Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

South Platte - Waterton Canyon - 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 Morning to Afternoon #20-22 Black Beauty, Zebra Midge
Winter Stoneflies Mid-day #16-20 Black Stonefly Nymph
February Midges Morning to Afternoon #20-24 Griffith's Gnat, Disco Midge
Winter Stoneflies Mid-day #16-20 Black Stonefly Nymph
March Blue Wing Olives Mid-day #18-22 Pheasant Tail Nymph
Midges Morning to Afternoon #20-26 Buckskin
April Blue Wing Olives Mid-day #18-22 Blue Dun, Adams
Midges Morning to Afternoon #20-26 Mercury Midge
May Caddis Evening #14-18 Elk Hair Caddis
Blue Wing Olives Mid-day #18-22 BWO Emerger
June Caddis Evening #14-18 Godard Caddis
Pale Morning Duns Mid-day #16-18 Light Cahill
July Trico Mayflies Morning #20-24 Trico Spinner
Terrestrials All Day #10-16 Hopper Patterns, Ant Patterns
August Terrestrials All Day #10-18 Beetle Patterns, Dave's Hopper
Trico Mayflies Morning #20-24 Trico Spinner
September Terrestrials All Day #10-18 Chernobyl Ant, Foam Beetle
Blue Wing Olives Evening #18-22 Blue Dun
October Blue Wing Olives Evening #18-22 Quill Gordon
Midges Morning to Afternoon #20-26 Red Midge Larva
November Midges Morning to Afternoon #20-26 Snowshoe Midge
Blue Wing Olives Mid-day #18-22 BWO Emerger
December Midges Morning to Afternoon #20-24 WD40
Winter Stoneflies Mid-day #16-20 20 Incher Stone

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 South Platte in Waterton Canyon is a haven for avid fly fishermen. Known for its diverse fish population, this sportsman’s paradise offers a variety of excellent fishing locations:

  • Strontia Springs Dam: Known for heavy hatches, this spot offers abundant opportunities to hook brown, rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout.
  • The Blue Line: Though slightly challenging due to its rugged terrain, it is a favorite spot of experienced fishermen because of the aggressive trout that inhabit the waters.
  • South Platte Park: This public park is perfect for families and beginners, with easy fish accessibility, public restrooms, and picnic tables.
  • Deckers: This section of the South Platte is known for its large trout. It’s best suited for seasoned anglers who enjoy the challenge of catching highly pressurized fish.
  • Happy Meadows Campground: It’s a quieter spot and perfect for those looking for solitude while fishing.

Remember to observe fishing regulations, respect wildlife and other anglers, and always leave no trace behind.

Best Access Points

The South Platte – Waterton Canyon offers splendid sites for fly fishing. Here are the top access points:
  • Deckers: This popular section of the river caters to anglers coming from Denver. The easy access combined with good fishing makes Deckers an attractive spot.
  • Cheesman Canyon: A challenging terrain, but teeming with large fish. It’s a 9-mile hike into the canyon, offering solitude and wild natural beauty.
  • Waterton Canyon: The headwaters section of the South Platte, which begins from the outflow of the Strontia Springs Dam.
  • Eleven Mile Canyon: This stretch of the river is known for large rainbow and brown trout.
  • Spinney Mountain Ranch (Dream Stream): Between Spinney Mountain and Eleven Mile Reservoirs, this section is acclaimed for producing large fish, particularly during spring and fall.

Local Fish

The South Platte River, including the Waterton Canyon, is home to various species of fish that make fly fishing a rewarding experience. Here is a list of the top 8 fish targeted by enthusiasts:

  • Rainbow Trout: Rainbow trout are extremely abundant on the South Platte River, including the Waterton Canyon. Known for their vibrant colors and aggressive take, they make an exciting catch for fly fishers.
  • Brown Trout: Known for their fighting spirit, brown trout pose a substantial challenge for anglers. They are significantly prevalent along the South Platte River.
  • Brook Trout: Definitely one of the more vibrant trout species, the brook trout is a particular favorite among fly fisherman not just for its beauty but also its willingness to bite.
  • Greenback Cutthroat Trout: As the state fish of Colorado, the Greenback Cutthroat Trout is another desirable catch. This trout species is particularly elusive making it an exciting challenge for fishers.
  • Mountain Whitefish: Mountain Whitefish represent a unique challenge, as they primarily feed underwater, requiring a different fishing technique.
  • Bluehead Sucker: This species isn’t one of the most sought after for many anglers, but it’s a common catch along the South Platte River.
  • Longnose Sucker: Longnose Suckers can be a surprising and interesting catch on fly, especially during their early spring spawning run.
  • Common Carp: While not traditionally known as a gamefish, the Common Carp is a fun fish to target on the fly, presenting a humbling challenge to even the most seasoned fly angler.

About The River

The South Platte – Waterton Canyon offers an exhilarating peek into Colorado’s wild beauty and robust history. This popular destination owes its uniqueness to two distinct features; the South Platte River and Waterton Canyon. The South Platte River has been a life-giving resource for wildlife and humans for centuries. To early settlers, farming communities, and modern urban areas, the river has always been an essential water source.

Meanwhile, Waterton Canyon, the gateway to the Colorado Trail, is a nature lover’s paradise featuring rugged terrain, stunning landscapes, and an abundance of wildlife. This area was transformed in the early 20th century by Denver Water, which built a dam resulting in the current scenic beauty.

  • Tip: While exploring this area, don’t miss out on fishing in the South Platte River or hiking in the Waterton Canyon. And be sure to bring a camera as the area is teeming with wildlife!

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