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 249 CFS. Water clarity is good. Standard small nymph rigs in the 20-26 sizes have been successful. Watch for midge and mayfly hatches in the late morning/early afternoon. Dry flies in the 20-26 range have been most successful including BWOs and Parachute Adams.

Directions open in app

Map of South Platte River

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

5-Day Outlook as of 7/26/21

Flows are expected to remain steady.

Techniques & Tips as of 7/26/21

For nymphing, small mayfly, caddis and emerger patterns are still consistent, smaller diameter tippet and adjusting depth frequently is a key strategy. Fluorocarbon tippet in 5-8X is most effective, utilize split shot or larger tungsten head point flies to get down deep, adjust depth prior to switching patterns. Get away from the more popular spots to avoid crowds. If you're not having success with the micro flies, throw on a large crane fly larvae or worm.

Current Conditions as of 7/26/21

Flows are expected to remain steady.

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
RS2 Gray 20-24
RS2 Black 20-26
Sparkle Dun Olive or PMD 18-24
Rainbow Warrior Silver 20-24
Barr's Beadhead BWO emerger Olive 18-22
Hopper Natural 6-12
Bead Head Prince Natural 12-16
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, BWOs, scuds, San Juan worms, egg patterns,emerger patterns

Best Time to Fish:

nymphing in morning, dries afternoon

Best Stretch:

Cheesman Canyon, Deckers to Night Hawk Hill

Best Access:

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