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South Platte River - Cheesman Canyon

Report Date: 04/01/2014
  • Reporter: Trout's Guide Staff

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    April Fishing Report for South Platte at Cheesman Canyon

    As of the start of the month, both Cheesman Canyon and Deckers continue to be fishing exceptionally well. The flows continue to be between 100-150 CFS and we predict that will remain the case for the month. The river is fishing well from the outflow all the way through the Nighthawk Hill area downstream of Deckers.  April is prime baetis season on both these stretches and look for noses to be breaking the surface around mid-day, especially on warmer days with cloud cover. Some really sizeable fish have been caught back here lately too. Good to see signs of a recovering river!

    Be wary this month especially of spawning fish. Please do not fish to actively breeding fish and be wary when wading shallow pea gravel looking for redds. If you would like to better understand how to identify redds or spawners when fishing, call the shop. We’re happy to walk you through what to look for and what to avoid!

    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.

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