Colorado Fly Fishing Weekend Update: Cheesman Canyon & Deckers

As I write the weather in Colorado is really shaping up for a nice late fall fly fishing season.  This weekend it looks like the weather will be sunny with a slight chance of clouds and temperatures ranging from fifty two to sixty six degrees.  As the Colorado weather slowly cools, so do the crowds on our local South Platte River; making Deckers and Cheesman Canyon the perfect destination to spend a weekend on the water.

Colorado Cheesman Canyon

Colorado’s South Platte is a technical river but new anglers need not be shied away from the stream.  On the famed stretch of Deckers and Cheesman Canyon sight fishing is the name of the game.  In order to catch fish you must first be able to see them, a good pair of polarized glasses is a must.  Occasionally on these stretches of the South Platte anglers do experience good dry fly fishing, but most of the time in order to catch fish dead drift nymph fishing is a must.

Deckers rainbow trout

The key to catching fish on the South Platte relies on your ability to present small tail water patterns like Thread Midges (hook sizes 20-24), Barr’s Emergers (hook sizes 20-24) and WD-40s or Emerger Style midges and mayflies in hook sizes 20-24.  A few points to remember when nymph fishing:

  1. Rig your indicator so that it is twice the depth of the water you are fishing.
  2. Use light tippet 4x-6x to avoid having your flies drag through the current.
  3. Make sure your flies are getting down to the fish!  Use your weights or putty to find the bottom of the river and fish up from there.
  4. Make sure you are slowing that drift down.  In order to present your flies at the same speed of the current, use a high stick presentation with all of your line off the water expect for your indicator.  Also, on longer casts you may need to use the tip of your rod to mend the line out of the fast current so that your indicator slows down.

Follow these tips and stay persistent and you might just find yourself posing with a trophy Cheesman Canyon rainbow this weekend!  Good luck, be safe and have fun.

Tight lines,

Lone Wulff McWade