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 low flows and sporadic hatches of midges

Tips and Other Information:Cheesman Reservoir is currently 45 percent full, so Denver Water is keeping the outflows low all winter long. Anglers should prepare themselves for sporadic hatches of midges. This means breaking out the small bugs–size 22 is a starting point, but more times than not, you’ll be fishing with a size 24 or 26. The optimum window of opportunity is between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Make sure you target the slow, deep pools where the trout overwinter. The entire canyon is fishable, but conditions are quite challenging. Plan on working hard for every fish you catch right now. Dress warm, as Cheesman Canyon is a frigid place this time of year. Expect heavy crowds in Cheesman Canyon, despite the difficult conditions…

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