Eleven Mile Fly Fishing Report
Latest update: 3/20/18 -- Everything continues to be really good coming out of 11-Mile Canyon. There are still some great Midge hatches coming off towards the upper stretches of the canyon and Baetis are beginning to show up as well. The time is now to stock up so you're ready when you hit a big hatch. With these flows, look for the fish to still be podded and stacked up. There is plenty of sight fishing opportunities as well so take advantage of them. We recommend just about any Baetis in the #18-22 range, bring your favorite pattern or grab a few of our favorite BWO nymphs like the Barr's Emerger, RS2 Foam Wing Emerger, and WD40. You won't want to be struggling through your box looking for the right pattern to match the hatch when you're in the thick of it, so be sure to pick up some of our go-to BWO and Midge dries and emergers in the #18-22 range such as the Challenged Baetis, Loop Wing Emerger, Foamerger, Para. Extended Body BWO, and the Griffith's Gnat.
- Flow: 70.3 cfs
- Wind: 2.5 MPH
- Temp: 41.9 °F
- High/Low: 54/31
Eleven Mile Canyon is another very popular and productive spot to fish along the South Platte River. Approximately 2 hours from Denver, this tailwater section of river created from 11 Mile Reservoir holds Rainbow, Brown and Cutthroat trout. Fish numbers are very high in the first several miles below the dam and the river is abundant with aquatic bug life. This river sees some phenomal BWO, Midge and PMD hatches providing exceptional dry fly fishing at times. 12"-18" fish would be considered average here, however fish much bigger than this are taken every year - especially within the first two miles of the dam. Given it's proximity to Denver, angling pressure can be quite high here, however the fish are typically still quite catchable.
Like all stretches of the South Platte, Eleven Mile Canyon is another great piece of water to spend a Fall / Winter day. This section of the Platte often gets overlooked this time of the year as the Dream Stream commands so much attention. The crystal clear water of this canyon can provide some incredible sight fishing opportunities with both dries and nymphs on any given day. Streamer fishing can also be quite good in here as well- particularly on cloudier days.
Fishing here in the Winter is going to follow the weather trends. Fishing will be most productive up near the top of the canyon where the water will be warmer.
For consistent activity I recommend nymphing unless you see fish actively feeding on the surface. Look for fish to still be holding near the riffles and shallow shelves, buckets, drop-offs and rock gardens.
Don’t shy away from stripping streamers in the lower canyon stretch as well. As cold weather slows fish down, they are eager to grab a big protein meal in the plunge pools.
Bug life here will mirror most other stretches of the Platte with BWO / Midge showing up throughout the season. As is always the case on this river, cover water and don't spend too much time in an area if it's not producing.
Recommended flies: Juju Baetis, Barr's BWO Emerger, Freestone Emerger, Batwing BWO, Stalcups STD Baetis, Mercury RS2 Flashback, Dorsey's Mercury RS2, Mercury Bead Pheasant Tail, Rainbow Warriors, RS2's, Graphic Caddis, Bucksin, Black Beauty, Foamback Emerger, Rojo Midge, Pure Midge, Jujubee Midge, Bling Midge, Film Cirit BWO, Parawulff, Parachute Adams, Griffith's Gnat, Eric's Hi-Viz Midge, Chubby Chernobyl, Parachute Hopper, Sculpzilla, Slumpbuster, Thin Mint, Double-Mint.
11 Mile Canyon is best accessed via US Hwy 24 in Lake George. Once here, take Country Road 96. Stay to the right at the fork in the road. There is an entrance station which is manned during the day. A self service fee tube is also available for after hours. The park is generally accessible year round.