Embark on an exciting journey as you delve into the world of nymph fishing on the renowned South Platte River. Discover the top nymph patterns that will help you easily reel in some of the river's prized trout. After a successful morning on the water, treat yourself to a delectable meal at one of the best lunch spots nearby, where you can unwind and relish your fly fishing adventures.

Choosing the Right Nymphs for the South Platte River

RISE BEYOND (800 x 800 px) (1)https://risebeyondflyfishing.shop/products/nymphing-machine-fly-box-small-batch-fly-boxes

When fly fishing on the South Platte River, choosing the right nymphs is essential to increase your chances of success. Some of the best nymphs for this river include the Pheasant Tail, Hare's Ear, and RS2 Nymphs. These nymphs mimic the insects that the fish in the South Platte River feed on and are highly effective in attracting bites.

  • The Pheasant Tail Nymph is a classic fly pattern that imitates mayfly nymphs, which are a common food source for fish in the river. It features a slender body of pheasant tail fibers and a shiny bead head that adds weight and attracts attention. Buy it here
  • The Hare's Ear Nymph is another versatile pattern that imitates various aquatic insects. Its body is made of hare's ear dubbing, which gives it a realistic appearance, and it often includes a gold bead head to provide weight and attract fish. Buy it here
  • The RS2 Nymph is a simple yet highly effective pattern that imitates midge larvae and small mayflies. It features a slender body made of thread or dubbing and can be tied in various colors to match the natural insects in the river. Buy it here

When selecting nymphs for the South Platte River, consider the size and color of the insects that the fish are feeding on. It's also a good idea to carry a variety of nymph patterns in different sizes and weights to adapt to changing fishing conditions.

Tips for Setting Up Your Line Rig

When setting up your line rig for nymph fishing on the South Platte River, it is essential to carefully select the appropriate equipment and techniques to maximize your chances of success. Start by choosing a 4-6 weight line suitable for most nymph fishing situations on the river. This line weight will balance castability and strength to handle the fish you are targeting.

Next, utilize a leader and tippet system to connect your fly line to your nymph. This setup allows for a more natural presentation of your nymph and helps prevent spooking fish. Adjust your depth by adding split shot weights to your line or using a weighted nymph pattern to ensure your fly reaches the fish's feeding level. Experiment with different depths until you find the right one that entices bites.

Consider using an indicator, also known as a strike indicator or bobber, to help detect subtle strikes from fish. By indicating any movement or hesitation in the water, an indicator can significantly increase your chances of hooking into fish. These tips and techniques will enable you to present your nymph naturally and effectively on the South Platte River, enhancing your overall fly fishing experience.

  1. Choose the appropriate line weight: Your line weight will depend on the size of the nymphs you're fishing with and the size of the fish you're targeting. Generally, a 4-6 weight line suits most nymph fishing situations on the South Platte River.
  2. Use a leader and tippet system: A leader is a tapered section of monofilament or fluorocarbon line that connects your fly line to your tippet. The tippet is a separate section of line attached to the end of the leader and is where you tie your nymph. Using a leader and tippet system allows for a more natural presentation of your nymph and helps to prevent spooking fish.
  3. Adjust your depth: Nymph fishing often requires getting your fly down to the fish's feeding level. This can be achieved by adding split shot weights to your line or using a weighted nymph pattern. Experiment with different depths until you find the right one.
  4. Consider using an indicator: An indicator known as a strike indicator or a bobber is a small float attached to your line above your nymph. It helps detect subtle strikes from fish by indicating any movement or hesitation in the water, greatly improving your chances of hooking into fish. By following these tips, you'll be well-prepared to set up your line rig for nymph fishing on the South Platte River.

Techniques for Nymph Fishing on the South Platte River

RSII-1

RSII Fly Buy it here

If you're planning to go nymph fishing on the South Platte River, there are a few techniques that you should keep in mind to increase your chances of success. One of the most important techniques is dead-drifting. This means allowing your fly to drift with the current in a natural manner. To achieve this, cast your nymph upstream and mend your line to ensure a drag-free drift. Another technique that you can use is high-sticking.

This involves keeping your rod tip high while minimizing the amount of fly line on the water. Doing this gives you better control and sensitivity when detecting strikes. Keep a tight line and be ready to set the hook any moment. Swinging is another effective technique for nymph fishing on the South Platte River. After casting upstream, allow your fly to swing across the current, imitating the movement of an emerging insect. This can entice strikes from fish that are actively feeding near the surface. If the water is crystal clear, sight fishing can also be viable. Look for fish holding in riffles, runs, and pools, and target them specifically with your nymph presentation. This can be rewarding to catch fish, but it requires careful observation and stealth.

Here are a few techniques to keep in mind:

  • Dead-drifting: When nymph fishing, it's important to present your fly in a natural manner by allowing it to drift with the current. This is known as dead-drifting. Cast your nymph upstream and mend your line to ensure a drag-free drift.
  • High-sticking: In this technique, you keep your rod tip high and minimize the fly line on the water. This allows for better control and sensitivity when detecting strikes. Keep a tight line and be ready to set the hook any moment.
  • Swinging: Swinging is another effective technique for nymph fishing on the South Platte River. After casting upstream, allow your fly to swing across the current, imitating the movement of an emerging insect. This can entice strikes from fish that are actively feeding near the surface.
  • Sight fishing: The South Platte River is known for its crystal clear waters, making sight fishing a viable technique.  Look for fish holding in riffles, runs, and pools, and target them specifically with your nymph presentation. Catching fish can be rewarding, but it requires careful observation and stealth.

 

Best Lunch Spots Along the South Platte River

You'll likely work up an appetite after a morning of fly fishing on the South Platte River. Luckily, some great lunch spots are nearby where you can refuel and enjoy a delicious meal. Here are a few recommendations:

  1. The Buck Snort Saloon: Located in Pine, Colorado, The Buck Snort Saloon offers a rustic and cozy atmosphere with a menu featuring burgers, sandwiches, and other pub-style fare. It's a popular spot among locals and visitors alike.
  2. Riverbend Eatery: Situated in Bailey, Colorado, Riverbend Eatery is a charming restaurant with a patio overlooking the South Platte River. They offer a variety of dishes, including salads, sandwiches, and homemade desserts.
  3. The Shawnee Inn: The Shawnee Inn, located in Shawnee, Colorado, is a historic inn and restaurant that dates back to 1927. They serve a range of American cuisine, including steaks, seafood, and vegetarian options, all made with locally sourced ingredients.
  4. The Historic Brook Forest Inn: Nestled in Evergreen, Colorado, The Historic Brook Forest Inn is a picturesque restaurant and inn. They offer a diverse menu with burgers, seafood, pasta, craft beers, and cocktails.

These lunch spots provide a convenient and enjoyable way to relax and recharge during your fly-fishing adventure on the South Platte River.

 

Protecting the Environment While Fly Fishing

20230408_114819

Fly fishing on the South Platte River can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, but it's important to be mindful of the environment and take steps to protect it. As an angler, you have a responsibility to practice responsible fishing to ensure the sustainability of the fish population and protect the natural habitat along the riverbanks.

One of the best ways to practice responsible fishing is to practice catch and release. This means releasing the fish you catch back into the river rather than keeping them for consumption. This helps maintain a healthy fish population, essential for the river's ecosystem. If you do keep a fish, make sure to follow local regulations regarding size limits and bag limits.

Another important aspect of responsible fishing is to dispose of waste properly. Bringing a small trash bag and packing any trash or litter you generate can help keep the river clean and healthy. This includes picking up things like food wrappers, fishing lines, and cigarette butts. Leaving the river cleaner than you found is an important part of being a responsible angler.

It's also important to respect wildlife and vegetation along the riverbanks. This means avoiding trampling on sensitive vegetation and being cautious not to disturb or damage wildlife habitats. It also means keeping a safe distance from any wildlife you encounter and observing them from afar.

Finally, it's essential to familiarize yourself with and adhere to the fishing regulations for the South Platte River. This includes having the appropriate fishing license and knowing any special restrictions or seasonal closures.

By practicing responsible fishing, you can help preserve the beauty and health of the South Platte River for future generations to enjoy.

Tymothe Meskel
Post by Tymothe Meskel
April 18, 2024
Tymothe Meskel is an avid fly fisherman who spends every week out on the water, rain, shine, or snow. He is an outdoor enthusiast who shares their experiences, tips, and insights on this fly fishing blog. With a wealth of knowledge about various techniques, equipment, and fly patterns, he helps anglers of all skill levels improve their fishing game. Join Tymothe on this journey as he uncover the joys of fly fishing and inspire others to appreciate the wilderness and preserve our natural resources.

Comments