February 12, 2019 Fishing Update-Cheesman Canyon & Decker’s

[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”14″ exclusions=”174″ display=”basic_thumbnail”]Good morning Folks!
     Sorry, been away from the river for a few days, got a Mom that’s not doing so well. However, before saying “so long” as I left the east coast, we decided not to say “good bye.” She told me that I should never stop living and loving each day. She also told me to always follow my dreams. So, here’s how I’m seeing things after a couple days on the South Platte. Flows below Cheesman remain at 59 cfs. Through Decker’s & Trumbull, we’ve got about the same! Don’t let that “Below Brush Creek”’gauging station report fool ya! That thing is consistently 12-15 cfs. OFF!, I must say, it’s been a pretty good couple of days, all in the Canyon! Success came with a variety of bugs! The size #24, black beauty, #24 Rainbow Warrior, #16 micro-leech (Brown), Size#24 Red Rojo-Midge, and a size #30, YES #30, Top Secret midge. Also, most of my time was spent well above the Ice Box and Family Pools. Target the actively feeding fish in the deeper runs and fish that are hanging out on shelves and drop-offs. That’s all for now folks! Hope to see you out there on the river soon!

Chef Chris

 

January 16, 2019 Cheesman Canyon Fishing Update

[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”13″ display=”basic_thumbnail”]Hey Folks! 

   Finally getting back to good health and regular fishing! Here’s the latest on Cheesman Canyon, simply from my perspective! In the last five or six days, flows have remained around 60 cfs. below the dam, with about 65 cfs through Decker’s. As usual this time of year, the clarity of the South Platte is  excellent, with river temperatures in the upper 30’s to low 40’s.  Outside temperatures in the mornings have been frigid folks! Make sure you layer up when fishing the Canyon, as the sun moves quick and your in the shade more than the sun!  The lows in the morning are hovering around 0 at best! Best time to fish the Canyon is from about 11am-3pm, giving yourself plenty of time to hike the Gill trail, which currently is snow/slush packed, and can be slippery!  Spending most of my time between the Emerald Pool and Family Hole, I was able to both nymph and dry fly fish for some fish that always seem to be sipping around the Ice box. These fish are not easy at all! The most success I’ve had in the last few weeks has come from finding fish that were feeding and working them until I figured out what they were keyed in on! Light tippet and stealth approach as been my focus, along with getting my bugs down where the fish are eating. As the water temperature cools and the metabolism of the fish slows, a perfect drift is what it takes to get these fish to take!  Looking ahead to the rest of the week, we’re looking at a high 0f 52 tomorrow, with a cold front coming in late Thursday, which could bring some snow to the Decker’s area. On the information side of things, I would like to point out that as I’ve been driving around the popular areas to fish in the Decker’s area, I’ve noticed quite a bit of illegal, and frankly, DANGEROUS PARKING! Please, my fellow Anglers and outdoor enthusiast, ONLY park in the areas along highways 67 and the YMCA road, in designated areas! These are pretty clear folks! Anywhere you see a brown sign, with the letter “P” along the pullouts on these roads, that’s where you park! NOT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD! Perhaps this is ignorance or just plain stupidity, but if you see a car that’s parked illegally, snap a picture of the plates and send it to the Douglas county or Jefferson County Sheriff’s departments. As a resident of the area and part-time road cyclist, this is a practice that is going to get people killed!  That’s it for today folks! Hope to see you out there on the river soon!

Chris 

From Belize to Cheesman! Canyon Update, December 27, 2018

Good Afternoon Everyone!

First, my sincerest apologies for my absence from blogging. After finishing my club season, as Chef, I quickly returned to the east coast to spend time with my ailing mother, as well as visit the rest of my family. Upon my return to Colorado in late November, I was away again, this time off to the beautiful Central American country of Belize. What was intended to be both vacation and a fishing trip, turned more into a relaxing time at a resort on the North end of Ambergris Cay. Be sure to check out the photo gallery, as I’ve got several nice GoPro shots. Alright, that’s gets you updated on my whereabouts, but it’s the fishing information you need, eh? Well, I’ve been fishing on and off since my return, spending most of my time in Cheesman Canyon, as I’m blessed to live only footsteps from the lower end of the Canyon. My time spent the last few weeks have been mostly under normal, early winter conditions in the canyon. Flows have basically been around 55 cfs, with an earlier fluctuation back in November, where we saw it go from 55 to 100, and back down to 55 cfs. Word is, the Cheesman Reservoir is about 20% shy of capacity, resulting in the holding back of some water in order to fill the reservoir. So, with all that being said, I’ve been sticking to the deeper runs, riffles, and tail-outs, from above the family pool, up to about the Ice box. With typical winter flows, and it currently being 55 cfs, there’s limited space in these areas, so getting a spot between 11am-3pm, can be can be a little challenging. That’ why, if you’re willing to battle the elements on a not such a blue-sky day, heading into the canyon could be one of your better decisions! just saying! Small midges trailing behind a larger, meatier bug has worked well for me lately, especially in the deeper pools. And, on a warmer afternoon like yesterday, I even took a few fish on a small, size 24 Adams dry, when they were starting to sip just a bit here and there! Underneath, I’ve been using black and silver Zebra midges, purple Juju’s, Chocolate Thunder, and small, size 24 flashback pheasant tails. If you haven’t been to the canyon on a winter day, be sure to dress appropriately and allow yourself time to get back to the parking lot! Trails get slippery as the Canyon sees limited amount of sun this time of year. Layer it up, and bring lots of water. Even though its cold, your body still needs to stay hydrated! That’s all for now folks! Hope to see you out there on the river soon.

Chef Chris

Decker’s and Cheesman Canyon Update

 

Good Evening,

     Wow! What a joy it is to be able to actually sit down and write a blog!  After a log six months of intense planning and cooking, I’m finally off the clock! Now that I’ve got the time to fish daily, my goal is to update you as much as possible on all the current river and fishing conditions , all winter long! If you’re not already aware, you can always see the current flow of the South Platte, through Decker’s and Trumbull, on the home page of the this very website. So, with all the excuses and promises out of the way, let’s get to reason your here, the fishing!  Flows of the South Platte, below Cheesman Dam, have been holding in the upper 50’s, to mid 60’s CFS. If you only fish the South Platte during Spring and Summer, you may think these are low, but these are average for this time of year. The water is crystal clear and the fishing has been solid. The blue wing and midge hatches have been coming off around 10:30, along with a few remaining tricos. After receiving a couple of snow storms and few deep freezes, I thought we had seen the last of the Hoppers, but to my surprise I did rather well yesterday in the Canyon, with an Olive Chubby Cherynoble, trailing a BWO.  I was regularly catching fish with this combination, on both bugs! As we move further into the winter fishing season in Decker’s and the Canyon, the crowds subside, the days are shorter, but the fishing can be lights out! Smaller bugs, lighter tippet, and a stealth approach will put fish in the net!  When the fish aren’t rising, I’ve been finding myself focusing on the drop-offs, riffles, and faster moving water, having great success leading with an egg pattern or leech. Another great opportunity to catch some pretty aggressive fish, has been to work a streamer, such as an olive or black Wooley Bugger, along the moss beds that are recently exposed with the lower flows. You have to cover lots of water with this method, but it can be very productive. Well, that’s it for now folks! Now that I’ve got some time on a daily basis to get into the river, my goal is to blog at least twice a week, keeping you up do date as possible! Until next time, have a great day and I hope to see you on the river soon!

Chef Chris

 

 

July 28, 2018 Decker’s & Cheesman Canyon update

 

 

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Good Evening Everyone!

    As we get further into summer and finally got the flows in our favor, it’s time to get you up to speed on what’s been working for me in the Canyon and Decker’s. For the last week or so, we’ve had pretty consistent flows, hovering between 300-375. After what seemed like forever of no rain, we’ve finally gotten into a nice mid-morning/early afternoon thunderstorm patters, that have brought some much needed moisture to the South Platte Valley. With that being said, we’ve also suffered the consequences of too much rain at one time. Back on July 5, we had a substantial storm come through, dumping almost 4 inches of rain in a very short period of time. The effect this had on the Canyon was pretty significant in some areas, especially about mid-canyon, where the granite sediment and other debris, made it’s way quickly down the canyon side, and into some of these holes in the boulder section of the canyon. After this event, we saw quite a bit of slash had made it’s way into the river, and on down stream as well. Now, you could look at this as a potentially devastating event, or mother natures way of giving the Canyon a nice cleanse! I choose the later…. Ok, since the big event, we’ve experienced several storms, with large hail, thunder, and some pretty serious freaking lightning! Please keep this in mind when making the hike into Cheesman Canyon, as you can quickly become stranded on the side of the canyon wall, in a rather precarious spot during a lighting storm! The river seems to bounce back pretty quick after these storms, providing a great opportunity to fish the banks with scuds, worms, leaches, and Streamers. Since the clarity of the river has been regularly compromised with the afternoon storms, we’ve seen a decrease in the hopper activity, for mainly two reasons. The fish have so much food being put right in front of their faces that they really have no reason to look up! The other reason the Hoppers have slacked off is for the most obvious reasons, the trout simply can’t see the bug due to the clarity of the river.  With that being said, nymphing and throwing streamers has been my game of choice. As an indicator bug, my top three have been the Pat’s Rubber Legs, Olive Leech, and the Squirrel-tail Leech. Following my top bug, about 12-14 inches behind it, I’ve had good success with a multitude of bugs. In the mornings, I’ve been catching fish left and right with a buckskin midge or a Black Beauty, with a Prince Nymph, or a Rs-2, as my middle bugs. I spoke earlier of how the hopper wasn’t working so well right now. Well, what I really meant to say was that the fishing is “better” right now, with the nymphing rig. Don’t let this stop you from working the slower moving water along the banks, where the temptation of an Amy’s Ant, or a Chubby Cherynoble is usually too temping for a trout to turn down.  Flows are currently at 385 cfs below the dam, and about the same through Decker’s and Trumbull. Water temperature is between 45-50 degrees. That’s all I’ve got for now folks! Look for video fishing reports from the Decker’s area to begin shortly! Until then, take care and I hope to see you out there on the river soon!

Chef Chris