Fishing Season: Year Round, Prime March through October

South Platte River - CO

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Orvis Cherry Creek's Tip of the Week

Flows are currently at 207 CFS. On 7/31/2023 there was a massive mudslide in Cheesman Canyon that has caused silt and large debris to enter the river. The silt and debris has filled in many of the rivers famous holes. We would recommend fishing other destinations in CO for the foreseeable future.

Directions open in app

Map of South Platte River

Water Flow Data

5-Day Outlook as of 8/23/23

We would reccomend fishing other rivers in the area or the South Platte above the Cheeseman tailwater.

Techniques & Tips as of 8/23/23

For nymphing, small mayfly, juju baetis, and pheasant tails (red headed), and small midges are still consistent, smaller diameter tippet and adjusting depth frequently is a key strategy. Fluorocarbon tippet in 5-7X is most effective for nymphing, utilize split shot or larger tungsten head point flies to get down deep, adjust depth prior to switching patterns. If you're not having success with the micro flies and midges, throw on an egg pattern or worm. Come see Gene at Orvis Cherry Creek for more information!

Local Species Available Year Round, Prime March through October

  • Fish Icon

    Brown and Rainbow Trout

Orvis Cherry Creek's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Bead Head Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail Natural 16-20
Rojo Midge Red 20-22
Midge Black/Red 20-26
Bead Head Brassie™ Brass 18-24
Rainbow Warrior Silver 20-24
Barr's Beadhead BWO emerger Olive 18-22
Bead Head Woolly Bugger Streamer Natural 6-12
Bead Head Prince Black 20-22
San Juan Worm Pink or Red 14-16
TH Zebra Midge Black, Olive or Red 20-24

Bead Head Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail

Wet fly patterns don't get any better than this.

Orvis Cherry Creek's Recommended Gear

Description: About South Platte River

The South Platte River (Cheesman Canyon to Chatfield Reservoir) The South Platte River is one of the best small tailwater fisheries in the world. Offering anglers over 100 miles of public access and easy walk wade fishing, the South Platte is a combination of three forks which have as their headwaters the 14,000 foot peaks of the Colorado Rockies. This river is famous for prolific midge, mayfly, and caddis hatches where dry fly and nymph fishing are second to none. The river is accessed within a 2 hour drive of Denver, and can be fished year-round . Picturesque Cheesman Canyon, famous for big rainbows, granite boulders, and crystal clear water, is a favorite hiking and fly-fishing destination just 54 miles from downtown Denver. “Big fish eat small flies here!" Species: Trout, Brown, Cutbows, Rainbows, and Cutthroat. Resources: Orvis Cherry Creek 303-355-4554, Anglers Covey 719-471-2984 Maps: Delorme Gazetteer, Fly fisher’s guide to Colorado

Nearest Airport:

Denver International Aiport


Midges, baetis, scuds, San Juan worms, egg patterns, trout classics (PT, CJ, etc.), rubber legs

Best Time to Fish:

mid morning to dusk with nymphs and the occasional streamer

Best Stretch:

Cheesman Canyon, Deckers to Night Hawk Hill

Best Access:

Upstream from the bridge at Deckers and the Bridge Crossing day use area