The Middle Fork of the South Platte River begins near Alma, CO, travelling Southeast through the town of Fairplay and towards the town of Hartsel. This section of river is symbolic of a classic Colorado trout stream, comprised of an endless series of riffles, runs, pools, and pockets for trout to hide in. Being that this section is a Freestone River, it is susceptible to runoff conditions or low flows, making primetime on the Middle Fork either the Spring in pre-runoff or the mid-late Summer once runoff conditions have subsided. The Middle Fork of the South Platte offers several access points, including Tomahawk State Wildlife Area and Badger Basin State Wildlife Area. This section of river is known for great Summer dry-fly fishing and huge numbers of fish; in fact, Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists have reported that the Middle Fork boasts “more trout biomass per mile of stream than any other river in Colorado.”
The premier section of the Middle Fork of the South Platte is Santa Maria Ranch, a 2,800ac historical ranch offering access to over a mile of the Middle Fork. This section boasts unbelievable dry-fly and dry-dropper fishing during the Summer months, as well as ample deep pools and winter holding water to target during shoulder seasons. Significant habitat improvements have been conducted at Santa Maria Ranch as well, ensuring a perfect streambed for fish and fishermen alike. North Fork Ranch guide service offers exclusive access to the Santa Maria Ranch- reach out to check availability and book a trip!