Current Conditions

Recent Reports

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 hatches of midges and blue-winged olives

Tips and Other Information: Fishing in Cheesman Canyon has been fair to good as of late. Crowds have been very heavy the past two weeks, so plan accordingly. Cheesman Canyon regulars should prepare themselves for a.m. and p.m. 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 spring that are keying on midge-adults. Nymphing with midge larvae and pupae is a great option as well. Mid day brings a nice “olive” hatch with several fish eating duns in the soft water margins. During the non-hatch periods an orange UV Scud is a great option now the flows are on the rise…

Effective Patterns: #20-22 Medallion Midge, #20-22 Mercury Midge, #22-24 Black Beauty, #20-22 Manhattan Midge, #20-24 Top Secret Midge, #22-24 Chocolate Foam Wing Emerger, #20 JujuBaetis, #22 Stalcup’s Baetis, #20 Mercury Flashback PT, #20 Sparkle Wing RS 2, #18 Hot Tail Flash Egg, #20-22 Griffith Gnat, #20-22 Matt’s Midge, #20-22 Sparkle Dun, #20-22 Blue Dun, #20-22 Blue Quill, and #20-24 Parachute Adams.

Pat Dorsey’s Dozen – Baetis Selection 

About Cheesman Canyon

Jim Cannon of the Blue Quill Angler states “…anytime is the right time to fish Cheesman Canyon, it can be fished all year”. The boulder-filled Cheesman Canyon section of the South Platte River is considered by many to be one of the most pristine fisheries in the world.

In 1976, it became the first section of river in Colorado to be protected with catch and release regulations. The Canyon is an unforgettable fly fishing experience. A roughly 1.5 mile hike from the parking lot to the river’s edge presents the angler with three miles of beautiful canyon with Bald Eagles a flight, a river filled with enormous boulders and superb river banks to fish. It is a perfect day trip alone, with family or fishing buddies.

This three-mile section is fished most successfully with nymphs and anglers can expect to catch large rainbows and good-sized browns within the close company of other fisherman. The Canyon is best fished on overcast days with good presentation only 2 or 3” away from the fish’s nose. It has been said “if you can catch fish in The Canyon, you can catch them anywhere”.

The best reviews from our clients come in the spring when blue-winged olives start to show themselves on a regular basis (late March through late May). Flows are perfect that time of year from 100-300 cfs.