Colorado Weekend Spotlight: Downtown Denver’s Dirty South Platte

The forecast for downtown Denver is shaping up to be a beautiful weekend with high temperatures in the low sixties and sunny on Saturday and Sunday.  This weekend try sticking close to home for a chance at landing the Rocky Mountain Bonefish or common carp on Denver’s down and dirty South Platte.  The South Platte through downtown may be one of the most interesting and unique carp fisheries in the entire world with a huge and sustainable population of common carp.  In addition to carp, anglers can expect to run into channel catfish, sunfish, small mouth bass and the occasional trophy rainbow trout is also a regular catch on this famed section of stream.

carp fly fisherman
Flyfisher Guide Service Pro-Staff Guide, Randy Pruitt releasing a nice fish from the dirty South Platte

Right now flows have been stable at a mere 85 to 100 CFS, making for some good to great sight fishing conditions.  Carp are entering their winter mode and can be found podded up much like trout in downtown’s classic runs and riffles.  Nymph fishing with an indicator to these pods of carp can be deadly.  For leaders, anglers should try a nine foot rig tapered down to 2x-3x tippet.  Productive carp nymphs include, Rubber Legged Hare’s Ear in hook sizes 10-14, Prince Nymphs in sizes 12-16 and of course San Juan Worms in red, brown, pink and hook sizes 12-16.

carp fisherman
The Rocky Mountain Bonefish…

Many of the fish can still be found tailing in the flats, requiring salt water like presentations from the most skilled of fly casters.  Flies based off of bonefish patterns but tied in more drab colors like brown, olive and black to imitate crayfish and leeches can be deadly when correctly presented.  For bonefish style flats flies, hook sizes 6-8 seem to be ideal for creating solid hook ups with tailing and mudding carp.

Before hitting downtown’s South Platte, be sure to read our latest Colorado Fly Fishing Report for the most up to date stream flows, hatch charts and top flies.

Tight Lines,

Downtown Brown…Stay Fishy my Friends…