Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Middle Fork South Platte - Santa Maria - Colorado

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Afternoon 20-24 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
February Midges Afternoon 20-24 Black Beauty, Mercury Midge
March Midges, Blue Winged Olives Afternoon 18-22 Pheasant Tail, Baetis Nymph
April Blue Winged Olives, Stoneflies Morning to Afternoon 12-20 Sparkle Dun, Pat's Rubberlegs
May Caddis, Stoneflies Afternoon to Evening 8-16 Elk Hair Caddis, Prince Nymph
June Caddis, Stoneflies, Green Drakes Afternoon to Evening 8-14 Parachute Adams, Copper John
July Caddis, Yellow Sallies, Pale Morning Dun Morning to Evening 14-18 Hopper, PMD Dun
August Tricos, Caddis, Terrestrials Morning to Evening 10-20 Ant patterns, Trico Spinner
September Tricos, BWO, Terrestrials Morning to Evening 14-22 BWO Emerger, Beetles
October BWO, Midges Afternoon 18-24 RS2, Brassie
November Midges Afternoon 20-24 Top Secret Midge, Rojo Midge
December Midges Afternoon 20-24 Mercury Midge, Disco Midge

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Middle Fork South Platte RiverSanta Maria section, is a renowned destination for fly fishing. Below are some of the best spots:

  • Tomahawk State Wildlife Area: Nestled in Park County, it provides an extensive stream section stocked with Brown and Rainbow Trout.
  • Badger Basin: Offers peaceful settings and multiple fishing holes. Trout are abundant due to lesser fishing pressure.
  • Spinney Mountain Ranch: Known as the “Dream Stream”, it houses large Rainbows and Brown trout during their spawning runs.
  • Eleven Mile Canyon: Here, the South Platte River creates a tailwater fishery filled with Brown and Rainbow Trout.

Remember, these spots fluctuate with seasonal changes and weather conditions, consult with local guides or shops for the best success.

Best Access Points

Fly fishing in the Middle Fork South Platte River in Santa Maria offers a magnificent experience. Some of the finest access points include:

  • Tomahawk State Wildlife Area: A top-notch spot offering long stretches of public water, perfect grounds to wade in, and a good trout population.
  • Eleven Mile Canyon: Renowned for consistent year-round fishing, productive hatches, and breathtaking scenery.
  • Hartsel Spring: This unique spot offers year-round access with abundant trout population. Suited for experienced anglers as the waters can be tricky.

For a gratifying fly fishing experience, also consider:

  1. Conducting proper research: Dig into topography, water conditions, and fish behavior for your chosen spot.
  2. Having the right gear: Your hooks, lines, and sinkers can greatly influence your fishing success.
  3. Observing ethical fishing practices: Respect the regulations in place, only take what you need and always clean up your spot before leaving.

Local Fish

  • Golden Stonefly: An insect that thrives in clean, cold, and well-oxygenated streams, making them the perfect food source for many species of fish in the Middle Fork South Platte of Santa Maria.
  • Rainbow Trout: Known for their striking patterns and powerful fighting ability, these are a popular target for fly fishing enthusiasts.
  • Cutthroat Trout: A native species to the waters of Santa Maria. Cutthroat trout are possibly the most elusive, making them a high reward target for anglers in the area.
  • Brown Trout: Like the rainbow and cutthroat, the brown trout is a real fighter, and it’s high resistance make it a favored species among seasoned anglers.
  • Blue Winged Olive: This is a common insect where hatches can be massive and take place all summer. A lot of fish feed on these insects.
  • Mountain Whitefish: A hand sized fish found in abundance within the river system of Santa Maria. It is known for its distinct silvery color and small, round mouth.
  • Brook Trout: Another native species that is known for its vibrant colors, brook trout are typically found in colder, clearer waters.
  • Cicadas: Another food source for the local fish, their life cycle and presence can be a reason for a fish to strike when your fly lands on the water.

About The River

Nestled in the heart of Colorado, Middle Fork South Platte – Santa Maria offers a stunning panorama of landscapes and a rich historical legacy. The South Platte River, a crucial waterway, was critical to the survival of Native American tribes, such as the Ute and Arapaho.

Later, the gold rush of 1859 transformed the tranquil valley. Santa Maria, fondly known as ‘Mother of Gold Camps’, played a vital role during this period, turning into a bustling hub of prospectors and miners.

  • The Middle Fork South Platte’s rich fishing waters are a delight for anglers.
  • Wildlife enthusiasts can spot a variety of birds and animals.
  • The area offers ample opportunities for rafting, hiking, and camping.
  • Santa Maria still retains vestiges of the gold rush era, a step back in time for history buffs.

Whether you’re a nature lover or a history aficionado, the Middle Fork South Platte – Santa Maria will surely captivate you with its unique allure.


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