The north fork of the South Platte has been fishing great lately, both on public stretches at the confluence near Foxton Road and on our private stretches at Boxwood Gulch.
For those new to fly fishing in Colorado or who are unfamiliar with the North Fork of the South Platte, it is another great spot close to town where you can wet a line and bend a rod. You will also find it to be less crowded than Deckers with colder water temperatures. A steady flow of cold water from Lake Dillon is delivered to the north fork via Roberts Tunnel, which keeps temps down and fish happy. With it being less crowded you have the chance to get after some less pressured fish and can avoid that mid summer tube hatch. Public stretches include a number of Denver Waterboard Properties, come see us at the fly shop for clarification on what is public or not. Also be sure to bookmark our South Platte Fishing reports page and our General Colorado Fishing Reports page for the latest updates around the State.
When fishing the public stretches of the N. Fork, you can expect to find a mix rainbows and browns in the 10-14″ variety. But be ready for the occasional private water escapee,that will sneak up on you when you least expect it and test your knots as well as your fight. These private water migrants could easily top the 20″ mark.
Reccomended Gear, Flies and Equipment
When nymphing this river try throwing a Pat’s Rubberlegs or our new favorite Smethhurst’s Stonebomb as a lead fly. Trail that with either a Barr’s copper john or Charlie Craven’s new Caddistrophic Caddis imitation.
If your dying to chase the latest hatch and catch them up top caddis and hopper imitations are your ticket. Come grab some of our favorite patterns, Amy’s Ants, Triple Decker hoppers or Charlie Boy hoppers all in size 10-16 and puterbaugh Caddis in size 14-18.
As for terminal tackle, a 9′ 4-5 weight rod will get the job done on the public stretches while a 6 or 7 is more adequate for the private stretches. We had a lot of fun bending the New Scott Radian this week on guided trips on the South Platte! What an awesome new fly rod. Be sure to check out some of our latest fly rod reviews for all the new rods soon to be released for 2014!
Boxwood and Long Meadow
The North Fork along 285 may be more known for its private water options than its public fishing. As fly fishing guides, our favorite private water spots along this river and quite possibly the state are by far Boxwood gulch and Long Meadow Ranch. At these locations you will have a shot at catching that “trout of a life time” every fisherman dreams of.
Boxwood Gulch is quite an amazing facility, consisting of a mile plus stretch of trout packed stream and two Tiger filled ponds, a clubhouse, a Patio, grills and an outdoor fireplace. Along with world class guides these features come together to create a great day of fishing, perfect for anything from corporate trips to fishing with friends/family. When at Boxwood expect to catch many big rainbows ranging from 16″ to well over 20″ with the occasional shot a 30+ inch hog. You will also have a shot at some big brownies, nice 16″-20″ Brookies, Cutbows, and even some nice tiger trout.
Located upstream of and bordering Boxwood is Long Meadow Ranch. With more of a rustic feel Long Meadow has over 2 miles of fish-able water and a nice picnic shelter with a grill. Long Meadow is a great option for those who want a shot at some nice rainbows and want to cover some water.