Eleven Mile Fly Fishing Report
Latest update 2/18/2017: Flows in the Canyon have slightly dipped to 70.3 CFS. The up and down flows over the last month haven't seemed to really impact fishing. Good to great reports continue to flow into the shop. Turn your attention to dries and standard winter nymph rigs. The further up the canyon you get it is inevitable you will find pods of risers. Presenting a size 20-24 Adams or Griffiths Gnat will fool plenty of those risers. For nymph rigs focus your attention on small midges and baetis. My favorite way rig to run is mixing something flashy with something that has no flash such as a Shotglass Baetis trailed by a Black Beauty or Original PT without any beads. With the drop in flows also size down your tippet and bugs. While we were getting away with 4x and 5x matched with flies in sizes 18-20 range in previous weeks. Rigs with 5x and 6x paired with size 20-24s have been necessary this week. Other bugs are going to be Rojo Midges 20-24, 18-22, Desert Storm 18-22, RS2s 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: 57.8 cfs
- Wind: 2.7 MPH
- Temp: 29.1 °F
- High/Low: 37/9
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 Fall day on. 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.
For consistant 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.
Bug life here will mirror most other stretches of the Platte with the PMD/trico/caddis game slowly fading throughout the season. However, as these bugs disappear you can expect baetis and midges to take their place so match your flies accordingly. 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 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.