Current Conditions

Recent Reports

Pat Dorsey’s Stream Report: North Fork of the South Platte River

Trophy trout await you on many of our leases on the North Fork of the South Platte.  To book a day on Boxwood, Long Meadow, North Fork Ranch, or the Meadows, call the Blue Quill Angler (303-674-4700) and we’ll gladly assist you.

Current Conditions:

Flows: 430 cfs

Clarity: Good, but changes with rainfall.

Water Temperature: Mid 40’s

Hatches: Midges, sporadic caddis, and sporadic red quills

14 Day Forecast: Look for high flows to meet downstream irrigation demand. Denver Water is currently bringing 300 cfs of water through the Roberts Tunnel. Dillon Reservoir is full. I expect them to run the tunnel all summer.

Tips and Other Information:  Flows are a bit on the high side along the North Fork corridor. Currently Denver Water is bringing 300 cfs of water through the Roberts Tunnel due to extreme heat in Denver.  Despite the higher flows, anglers are fooling trout with an assortment of small bead heads, midges, egg patterns, San Juan Worms, and leech imitations. Target the soft water margins behind rocks and concentrate your efforts near the banks. Fishing is quite good if you fish the correct water. Anglers are catching a mixed bag of brown, rainbow, cut bow, brook, tiger, and the occasional palomino. Overall the river is treating anglers pretty darn good!

Effective Patterns:  #10 Chamois Leech, #14 San Juan Worm (brown, pink, and red), #18 Hot Tail Flash Eggs, #20-22 Bead Head Flashback Black Beauties, #20-22 Pearl Jams, #20-22 Rainbow Warriors, #18-20 Mercury Black Beauty, and #20-22 red midge larva.

About North Fork

The North Fork of the South Platte River offers yet another opportunity to sample the South Platte River system. The vast majority of this swift, fast flowing stem of the South Platte River is within an hour’s reach of metropolitan Denver, nevertheless, this branch gets over-shadowed by the renowned South Fork. The headwaters of the North Fork, as it is referred to, commence on the eastern side of legendary Kenosha Pass. The North Fork is extremely small and expeditious for the first several miles until it joins forces with diverted water from the bottom of Dillon Reservoir via the Roberts Tunnel. Another tributary—Geneva Creek—further adds a substantial quantity of water to the North Fork near the small town of Grant. This creek is especially influential during run-off as the North Fork swells and becomes high and roily. Several other smaller side-streams also enter the river but are not the magnitude of the two previously mentioned sources of water.

The North Fork is comprised of shallow riffles, runs, and an abundance of pocket water. Deep holes are uncommon throughout this section of river. The water is gin clear, and standard sight nymphing tactics work best on a day-to-day basis. Short-line nymphing is the most effective technique with the heavy brush, small pockets, and quick seams—all of which are key holding areas for the trout. Typically if it looks “fishy”, it generally is, and of course it’s always lucrative to find fish positioned where you think they should be.