South Platte River – 4/11/10

Time: 11:00AM – 2:30PM

Location: Cheesman Canyon above Second Bend after Cow Crossing

Fish Landed: 0

South Platte River 04/11/2010 Photo Album

The forecast called for temperatures in the 70’s, so I decided to give the South Platte another chance. As I drove up Jarre Canyon towards the South Platte I noticed a significant amount of remaining snow on the hillsides and feared the river would be muddied by low elevation snow melt. When I reached the river below Nighthawk, my fears were realized. The river was flowing green-brown with minimal visibility.

I decided to drive to Deckers and check out the water above Horse Creek. Sure enough, Horse Creek was feeding turbid water into the main river, and the South Platte was crystal clear above the tributary. There were quite a few fishermen in the stretch above the bridge, so I decided to hike into Cheesman Canyon. I parked at the Wigwam parking area and put on my waders and hiked to the canyon holding my rod and lunch box.

Trailhead to Cheesman Canyon

I hiked in quite a ways to get above the many fishermen on the lower water. I finally stopped at a nice spot above the second 90 degree bend after Cow Crossing. I tied on a yellow Letort hopper and trailed a beadhead RS2 and then a brown bead midge larva. I noticed occasional midges fluttering over the water. I fished up the river in some nice juicy runs, but had no success and didn’t spot any fish. I got to some nice deep runs, so switched to a nymph set up with strike indicator and beadhead hares ear and beadhead RS2. This also didn’t bring any action, so I returned to a long rock next to the river and had my lunch.

Crystal Clear Flows in Cheesman Canyon
Lunch Rock

While eating lunch at around 12:30 I observed a sparse emergence of BWO’s. I also hiked up the bank a bit for a high vantage point and thought I spotted a trout holding in a pool close to the opposite bank. After lunch I waded ¾ of the way across the pool to the far side where I’d seen the fish and ran my nymphs through the area, but no take. I continued working my way up the river for quite a distance switching between deep nymphs and hopper/dropper. Finally between 2 and 2:30 I spotted 5 to 6 fish holding in a nice pool near the left bank. I tied on a CDC olive and trailed a non-beadhead BWO nymph, but could not attract any of the observed fish.

A Nice Riffle Stretch
Remaining Snow Patches Along the River

Eventually I hooked a branch along the edge and disturbed the pool after dislodging the fly. I decided to call it quits since I had a long hike back out of the canyon and a drive back to Denver.

Leave a Reply