Pat Dorsey’s Fishing Report: Cheesman Canyon – South Platte

Cheesman Canyon is one of the best tailwaters in the country. There’s a common belief among “canyon regulars” that if you can catch fish on the South Platte River, you can fool fish anywhere in the world. There’s no substitution for good technique in Cheesman Canyon.

Current Conditions 

Clarity: Excellent

14 Day Forecast:  Look for intermittent hatches of midges.

Tips and Other Information: Nothing has changed in Cheesman Canyon, it’s fishing tough right now with the low flows. Plan on working hard for every fish you catch!  But, the rewards are worth the effort. The fish in Cheesman Canyon are as special as they get. Your best bet is dead drifting tiny midge larvae and pupae in the slow, deep pools where the fish are stacked up for the winter.  There are a few risers in the slow pools and tailouts that are midging. These fish can be fooled with a Matt’s Midges or a Parachute Adams in sizes 24-26. Your greatest challenge is finding a feeding fish with the cold water temps. The water is coming out of the dam at 39 degrees, but quickly drops into the mid 30’s as it carves its way through the shaded canyon walls.

Effective Patterns:  #20-22 Mercury Midge, #20-22 Manhattan Midge, #20 Pale Olive Midge Larva, #22-24 Black Beauty, #22-24 Bling Midge, #22-24 Top Secret Midge, #22-24 Minute Midge, #22-24 Jujubee Midge, #22-24 Matt’s Midge, #22-24 Griffith Gnat, and #24-26 Parachute Adams.