up by swinging flies with an 11 foot 5 wt switch rod. Turns out, when you find a healthy crawfish population in the river, the brown and rainbows who are resident are eager to chase swung and stripped streamers.
Match this hatch? On the South Platte River? OK.
We threw a green Slumpbuster as well as a smaller Crystal Bugger and felt a few grabs and caught fish in the rain. If you have never cast a switch rod before, you should think about giving it a try. It is a super fun change of pace.
Around 3:00pm we moved to a section that is known to produce a solid baetis hatch and we very quickly found rising fish. The drizzle subsided and the heavy cloud cover produced great conditions for making technical presentations to picky trout. We were able to get fish to eat a size 22 Parachute Extended Body BWO – which subsequently produced one of the biggest rainbows of the day.
Deckers is fishing well. Fish are actively feeding in the deeper and slower runs and pockets. Our best advice is to spend time reading the water and identifying potential holding water where fish do not have to expend a lot of energy while still be supplied a steady source of protein and bugs. Sometimes, these pockets and feeding lanes are small and demand a technical presentation, a healthy amount of stack mending, and steady drifts. Once you have found a good section of water – have confidence in your decision and work the area earnestly. Change up your weight, make sure you’re getting your flies down and deep, and experiment with different patterns. If you get some cloud cover in the afternoon, look for fish on the surface. The fish are there - sometimes they just make you work hard.
If you have any interest in learning how to fish the section of the South Platte near Deckers more effectively, Trouts offers both half and full day guided trips. We fish this section of water on a daily/weekly basis and can tailor a guided fly fishing trip with an emphasis on education so that you can go back and fish more effectively on your own. Call the shop at 877.464.0034 if you have any questions about our guide service or if you would like to book a trip. We’re here to help.