Flows at 56 CFS. The fishing in the Canyon has been tougher, that’s for sure. Hardly ever does this canyon provide ‘easy’ fishing, but with only 56 CFS coming down, the fish are spooky! Cheesman offers many runs that have dramatic drop-offs leading to deeper runs. You’ll want to target these areas, as the fish find refuge in them in the colder months. With the sun so far south this time of year, the canyon does not receive a lot of sun. Therefore, if you do have sunlight, take advantage of it.
Go small in the canyon right now, with flies and tippet. We aren’t throwing anything much bigger than 6x fluorocarbon matched with size 20-24 flies. The fish are primarily eating midges, and our go-to midges have been the Mercury Midge, Mercury Blood Midge, Flashback Black Beauty, and Periwinkles. Like Deckers, if you look in the right water you may be presented with dry fly opportunities. These windows usually don’t last long as you’ll want to focus on slower eddies and seams. A size 22 Griffiths Gnat or Parachute Adams will be the ticket.
Bigger flies in Cheesman will not be as productive as they are downstream at Deckers. If you choose to throw bigger, try eggs and cranefly larva. We have been throwing 3-fly nymph rigs, with a size 20 being the biggest fly. It may be hard to have confidence in this small rig, but stick with it and you should be rewarded. As always in Cheesman, don’t wait for your indicator to go diving down every hit, but rather look for any hesitation and be timely with your hook sets.