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.
14 Day Forecast: Look for hatches of midges and blue-winged olives.
Tips and Other Information: Fishing in Cheesman Canyon has been extremely tough as of late. Water temps have cooled down, but the trout are a bit stressed, hiding, and not willing to cooperate for the average angler. Current hatches include midges, Tricos, and blue-winged olives, with a sporadic caddis or two. Dry fly enthusiast are finding plenty of small fish feeding on the surface, but larger fish are harder to find. Small Parachute Adams, CDC Biot Trico Comparaduns, and Mathews Sparkle Duns are the ticket right now, in sizes 20-22.
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.