The South Platte River has been fishing fantastic despite pressure from anglers. The flows are sitting around 100 c.f.s. for both the Cheesman/Deckers area and 11 Mile Canyon. Now is a great time to sight fish for the few bigger fish in these stretches. If you are nymphing come armed with Baetis and Midges in 11mile canyon. Barr's Emergers in BWO sizes 18-22, Bubbleback Midges size 22, Brown Mojo Midges size 22, Black Beauties size 22-24, and San Juan worms hung under an indicator with a little weight will produce fish in 11 Mile. Bring the same flies trading out the brown Mojo Midge for Chocolate, and having a good assortment of Caddis ready for Deckers. Expect to see fish feeding actively on the surface in 11 Mile starting around 11:30 and lasting for a couple hours. Bring small Parachute Adams, Matt's Midges, and Griffiths Gnats all sizes 20-26.
The Dream Stream portion of the South Platte has seen an increase in flows and is sitting at 155 as of today. This is great news for this stretch which is usually recovering this time of year from getting pounded by anglers during the spawn. Fish will be anchored to the bottom of deeper runs and hiding in bends with undercut banks and structure. Get on the spot super early and nymph, or late in the afternoon to throw dry flies to selective fish. Scud shrimp will be a steady food source for trout right below the dam as spring gets warmer and flows increase. Bring the same flies mentioned for 11Mile and Deckers but include small Flash Back Pheasant Tails.
The Arkansas river below Pueblo Res. has had fluctuating flows which has moved the fish around a little. I recently had a great day on the water right below the dam looking for fish throwing streamers. I didn't see to many Caddis coming off but I did a kick with my seine and came up with plenty of larva so bring your Caddis box if your nymphing. My favorite Caddis larva pattern for the Arkansas is a Bottom Roller. My streamer of choice is the Barr's Bouface in black, white, or olive.
The upper ark reportedly has a lot of Caddis in the air with not a lot of fish rising to them which has been common over the last couple of years. I recently watched a presentation given by Taylor Edrington who owns Royal Gorge Anglers and is an expert on all things Arkansas river and he said to drive up river until you have gotten just ahead of the hatch to get into the best dry fly action. It does get crowded this time of year so get on the water early and be prepared to share. Check out http://royalgorgeanglers.com/ for up to date detailed reports on the Ark.
If you don't want crowding to be an issue then I suggest spending a day on any of our stillwater fisheries. Spinney and Antero are fishing fantastic! So are the reservoirs on the North Slope of Pikes Peak. Fishing from shore on the Dam side of Spinney with Chironomids and eggs, and fishing near the North or South boat ramp at Antero with the same flies. Rick Murphy sells a Pattern at Anglers Covey that really starts to hammer fish in reservoirs with heavy populations of scud shrimp this time of year that he calls the Scudzilla. Click here for the instructional tying video or stop by the shop to pick some up!
11 Mile Reservoir Pike have woken up and its starting to fish really good in the afternoon. Bring your 8 weight rod and some big gnarly Pike flies and cover ground. My favorite place to look for big Pike is the shallow coves on south and north of Rocking Chair campground. For more information or to check my availability for guided trips shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org