Waterton Canyon Fly Fishing Information | South Platte Winter Fly Fishing

Waterton Canyon Fly Fishing Information | South Platte Winter Fly Fishing

Winter fly fishing in Waterton Canyon can offer a close option for good quantities of fish when conditions allow for it.

Generally speaking, if flows dip below freezing for a length of time and flows remain under 30 CFS, you can expect to hike or bike  a ways up the canyon before you find open water. During the Winter months, you will usually end up nymphing with the occasional chance at throwing dries. Small streamers can also be effective if you are willing to move and cover water.

Rigging up For Waterton Canyon

  • Rod: Scott G2 8’8″ 4wt, Sage Circa 8’9″ 4wt, Redington Temp 8’6″ 4wt
  • Attractor Flies: #16-18 Prince Nymphs, #16 Red or Pink Micro Flashtail San Juans, 6mm Troutbeads, #12 Pat’s Rubberlegs, #16 Mercers Golden Stone or Barr’s Tungstone.
  • Dropper Flies: 18-20 Copper Johns (red, copper or zebra), #18 Zebra Midge, #20 Rainbow Warrior (Black), #20-24 Mercury RS2
  • Streamers: #8-12 Barr’s Slumbuster (Black, Olive, Rusty)

The Rest of the South Platte

South Platte Deckers & Cheesman Canyon

A couple trips went down to the Deckers and Cheesman area this week and reports were good! Eggs are still the name of the game (glue eggs, flashtail mini’s, CSO Specials) trailed by a #18 Palamino in black. We usually start the morning nymphing the tail-outs of runs and as the water warms we start focusing  on the middle and heads of runs. This is where fish really start to chow down on the big #18 midge that has finally made an appearance this week.  As the hatch progresses, you will notice fish sliding out of the quick water and into the slack water to feed on the surface.  If you haven’t fished the “buffalo midge hatch” your in for a real treat!  Fly recommendations for the adult include a black sprout midge or MA’s Adult Midge in #16-20.

Dream Stream Fishing Report

The Dream Stream still needs to a bit more release from Spinney before large numbers of rainbows start piling in.  If and when flows reach 75 CFS and up, expect the fish and people to start showing up!  Red SJ’s, and eggs of various colors will do the trick.  For now, think egg and red midges.

Read more Dream Stream fly fishing reports.

South Platte Through Denver Fishing Report

Carp fishing has been pretty steady with the low and clear water.  Tie up some backstabbers and be stealthy.  Fished above Chatfield a few times and action has been steady on stocker size rainbows.  Trout fishing through town has been pretty good as well if you know the spots.

It’s time to nail down your 2024 fly fishing trip with Minturn Anglers.

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Justin Nolan

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