Eleven Mile Fly Fishing Report
Latest update: 4/19/2017: Flows in the Canyon are up to 99 CFS. The bump in flow is a welcome sign. With the higher water The Canyon has been fishing really well. People are still hitting the Dream Stream pretty hard, so 11- Mile Canyon should be on your radar if you are looking to find some space. As the weather improves throughout the week the entire canyon will be fishing well. Runs that receive good sunlight throughout the day have been producing from the entry all the way to the dam. The main course meal this week seemed to be just about any BWO emerger pattern and a variety of Caddis Patterns. Olive Juju Emergers, RS2s, Barr's BWO Emerger all produced. Red, White and Black Midges also got fish to hand, Red Zebras, Maggot Midges and Black Beauties will entice fish. Look for fish to be holding and actively feeding in riffle seams, riffle runs from knee to waist in depth and tail outs. Other bugs are going to be Rojo Midges 20-24, 18-22, Desert Storm 18-22, Buckskins, Olive/Gray 20-24, Tube Midges 18-22, Zebra Midges 20-22, Red/Pink San Juan Worms, Wd-50s, WD-40s, JuJu Midge 20-22, Radiation Baetis sz 18-22.
- Flow: 105 cfs
- Wind: 0 MPH
- Temp: 26.1 °F
- High/Low: 48/25
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.
Match the Hatch
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Like all stretches of the South Platte, Elevenmile Canyon is another great piece of water to spend a spring day on. This section of the Platte often gets overlooked this time of the year as the Dream Stream commands so much attention. The crystal clear waters 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 spring is going to follow the weather trends. Fishing will be most productive up near the top of the canyon early in the spring. As the weather warms later into spring, fishing will improve further down the canyon.
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 warm spring weather brings the river back to life, fish 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/Caddis 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: jujubaetis, barr's BWO emerger, freestone emerger, batwing bwo, stalcups std baetis, mercury RS2 Flashback, dorsey's mercury rs2, juju baetis, craven's juju baetis, mercury bead pheasant tail, rainbow warriors, rs2's, graphic caddis, bucksin, black beauty, foamback emerger, rojo midge, pure midge, jujubee midge, bling midge, film critic bwo, parawulff, parachute adams, griffiths 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 availble for after hours. The park is generally accessible year round.