Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

South Platte - Cheesman Canyon - Colorado

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

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Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

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Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Morning & Afternoon #20-22 Black Beauty, Thread Midge
Winter Stoneflies Afternoon #16-18 Yuk Bug, Black Stonefly
February Midges Morning & Afternoon #18-20 Emerger Midge, Red Larva
Winter Stoneflies Afternoon #16-18 Yuk Bug, Lead Wing Coachman
March Midges Morning & Afternoon #20-22 Zebra Midge, Mercury RS2
Blue-winged Olive Afternoon #18-20 Parachute BWO, Sparkle Dun BWO
April Midges Morning & Afternoon #20-22 Griffiths Gnat, Midge Cluster
Blue-winged Olive Afternoon #18-20 BWO Comparadun, Adams
May Caddis Afternoon & Evening #14-16 Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis
Blue-winged Olive Afternoon #18-20 BWO emerger, BWO nymph
June Pale Morning Dun Afternoon #14-16 Parachute PMD, Comparadun PMD
July Tricos Morning #20-22 Trico spinner, Trico emerger
August Tricos Morning #20-22 Trico spinner, Trico emerger
September Tricos Morning #20-22 Trico Dun, Trico Spinner
Blue-winged Olive Afternoon #18-20 BWO Nymph, BWO Sparkle Dun
October Blue-winged Olive Afternoon #18-20 BWO Dun, BWO Emerger
November Midge Morning & Afternoon #20-22 Zebra Midge, Disco Midge
Blue-winged Olive Afternoon #18-20 BWO Dun, BWO Emerger
December Midges Morning & Afternoon #20-22 Zebra Midge, Disco Midge

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The South Platte – Cheesman Canyon is an iconic fly fishing destination. It offers some of the finest spots renowned for record-breaking trout and an exceptional fishing experience.

  • The Gill Trail: It gives easy access to the river, providing a great spot for fly fishing.
  • Sportsman’s Paradise: Known for its unbelievable number of trout, it lies below Cheesman reservoir.
  • The Cheesman Dam: Boasting deep holes that house large fish, this spot is accessible via a rigorous hike.
  • Ouzel Picnic Area and Campgrounds: A slightly less challenging area to reach, offering excellent pockets and runs for fishing.

Each location on the South Platte – Cheesman Canyon offers its unique challenges and rewards, making this area a must-visit for all avid fly fishermen.

Best Access Points

Cheesman Canyon on the South Platte River is a dream destination for fly-fishing enthusiasts. It is advisable to start early to avoid crowds and secure the best spots. Here are the prime access points:

  • Gill Trail: Park at the trailhead off Jefferson County Road 126, and descend about a mile to the river. It offers excellent catch-and-release fly fishing stretches.
  • Cheesman Dam: Access from this point is more challenging due to steep terrain, but it leads to less crowded fishing areas.
  • Deckers: Downstream from Cheesman Canyon, Deckers offers easier access, but you need to arrive early as it’s popular.

All spots are beaming with trout such as Brown, Rainbow, and Cutthroat. Please note that the entire Cheesman Canyon stretch is a Gold Medal Water, implying artificial flies and lures only and catch-and-release for all trout.

Local Fish

  • Brown Trout: This is a primary target for fly-fishermen on the South Platte – Cheesman Canyon due to its plenitude.
  • Rainbow Trout: Renowned for their spectral colors and fight, they’re a popular and abundant target.
  • Brook Trout: Usually smaller than brown and rainbow trout, but they offer a spirited fight.
  • Cutthroat Trout: The only trout native to Colorado and popular due to its beautiful colors and rarity.
  • Mountain Whitefish: Although not fished for as often, they offer a solid fight and are abundant.
  • Arctic Grayling: These fish, although not native, can provide a challenging catch in the South Platte – Cheesman Canyon.
  • Coaster Brook Trout: A unique variation of brook trout that tend to be larger with spectacular colors.
  • Palomino Trout: A golden variation of the rainbow trout, prized for their rare occurrence.

About The River

Revel in the engrossing history of the stunning South Platte – Cheesman Canyon. Sitting comfortably in the lush landscape of Colorado, this canyon is a proud bearer of a rich past. Its history can be traced back to the arrival of the Ute tribe, the oldest residents of Colorado. They left their footsteps on the sands of time, nurturing the land for many generations. The canyon truly came into prominence in the 19th century during the Gold Rush when the discovery of gold in South Platte River led to a population boom.
  1. The South Platte River was also the place where famous ‘Pikes Peak Gold Rush’ started in 1859.
  2. Likewise, it was home to the ingenious Cheesman Dam, the world’s tallest dam at the time, in 1905.
Today, South Platte – Cheesman Canyon captivates the hearts of nature lovers, fishermen, and history buffs alike.
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