The Rockies: Fly Fishing on the Platte and Searching for Railroad Spikes from the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad

While the boys took a fly fishing lesson from seasoned, fly fishing guide Chas; others walked the old railroad tracks looking for spikes.

Daniel and Zach learned how to cast on dry land using an Adams Parachute, size 12 or so…a big dry fly to see floating on the rushing waters once they were ready to take on the rainbows and browns in the Platte.  After a little coaching from Chas, they walked the banks tossing the fly in the pools behind boulders that lay by the river bank and soon they both landed their first fish on a fly rod.

While they worked the edges of the river, kayakers maneuvered the white water, and the rest of us walked the old railroad, looking for railroad spikes and enjoying the beauty surrounding the old tracks.  The Denver, South Park & Pacific Railway Co. was formed on October 1, 1872 and promptly reorganized as the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad on June 14, 1873.  The route was to go from Denver to Morrison through the Platte Canyon to South Park and eventually reach the Pacific Ocean with the capitalization of $3.5 million.  By June of 1974, the 16 miles of track laying to Morrison was complete; however, the funds had been exhausted.  Four years and several failed attempts went by, before an additional 37 miles of track was laid to W.L. Bailey’s Ranch.  The end of the track was laid at Hall’s Valley by Kenosha Pass in January of 1979.  The Denver, South Park, & Pacific was known to the locals as the Denver & South Park.  Any flat spot along the route, a town site was platted and station stops were established…one such station became Estabrook Park. ETB



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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

2 thoughts on “The Rockies: Fly Fishing on the Platte and Searching for Railroad Spikes from the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad

  1. Beth: when you’re back in Dallas check out the DeGolyer Library at SMU. It is a substantial repository of American RR info.
    Sorry about your pup’s stamina . . l have 9 year old Beagle who recently had an ACL repaired, and then he tore the other . . .c’est la vie . . .

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