South Platte River Fly fishing






















Deckers/Cheesman Flows

The Deckers area fishing reports.


March 15th

The flows at Deckers have been between 100 and 120 c.f.s for the last month. This is an ideal flow for this narrow drainage and almost double the historical winter average of 60 c.f.s.  Last week the fishing got progressively better, as the air and water temperature increased. On Thursday and Friday, there were quite a few people on the water, but they all seemed to be catching fish.  By 1 pm Thursday, there was a decent hatch of midges and Blue Winged Olives going off in the warmer sections, and we were able to readily induce some good-sized fish to take various dry flies and emergers in the #22-26 sizes.

On Saturday, the fishing was good until about noon.  After that, the snowmelt raised the volume and turbidity of the water, and caused the water temperature to drop to the mid-thirties. The fish basically ceased feeding. With temperatures forecasted in the mid 50's, fishing should improve in the upcoming week.  At this point, we are carrying both a dry fly and a nymphing rig.
Here are some of the patterns that proved effective:

Hot Pocket Adams or BWO #22-24
Griffith Gnat #22-24
Black or Gray Midge #20-24
Parachute BWO #20-24

Nymphs :
Zebra Midge Red or Black # 20-24
Rainbow Warrior #22-24
Sparkle-Wing RS2, Gray or Black #20-24
Olive or Orange Scud #16-18
Juju Baetis blue & Purple #22-24


January 27th

Deckers has benefited from a consistent flow of 136 c.f.s for the past two weeks, and is fishing well. This is a much higher winter flow than the historic average of 55-60 c.f.s for this time of year. At a lower altitude than many parts of the South Platte, Deckers has warmer temperatures, less ice, less wind, but heavier crowds for winter fishing.

The water is slightly off color, however, sight fishing is possible. Polarized glasses are a must to cut down on snow glare. Make sure to use long leaders, small indicators, and fluorocarbon 6/7x tippet.

Nymphing in the morning hours is most productive with trout sporadically rising to tiny midges during the warmest parts of the afternoon. Try leading with a brightly colored fly at the top as an attractor pattern (red San Juan worm, egg pattern, orange scud, etc.) trailed by a dark midge in the #22-26 size range. A #22 or #24 Adams, BWO, or Griffith's Gnat can fool the occasional sipping trout.

Listed below are some recommended patterns:
FPA Special Emerger, Black and Gray #20-26
RS2, Gray and Black #20-22
Olive/Chocolate UV Emerger #20-24
Purple Juju Baetis, #20-22
BH Biot Golden Stone #14-18
Beerhead Baetis #20-24

January 2014

21st September -

The flows at Deckers have shown a lot of volatility lately, moving from 50 cfs on Monday to 300 cfs on Thursday. It is holding in the 250-300 cfs range presently, which makes fishing challenging.  The high flows in this narrow watershed eliminate most of the tranquil areas suitable for dry fly fishing, so nymphing is the preferred method. Prepare to use more weight to get your flies down to the bottom.

We used a double nymphing rig the whole day, and had some success with larger nymphs ( #16-20) at the top. Nothing worked consistently, so we covered a lot of water and switched flies often. One fellow claimed success running streamers in the deeper holes. He claimed two 20 inch trout on a Meat Whistle in brown.

Recommended flies :

GB Crystal Bugger - Olive
GB RL Woolly Bugger - Olive or Black
Pheasant tails #18 - #24
Scuds, green and amber #16-20
BB Live Leech - Black
Copper Johns, Red and Black #18-22
Zebra Midge - Black #18-22
Hare's Ear Nymph, Flashback #18-22
San Juan Worm, Brown or Red 
RS-2 - Black and Gray,
RS-2 CDC - Black and Gray

19th August

The fishing at Deckers has been erratic lately this week. Flows are up to around 250 c.f.s,.  If you do go, we recommend fishing the deep pockets and looking for rises early and late in the day.


Griffith Gnats #20-24
Thorax Trico #20-26
Spinner Pearl Black Trico #20-24
Drowned trico spinner #22-24
Black and Grey Sparkle Wing RS2s #20-24
Green Graphic Caddis #18-20
Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails

4th August

Fishing has been sporadic at Deckers lately.  During the morning look to nymph in the riffles and deeper pools. Later in the day, as you start to see surface activity, switch to a dry dropper.  The water is slightly murky with the significant bump in flows this week.  Crowds have been heavy, especially on weekends.  Caddis larva, sparkle wing RS2s, and terrestrials  have all been working well.


Trico’s #20-22
Black/Tan Foam Caddis 16-18
San Juan Worms
Girdle Bugs #14-16
Graphic Caddis #16-18
Top Secret Midge #20-24
Gray sparkle wing RS2s #22-24.

22nd July

The fishing at Deckers has been erratic lately this week. Flows were around 90-100 c.f.s, but has risen to 150 and the change has driven the fish down deep.  If you do go, we recommend fishing the deep pockets and looking for rises early and late in the day.

Here are some of our favorite patterns to use right now:

Griffith Gnats #20-24
Thorax Trico #20-26
Spinner Pearl Black Trico #20-24
Black and Gray Sparkle Wing RS2s #20-24
Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails  #20-24
Graphic Caddis #18-20
Top Secret Midges #18-24


7th July


Taken on a #20 Wonder Baetis.

4th July

At 103 c.f.s flow, Deckers is also fishing well this week. The same information on the Eleven Mile Canyon report applies to Deckers.

Here are some recommended patterns:

Elk Hair Caddis (tan and peacock) #18-20
Tan Graphic Caddis #16-18
Olive Sparkle Wing RS2s #20-24
Rainbow Warriors (pearl & black) #20-24
FB Pheasant Tails #20-24

15th May

With Cheesman Reservoir still very low, the flows have been cut back at Deckers to 48 c.f.s. Anglers can expect to see reliable midge hatches, both morning and afternoon. The BWO hatch is tapering off right now, and we are beginning to see caddis hatches (the caddis larva were all over our seine nets).  These hatches should become more prolific with the warmer temperatures in the days ahead. With low flows and very clear water, a drag-free drift is crucial to getting the trout to feed.  Here are a few recommended patterns:

FPA Special Emerger Gray #20-26
Cream RS-2s #20-24
Purple Jujubee 20-24
Olive Haze (dry fly) #20-24
Olive Hairwing Midge (dry fly) #20-26

26th April

The Deckers area is beginning to fish well again and with a slight bump in the flows yesterday (to 81 c.f.s.)  that trend should hopefully continue.  We were fishing the area by Trumbull today and in the mornings small midges and baetis patterns were effective. Then around 3pm a hatch of BWOs began.  The hatch was sporadic, however, fish were moving from the deeper pools and rising to size #22-24 dries.  Cream and Gray Midges were on the menu. With relatively low water and such small flies, definitely use fluorocarbon tippet in 5x or 6x.  Here are some of our recommended patterns:

Comparadun BWOs #22-24
Olive Haze #22-24 (new pattern)
Black and Cream UV Midges #20-24
Black WD-40s #20-24
Purple JuJu Baetis #20-24

rick at Deckers

28th March

A guide's enthusiastic recommendation of Deckers and Cheesman proved to be true. There were lots of trout, with some really big ones present. Select stretches held more fish than we anglers had seen in a long time, despite the low flows (50 cfs). How long will this last? Trout respond to a variety of conditions, only some of them being revealed to us.

Both days were warm. Small midges started coming off around midday. There was intermittent action on dries and emergers, with the bulk of the feeding being on larvae. Fine tippet and careful presentation is the order of the day. Be prepared to switch flies after a dozen or so casts if you don't receive any attention. In the slacker sections, given the clarity, it was possible to target the trout that were actively feeding. This is your best bet. This report is based on Deckers above the bridge and Cheesman above the Wigwam club from the family pool 1/2 mile upstream.

Recommended patterns:
Brassie #20-24
Juju Baetis Various colors # 20-24
Emergers BWO, Barr's or RS2 #20-24
Cream or Orange egg , pegged or otherwise

zac with brown


17th March

brown on deckers

20th January

The Deckers section of the South Platte has been difficult this week.  Water temperatures are in low 40s and fishing is certainly technical.  Flows have been decent at 170 c.f.s., but the fish have been picky.  Nymphing will be the most productive, and you may see the occasional BWO or small midge rise mid-day.  It has been pretty crowded with the nicer weather we have seen this week and Deckers having the lower elevation and warmer temperatures.  Here are a few of the patterns we recommend.

Hot Pocket BWOs #18-22
Mercury Baetis #20-22
Red Disco Midges #20-24
Olive WD-40s #20-24


10th December

Deckers might be the most productive fishing right now on the South Platte.  The flows have risen to 170 c.f.s,  and we have heard some of our customers reporting solid days on the river.  The dry fly action has been somewhat unpredictable with some great BWO hatches one day, and very little the next.  Nymphing is more consistent, but the flies need to be in the 20-24 sizes to have any success.

Here are some of our recommendations:
BWO Foam Parachute #20-24
Hot Pocket Adams & BWOs #20-24
Olive Sparkle Wing RS2s #20-24
Black Beauties #20-24
Loopwing BWO emerger gray #20-24

November 18th

At 46 c.f.s flow, Deckers is not fishing well this week.  When flows were around 90-100 c.f.s, we were seeing some very productive fishing, however that changed a few days ago with the decrease in water level.  If you do go, we recommend small dries like those mentioned for 11 Mile Canyon, and tiny winter baetis & midge patterns.

November 4th

With dam work completed and flows at 95 c.f.s, the Deckers section of the South Platte is finally fishing well again.  BWO dries and small midge patterns are working. 

Try a few of the patterns below and we recommend using 5/6x fluorocarbon tippet.

GT BWOs #18-22
Mercury Baetis #20-22
Red Disco Midges #20-24
Olive Johnny Flash #20-24

September 9th

***NOTICE***Denver water will be testing the Cheeseman Dam gate starting Sept 10 thru Sept. 13. CHEESEMAN CANYON WILL BE CLOSED DURING THIS TIME. There will be no access via Gill Trail or upper trails accessing this section of river.

As far as fishing the Deckers section: please use common sense. High and changing flows will be present. We have heard the possibility of flows exceeding 900 c.f.s. Be aware of crossing the river and being able to get back across in the event of rising water. Fishing productivity is uncertain at this time, we will update this section later in the week.

August 20th

Trico hatches in the early morning have been unpredictable, but we have been hearing of some excellent PMD hatches in mid to late afternoon (2pm -6pm).  Flows have increased to over 400 cfs this week making sight fishing a challenge. Read the water, however, and fish the seams/banks/& other probable holding lies and you may be surprised by a sudden, aggressive rise.  

Try Melon Quills, Sulphurs, grey RS-2s, & epoxy back PMDs. Bugs have been pretty large, so go with size 14-18 dries & 16- 20 nymphs. 

July 30th

Due to gauge testing at the dam, the flows at Deckers continue to be all over the place. Terrestrial patterns are working well along the banks.

Getting your nymph rigs down deep with a little extra weight may make the difference in hooking a few fish. Effective patterns are San Juan worms with a rainbow warrior dropper, pheasant tails, & RS2s

July 15th

Tricos are beginning to go off at Deckers (9am-11am), but not as prolific as in the canyon. Fluctuations in flows this week (100-300 c.f.s.), have made fish spooky.  CDC elk hair caddis (#16-18), gray mercury-bead RS2s (#20-22), and the brown two-bit hooker (#18-22) are all good choices for this part of the South Platte.

July 7th

Flows have been all over the place at Deckers. At 335 cfs, water is high but clarity has suffered. Rubber leg Girdle bugs, stoneflies, rainbow warriors, and hoppers have been catching fish, but we are hearing better fishing success in the canyon and the dream stream. Try a #12-14 purple 20 incher, #8-12 black tungsten rubberleg stone nymph, or a #10-14 cartoon hopper.

July 2nd

With the flows at 308cfs the fishing is excellent. The tricos are now hatching in earnest.

Flies. In addition to tricos, use PMD's, Hoppers, Caddis and the occasional BWO. In addition to the flies listed below try the following:

CDC Thorax
GT Adult

BC Hopper
Cartoon Hopper - Green
Parachute Hopper.

June 14th

The flow has dropped back a little to 195cfs. The fishing is excellent and caddis and PMD's increasing their presence.

Flies: In addition to those noted below try caddis and PMD's as well.

Elk Hair Caddis - Light Tan
Irresistible - Olive

FPA Emerger PMD
CDC Comparadun

June 7th

With the Flow at 225 cfs the fishing is good. There are caddis in evidence as well as a few PMD's making an appearance. The principal hatches to fish now are midges, BWO's, and caddis.

#10 Pats rubber legs
#20 Mercury midge
#22 Flashback pheasant tail
#20 sparkle dun BWO
#16 Guides Choice Hares Ears


May 25th

Flows have settled back around 207cfs. The BWO's come off nicely on cloudy days. Midges come off when it is sunny. There are a few caddis as well.

Flies are noted in the last report.

May 18th

Flow: 257 cfs. With the flows up the fish are spreading out settling in to new areas. They are tending to stay out of the flows while the bug hatches develop. On cloudy days the fishing is strong as the better hatches occur. The principal patterns to fish are caddis, midges and BWO's. Also try a few stones.


#10 Pats rubber legs
#20 Mercury midge
#22 Flashback pheasant tail
#20 sparkle dun
#16 Hares Ears


April 25th

The variable flows continue but at the moment at 99cfs the fishing is good. Midges and BWO's on cloudy days. Caddis are putting in a good appearance as well.

For midges try the mercury black beauty, split foambackand the black polywing.

For BWO's try emergers and dries. Also try pheasant tails, pats rubberlegs,


April 4th -

The flows have been variable and this has tended to spook the fish a little making it a little challenging. The key is to watch the flows and try for a consistent period.

Flies: Used 11 mile canyon recommendations but marginally larger sizes.

Also try sparkle wing RS2's #18 - #22; Eggs and worms #14 - #16; Girdle bugs #10 - #12; Black beauty's #18 - #22; juju midges #18 - #22; BWO emerger's #18 - #22; Pheasant tails #18 - #22.

For previous local river reports go to our Archive of local water reports.

"There is always some good fishing somewhere!"



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