Trouts Journal

PHOTO ESSAY: Cheesman Players

Ivan Orsic / Jun 19, 2019

Changes can happen on the South Platte at a moments notice in spring and early summer. Big water can be intimidating and flow bumps, while not always ideal, can make for plenty of happy, feeding fish. Last week, Trouts Guide Josh Diller and I took a quick trip to Cheesman Canyon to get a little mid-week fishing in. Flows were sitting at 100 cfs and had been for some time. We met at the trailhead parking lot around 10 AM. Rigged up and started our hike into the canyon.

Josh rigs up after our hike into the canyon.

It's always hard to walk past fish in the canyon. We saw some holding behind a drop-off a couple bends up the canyon. Josh tried his luck. His son just broke his euro-nymphing rig, so he was throwing the ole indicator rig.

It wasn't long before Josh found a player.


We hopped back up to the trail. It wasn't long before we saw fish feeding in a riffle from our high vantage point.

Josh dropped in.

Made a couple of casts.

And found another player.

We kept hop-scotching up the river and kept finding feeding fish. When the canyon is fishing well, the number of fish actively feeding in riffles and runs can be pretty damn entertaining. Feeding them can be another story, somedays.

Josh throws a quick mend.


South Platte Rainbows showing off.

There were still feeding fish in that run. Don't leave fish to find fish...Josh knows. Flows were rising mid-day. When we got back into service, flows were up 50 cfs. The fish didn't seem to mind.


This player worked Josh pretty hard. Once Josh's rod drop down, as he tried to pull it out of the boulders, we both knew he was in trouble.

GAME OVER! Josh said, it would have been his biggest canyon fish of the year

Back to the drawing board. Small midges, caddis, and scuds were all putting fish in the bag.

Back at it.

The moment of truth.

Players only!

We kept moving upstream.

Hitting pockets and drinking cold snacks.

Josh makes some changes before casting to a couple of feeders.

Roll casts in the good light.

Even the cameraman got some on the G Loomis Asquith.

Big mends.

Flows bumped 50 cfs mid-day. Fish didn't seem to mind.

Signs of summer.

Josh ended his day with another solid Cheesman bow.

This rainbow was a good cap to my day.

Sun was going was time to g-g-get.

Bye now.

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