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Old 11-04-2012, 05:03 PM
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Default South Platte River Deckers Report

Got out for a quick half day on Saturday. Boy, was it cold at 8 a.m. I was not mentally prepared for dealing with winter-like conditions and struggled the first half hour just to tie on flies, manage gloves and hats, and break ice out of guides. Needless to say. I didn't fare very well until it warmed up a bit.

I fished just below the Wigwam Club for about two hours, working down into the mouth of the narrow section of the canyon. Hooked one early on but only had him for about five seconds. Landed two others, one small brown and one decent brown. Then it turned into the typical Deckers sausage fest so I hoofed it back to the truck and drove downstream below the Platte River campground. I saw hundreds of recently stocked rainbows. They were skiddish and didn't seem to know how to act. Hooked one but didn't land him. Water is very low and very clear.

I don't fish Deckers that often anymore. It makes me kind of sad, really. This once great fishery has suffered from fire and drought in the last decade. The bottom is now mostly loose granite sand. Very little rock or vegetation left. It needs about three years of month-long 1,000 cfs flushings. There are still some big fish in the system, but it pales in comparison to what it used to be. But, it makes for a nice half-day getaway and you can still land a few fish in a beautiful setting.

Flies - red worm (worm size), size 18 flashback pheasant tail, size 20 red midge. 5x to first fly, 6x to the midge. as little weight as possible and a tiny indicator.

Click the image to open in full size.

On a side note. I did try something for the first time. I was fishing alone so I took my iPod with me and listened to music. I never turned it up so much that I couldn't hear the water rushing or hear my feet hit the ground when I walked. Just some background music. I was surprised that I kind of enjoyed it. I don't know if I feel like a d-bag or not. I usually criticize people who can't leave stuff like that in the truck. I don't see making it a habit, but once in a while if I am alone? Maybe.

Cheers,

Gary
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: South Platte River Deckers Report

Ok...sausage fest?
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: South Platte River Deckers Report

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Ok...sausage fest?
Sorry. Orvis hatch? Combat fishing?
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: South Platte River Deckers Report

That's what I figured. I don't live too far from Deckers, but the high population of rude people keeps me out of there. I went once this year...working my way over to a rising fish, in an empty stretch of water..downstream come two guys, kicking up the bottom, stumbling and splashing, intent on beating me to that fish. Really? Downstream? That ten minutes is more than enough for me, regardless of the size of the fish.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: South Platte River Deckers Report

Unfortunately, I have to agree. I have encountered more rude fishermen in that stretch than any other in Colorado (although I hear the Taylor can get pretty bad as well). And I don't mean just inexperienced people who don't know better. Like you said, guys will nestle up right next to you and try to fish the bottom of the run while you are in the top, maybe thirty feet from you. Maybe it's because there is so little fishable water? Maybe it's transplants from other states where this type of crowded fishing is accepted practice? And in the summer the recreational users are now taking over. Hundreds of people float their inner tubes down the river every weekend. I think a company is now renting tubes near bridge crossing like they do on the upper Colorado. I did a little guiding in that area a few years ago and it is one of the hardest places to put people on fish because of all these reasons.

Sad. It used to be an awesome place to fish. Maybe it will be again someday. Maybe not in my fishing lifetime, but someday?

Gary
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: South Platte River Deckers Report

I must say I'm surprised you guys have had bad experiences with rude folks on this portion of the river. I've always had more than pleasurable encounters with fellow anglers, willing to share tips and techniques, spots, etc. I do agree that the innertubes are a bit annoying but for the most part, floaters generally make an effort to reduce their exposure to an angler.

Then again, I'm the guy that will move out of my spot in the river when I see anyone nearby so that no confrontations ever happen. Generally, I find this to be the best way to not deal with anyone's unpleasant side. I've had plenty of anglers crowd me out, so I just leave and let them enjoy trying to catch the fish I've already spooked.

Anytime you have a place with such easy access you're going to have a wide variety of etiquette. And yes it does take time to understand fly-fishing etiquette - simply put, don't move downstream, don't watch an angler fish from shore right on top of him or her, be quiet when entering a stream and don't splash around in your waders, and - be nice, ask and share...
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: South Platte River Deckers Report

Although it's not what it used to be, I'm fairly certain the river is fishing better now than just a couple years ago. Horse Creek is slated to be repaired within the next couple years, Trail creek was completed last year. There is movement (not fast enough for all of us), but there is forward movement.

I guide that river 150 days a year, and yup, the floaters get tiresome, but that's going to happen so close to Denver. I've bumped into a few knuckleheads over the years, but the ethical folks seem to outnumber them 100 to 1.

There is a huge diversity of aquatic bugs, grass is now growing in the water where it used to, and a fair portion of the bottom is returning to cobble. The drought has actually helped because Horse Creek hasn't puked in a year, and willows and beavers have moved in to stabilize it until it can be fixed. Jeff Spohn has been open to many of our requests.

Honestly, it will come back completely. May be a bit more crowded, but it will be back.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: South Platte River Deckers Report

Sorry to sound so doom and gloom. I just really miss the way that river fished back in the day. I sincerely hope it does come back to 100%. And maybe I just had a few run ins with more than my share of bad eggs. I am going to try to look at the river through fresh lenses again.

Gary
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:26 AM
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Default Re: South Platte River Deckers Report

I too miss the old days gj. River fished great yesterday. Clients picked fish up on pat's rubberlegs, midge pupa and size 20 pheasant tails.

Had to grumble a bit because we were high and low holed by two jokers that pinched us. Haven't had that happen in a while.........
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:29 AM
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Default Re: South Platte River Deckers Report

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Originally Posted by nickj View Post
That's what I figured. I don't live too far from Deckers, but the high population of rude people keeps me out of there. I went once this year...working my way over to a rising fish, in an empty stretch of water..downstream come two guys, kicking up the bottom, stumbling and splashing, intent on beating me to that fish. Really? Downstream? That ten minutes is more than enough for me, regardless of the size of the fish.
I fished Deckers last summer (hadn't fished there in 15 years+) and I have to admit my disappointment in meeting some pretty rude fishermen?. I kinda got this treatment sometimes when I skied the front range(mostly from transplants I surmised) and if you weren't a local or buying something, well... I did run into a local guide hanging out who gave me a fly he had great success with but besides that I might as well been on Mars. As an ex-Coloradan I recall an old Eagles tune about the 'Last Resort.' Most of the old 'Natives' were a pretty friendly lot and outgoing which changed it seemed with the influx of outsiders in the 80's & 90's-that's subjective...
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