The South Platte watershed near Hartsel is full of fisheries including Spinney, Eleven Mile, and Antero Reservoirs as well as the Middle Fork and tailwater sections of the South Platte. Hefty trout venture out of these reservoirs and run upstream into the various sections of the South Platte.
Fishing can be sporadic, don't expect to consistently catch fish all day. Instead, focus on brief hatches that come and go throughout the day. These hatches cause normally spooky trout to leave undercut banks, and feed on emerging insects while they have the chance. It can be a good idea to bring two set ups, one for a nymph rig, and one for dries. Fish dries, a light nymph rig, or a dry-dropper set up during the hatch. Try nymph or streamer fishing in the deeper pools and back eddies while you are waiting on the hatch.
WATER TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F):
4' or better
CURRENT FOOD SOURCES:
Baetis | small caddis larva | midges | scuds | crayfish, smaller fish, leeches, etc.
Flies to Try
Guides Choice Dozen $24.99
Juans Kryptonite Caddis 14-16 | Natural and Flashback Pheasant Tails size 16-22 | Barr's Poison Tongue olive/black | Flashback Hare's Ear size 16-18 | Black Beauty size 18-24 | Miracle Midge size 18-22 | Tungsten RS2 olive or grey size 20-22 | UV midge black or brown size 18-24 | JuJu Bee Midge olive size 18 -24 |
CDC Biot Trico Spinner 18-22 | Chubby Cherobyl Olive #10 | Parachute Adams Size 12-24 | CDC Baetis Dun size 18-22 | Matthew's Sparkle Dun BWO size 18-22 | Brook Sprouts midge grey size 18-24 | Griffith’s Gnat size 20-22 | Morgan's Midge size 20-22 | Dandelion Midge black size 22
Big Gulp Sculpin black size 4 | Sculpzilla olive or black size 8 | Mercer’s Micro Crayfish rust size 8 | Kraft’s Clawdad | Flash-a-Bugger olive/black size 8 | Pine Squirrel Leech size 8-10 black, or olive | Hale Boop Leech wine size 8
Guide Tip of the Week:
Flows are prime both above Spinney (50cfs) and below the reservoir (134cfs). We are in the peak of hopper and dry fly season, especially when there is a bit of cloud cover. I love the lake/river combo this time of year. Fish Spinney or Antero Reservoir early in the morning and transition to Tomohawk, Badger Basin, or the Dream Stream for hoppers in the afternoon. Covering a lot of water with the dry flies is key.