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South Platte River: Cheesman Canyon


Flows dropped off the table last Saturday, hitting a low of 60 cfs. Luckily, flows quickly rebounded and now sit at 120 cfs. The dramatic drop in flow combined with a winter storm really threw trout off their game. Trout are still skittish and selective but after a few days of stable flows, fishing should improve. Midges, BWOs and caddis are all on the menu, however, the recent cold front shut down caddis activity. Caddis should rebound after Tuesday as air temps return to normal. Midges are hatching sporadically throughout the day with the most prominent around 9 am and 6 pm. Be on the lookout for caddis between 10 am and 1 pm. BWOs follow quickly behind, hatching during the early afternoon. Trout are motivated to feed on the surface, so be prepared to fish dry and dry dropper setups. Parachute Adams, Griffiths Gnats, Parachute BWOs and Elk Hair Caddis are good patterns to have in your box and ready to go. If you observe a hatch but don’t see rising trout, move to a new section with a soft pool, slow run or slack water. For some reason, certain sections of this river produce better dry fly fishing than others. Sub-surface, trout will be picky for the next day or two and favor small and imitative offerings. Think midge, baetis and small searcher patterns. Assuming flows either hold steady or increase, stonefly nymphs, scuds, San Juan Worms, caddis larva, baetis larva and searcher patterns will be productive lead flies. Pat’s Rubber Legs, UV Scuds, Caddis Candy, Flashback Pheasant Tails and Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ears are solid options. For your trailer, match the hatch with the appropriate pupa/emerger. Top Secret Midges, Mercury Black Beauties, Cheesman Emergers, RS2s and Sparkle Pupas are some of our go-tos at the moment.

Water Levels

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