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 sporadic hatches of midges. Flows remain above their normal historic values, but I suspect with all the moisture as of late, they will drop soon.

Tips and Other Information: Fishing in Cheesman Canyon has been fair as of late. Crowds might suggest otherwise, but trust me, you will earn every fish you catch right now in the “Canyon”. Cheesman Canyon regulars should prepare themselves for sporadic hatches of midges and look for the occasional fish eating adults in the slower runs, deeper pools, and tailouts.  The Family Hole and Ice Box are two great areas to look for rising fish during the winter that are keying on midge-adults. Nymphing with midge larvae and pupae is your best bet right now, however.  Make sure you go small–size 24 and 26’s is what you’ll need right now. Target the transitional zones that funnel into the deeper runs and pools.  The best fishing is between 11:00 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the water warms up a few degrees.

Effective Patterns: #20-24 Medallion Midge, #20-22 Mercury Midge, #22 Jujubee Midge, #22 Minute Midge, #22 Tube Midge, #22-24 Black Beauty, #20-22 Red Larva, #20-22 Manhattan Midge, #20-26 Top Secret Midge, #22-24 Chocolate Foam Wing Emerger, #18 Hot Tail Flash Egg, #20-24 Griffith Gnat, #22-24 Matt’s Midge, #22-26 Parachute Adams.