SOUTH PLATTE RIVER FISHING
The Deckers area fishing reports.
The Deckers area is beginning to fish well again now that the flows have dropped to a more manageable level (349 c.f.s. at time of this report). Anglers are enjoying the thrill of dry fly action with consistent trico hatches in the mornings, and caddis and terrestrials in the afternoon and early evening. When the trout are not rising, small black midges and caddis/PMD emerger patterns are proving effective. Trout are rising to size #22-24 tricos and #16-18 caddis. With relatively clear water and such small flies, definitely use fluorocarbon tippet in 5x or 6x for your droppers.
Here are some of our recommended patterns:
Comparadun PMDs #16-18
CDC Tan Elk Caddis #16-20
Pearl Wing Trico Spinners #22-24
Black UV Midges #20-24
Top Secrets #20-24
Tan Graphic Caddis #16-18
There are few if any stretches along the South Platte that can produce drastically different fishing results from one day to the next – currently, dream stream is one of them. If conditions are ideal (cool, dreary mornings with intermittent cloud cover throughout the day), hatches will be phenomenal, and so will be the fishing. During days like this, PMD's and midges come off in droves until about ten or eleven in the morning, and after that time, the river comes alive with caddis.
On a recent trip, sizeable fish (some up to 26 inches) were aggressively taking subsurface caddis imitations all afternoon.
Trico's are just starting to produce, and look for fish to begin gorging on duns and spinners in the coming weeks.
Here are a few patterns that we found to be successful:
Barr's Crane Fly Larvae (Green), Sizes #8-10
Graphic Caddis (Green), sizes #16-18
Barr's PMD Emerger, sizes #20-22
Black Sparkle Wing RS2, sizes #22-24
The fishing at Deckers has been fair lately. Flows are up around 500 to 600 c.f.s. Flows may increase to over 1000 c.f.s this week as new equipment installed at Cheesman dam is being tested. If you do go, we recommend checking the flows and being careful where you wade.
Here are some of our favorite patterns to use right now:
Girdle Bugs (Pat's Rubber-legs) #8-12
Gold Bead Epoxy
Golden Stone Nymph #10-14
Grey Sparkle Wing RS2s #20-24
Rainbow Warriors (Pearl & Red) #18-22
Graphic Caddis (Tan) #16-18
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
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
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
For previous local river reports go to our Archive of local water reports.
"There is always some good fishing somewhere!"