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Fishing Information

South Platte River - Cheesman Canyon

153 cfs
13 mph
86 °F
Weather @SOUTH PLATTE BASIN - Updated August 05, 2020 - 11:57am

Current River Flow Updates

Latest Update 8/5/2020 --

Flows below the lake have finally increased. We have been seeing a sharp increase in feeding activity as a result. Water temperatures can still reach dangerous levels around mid-day- so remain mindful of our cold water friends. Strong trico and caddis hatches have been present in the canyon lately. Any small trico pattern in sizes #22-24 fished on top of the water or just in the film has been deadly in the late morning hours. We have been finding a lot of success fishing the trico in tandem with a larger adult caddis in size #16. Nymphing your summer-staple patterns at a variety of depths has also been equally as effective. Don't be afraid to rope up your tippet sizes at this current discharge. Starting with 4x fluorocarbon to your first fly (weighted pat's rubber legs, san juan worms, cranefly larvae in sizes #8-14) and ending with 5x to a smaller baetis or caddis nymph in #16-20 has been an effective sub-surface rig lately. Water structure is also very important this time of year. Spend less time fishing to "lazy" fish at the bottom of deep pools and more time in the riffles. As always, feel free to stop by our brand new Denver location to browse our Cheesman selection.

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 153 cfs
  • Wind 13 mph
  • Temp 86 °F
  • High/Low 87/51

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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