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South Platte River - Cheesman Canyon

Report Date: 06/02/2014
  • Reporter: Trout's Guide Staff

    Flow Conditions:

    Water Clarity:

    Current Fishing Conditions:

    June Fly Fishing Report

    At the start of the month, the South Platte below Cheesman is very high. The reservoir is nearly maxed out and they will likely keep flows up for at least the first week to ten days, if not longer. Fishing even at higher flows is doable, though spotty and varies a lot day to day. In higher flows, look for fish to be pushed to the edges and eddy lines. As we get later and later in the month, flows will most certainly be tapering, and look for fish to be getting comfortable in their traditional feeding lines.

    Insects and Natural Food Sources

    Caddis, Baetis, PMDs, midges, stoneflies and even grasshoppers are coming out at Deckers. You don’t need to only fish the small stuff anymore!

    Recommended Flies

    Caddis larva and pupae patterns sz. 12-18, Baetis patterns sz. 16-22, San Juan worms (especially when flows elevate), thread midges sz. 18-22, stonefly immitations sz. 6-14, attractor patterns such as the Prince nymph, Hare’s Ear or Pheasant Tail.

    River Information

    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.

    Seasonal Overview:

    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.

    Current Hatches:

    Recommended Flies

    Dries: Nymphs: Streamers:

    Recommended Products: