August Hopper Fishing | South Platte River Deckers, CO

August Hopper Fishing | South Platte River Deckers, CO

August 13, 2011
Flow: 389cfs @ Trumbull
Clarity: Gin Clear
Water Temp: 54 rising to 62

Lower Deckers is Gin Clear!
Lower Deckers is Gin Clear!

HOPPERS!!!! Finally the day has come and the fish in Deckers are truly looking up and eating hoppers aggressively.  I’ve spent a lot of time on the river in the past 3 weeks both guiding and fishing on my own, and the fishing in Deckers is as good as I’ve seen it all year!

The flow on the river over the past few weeks has dropped considerably.  We are now down to 389cfs at Trumbull.  The river from Deckers bridge all the way downstream (15 miles) to the confluence with the North Fork is gin clear and looking great.  No more issues with Horse Creek to deal with, so don’t worry about water clarity.

As far as rigging, fish have been taken a variety of ways.  We are at the point in the year where you can use whatever combo you like best- Dry/Dropper, Double Nymph, or Hopper/Dropper.  My preference lately has been a standard double nymph rig in the early morning transitioning to a Hopper/Dropper combo later in the day.

The fly selection is nothing out of the ordinary.  Nymph wise, fish have been all over #16-18 Breadcrusts , #16-20 Soft Hackle PTs, #16-18 Graphic Caddis, #18 Black Beauty Emergers, #16-20 Flashback PTs, #10 Pat’s Rubberlegs, and a variety of worms (red and tan are my favorite) in #10-16.  We got a bunch of new Rubberlegs in the shop in smaller sizes (#10-#12), and the fish seem to be liking them.  The Soft Hackle PT still seems to be a staple, and if you are nymphing or throwing a dropper, try to have a Soft Hackle on your line.  Play with your depth and weight as always, and you’ll find some fish.

Now for the fun part…HOPPERS! We just got a bunch of new hoppers in the shop, and the fish are just as excited about them as we are.  Amy’s Ant is still the old standard in Deckers, and both the Red and Olive colors are taking fish in every size from

Client Shawn Miller with a healthy Cutbow in the lower river!

#08-#14.  The fish in the picture to the right was taken by my client Shawn Miller this morning on a size 8 Red Amy’s Ant in the lower river.  Along with the Amy’s Ant, the Foam Dave’s Hopper in various sizes has been taking fish.  That fly floats like a cork and looks great on the water.  Along with the aforementioned hoppers, Aerial Assaults, Chernobyls, and Foamulators in Olive have been taking fish.  I got a chance to fish my Switch rod this afternoon and fish were blowing up on hoppers in pocket water and along the banks.  Cover water, cast in every pocket and along every bank and hold on tight! 3x or 4x tippet is pretty mandatory as the strikes on hoppers are very aggressive.  Bring your dry shake and enjoy some of the most fun fishing you can have close to home.

On a side note, we are getting into a dangerous area with water temperature lately.  The water from Cheesman is coming out of the middle pipes, which means that it’s coming out of the dam already above 50 degrees. At one point this week, I measured a water temp at 62 degrees at 2 in the afternoon.  This is bad news for trout.  PLEASE, de-barb all of your hooks, use heavier tippet (3x and 4x), and land fish as fast as possible. Try to start fishing as early as you can, and take a break in the heat of the day.  The fishing turns off when the water gets too hot anyway.  Also, the tuber hatch is in full effect so try and fish on weekdays if you can, otherwise, just be careful wading as the tubers will not get out of the way for you.


What you will need for Deckers
3x and 4x Fluorocarbon Tippet
BB, #1, and #4 Split Shot
Medium and Small Thingamabobbers
7.5ft 4x Leaders
#16-18 Breadcrust
#16-20 Soft Hackle PTs
#10-12 Rubberlegs
#16-18 Graphic Caddis
#18 Black Beauty Emergers
#16-20 Flashback Pheasant Tails
#10-16 Red and Tan Worms
#08-14 Red and Olive Amy’s Ants
#08-10 Aerial Assault
#08-10 Dave’s Foam Hopper
#06-08 Chernobyl
Dry Shake

Remember to….

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About the Author

Justin Nolan

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