Reporter: Trout's Guide Staff
Current Fishing Conditions:
December Fishing Report for South Platte at Cheesman Canyon
Hard to beat the South Platte through Cheesman Canyon and Deckers as a great close-to-home option in December. As of the start of the month both sections are fishing well, with flows at lower winter-like levels. Take the time to sight fish and you will likely be nymphing most of the day. In the warmer parts of the day, very small BWO’s and midges have been hatching and offer great opportunities for mid day dry fly opportunities. Keep it simple during this time of year. Fish are in the slower, deeper water for the most part and only keying on a few food sources.
Insects and Natural Food Sources
Midges, BWO’s and the sporadic egg will make up the majority of any fish’s diet during December. In Cheesman Canyon, scuds will be added to the mix, especially if flows elevate.
Thread midges sz. 18-24, BWO nymph and emerger patterns sz. 16-24, egg patterns sz. 12-14,
Cheesman Canyon is by far one of the most remarkable and unique trout fisheries in the Rocky Mountain West. With nearly 4 miles of Gold Medal water that is only accessible by foot, Cheesman Canyon offers visitors an angling experience they will never forget. But be warned, this fishery will test the skills of the most advanced angler, so don't expect fishing this river to be a walk in the park. Because this section of the South Platte River is located below Cheesman Reservoir, flows are dictated by reservoir releases but allow this river to be fishable 365 days a year. There are two access points for this fishery, one at the bottom of the canyon and one at the top of the canyon. The bottom access is much easier and is the recommended route into Cheesman. For those looking for a physical challenge, the upper access trail will certainly meet your needs. Be sure to bring extra layers, food and water with you, as it is easy to find yourself far from the comforts of your vehicle.
The South Platte River starts high in the mountains surrounding South Park as numerous creeks and springs drain eastward. The river cuts through Eleven Mile, Cheesman, and Waterton Canyons before it enters Denver. The best quality trout water can be found in the tail waters below Spinney (AKA Dream Stream, AKA Charlie Meyers State Wildlife Area), Eleven Mile, and Cheesman Reservoirs. The fish in these sections are as smart as they come and the fishing pressure can be heavy.
Dries: Nymphs: Streamers: