Fishing Information

South Platte River - Cheesman Canyon

219 cfs
6 mph
39 °F
Weather @SOUTH PLATTE BASIN - Updated April 08, 2020 - 2:26pm

Current River Flow Updates

Latest Update 4/8/2020 --

Flows below the lake are currently at 219 CFS as of 4-8. As we progress into warmer spring temperatures, mayfly/midge adult presence will become increasingly important. Pods of rising fish are not uncommon to come across in the canyon. Around mid-day we have been finding consistent risers in the calm back eddies. The best way to tackle this situation is light presentations and tiny dries. Fishing a larger dry as a "sighter" (Adams parawulff #16-18, para-extended body bwo #16, Humpy #16-18) trailed by a smaller "drowned" fly (RS2 foam back #20-24, griffiths gnat #22-24) has been working well. When fishing this set up, being able to locate your sighter fly on the surface is the most important part. Often times if fish are refusing the sighter on the surface, they will gladly eat the smaller pattern just below the film. On the other hand, nymphing has still been the most productive way to put fish in the net lately. Tandem rigs in a variety of shapes and sizes are working well. Stoneflies are on the move, so be sure to fish your favorite stone pattern as your point fly. FB Tungstones, tung-teasers, stone bombs, Pat's rubber legs, wired stonefly nymphs, & biot epoxy stones all in sizes #10-16. Your classic small patterns are still bringing in the bulk of fish. Black beauties, black sparkle wing RS2s, gray WD40s, mercury bead pheasant tails, & red midge larva alike in sizes #20-22 have been working great. For the canyon, presentation is often more important than fly selection. Changing up depth and amount of weight on your rig is imperative, as active fish are constantly changing their holding depths. Feel free to call the shop or live chat so we can help get you set up!

River Information

Cheesman Canyon is the picture perfect trout stream. With house-sized boulders in the center of the river, not a road in sight, and bald eagles flying above, it doesn't get much "troutier" and beautiful than Cheesman Canyon. A mixed bag of wild rainbows and brown trout in the 12-20+ range is what will likely be on the end of your line once you can figure out what these picky trout are feeding on. Nymphing is the name of the game here but on certain days dry fly fishing and streamer fishing can be very productive as well. Rumor is that if you can catch a fish in the canyon you can catch a fish anywhere.

Seasonal Conditions

In the warm summer months, these trout will be gorging themselves on baetis, midges, stoneflies, caddis, and leeches. These trout can be difficult to trick so the key is to find feeding fish and keep swapping out rigs until you find the golden ticket. When you enter the colder winter months these fish predominately feed on small midges in the 20-26 range. At these times make sure to keep your rig on light fluorocarbon tippet (5-7x) and eliminate the indicator if you can.

Additional River Information

South Platte River below Cheesman Reservoir

SOUTH PLATTE BASIN River Gauge View Detailed Information

  • Flow 219 cfs
  • Wind 6 mph
  • Temp 39 °F
  • High/Low 66/37

River access

To get to Cheesman Canyon it is easiest to take 285 west and then turn left onto 126. After passing through Pine and Buffalo Creek you will go down a large hill that is 3 lanes. At the bottom of that hill where the speed limit drops you will see a paved parking lot on your right. This is the Lower Gill Trail parking lot. This lot is about a 30-minute hike to the first fishable water. From there you have about 5 miles of water to explore up-river.

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