Fly Fishing Cheesman Canyon | South Platte River

Fly Fishing Cheesman Canyon | South Platte River

Top of the Trail at Cheesman

Jim and I woke up super early to be the first ones into Cheesman Canyon yesterday.  This meant a 4am wake up call and a hike in the dark, but it was all worth it!  Cheesman fished very well yesterday and the dry fly action was the best I have seen in a long time.  Everyone has been seeing Tricos for the first time in a long time inside of the Canyon.  While there are Tricos beginning to hatch, the fish were not very responsive to the dries the other day.  But they were all over the midges coming of!  I was able to fish a #24 parachute adams to rising pods of fish most of the morning.  It began around 7am and lasted till maybe 930 or so.  I was able to take several nice browns on the adams and a couple of rainbows.  Light tippets are a must, the water is gin clear and the fish demand a perfect drift.  This means you will be using your 6X Fluorocarbon.

Jim with a Cheesman Canyon giant!

As the day progressed, the dry flies subsided and the nymphing began.  San Juan worms as your lead fly and a #20-22 Black Beauty and RS2 as your droppers were the ticket.  Long nymph rigs and a pile of weight were required to get your flies down to the fish in the deep runs.  The water temp in morning was good, around 58 degrees, but as the day progressed it creeped up towards 65 degrees.  This meant the fishing slowed down and the fish hunkered down.  We were still able to catch them, but the action did slow down.

Brown that fell for the #24 Adams

The brown trout population is looking great.  All the browns I had caught were in perfect, fat healthy shape.  I was able to catch 3 out of the one hole, that I swear were all the same fish.  Most of them were 13-15 inches and super healthy and I was able to snag one other that was a solid 17 inch fish.   This is really good to see, the browns are not only increasing in numbers, but also in size and weight.  These fish almost remind me of the browns I catch on the Dream Stream, fat, healthy and really strong!

Bottom line is get there early and leave by early afternoon.  Bring your #22-26 Parachute Adams, #18-22 Black Beauties, #18-22 Black RS2s, #08-16 San Juan Worms, #20-22 Johnny Flashes, #20-22 Palamino Midges, 4-6X Fluorocarbon (never go to Cheesman without Flouro), #1-AB Split Shot and Medium Thingamabobbers.

Jim doesn’t look happy holding my fish….big fish #24 on 6X
There are Tricos in Cheesman!
Jim “the mountain goat” found his way onto a big rock

It’s time to nail down your 2024 fly fishing trip with Minturn Anglers.

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Justin Nolan

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