S. Platte2It takes about 30 minutes to hike in to the lower end of Cheesman Canyon, just above the private Wigwam property and below Cheesman Reservoir. The names of the fishing holes in Cheesman are legendary – “Family Hole”, “Ice Box”, “Emerald Pool” and “Meat Hole”. This is as beautiful a river as any in the Rocky Mountains, and it’s only an hour drive from Denver. I’m proud to call it my “Home Waters.”

You can see from the photo what a beautiful day we had in spite of the weather report. It snowed the night before so it was a photographer’s dream, but neither of us had brought our DSLR cameras so we made due with our point and shoots, which did a great job.

Cheesman RanibosWith my first cast I caught a beautiful rainbow. How’s that for impressing a guide? It was not a true indication for what the rest of the day would bring. I did catch a couple more fish and lost one really big one (20 inches maybe) to under a log, but it was great to see this beautiful canyon with its huge snow-covered boulders. The river was running extremely low – at 37 cfs, which made for difficult, very technical fishing. Pat was able to spot fish in spite of the snowy reflection on the water and directed me to many throughout the day, but they were either not feeding or didn’t like my presentation.

Cheesman ViewSpring and summer will bring a very different fishery with lots of anglers finding their way into this piece of heaven. You can hike 6 miles up to the dam so there is still an opportunity for some unbothered fishing even in the summer.
Today was special though – not another soul in sight all day.


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